Banking and finance in New Zealand

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has one of the broadest banking and finance practices in New Zealand, with recent work spanning acquisition funding for major M&A transactions, New Zealand dollar-denominated debt issuance for offshore issuers and a growing number of securitisations. In corporate lending, debt capital markets structured finance and regulatory matters, the firm frequently has a presence in the most significant transactions, be it for banks or borrowers. Among its blue-chip clients are ANZ Bank, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Air New Zealand. Led by derivatives expert David Craig in Wellington, where infrastructure finance specialist Hugh  Kettle also works, the four-partner group also has a deep bench of talent in Auckland, with leading securitisation lawyer Murray King and acquisition finance and debt restructuring partner David McPherson considered leaders in their fields.

Practice head(s):

David Craig

Testimonials

‘An excellent finance practice, staffed with an exceptionally strong group of partners and associates who take a pragmatic and commercial approach to the matters they take on. Easy to deal with, efficient and always available. A true standout in the NZ market.’

‘David McPherson is a senior finance partner who is one of the most trusted and respected practitioners in the NZ market, and has been for many, many years. He is very measured in his tone and explains things in a calm, clear manner.’

Key clients

Air New Zealand

ANZ Bank New Zealand

Bank of New Zealand

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (including ASB Bank)

Fletcher Building Limited

JP Morgan

Deutsche Bank

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

The New Zealand Treasury

SKYCITY Entertainment Group

Vector

Work highlights

  • Acted Funds managed by Qualitas Investments Pty Limited on one of the most complex residential property developments undertaken in New Zealand.
  • Advising the leading issuers of Kauri bonds, a market that continued to feature strong activity in the review period. Advised on six Kauri transactions in the review period.
  • Advised British private equity firm Apax Partners LLP on its successful bid for Trade Me, for NZ$2.56bn (AUD$2.4bn).

Buddle Findlay

The 'technically excellent and commercial' Buddle Findlay 'provides very proactive advice and inspires full trust'. The breadth of its practice is reflected in its recent work, which includes advising on the largest debt deal of 2019 to finance the NZ$3.4bn acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand, as well as the year's biggest biggest project and property financing transactions. It was also involved in the country's first mid-market uni-tranche/stretch senior transaction. Though the practice operates nationally, the Auckland office houses the bulk of the finance group, including practice head Paul Farrugia, who is especially notable for agriculture finance, Peter Owles for project and infrastructure finance, the 'organised, proficient and smart' Miriam Andrews for work with funds and alternative capital providers, and co-head of the firm's Asia desk Terence Ng. Senior associate Daniel Collins also handles domestic and cross-border financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Farrugia

Testimonials

‘Definitely my “go to” firm. They know our business and what is important to us, and are both technically excellent and commercial. Very proactive advice and they inspire full trust.’

‘Miriam Andrews is one of our key relationship partners. She’s extremely available, organised, proficient, smart and a pleasure to work with. Peter Owles is a very safe pair of hands regardless of what the matter is.’

‘The practice is easy to deal with, knowledgeable and able to explain complex legal terms in laypersons language. It is also very approachable and timeliness of responses. Partners David Perry and Miriam Andrews, and senior associate Daniel Collins stand out.’

‘The Buddle Findlay finance team is a standout in the NZ market, thanks to having a collaborative team of partners who work very well together and are all respected for integrity, expertise and commercial approach.’

‘Paul Farrugia is an excellent commercial operator – very relationship-focused and someone who is always available and works to deliver the absolute best results for his customers.’

‘Peter Owles is one of the smartest all-rounders in the NZ Finance market – one of the few finance partners in the market who can turn his mind to any matter and be all over the detail. He is always a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The are very commercial, they understand the risks to the bank and they provide advice where needed. They understand the bank’s processes and they are time-efficient.’

‘Paul Farrugia is always available and he leads a strong team. Daniel Collins gets things done and is very commercial. He assists the banker and is able to negotiate on the bank’s behalf.’

‘Buddle Findlay takes a very commercial approach to every transaction I have been involved in. The focus is on getting the deal done right while protecting the bank’s interest. All of its banking and finance team are very approachable and good people, which makes them a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Paul Farrugia has cemented himself as the “go to” lawyer for the firm. He provides good advice, is highly responsive and hugely personable.’

