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  1. TMT
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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'Standout firm' Buddle Findlay 'goes the extra mile to ensure knowledge of clients' business and tailored advice'. In Auckland, Philip Wood leads the practice, bringing 25 years' experience in corporate, commercial and TMT matters to bear. His expertise covers film and television projects, including format development and licensing, all aspects of ICT law, satellite transponder leases, and the establishment technology and IP-based businesses. Wood and Allan Yeoman, who is also recommended for complex ICT matters, and senior associate Keri Johansson handled the procurement of an IVP solution for Sky Network Television. In Wellington, IT and outsourcing contract specialist Amy Ryburn is the key partner and is known for her 'competence, empathy and ethics'. Among her many recent highlights was her work for New Zealand Transport Agency on all of its major ICT matters, which included an mobility-as-a-service project and the establishment of a panel of software development suppliers. Senior associate Damien Steel-Baker and special counsel Renee Stiles are also recommended.

Chapman Tripp has a multidisciplinary team that handles some of New Zealand’s largest and most significant ICT projects. In 2017, the firm launched its Zeren technology and innovation business to deliver legal documentation and advice through the cloud. Bruce McClintock leads the firm's national technology, media and telecoms practice from Auckland and focuses on projects and regulation for technology, media and communications, internet business, and infrastructure clients. Corporate, IP and IT partner Kelly McFadzien specialises in commercial contracts, transactions and projects involving technology, infrastructure and outsourcing, intellectual property and long-term services and procurement arrangements. She assisted ANZ with a strategic alliance with Cigna to provide insurance solutions, IT transition services and technology arrangements following the NZ$700m sale of OnePathLife NZ. Newly promoted partner Tim Sherman in Wellington is central to the practice and advised Kiwibank on a new automated solution for the quality and compliance of its lending variation disclosure documentation using Zeren's document and workflow solution.

Boutique technology and IP firm Hudson Gavin Martin in Auckland is 'highly engaged and responsive'. Its stellar client roster includes Microsoft, Television New Zealand, Auckland Transport and Amazon Web Services. Practice head Simon Martin is noted for his 'deep experience' in technology, media and IP law, and 'applies a commercial, strategic lens to transactions, focusing on the issues that really make a difference to value and risk'. He advised the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and National eScience Infrastructure on procurement for a challenging hardware and software design project. Also recommended are Edwin Lim for technology procurement and outsourcing, and Tim Mahood for contentious matters. Clients also note the strong support from principal and 'seasoned outsourcing expert' Anchali Anandanayagam and newly hired senior associate Andrew Dentice from Barclays Bank, who form 'a tight and highly capable team'. Dentice has 'stacks of common sense and instinctive good judgement'.

The TMT practice at MinterEllisonRuddWatts is 'very pragmatic and underpinned with core domain knowledge'. 'The team is first rate - very proactive, knowledgeable and commercial'. Jane Parker in Wellington leads the practice and is a director of the firm’s artificial intelligence joint venture entity. Media specialist John McCay is a board member of New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand On Air. He advised the Broadcasting Commission on the development of online children's programming platform HEIHEI. In Auckland, Tom Maasland is 'very strong in terms of black letter law, but is also commercially pragmatic'. He acted for Spark, Two Degrees Mobile and Vodafone in a shared network project to improve internet connectivity and fix mobile blackspots across New Zealand. Ross Patterson has more than 25 years' experience in telecoms regulation. Richard Wells handles the commercialisation of new technology, as well as media and broadcasting industry matters. Rising star senior associate Peter Fernando joined from Kensington Swan. Senior associates Kate Cruickshank  and the 'extremely hardworking'  Hannah Andrews are recommended.

Simpson Grierson in Auckland 'always provides a very high level of service; the lawyers are always thorough and timely, and they provide advice we can rely on', remarks one client. 'The level of service is outstanding, the advice is incredibly pragmatic and savvy, and the team’s innate understanding of a complex subject area is second-to-none', remarks another. The 'wonderfully pragmatic' Karen Ngan (who 'has an amazing work ethic and ensures clients receive the highest-quality advice') and Michael Sage lead the practice. Ngan and 'incredibly thorough and highly attentive' senior associate Louise Taylor advised Wellington City Council on the procurement and maintenance of a central management solution for street lighting from Telensa Limited. Sky Network TV and Land Information New Zealand are also among the firm's clients. Litigators Jania Baigent and William Akel (special counsel), and corporate partner Simon Vanini also play key roles in the practice. In Wellington, senior associate Amanda Stephenson is 'very thorough and personable, and has in-depth understanding of ICT contracting'.

