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New Zealand > Transport (rail, road, air and sea) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Transport (rail, road, air and sea)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Kerryn Webster - Wilson Harle

Bell Gully is 'very prompt in responding to questions and has a good communication style, so it relates well with clients' and provides 'very good value for money and good industry knowledge, as it is up-to-date with the latest case law'. The firm acts for Air New Zealand, the country's leading airline, handles large roading projects, and also advises on rail and maritime matters. In Wellington, Andrew Beatson, PPP expert Hugh Kettle and construction partner Hugh Kettle acted for New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport as part of the Supporting Growth Alliance, which will focus on the development of urban growth areas in Auckland until 2022. The 'personable, pragmatic and conscientious' Bennett is 'a top operator and an authority on the public transport sector; coupled with his expertise in the construction area this makes him formidable'. In Auckland, department head Torrin Crowther is recommended for competition law matters in the aviation and shipping sectors. Senior associate Natasha Garvan is also recommended for environment and resource management matters relating to transport projects.

Chapman Tripp in Auckland advises on the funding, procurement and establishment of road, rail, sea and air transport infrastructure for government agencies (including New Zealand Transport Agency), airports (including Auckland International Airport and Christchurch International Airport), port companies and shipping operators. The practice brings together expertise in a range of disciplines thanks largely to environment and resource management partners Jo Appleyard and Paula Brosnahan, and Wellington-based shipping practice leader John Knight. Appleyard recently acted for Lyttelton Port Company in three large consenting projects in the South Island, which involve activities in the coastal marine area and raise complex environmental and cultural issues. For Queenstown Airport, Catherine Somerville-Frost helped to obtain statutory approvals and compulsory acquisition orders for a new taxiway. Through Knight, the firm is also a legal correspondent for a numerous P&I clubs in cargo disputes, maritime prosecutions, oil spills and wreck removal.

The transport and logistics practice at Anthony Harper sits within the corporate advisory group and is led from Christchurch by Chris Dann, who has significant expertise in all areas of the supply chain including manufacturers, suppliers, ports, carriers and freight forwarders. He frequently handles shipping contracts, the domestic and international carriage of goods, freight-forwarding and logistics matters, and the procurement of vessels. He recently acted for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on its long-term project to meet New Zealand’s International Energy Agency treaty obligations, which included shipping matters arising from the purchase of petroleum reserves. Auckland-based corporate partner Megan Compton and associate Jordan Wright in Christchurch also played key roles in that work. Dann and Wright also handled a series of port services agreements with major international shipping companies on behalf of Lyttelton Port Company.

Buddle Findlay's transport practice is built on the firm's strength in projects, resource management and environmental law. It is one of three firm's on the panel of the New Zealand Transport Agency, for which it handled the East West Link Project to connect the Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub with the state highway network. Auckland-based resource management partners¬†Patrick Mulligan¬†and Jennifer Caldwell, along with special counsel Vanessa Evitt¬†and senior associate Matthew Gribben, handled that matter. Paul Beverley¬†, who leads the environment and¬†MńĀori law team in Wellington, and partners¬†David Allen¬†and David Randal¬†worked on significant projects to improve road infrastructure between the¬†Taranaki and the Waikato regions, which raised important issues around the use of conservation land. The firm also counts Auckland Council, CentrePort and¬†Greater Wellington Regional Council among its clients.

Hesketh Henry has a practice dedicated to clients in the maritime, logistics and commodities sectors, which it assists with shipping contracts and disputes as well providing advice on employment, health and safety, property, insurance, and corporate and commercial matters. Alan Sherlock and Simon Cartwright are co-heads of the transport and trade practice, which frequently acts for exporters and importers in shipping and trade issues, and increasingly handles ship build and repair issues for insurers. Cartwright acted for Charterers P & I Club in a case arising from the detention in South Africa of the NM Cherry Blossom, which was carrying a cargo of fertiliser to New Zealand. The firm also counts Babcock Ltd, BlueScope, Shipowners P&I Club and Vero Marine among its clients. Legal advisor Zoe Pajot is an experienced French marine and insurance lawyer who is building the firm's client base in the superyacht and leisure craft sectors.