Key clients

Bank of New Zealand

ANZ Bank New Zealand

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand)

Sky Television

Maui Capital

Pencarrow

Morrison & Co

ICN JV Limited (Infratil and Brookfield JV) – owner of Vodafone New Zealand

Westpac New Zealand

Kiwibank

Rabobank

Infratil

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

China Construction Bank

Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of: A consortium comprising Infratil Limited (Infratil) and Brookfield Asset Management Inc (Brookfield) in relation to the senior syndicated acquisition facilities; and Infratil in relation to its NZ$800m bridge facility, each in connection with the Consortium’s acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone) from Vodafone Group Plc for an enterprise value of NZ$3.4bn.
  • Advised ANZ in connection with the project financing of the US$350m SX Next submarine fibre optic cable being constructed by the Southern Cross Cables Group.
  • Advising Bank of New Zealand, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited and Westpac New Zealand Limited (the agent, security trustee and lenders) in connection with the approx. NZ$220m facilities made available to Heritage Lifecare Retirement Group, including for the acquisition of Golden Healthcare.

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp frequently acts for local and international banks, as well as market-leading issuers, investors, arrangers, trustees and custodians. It also advises large corporate borrowers on high-value matters, including specialist areas such as securitisation. Its recent work includes a role for the New Zealand Government in its establishment of a NZ$3bn investment fund to support regional economic development. Acquisition finance, capital markets transactions and the funding of infrastructure projects also feature strongly in its workload. Cathryn Barber leads the practice from Auckland, where market-leading practitioners Ross Pennington, Mark Reese and Gerard Souness also work. Senior associate Luke Ford and, in Wellington, partner Emma Sutcliffe are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Cathryn Barber

Key clients

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Westpac NewZealand Limited

Bank of China (NZ) Limited

Kiwibank Limited

Housing NewZealand

InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd

Metlifecare Ltd

RESIMAC Ltd

Mercury NZ Ltd

Bank of New Zealand

Work highlights

  • Advising ANZ on the NZ$50m  ESG facility provided to Synlait Milk Limited.
  • Advising Metlifecare on its  NZ$100m inaugural retail bond offer.
  • Advising InfraRed Capital on sale of interests in a public private partnership.

Mayne Wetherell

Mayne Wetherell in Auckland has 'expert staff well informed of market trends and therefore able to advise appropriately', as well as a finance practice described as 'agile, flexible and responsive to clients needs'. Acting on high value, novel and complex deals across the capital spectrum, the firm is on the panels of the major banks in New Zealand, as well as acting as a key adviser to large corporates. Will Tipping, who has particular expertise in acquisition financing and special situations, leads the four-partner practice. Corporate and capital markets partner Dave Wetherell, securitisation and DCM specialist Mei Nah, and the highly experienced Daniel Meikle, are all considered leaders in their fields. Special counsel Cameron Peachey is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Will Tipping

Testimonials

‘Expert staff, well informed of market trends and, therefore, able to advise appropriately. Agile, flexible and responsive to clients needs. This maybe one of the reason they are so competitive.’

‘My principle dealings are with Mei Nah. She is very responsive to our needs. Highly knowledgeable and experienced, particularly with our offshore funding and banking transactions. She has a very good understanding of the challenges faced by our organisation and, therefore, can respond effectively and appropriately.’

‘Daniel Meikle and Michael Pritchard are excellent and trusted advisors not only to our New Zealand operation, but also our parent company’s corporate counsel and financing team. I find both Daniel and Michael can immediately provide pointed advice when we start to evaluate new financing or M&A activities, and they both understand the key conditions of the our SFA as well as the parent company indenture.’

