New Zealand

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: New Zealand Law Society 

Competition authority: Commerce Commission 

Financial regulator: Financial Markets Authority (FMA) 

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking and finance, Capital markets, M&A, Project Development, Restructuring and insolvency 

Jurisdiction overview

Even though New Zealand has had its own courts since the middle of the 19th century, its judicial system didn’t become completely independent until 2003 when the Supreme Court replaced the British Privy Council as the country’s final court of appeal. As a former British colony, its legal system is heavily based on English common law.

New Zealand’s financial and corporate legal market is small, independent and stable. It’s full of familiar names that cover a broad range of practice areas, and within this constrained setting competition is high. Because of its small size and the strength of the local market, international firms prefer to refer matters to the strong domestic firms.

Traditionally, the market has described Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp and Russell McVeagh as the ‘Big Three’ perched atop the legal market. However, this perception is increasingly being challenged by the claim that it is only the perception that creates the distance and that it’s not matched by reality. Firms such as Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and Buddle Findlay are working hard to narrow the gap. 

Adam Majeed - Asia-Pacific Editor

IFLR1000 2019: Australasia market trends and developments

Financial and corporate
Anderson Lloyd

Anderson Lloyd has had a busy year in banking and finance and project development, with mandates in sectors such as social infrastructure and utilities.

A notable deal saw the firm act for SecureFuture Wiri on the syndicated refinancing of the Wiri men's prison public-private partnership (PPP) project, which was the first refinancing of a major PPP in New Zealand.

Three of Anderson Lloyd’s offices in New Zealand are located in the South Island, thus allowing the firm to amass expertise in the renewable energy and utilities projects that have taken place in the South Island in recent years. A recent highlight deal saw the firm advising the Ōtautahi Community Housing consortium on the construction of the Waimea Community Dam.

The projects team welcomed partner Alan Paterson from Russell McVeagh, while partner Stephen Christensen left the team to join the bar.

Key clients include the Ōtautahi Community Housing Consortium, ShapEd Consortium, Cornerstone Infrastructure Partners Consortium, Bank of China and the Bank of New Zealand.

 

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper sits on the panels of six of New Zealand's largest banks and has experience in banking and finance and corporate and M&A. The firm is held in high regard for its work in restructuring and insolvency. The firm has been active in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture and real estate.

In banking, the firm worked on mandates relating to refinancing, acquisition financing, project financing, loans and advisory.

In M&A, the firm worked on an impressive number of deals and acted for both the vendors and the buyers. Highlights include advising Donaghy's on the sale of its crop packaging business and advising Scott Electrical in the acquisition of K Simpson Electrical.

Despite the strong economy and low interest rates, the insolvency team has been busy acting for and advising receivers, liquidators, administrators and investigative accountants. An interesting example saw the firm advising Ernst & Young in the liquidation of a farm. Anthony Harper also acted for PKF Corporate Recovery and Insolvency in the liquidation of Northern Crest Investments.

Staffing changes saw Matt Smith from Simpson Grierson and Natasha Razak from Latham & Watkins join the corporate team.

Key clients include Ernst & Young, Westpac, Bank of New Zealand, ASB Bank, Bank of China, International and Commercial Bank of China, BDO Christchurch, PKF Corporate Recovery and Insolvency.

 

Bell Gully

Bell Gully is among the top tier law firms in New Zealand and has performed exceedingly well in banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency, capital markets, M&A and project development recently. 

In the past year, the firm has been active in sectors including oil and gas, healthcare, transport, and insurance.

The banking team had a strong year with continued activity in all types of work, such as acquisition finance and securitisation, and by taking on new types of work with the rise of fintech and the public sector. A notable mandate saw the firm advising the HNA Group on the financing of the proposed acquisition of UDC Finance. 

On the M&A side, the firm has acted, typically on the side of the acquirer, on high-value deals, including AIA International’s acquisition of the Sovereign life insurance businesses and Downer Services’ partial takeover of Spotless Group Holdings. 

In restructuring and insolvency, an eye-catching deal saw the firm acting for PwC as liquidators of the Ross Asset Management, the largest Ponzi scheme in New Zealand history.

The firm experienced significant staffing changes, with banking and finance partners Mark Freeman and Garry Downs leaving to go independent, banking and capital markets partner Rachel Paris leaving to launch The Blockchain Boutique and Corporate and M&A partner Gavin Macdonald retiring.

