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Chapman Tripp has 'exceptional industry knowledge and its advice is always tailored to our needs', according to one client. It has a 13-lawyer practice that counts ANZ Bank, Bank of New Zealand, Bank of China and Britannia Financial Services among its clients. In Auckland, Tim Williams has led the practice for more than 20 years and is also head of financial services regulation. He assisted managed investment scheme manager Conrad Funds Management with the establishment of the Conrad Investment Scheme and its Mortgage and Premium Cash Funds. Partner Penny Sheerin, who helps to lead the funds and financial services regulation practices and specialises in funds management and securities law, is 'brilliant at adapting to what the client wants'. Senior associates Emma Dale, who regularly advises managers of retail superannuation and KiwiSaver schemes, and Phoebe Gibbons, who specialises in regulatory matters, are rising stars. In Wellington, key partner Mike Woodbury focuses predominantly on retirement schemes and related financial services regulation, frequently acting for trustees and managers of workplace savings, superannuation and KiwiSaver schemes.

DLA Piper New Zealand has 'institutional knowledge that is invaluable', according to one client. The firm assists licensed managers, supervisors, custodians and investment managers with regulatory matters such as the reporting requirements of the Financial Markets Conduct Act, distribution models, fund design and fund establishment. It is also busy with the implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport in New Zealand, having been chosen as the only local firm to participate in the pilot program. It handles retail and wholesale investment funds and KiwiSaver matters, and also works with sovereign funds such as the Government Superannuation Fund. Tracey Cross in Auckland and Alasdair McBeth and Rachel Taylor in Wellington jointly lead the practice and are 'very strong on investment and superannuation issues'. McBeth recently advised online investment fund supermarket operator Investnow Saving and Investment Service on the purchase of a book of clients from Rabodirect. Special counsel Nicole MacFarlane and senior associates Neisha Mistry (who exhibits 'good attention to detail'), Geoff Ward-Marshall and Tom Barnes are also recommended.

Kensington Swan 'is always abreast of the latest legal developments and is able to keep customers in mind whilst having immense technical expertise and industry knowledge, and providing  responsive and strategic advice', according to one client. Another client remarks that it is 'one of the best providers of legal services in this area, with real depth of industry knowledge'. The practice is based in the firm's Wellington office, where David Ireland and Catriona Grover are the co-heads. Grover 'brings invaluable technical expertise to the table; she has outstanding business acumen with experience across all areas of retail and wholesale funds, including KiwiSaver and superannuation, and takes a lead in the ever-changing fintech arena'. Ireland has 'a high profile and is great on financial-adviser obligations and distribution agreements'. Star senior associate Tom McLaughlin is 'very impressive - always available and able to give quick and insightful advice'. The practice acted for Kiwi Wealth Limited and Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership in the establishment of the award-winning Future You financial advisory tool, which included extensive advice on regulatory compliance.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts' practice has ten specialist investment fund lawyers working alongside experienced partners in disciplines such as tax and litigation. The four most prominent lawyers have more than 90 years' investment funds experience between them, and have helped the firm become a prominent player in the fintech and cryptocurrency arenas. Auckland-based practice heads Lloyd Kavanagh and Jeremy Muir 'rate very highly', according to one client. Kavanagh focuses predominantly on governance, investment and managed funds, fintech incubation and regulatory matters. He advised BNZ Investment Services on establishing its YouWealth managed investment scheme, which is Bank of New Zealand's flagship managed funds offering. Muir handles managed funds, financial markets conduct law and alternative assets, and is known for establishing private equity and venture capital funds, as well as fintech matters. He advised New Ground Capital on its new Impact Enterprise Fund. Special counsel Shane Johnstone, who has 25 years' experience in working for corporate trustees and, in Wellington, special counsel Kara Daly, who for 30 years has worked in financial service law, are also recommended. Senior associate Andrew Suggate is a rising star.

Bell Gully is 'a top NZ commercial law firm' with an experienced multi-disciplinary practice that acts for issuers such as ANZ Bank and AMP, and supervisory organisations including New Zealand Guardian Trust and Covenant Trustee Company. Corporate and banking partner Haydn Wong in Auckland leads the practice and advises some of New Zealand’s largest fund managers and trustees on funds management, KiwiSaver, superannuation and insurance matters. His recent highlights include assisting Ngāti Awa Group Holdings on the establishment of an iwi direct investment fund to help Māori groups diversify their portfolios and access direct investment opportunities. Amon Nunns in Wellington acts for Stride Property Group, which controls one of New Zealand’s largest diversified investment property portfolios. Special counsel Sarah McQueen and senior associate Katie Dow in Auckland also specialise in financial services law, with managed funds matters constituting a large proportion of their workload. Rachel Paris left the firm to start a blockchain consultancy.

Russell McVeagh in Auckland advises on the establishment, operation, restructuring and winding up of funds and investment schemes. Its work includes assisting with the development and design of schemes, including advising on tax efficient structures. It has been involved in matters relating to the KiwiSaver scheme for the last ten years, as well as advising on all aspects of financial adviser regulation. Among its clients are Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, Westpac Banking Corporation and Bank of New Zealand. It also handles custody matters for clients such as Citibank, Westpac, JP Morgan and Perpetual Guardian. Sole partner Dan Jones leads a team of six lawyers. He acts for clients in a broad range of matters relating to managed and sovereign funds, and also handles exemptions from securities law requirements, trustee licensing and employee share schemes. With of counsel Joanna Khoo, he advised New Zealand Funds Management on the establishment of its managed superannuation scheme.

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Legal Developments in New Zealand

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