Key clients

Auckland Council

Two Degrees

Goldman Sachs

Merricks Capital

Alvarium Investments

Deutsche Bank

Transpower New Zealand Limited

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Macquarie

Avanti Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised NZX listed Auckland International Airport Limited in respect of its global financing arrangements, including the restructure of its financing arrangements in light of COVID-19. The financing restructure included negotiation of a four period waiver of certain financial covenants in relation to its facilities programme as well as its US$400m US Private Placement programme and extension of certain current facilities as well as entry into new facilities in relation to its facilities programme.
  • Van Leeuwen Group refinanced its debt from ASB to Merricks Capital, an Australian financier. The firm advised Merricks in the transaction, which had both debt and equity components. MC VLG Pty Ltd (as trustee for a Merricks fund), took a 24.9% equity stake in van Leeuwen Group Investments (HoldCo of the van Leeuwen Group).
  • Advised Auckland Council in relation to its offer of NZ$150m of unsubordinated, fixed rate bonds. The bonds were designated as ‘green bonds’, and this was the first one of the first issuances of green bonds in New Zealand.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

The finance practice at MinterEllisonRuddWatts is 'responsive, knowledgeable, effective and excellent to work with'. The firm is not only on the panels of all of New Zealand's major trading banks, but also has an increasingly strong roster of borrower clients. The firm acts for many domestic and Australian private equity funds. It has a broad practice but areas of particular expertise include leveraged finance, financial restructuring, infrastructure finance, asset and structured finance transactions, and the emerging field of sustainable finance. Investment funds partner Jeremy Muir leads the practice but the key partners in Auckland are Kate Lane, Tom Fail, Steve Gallaugher and Michael Langdon. Senior associates Marie Kissick and Vanessa Hunter, along with newly hired special counsel Alistair Robertson from ANZ, also play pivotal roles. Wellington-based Chris O’Brien is a key adviser to the New Zealand Treasury.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Muir

Testimonials

‘The MERW banking and finance team is responsive, knowledgeable, effective and excellent to work with.’

‘Kate Lane is quick to respond, effective in getting the required work done and excellent to work with.’

‘An excellent finance practice with a number of very smart and effective partners and associates’

‘Tom Fail is an excellent all rounder who was very well respected.’

Key clients

ANZ Bank

Westpac Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia / ASB Bank

Bank of New Zealand

Kiwibank

Citibank

Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd

Macquarie Principal Finance Pty Ltd

Refining NZ

MediaWorks Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mandated lead arranger banks (ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Bank of New Zealand, Citibank N.A., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, MUFG Bank, Ltd. and Westpac New Zealand Limited) in financing the acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand. The firm acted for the mandated lead arrangers in connection with all aspects of the senior syndicated debt financing for the Infratil/Brookfields consortium’s acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand Limited (for NZ$3.4bn).
  • In New Zealand’s first ESG Loan the firm acted for Synlait Milk Limited and its related entities in connection with its entry into New Zealand’s first Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) linked loan with ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited.
  • In the financing of acquisition of SKYCITY Carpark Concession the firm acted for Goldman Sachs in connection with the syndicated financing of the acquisition by Macquarie Principal Finance Pty Ltd of a long-term carparking concession (involving more than 3,000 carparks) from SKYCITY.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh is a prominent force in debt capital markets, project finance, financial markets regulation, and corporate and acquisition finance. A key adviser to both government and private sector clients on changes to market rules, the firm is 'highly skilled and very professional as well as commercial'. The five-partner banking and finance practice, led by Guy Lethbridge in Wellington, recently assisted banks with the government's NZ$6.25bn Business Finance Guarantee Scheme to support businesses affected by Covid-19. In Auckland, DCM specialist Deemple Budhia, John Powell, who 'has a calm style that comes from a high level of experience and intelligence', and up-and-coming partner David Weavers all stand out. Tom Hunt in Wellington is recommended for corporate and project finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Guy Lethbridge

Testimonials

‘The team is highly skilled and very professional as well as commercial. They have a great attitude to working with a bank or client to achieve the best result in a balanced way.’

‘John Powell is one of the lead partners – he has a calm style that comes from a high level of experience and intelligence. He is very commercial and looks to the best result for all parties.’

‘The practice is very strong across the board, particularly in the area of compliance with complex financial regulation.’

‘I’d call out in particular Tom Hunt. Tom’s an exceptional lawyer and is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of banking and finance. What makes Tom stand out from the rest is his deep knowledge combined with his ability to translate complex concepts into simple and practical advice which is an invaluable skill in what is highly complex area.’