From the practice at Anthony Harper, clients receive 'very pragmatic and commercially astute advice - and fast turnaround'. The team is led by IP and TMT partner Michael Moyes, who is noted for 'giving clients confidence and reassurance'. His recent work includes working with senior associate Jullion Nelson Parker for The Sticky Handshake on the start-up of its business in New Zealand and Australia, which is built around a technology platform for small businesses and sole traders to access an online business networking community. They also assisted LifeLot with the development and implementation of its online digital safe, which is an after-life-planning tool and highly secure personal database for personal, digital, medical and legal information. The firm also counts LexisNexis, food company Van den Brink Group, Lyttelton Port Company and payments system provider Wirecard among its clients.

Bell Gully has a broad practice that has experts in technology and media matters, including emerging technologies such as blockchain. The firm acted for Centrality Investments, which supports app developers, in the world’s first token generating event - the blockchain equivalent of an IPO - which raised the Ethereum equivalent of $80m in just six minutes. Practice head Dean Oppenhuis in Wellington led that deal and focuses on technology procurement and implementation in both the private and public sectors. The firm also advised virtual and augmented reality company 8i on commercial contracts. Auckland-based media lawyer and litigation partner Alan Ringwood assisted NZME Publishing and Mediaworks with a test case concerning the use of sports video clips by the news media. Newly promoted partner Laura Littlewood handles M&A transactions involving significant IP and technology assets, though her work also encompasses advice on data and strategic IT platforms. IP litigation partner Tania Goatley is also strong in media, advertising and privacy law.

Kensington Swan is 'very good, very responsive and pragmatic in its approach'. It is known for its work in public and private sector procurement, consumer law, e-commerce, technology product compliance, and privacy and data protection. Hayley Miller in Auckland leads the practice and 'understands the industry well, so can provide practical advice'. For Crown Infrastructure Partners, she handled variations to the wholesale services agreements used by counterparties to the government's ultra-fast broadband infrastructure project. Tourism New Zealand is also a key client. Charlotte Henley is the key partner in Wellington and she frequently advises on the commercial aspects of innovation, technology and IP for clients in the advertising, marketing, media and technology sectors. Campbell Featherstone joined from Goodwin in London and has quickly developed a central role in the practice.

Russell McVeagh brings together several disciplines within its national ICT group, which is chaired by Mei Fern Johnson in Wellington, who has 18 years' experience advising on corporate and technology matters. The practice handles corporate transactions, finance, litigation and IP, as well as advising on technology and media matters. Johnson recently advised a major insurance provider on policy matters, the contracting of technology providers and partner agreements as part of a major digital transformation project. Tom Hunt leads the fintech and insurtech practices and is head of the firm's Innovation Committee. Litigator Chris Curran is also recommended for IT disputes. He acted for a government agency in a major dispute arising from the development and implementation of an IT system. In Auckland, newly promoted litigation partner Joe Edwards is head of the marketing, media and IP practice and frequently handles IT disputes. Senior associate Dominic Rowe is a rising star. Liz Blythe has been made partner.

'Outstanding on all counts' is how one client describes the practice at Lowndes. Corporate and technology partner Mark Lowndes has 36 years' experience in the market and one client notes that he has 'a superior general knowledge in all aspects of the law, meaning he is able to advice on risks in a global manner, and how they may affect other aspects of the business'. He assisted SKYCITY Auckland with a comprehensive re-write of its template licences for the installation, access, operation and maintenance of telecoms equipment. Lowndes and principal Kerri Dewe (who is 'the complete article in TMT and commercial law - extremely bright, personable, efficient and customer-centric') advised privately owned real estate company Barfoot & Thompson on the drafting of terms for the supply of data for inclusion on technology platforms, including social media, and the negotiation of software agreements. Director Sarah Kerr also plays a key role in corporate transactions involving technology companies.

Webb Henderson is a leading firm in telecoms and media, and frequently handles cross-border matters through its network of offices in Auckland, Sydney and Singapore. Its special focus on competition law, regulation, corporate transactions and litigation sees it act for some of the world's largest telecoms operators and media companies in complex, cutting-edge and strategically important projects. The practice, which is led from Australia, recently assisted Chorus with the government’s reform of New Zealand’s telecoms regulatory framework, with Auckland-based senior associate Jordan Cox playing a key role in that work. He also assisted the Sydney-based team with its work for nbn in regulatory matters relating to its direct fibre product Enterprise Ethernet.

Wilson Harle is a specialist dispute resolution boutique that handles high-profile litigation and investigations in the telecoms sector, notably for Vodafone New Zealand, as well as providing advice on regulatory matters. Allison Ferguson and Felicity Monteiro are currently advising Vodafone on contentious matters, including a prosecution by the New Zealand Commerce Commission relating to the advertising of certain broadband products. The case, which involves 27 charges, will be one of the first defended fair trading prosecutions in recent years. Ferguson is also acting for Crown agency Callaghan Innovation in a matter arising from its termination of a contract with Trends Publishing, which the latter is now challenging.

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