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New Zealand

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 3

Hesketh Henry

Auckland firm Hesketh Henry provides specialist advice to domestic and international clients in a broad range of industries and frequently assists overseas entities moving into the Australasian market through corporate acquisitions or new ventures. Among its clients are Babcock (NZ), AECOM New Zealand, Dominion Constructors, Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative and Flexi Cards. Managing partner Erich Bachmann leads the practice and was the key lawyer for Mataura Valley Milk in handling an investment by China Animal Husbandry Group and the development of a NZ$230m dairy plant. He was assisted by senior associate Julika Wahlmann-Smith. Key partner Chris Lee advises private New Zealand companies on governance, commercial agreements, shareholder agreements, regulatory compliance and M&A transactions. For Davines, he handled the termination of the distribution agreement with the existing distributor and the negotiation of terms with a new distribution partner. Kate Telford is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Julika Wahlmann-Smith - Hesketh Henry

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Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Hesketh Henry

Auckland firm Hesketh Henry has a broad insurance practice that is best known for its work in liability matters, particularly professional indemnity claims against solicitors and engineers. 'The firm has significant strength in insurance law; it excels in attending to detail and its skill and expertise in construction matters has proven very useful when dealing with earthquake claims'. Head of litigation Alan Sherlock and senior litigation partner Brett Morley lead the insurance practice. Sherlock, who 'brings a calm and considered approach to complex issues', acted for Vero Insurance and AA Insurance in the defence of High Court proceedings arising from claims for earthquake damage, one of which had a value of NZ$3m. Morley and Christina Bryant frequently advise AIG on professional indemnity matters, particularly solicitor negligence claims. Nick Gillies handles construction disputes including liability claims against contractors and engineers. Also recommended are marine and aviation insurance partner Simon Cartwright; Helen Macfarlane, who has 'great expertise and a good eye for detail'; and 'very thorough' senior associate Stephanie Corban.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 2

Hesketh Henry

Hesketh Henry in Auckland provides 'a very good level of service and the final advice is always timely'. One client remarks that the firm has 'an excellent understanding of our business and industry, and keeps us up-to-date with changes to the environment - they keep our feet on the ground'. 'Simply an excellent firm to deal with', says another. The firm handles all aspects of employment advisory, compliance, negotiation and dispute resolution work for both public and private sector clients. Practice head Jim Roberts has 'detailed knowledge of employment legislation and its practical application for businesses, and he leads an excellent team'. Clients also recommend 'extremely responsive, helpful and insightful' special counsel Alison Maelzer as well as senior associates Jodi Sharman and Sam Houliston. For union client Corrections Association of New Zealand, Roberts handled a long-running dispute arising from a restructuring of job responsibilities by the Department of Corrections.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

Hesketh Henry

Hesketh Henry in Auckland has 'a very strong construction law team, for both front-end matters and disputes, and it offers great service'. One client remarks that it has 'a strong construction team that compares well with some of the larger firms'. Key partners Nick Gillies and Christina Bryant lead the construction practice and are 'both very good lawyers who are client-focused and have strong industry knowledge'. Gillies represented subcontractor XLam NZ Ltd in a series of disputes arising from the construction of a new purpose-built student accommodation building for Otago Polytechnic. Partner Helen Macfarlane has strong expertise in construction drafting and advice, as well as in Construction Contracts Act adjudications and the defence of leaky building claims. The firm is also strong in real estate, with significant expertise in commercial property development, leasing, subdivisions and retirement villages. Real estate heads Brian Coburn and Robert Berry count Kahawai Point Development and NZ Waldorf Apartments Management among their clients.

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Transport (rail, road, air and sea)
Transport (rail, road, air and sea) - ranked: tier 2

Hesketh Henry

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.

Leading individuals

Alan Sherlock - Hesketh Henry

Simon Cartwright - Hesketh Henry

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Further information on Hesketh Henry

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New Zealand

Offices in Auckland

Legal Developments in New Zealand

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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