‘The team is highly capable and prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that all variables have been thoroughly tested. They have great communication skills.’

‘Deemple Budhia is a hugely capable lawyer who deals with complex matters in a time pressured environment with ease – an expert in her field.’

‘Tom Hunt is an excellent lawyer who thinks outside the square. He approaches matters clearly and methodically and looks for the most efficient route to resolving issues as they arise.’

‘An excellent finance practice, one of the strongest in NZ thanks to some exceptionally smart partners and associates. Always a pleasure to deal with and thanks for breadth of talent in the team you are always assured of getting an ‘A’ team on every deal.’

‘Deemple Budhia is an exceptionally talented partner, particularly in the securitisation space. She has the ability to take on a huge amount of complex matters and is always calm, measured and professional in her approach.’

‘Tom Hunt is a fantastic partner to deal with. He is always a pleasure to deal with thanks to his commercial and collaborative approach. He explains things in a clear, reasoned manner and always very responsive on matters.’

Key clients

New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency Limited (LGFA)

Argosy Property Limited

Heartland Bank Limited

ASB Bank Limited

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Bank of New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Pacific Equity Partners

Summerset Holdings Limited

Envirowaste

Spark New Zealand Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ANZ New Zealand on the sale of its asset finance business, UDC Finance Limited (UDC), to Japan’s Shinsei Bank for $762m. The sale included significant input from the firms’ Finance team given UDC is a large non-bank financial institution.
  • Acted for Credit Suisse in its underwritten financing in support of Kathmandu Group’s acquisition of Rip Curl’s global business. The transaction involved tailored security across New Zealand, Australia, France, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, all negotiated and coordinated from Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Advised the New Zealand Bankers’ Association and the 10 participating banks on the establishment of the NZ$6.25bn Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. The scheme is intended to provide liquidity and cashflow support to businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 and operates by transferring 80% of the risk of eligible loans written from the participating banks to the Crown.

Simpson Grierson

Simpson Grierson's Auckland office is home to a substantial group of banking and finance lawyers with notable expertise in leveraged and acquisition finance, real estate and project finance, local government borrowing transactions and debt capital markets. The practice frequently handles some of the most high-profile transactions in the market, among the recent examples of which was its role in the most significant infrastructure finance programme currently underway in New Zealand, on behalf of the Treasury. Corporate lending and asset-financing partner Stuart Evans leads the practice. Andrew Harkness is sought after by lenders and private equity firms and senior associate Dominic Toomey is also recommended. Wellington-based partner Josh Cairns is a prominent adviser on corporate and project financing, as well as debt capital markets issuance.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Evans

Key clients

Westpac New Zealand

ASB Bank

Bank of New Zealand

United Overseas Bank

MUFG Bank

The Treasury (New Zealand Government)

Marubeni

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)

China Construction Bank (New Zealand) Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited

Bank of Queensland

Arena Global Investors

Work highlights

  • Appointed by the New Zealand Government to lead its new Infrastructure Funding and Financing programme – the most significant infrastructure finance programme currently underway in New Zealand.
  • Acted on the establishment of new NZ$180m club facilities for Napier Port to fund a crucial wharf expansion project and for general corporate purposes, which occurred in connection with its listing on the New Zealand stock exchange.
  • Advised the Bank of New Zealand in financing (through a US$62.5m debt facility) Pushpay’s leveraged acquisition of US tech company Church Community Builder for US$87.5m.

Anderson Lloyd

The banking and finance practice at Anderson Lloyd is primarily based in Auckland, where Geoff Busch is widely regarded as one of the market's leading practitioners in corporate finance, acquisition finance, project finance, structured and asset finance, and property finance. He is 'a leading figure in the NZ banking market and clients have 100% confidence in his advice'. Busch leads a practice that is 'practical and responsive, very easy to work with and has excellent technical skills'. The firm has seen an increase in renewable energy projects and major property development financings, alongside a broad range of lending work for domestic banks. Senior associates Emma Kerr and Rachel Brown, along with Christchurch-based partner Ben Johnston, are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Busch

Other key lawyers:

Emma Kerr; Rachel Brown; Ben Johnston

Testimonials

‘We have instructed Anderson Lloyd in relation to a number of diverse finance related matters. They have a broad practice and have support us through transactional banking renegotiations and other more bespoke advice arising from Covid-19. They provide excellent value, provide the right level of resourcing and are excellent to deal with.’