Kensington Swan's transport practice brings together specialists in construction, planning, environment, banking, corporate and property matters to work on road, ferry terminal, water reservoir, bridge, public transport, cycling infrastructure and port projects across New Zealand. The firm has a track record of involvement in most of the country's PPP projects since they were introduced in 2010, and is the only firm on the panels of both New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport. In Auckland, construction partner Paul Buetow is a key figure in the practice. With environment and planning partners Christina Sheard and, in Wellington, Nicky McIndoe, he advised New Zealand Transport Agency on the NCI roading project in North Auckland. Property partner Matthew Ockleston also played a key role in that work. Banking and finance partner Nicole Xanthopol and Wellington-based corporate partner David Shillson are also recommended.

Lowndes in Auckland provides commercial and dispute resolution services to transport operators - particularly in the shipping sector - and their insurers. The firm also acts for aviation, logistics and marine industry clients, including owners of luxury yachts. Michael McCarthy is one of New Zealand’s leading shipping litigators. He continues to lead the Rena Shipwreck matter, in which he is advising the owners of the ship and its P&I and hull insurers. The wreck was the largest maritime incident ever to occur on the New Zealand Coast, and the second most expensive wreck removal operation in the world. The firm is also handling the owner's application under the Resource Management Act for consent to leave the remains of the wreck on the reef. Corporate partner Mark Lowndes is playing a key role in that matter. Also recommended is principal Tim Jeffcott, who has a broad litigation practice that includes admiralty proceedings, maritime insurance claims, vessel damage and destruction investigations.

The firm has 'a deep team of partners who are collectively able to provide sound advice in this often difficult area', says a client of Simpson Grierson in Auckland. Infrastructure specialist Michael Weatherall is the leading light and he recently acted for City Rail Link on the NZ$3.5bn project that involves the building of two underground tunnels and two new stations in the city. Local government and environment partner Gerald Lanning leads the practice and with property and infrastructure partner Michael Wood (who provides 'sound, practical advice that is shaped to enable strategic decisions to be made') he acted on behalf of Auckland Transport in the development of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative. Wood also handled the Waikato Expressway project on behalf of the New Zealand Transport Agency. Infrastructure and technology partner Michael Sage, who advised Transdev Wellington on its contract to operate passenger services rail services, is also recommended.

Russell McVeagh handles a broad range of transport work through an an inter-modal transportation practice, which acts for for operators and owners in the rail, land and sea sectors, as well as owners and operators of transport infrastructure such as ports, airports, rail networks and roading. It also advises investors in and funders of transport infrastructure projects, and is legal adviser to the New Zealand Government on the acquisition of aircraft and simulators for the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Cameron Law in Auckland and Mei Fern Johnson in Wellington co-lead the practice. Environment, planning and natural resources partner Law, who joined from the New Zealand Transport Agency, where he was acting managing counsel, has almost 20 years' experience in the sector. Johnson recently advised KiwiRail on the repair and rebuild of a rail and roading link between the North and South Islands following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. The firm counts New Zealand Bus, the Ministry of Defence and ferry company Interislander among its clients.

Specialist litigation boutique Wilson Harle in Auckland is one of the few firms in New Zealand to have an established admiralty and maritime law practice. The firm frequently acts for vessel owners, port companies, international carriers and their insurers or P&I clubs. North of England P&I Club is among its clients. Newly promoted civil and commercial litigation partner Felicity Monteiro leads the practice and has more than ten years' experience in maritime and trade law. With veteran litigator Chris Browne, she recently acted for an international food company in a case arising from a lost shipment. Senior associate Kerryn Webster is the New Zealand branch chair of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. Partner Allison Ferguson, who handled a sensitive matter concerning rights to cargo for an international freight forwarder, is also recommended.

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