Key clients include Alibaba Group, Crown Infrastructure Partners, PwC, KPMG, Auckland Transport, Asia Development Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Client feedback

“High-quality, practical and results-oriented.” – Capital markets

“Highly professional and expert firm.” – Capital markets

“Highly skilled professionals with second-to-none understanding of the complex sector that my company works in.” - M&A

“Breadth of services, experience and resources at the firm is a strong positive.” - M&A, Banking and finance

“Excellent legal knowledge which can be translated into commercial solutions.” - Project development, Banking and finance

“Top tier New Zealand practice. Highest quality advice and advisers. Strengths relative to our requirements are in property development agreements and transaction expertise. Ability to service our requirements promptly and professionally are a clear advantage. No known weaknesses.” -  Project development, Banking and finance

 

Buddle Findlay

Best known for banking and finance and restructuring and insolvency, Buddle Findlay has a broad practice covering M&A, project development, and capital markets. 

In banking and finance, the firm has experience in sectors including healthcare, agriculture, technology, agriculture, and energy. A recent mandate saw the firm advising the Bank of New Zealand and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) on a syndicated facility to Heritage Lifecare Retirement Group.

In M&A, a notable deal saw the firm acting for Newell Brands on all aspects of the acquisition of Sistema Plastics.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acted for PwC as receivers of Hewson Holdings.

The corporate and finance team was hit by the departures of Samantha Barrington Prowse to Steel & Tube, Nicola Schofield to Corrs Chambers Westgarth, partner Adam Jackson to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Chris Holland to Rabobank. Additionally, Montie Baskett left the corporate and commercial practice for Russell Group and Mark Davis left the banking and finance team for Allen & Overy. The banking and finance team recruited Terence Ng as a partner from DLA Piper, Daniel Collins from MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and Amanda Fernandez from Linklaters. Also, the firm hired Sarah McEwan from ANZ for the corporate team.

Key clients include PWC, Adamantem Capital, Vodafone New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, KordaMentha and McGrathNicol.

Client feedback

“Buddle Findlay’s level of service, industry knowledge and depth of team are excellent, definitely value for money relative to peers. They are always responsive and willing to go the extra mile to meet our clients' deadlines. I wouldn't hesitate to call them to run ideas and issues past them.” – Banking and finance

“A very commercial firm that understands the requirements of its clients. They have a high level of technical expertise and always act with the highest level of integrity. They always deliver, even during times when timeframes are unreasonable - which are often very short in New Zealand on transactions.” – Capital markets, Banking and finance

“Absolutely first class. Excellent service in every way. From not only the quality of the legal advice, but also the way the staff relates to my needs and their commercial understanding and acumen.” - Capital markets, Banking and finance

“Excellent firm, strong level of partner engagement. Responsive and gets across the issues quickly. Understands both the technical and commercial considerations of a deal. Not so much a weakness, however note that the banking and finance team could be better complemented by a larger corporate finance team.” - M&A        

“Buddle Findlay provides pragmatic and commercial advice, tailored to reflect the unique elements of our business.  Their client relationship skills are consistently high, and they maintain strong communication with me on the matters they are working on.” – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Chapman Tripp

One of the market leaders in New Zealand, Chapman Tripp performed well in banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency, M&A and project development, and outstandingly in capital markets, in 2017/18.

The firms banking team acts for both domestic and international clients and is known for its involvement in key transactions. A notable acquisition financing mandate saw the firm acting for Beach Energy in the acquisition of Lattice Energy.

In capital markets, a high profile deal saw the firm acting as New Zealand counsel to ANZ Bank New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand and International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the issue of Kauri green bonds by IFC. 

During the research period the M&A team worked in sectors including oil and gas, energy, insurance, and media. A highlight deal saw the firm advising Shell New Zealand on the divestment of its New Zealand upstream assets.

The firm’s finance and capital markets team hired Leigh Kissick from Bell Gully.

Key clients include Beach Energy, ANZ Bank, Global Fidelity Bank, Westpac, Bank of China (New Zealand), China Construction Bank (New Zealand), RESIMAC Financial Securities and Queenstown Airport Corporation.

