Lawyer Chris Ussher is a master at multi-tasking.
The TSB Community Trustee has been a partner at Young Carrington Ussher law firm for the past six years, but it’s the path he took to get there that makes him a man of many hats.
Chris grew up in Christchurch, where he went to Christ’s College, but he has Taranaki roots through his mum who hails from the region’s south.
After gaining a degree in philosophy at Otago University, he went to work for the Treasury from 1999 to 2004. “I met my wife Bridget (Sullivan) at Treasury and she had a degree in philosophy as well.”
Together they have two boys, aged 11 and 13.
While the boys were young, he decided to change direction. “I did law at Victoria University, while I was working full-time.”
He moved to the Ministry of Social Development from 2004 to 2009, which was conveniently located a two-minute walk from the law campus. “I had the flexibility to go to lectures.”
Chris, now 41, studied at weekends and most evenings, so, while working and raising a young family, he earned his law degree in just four years.
Keen to move into legal practice, he and Bridget moved to Taranaki to be close to her family.
“It’s a better lifestyle than Wellington; more relaxed, and a better work-life balance,” says the fanatical runner and avid reader of history and politics, who also enjoys fishing with his boys, pottering in the garden and tramping.
“I think Taranaki is incredibly lucky to have a resource like the Trust to support such a wide range of initiatives in the community. It’s such a great privilege to be part of that and the great things the Trust does.”