‘Rachel Brown is a leading up-and-coming associate who operates at partner level.’

‘Practical and responsive, the team is very easy to work with and has excellent technical skills.’

‘The Anderson Lloyd team is great to work with. Among their strengths are high responsiveness, accessibility and deep domain expertise, which they use to advise and help navigate complicated financing arrangements.’

‘I am hugely impressed by Geoff Busch and Emma Kerr in particular. I really appreciated their commercial mindset in thinking through the business related issues and our strategic objectives as we put in place new financing arrangements in two jurisdictions with separate lenders.’

‘They provide good practical and pragmatic advice to get the job done. Geoff Busch is always available and Emma Kerr is my “go to” person. She provides great service and has a “can do” attitude. She is at partner standard.’

‘The Anderson Lloyd finance team has established itself as a strong alternative to the top-tier practices over the last few years. It has the ability to take on any matter thanks to the breadth of expertise of its partners and associates.’

‘Geoff Busch is an excellent project finance lawyer who is also very strong across corporate and acquisition financing. He is well respected in the industry as a very smart practitioner and somebody who works tirelessly to get the best outcome for his customers.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Kahutia LP

Kiwibank Limited

New Forests Asset Management Pty Ltd

Accident Compensation Corporation

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

ASB Bank Limited

Bank of New Zealand

Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited

Foodstuffs South Island Limited

Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited

GBD Investments Limited as trustee of The Graeme Douglas Family Trust No 7

Sealord Group Limited

Theland Tahi / Milk New Zealand Limited

Leaseplan New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a New Forests Asset Management-managed fund on the financing of its acquisition of Hikurangi Forests Farms.
  • Advised Tilt Renewables on the project financing by a syndicate of international banks of the Waipipi Wind Farm, a 133MW renewable energy project in South Taranaki.
  • Advised ANZ on the financing of Suncorp Group Holdings (NZ) Limited.

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper 'provides professional legal advice in an easy to understand and commercial manner' without the 'price tag of some of the largest firms'. The firm is on the panels of six major domestic banks and has particular expertise in property finance, as well as corporate banking transactions. It is also adept in debt capital markets and financial regulatory matters. Highly experienced banking partner Nigel Oliver leads the practice in Christchurch, from where insolvency specialist Crispin Vinnell handles transactional banking matters. Senior associate Pip Breitmeyer is also recommended. In Auckland, Grant Goldsmith handles leveraged, project, property and structured finance transactions. Senior associate Alice von Batenburg frequently assists some of New Zealand's largest banks.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Oliver

Testimonials

‘Anthony Harper provides professional legal advice for our financial services company in an easy to understand and commercial manner with the flexibility to work with you in the way that suits you.’

‘Anthony Harper does not have the price tag or arrogance of some of the largest firms yet still delivers the professional solution required in a friendly manner.’

Key clients

ASB Bank Limited

Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited

Bank of New Zealand

China Construction Bank (New Zealand) Limited

Dealer Finance Limited

Gold Band Finance Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited

Kiwibank Limited

Mainland Capital Limited

Mutual Credit Finance Limited

NZ Fintech Limited

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mainland Capital Limited, the fund manager of a property investment fund purchasing a large commercial property for NZD21,422,000.
  • Acted for Bank of New Zealand, the lender of funds to a property syndicate purchasing a very high-profile entertainment complex in Christchurch for NZD28,000,000.