Client feedback

“Strengths include specialist advice and niche work. Time flexible and always gets the work done on time.” – Capital markets

“Chapman Tripp are experts and trusted advisers on treasury and fundraising programmes.” – Capital markets, M&A

“Chapman Tripp has very strong banking, finance, corporate and project teams that we use regularly. They are efficient, easy to deal with and strong in their risk assessment.” – M&A, Restructuring and insolvency, Banking and finance

“Chapman Tripp is a trusted advisor. We rely on the breadth and depth of the firm's expertise and experience, and [the firm] provides commercially savvy advice that goes beyond black letter law.” - M&A, Capital markets

“Chapman Tripp is easily the best firm in the country. Their partners are top notch, pragmatic and commercial. Being one of the largest companies in New Zealand, we require excellent and efficient legal advice. Chapman Tripp provides us with both. Chapman Tripp is a full service firm and every department is among the most highly rated in New Zealand. We also value their partnering approach to the provision of legal services. This is demonstrated by our shared commitment to a retainer arrangement for services.”  - Project development, M&A

Philip Ascroft 

"Philip Ascroft is a young lawyer whose ability exceeds his years."   

Cathryn Barber 

"Cathryn Barber is the only lawyer we use for loan financing work and bond issues. She is outstanding and highly efficient."  

Hamish Bolland

"Hamish Bolland is a very solid construction lawyer."

Brian Clayton

"Brian Clayton is an outstanding construction lawyer. He is definitely the best projects lawyer in the country." 

Lauren Curtayne

"Lauren Curtayne is an up and coming star. She instinctually knows what we care about and what to focus on. Her judgement is excellent."

Rachel Dunne

"Rachel Dunne is an amazingly efficient corporate lawyer. Her turnaround times are spectacular. Definitely one to watch; she will be one of the biggest names in corporate law in New Zealand in the near future."   

Jessica Elder

"Jessica Elder is a burgeoning talent. Using a strong base level of skills and knowledge she is adding to it by absorbing the excellence around her." 

Luke Ford

"Luke is reliable and meets deadlines."

Alan Lester

"Alan is an outstanding lawyer and is an ever-reliable trusted adviser with deep and wide knowledge of his practice area."

Nick Letham

"Nick is excellent." 

Mark Reese

"He's very strong and excellent with client relationships."

"Mark is an exceptionally smart lawyer. He has a very calm manner and explains complex matters in a clear fashion. An absolute pleasure to deal with."

Catherine Sommerville-Frost

"Catherine has a high level of professionalism and is a great strategist with pragmatic advice." 

Emma Sutcliffe

"Remarkable. Her ability to gather together the many strands of a situation or circumstance, utilising her knowledge of the industry and our own history, and to avoid the detail pitfalls so she focuses only on what is important is truly impressive. She challenges our thinking and makes us better for it." 

Tim Tubman

"Tim Tubman is very smart, highly organised and client focused." 

Roger Wallis

"Roger Wallis is just spectacular. An amazing lawyer."  

 

Harmos Horton Lusk

Harmos Horton Lusk is best known for M&A and private equity.

The firm worked on M&A deals on the sides of both the acquirer and acquired. Highlights include advising Vector on the acquisition of E-Co Products and advising Maui Capital on the acquisition of a majority stake in Smart Environmental.

The firm was also active in capital markets and advised on matters such as rights issues and private placements. An example saw Abano Healthcare Group seek the firm’s advice on a renounceable rights issue and a shortfall bookbuild.

A staffing change saw Georgina Toomey from the M&A team leave the firm for Anderson Lloyd. 

Key clients include Maui Capital, Vector, Pushpay Holdings and Manhattan Corporation.

Client feedback

“Good depth of experience.”– Banking and finance 

“Strengths include depth of knowledge, service and personnel. Also its quality of advice, strategy and governance.” – M&A 

 

Kensington Swan

A diversified finance and corporate practice and a specialised China business group to assist Chinese entrants to the New Zealand market have made Kensington Swan a firm of note.

In banking, the firm has worked on mandates on matters including project financing, acquisition financing, and debt capital market issues.

In M&A the firm was active in sectors including oil and gas and logistics. The firm advised ICM, Zeta Resources, and Zeta Energy in the partial acquisition of New Zealand Oil & Gas.

In a notable insolvency deal, the firm acted for Deloitte in the interim and full liquidation of HydroWorks.

The firm experienced a significant shift in staff. The banking and restructuring teams saw the departures of partner Katie Carson for DLA Piper and Gerald Fitzgerald for Fitzgerald Strategic Legal, and the M&A team lost Peter Fernando to MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Also Campbell Featherstone from Goodwin Procter and Mihiarangi Piripi from Roe Legal joined the M&A team, and Paul Holth from Chapman Tripp joined the projects practice.

Key clients include Kiwi Wealth, Kiwi Wealth Investments, Public Trust, AMP Wealth Management, Deloitte and BDO.

Client feedback

“Pragmatic. Open. Responsive. Market leading practitioners.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“Kensington Swan is reliable and careful in its legal approach to our work and can be relied on to give sound and sensible advice and be able to put that advice into practise.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Kensington Swan have been extremely competent in assisting our organisation through a potentially difficult regulatory process. The advice and assistance received has proved to be invaluable in achieving success. The organisation is approachable and inspire confidence.” – Financial services regulatory

“Always get outstanding service and professional timely advice. Kensington Swan often goes above and beyond when providing advice, providing us with a real value add in most interactions. The depth of the team is also impressive and as junior lawyers join and are trained up, the change is the most seamless of any I have worked with.” – Investment funds 

“Excellent knowledge of law in our field.” – Investment funds

“The firm provides high quality advice with excellent partner availability. Communication is very good and the advice received is commercial and pragmatic.” – Investment funds

“Excellent knowledge, excellent response time, great relationship management, very competitive fees.” – Investment funds

“Easy to deal with. Can pick up the phone to discuss issues and it provides practical solutions. Great attention to detail.” – M&A

 “Excellent level of service. Prompt, practical advice.” – M&A

“Work is fine – pragmatic.” – M&A

“Dependable advice personably delivered. Easy to do business with.” – Project development

“Kensington is knowledgeable in this area and is also responsive.” – Project development

“Kensington Swan has been our legal adviser since our incorporation. We are very satisfied with its services. Its work is efficient, professional and leading the industry.” – Project development

“Knowledgeable. Good concise advice. Not overly 'lawyer-ly' - I consider this to be a strength!” – Project development

“Provides a consistent level of dependable professional advice in a personal way.” – Project development 

“Kensington Swan is the law firm in New Zealand we cooperated the most times with during the past three years when we ran our business here. It has fantastic experience in the business and commercial area, while its team can work together in different fields and work out impressive results for the job we ask them to do. Besides the expertise, it also has a good attitude for its service. We're a Chinese state-owned company and we have lots of complicated inner processes related to legal issues. But Kensington Swan keeps communicating with us again and again to make sure we're well protected legally by its professional knowledge, especially its Chinese business team. Few people can be so patient about that. We appreciate its ability to work with tough clients like us.” – Project development

 “Excellent. First-rate work, courteous and friendly, and a real effort to understand the client's needs. Also very good value.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

 “Kensington Swan is very approachable and easy to work with.  It is good at meeting deadlines and the work is of a very high quality. Its advice is succinct, pragmatic and easy to understand.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Heida Donegan

"Heida Donegan is the leader of a team of very strong lawyers. She is very professional and always gives very practical and pragmatic legal advice with her wealth of legal knowledge."  

"Heida always shows her expertise and patience when working with us. She knows both common law and civil law so that she can consider the legal issues of our New Zealand projects from the perspective of our Chinese head office. Also she can speak both Chinese and English so she's able to explain the terminlogy to us very clearly to help us understand. The coorperation between us runs smoothly."

Catriona Grover

"Catriona is the partner we use and she is always able to provide advice that takes into account the commercial implications and often answers questions before we have a chance to ask them! Never misses a deadline - even when we are probably being a little unreasonable." 

"Cat Grover is an excellent practitioner in this space - technically savvy, knowledgeable and affable."

David Ireland

"David has good knowledge of the subject matter."

"He has fantastic investment fund knowledge, quick turnaround, easy to work with, and very competitive rates."

"David is efficient, experienced, pragmatic, and a market leader."

"He provides a consistent high level of competency. I can depend on the advice I am given." 

"He's accessible and consistently delivers timely and on point advice."

Nicky McIndoe

"Nicky is excellent and knowledgeable."  

"Nicky's strength is her knowledge of our environment law in New Zealand and the ability to advise us and help us prosecute environmental cases."

"Nicky is strong in resource management and also strong in client relations." 

Tom McLaughlin

"Tom McLaughlin is the best up and coming lawyer anyone here has ever worked with, he is far superior to anyone else we have engaged with at his level."

Hayley Miller

"Hayley Miller provides excellent work, is friendly, and has a good understanding of technological developments."

Matthew Ockleston 

"He is primarily responsible for my high general view of the firm."

"Matthew is knowledgeable and responsive to our requirements." 

Chris Parke

"Chris Parke and James McMillan are both excellent; good communicators, proactive, with good service delivery." 

"Good responsiveness, and good contacts in offshore firms."

Christina Sheard

"Christina is very proactive and responsive. She provides sound advice, which is concisely given." 

"She's very knowledgeable in resource management issues."

Nicole Xanthopol

"Nicole is very personable and knowledgeable." 

"Nicole has excellent technical knowledge and commercial understanding. She is also conscientious and friendly." 

"Nicole is a top class lawyer. She's very experienced and remains calm under considerable pressure. She meets deadlines and is very cost effective."

 

Lowndes

As the sole New Zealand representative in international networks such as Multilaw, Legalink and the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms, Lowndes is able to cater for the legal needs of major international law firms.

The banking team worked on a number of confidential mandates in areas such as corporate finance, loan agreements, refinancing and debt restructuring.

In M&A, the firm advised on matters including acquisitions and joint ventures in sectors such as oil and gas, shipping, healthcare and insurance.  Highlights in the past year include acting for Rothbury Group in the acquisition of interests in Lifetime Group and advising an internationally listed oil and gas exploration company in the potential acquisition of the interests of Shell in New Zealand.

In addition to advising clients on liquidation deals, the firm also took on an impressive amount of contentious work. An interesting example saw the firm assisting Meltzer Mason in the liquidation of BDM Grange.

Staffing changes saw Sarah Kerr from Brown Partners Lawyers join the corporate team and Tim Jeffcott from Hamish Fletcher Lawyers join the insolvency team. Also Greg France left the M&A team for EY Law and Glen Holm-Hansen left the insolvency team for Hesketh Henry.

Notable clients include ANL Container Line, Horizon Global, Horizon Global, VMG Ventures and SkyCity Entertainment Group.

Client feedback

“Has the ability to perform on very short notice.”– M&A

“Lowndes is always very prompt with its advice and available often outside normal working hours. It offers pragmatic solutions within legal requirements and speaks in a language we can understand.” – M&A

“Advice on and successful defence in court of a statutory demand made against our company by a former subcontractor. Strengths include communicativeness, the people who are very nice and very reasonable to deal with, and very client-focussed Jennifer Tunna. Jennifer cuts straight to the chase, her advice is very clear and pragmatic. She immediately identified the issues, and she is able to convert complex legal areas and issues into clear guidance on what is likely best to do in a practical sense.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Kerri Dewe

"Kerri Dewe is excellent to work with, offering prompt solid advice."

Mark Lowndes

"Mark leads the practice well. He is very personable and makes himself available."

Jennifer Tunna

"Jennifer cuts straight to the chase, her advice is very clear and pragmatic. She immediately identified the issues, and she is able to convert complex legal issues into clear guidance on what is likely best to do in a practical sense."  

 

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

One of the leading law firms in New Zealand, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, is active across financial and corporate work but the firm’s M&A and flagship restructuring and insolvency practice set it apart. The firm acts as an advisor to New Zealand’s big four trading banks (ANZ, ASB, BNZ, and Westpac) and sits on all four banks' legal panels.

The firm has picked up work in sectors such as aviation, oil and gas, utilities, forestry, and technology.

In banking the firm worked on numerous deals involving, among others, refinancing, project financing, advisory and acquisition financing. The firm assisted The New Zealand Refining Company in the refinancing of its core debt facilities. The firm also acted for the lenders Westpac New Zealand and ANZ Bank New Zealand in the financing of large-scale irrigation infrastructure projects undertaken by Central Plains Water.

In M&A, the firm acted for OneFortyOne Plantations in the acquisition of Nelson Forests, in the largest forestry deal in New Zealand in recent years.

The firm is highly regarded in insolvency and receives instructions from all the main insolvency practitioners in New Zealand, including PwC and KPMG. A highlight saw the firm advising KordaMentha in the liquidation of Wynyard.

Key clients, in addition to the big four domestic banks, include, BDO, KPMG, PWC, Bank of New Zealand, KordaMentha, McGrathNicol and Wellington Electricity Lines.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh has established itself as one of the market leaders in New Zealand, with a widely recognised practice in banking and finance, capital markets, project development and M&A.

In capital markets, the firm acted on various transactions such as IPOs and share issues. An interesting example saw the firm act on the IPO and listing of Oceania Healthcare - the only IPO in the New Zealand in 2017.

In the projects space, the firm took on work in sectors including, energy, mining, transport, and utilities. A highlight deal saw the firm advising Watercare Services in obtaining planning approvals for upgrades to various wastewater treatment plants. The firm also advised the Stevenson Group on a residential and industrial development project in Drury South.

In M&A the firm assisted Zhejiang Rifa Holding and Rifa Jair Company on the partial takeover of Airwork. Elsewhere, the firm acted on the sell-side for Origin Energy in the sale of Lattice Energy to Beach Energy.

The M&A team was strengthened by the additions of Isaac Stewart from Clifford Chance and Liz Blythe from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Also, Cameron Law from the NZ Transport Agency joined the projects team as a partner.

Key clients include SkyCity Entertainment Group, Origin Energy, Auckland International Airport, Westpac, Bank of New Zealand and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Client feedback

“Strengths include depth of legal personnel and knowledge.” – Financial services regulatory, Restructuring and insolvency

“Concise and relevant advice. Advice aligned with commercial objectives. Good timeliness.” - M&A, Restructuring and insolvency

“Excellent M&A practice backed by the resources of a full service law firm.” – M&A, Banking and finance

“Our lead partner is very good and communicates very well and delivers on his promises.” - Project development, M&A

“Russell McVeagh is undoubtedly one of the leading firms providing advice in the area of resource management and regulatory advice. Tim Clarke has the ear of central government, Allison Arthur-Young and Bronwyn Carruthers are excellent in the fields of regulatory and resource management respectively.  The firm has lost considerable gravitas in these areas with the departure of Derek Nolan and Bal Matheson to the Bar.” - Project development, Financial services regulatory

“Technically good with great depth in the team across a variety of legal practices, which is crucial on large, complex deals and matters.” – Capital markets, M&A 

Allison Arthur-Young

"Second to none."

Ian Beaumont

"Outstanding - personable and knowledgeable."

Deemple Budhia

"Deemple is very strong and detailed. Advice is of a very high quality."

"Extremely competent, very strong mix of technical and commercial aspects." 

Tom Hunt

"Tom has amazing regulatory knowledge and a great commercial approach." 

“Excellent technically and for using his initiative to think broadly about an issue identifying concerns and offering solutions.”

Matt Kersey

"Very strong technical and commercial skills. A market leader."

Ben Paterson

"Ben is hard working, dedicated and solution oriented. He maintains composure and good humour throughout the deal."

David Raudkivi

"David has great all-round capital markets expertise and provides excellent client service."

Joe Windmeyer

"Joe is very well respected and someone who we can rely on." 

 

Simpson Grierson

Simpson Grierson is active across the board in financial and corporate work. The firm has been active in sectors including mining, oil and gas, banking, energy, financial services and real estate recently.

The banking practice is known for quality work in leveraged and acquisition finance, real estate finance, public finance, distressed debt restructuring and asset finance. The firm added the United Overseas Bank to its list of clients and advised it on a loan to an offshore fund for the purchase of a commercial building in Auckland. The firm also assisted ASB Bank in providing a loan to 33 Broadway Trust for the purchase and development of a partially completed commercial building.

In M&A the firm worked on the sides of both the sellers and acquirers in numerous acquisition deals. A highlight saw the firm advising Suntory Beverage & Food Asia in the sale of its New Zealand assets to the Kraft Heinz Company.

Staffing changes included Kate Strevens leaving the M&A team and Peter Eady leaving the capital markets team, while Mace Gorringe joined the capital markets team from Slaughter and May.

Key clients include PwC, BDO, McGrathNicol, Solid Energy, Macquarie Securities, New Zealand Oil & Gas, Livestock Improvement Corporation, Westpac, Bank of New Zealand and National Australia Bank.

Webb Henderson

Webb Henderson is active in both Australia and New Zealand and is known for its focus on corporate and M&A.

In M&A the firm provides advice on acquisitions, joint ventures, and reorganisations to both local and international firms in sectors such as entertainment, food and beverage, technology, pharmaceuticals and transport. Highlights include advising Genesis Energy on the acquisition of Nova Energy’s LPG assets business, and Pacific Equity Partners on the acquisition of Food Partners.

The firm welcomed Graeme Quigley from Russell McVeagh as a partner.

Key clients include Skycity Entertainment Group, Oxford Metrics, Genesis Energy, Vector, Insurance Australia Group and the Harvard Management Company.

Client feedback

“The firm has been exemplary. The level and quality of service has been as good as I have seen anywhere in the world. Highly responsive, commercially astute, legally sound and clear, unambiguous drafting. It has also put considerable effort into understanding our business.” – Project development