Dentons Kensington Swan

Dentons Kensington Swan is building up its banking and finance practice to serve an increasingly international client base. Focusing on transactional banking work, regulatory matters, restructuring and insolvency, the practice is increasingly visible in debt capital markets, asset-based lending, development financing and a broad range of corporate finance deals. Experienced transactional banking and finance partner Liz Lim in Auckland, who joined from Tompkins Wake in early 2020, leads the practice and has notable expertise in property and construction finance, acquisition finance and asset-based financing. Special counsel Pauline Ho, who joined from Osborne Clarke LLP in London, has ten years' experience in syndicated and bilateral financing arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Liz Lim

Other key lawyers:

Pauline Ho

Key clients

HSBC

ANZ Bank

Bank of New Zealand

Bank of China

Public Trust

Guardian Trust

AMP Group

RESIMAC

National Bank Australia

ANZ Australia

DLA Piper New Zealand

DLA Piper New Zealand's Auckland office is home to a finance, projects and restructuring practice that 'covers all of the bases and has exceptional technical knowledge in specialist areas, including those outside traditional banking and finance'. The firm is recognised for its skills in cross-border and acquisition finance transactions, in part due to the firm's global office network. It is increasingly focusing on fintech and emerging financial technology, including peer-to-peer lending, alongside regulatory matters, financial product development and securitisation. Michael Thompson, whose 'knowledge of banking and finance law across multiple jurisdictions is immense', leads the practice. Katie Carson is now a consultant, with a growing focus on the fintech market.

Practice head(s):

Michael Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Katie Carson

Testimonials

‘The firm provides strong communication and is easy to work with. There is regular followup and discussions are not confusing. Turnaround time is excellent. Work tends to stick to budget or fair reasons are provided for any cost overrun.’

‘Michael Thompson has an excellent understanding of banking finance and can view docs from a commercial position. He is easy to discuss items with and provides sound feedback. He goes the extra mile to assist.’

‘The practice provides extremely quick responses and thorough advice. It understands clients’ needs and provides timely and excellent solutions and unfailing support. Its fees are reasonable. It is a “go to” firm for banking and finance.’

‘The DLA banking and finance team covers all of the bases. They have exceptional technical knowledge across a broad base of areas including those outside of the traditional banking and finance specialties. The team also has a more personal touch than its peers and fits in the trusted advisor role in addition to being technical experts.’

‘Michael Thompson’s knowledge of banking and finance law across multiple jurisdictions is immense. There is no job that is too big or too small for him and he tackles tricky problems with an enthusiasm and pragmatism that spreads to others involved.’

‘DLA Piper is a well-known law firm in the New Zealand market. It is also one of the few law firms that has an obvious global reach and service. It provides a quality of service that is expected from a law firm of its standing in the market.’

‘I have worked with Michael Thompson the most in the last 12 months. He is attentive to details and provides constant and constructive feedback on matters under engagement. Michael doesn’t just do the work, he provides added value to his clients.’

Key clients

ASB Bank

Westpac New Zealand

HSBC

Harmoney

Heartland Bank

Foodstuffs North Island

ING

Accel-KKR (and its portfolio company, Seequent Holdings Limited)

FlexiGroup New Zealand

New Zealand Guardian Trust Company

Bank of China

TSB Bank Limited

China Construction Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted or the lenders financing Sime Darby’s $211m acquisition of Gough Group.
  • Acted as lead counsel for ING Bank N.V. as mandated lead arranger on the refinancing and upsizing of a senior secured debt facility for 2Degrees.
  • Acted for Foodstuffs on its acquisition financing arrangements to fund the acquisition of the business and assets of Lee Fish.

Lane Neave

Known for 'managing expectations well and providing excellent service and advice', Lane Neave continues to grow its presence in the market, particularly in the area of property and development funding. The firm acts for banks and finance companies in development projects across New Zealand, as well as handling a range of other finance transactions including securitisations and receivables financing for lenders, issuers, trustees and professional managers. The firm is also actively involved in debt capital markets issuance. Other areas of expertise include mining finance and regulatory advice. Head of banking and finance Evelyn Jones in Auckland and head of corporate Gerard Dale in Christchurch are the lead partners. Associate Jacob Nutt is regarded as a rising star.

Practice head(s):

Evelyn Jones; Gerard Dale

Other key lawyers:

Jacob Nutt

Testimonials

‘Lane Neave is very conscientious and delivers to the timeframes imposed on them by us and our customers. They manage expectations well and provide excellent service and advice.’

‘Jacob Nutt is very thorough in the work he does for the bank and importantly goes the extra mile in terms of pointing out things and alerting our attention to items that may not necessarily have been requested in scope but he believes are important for the bank to be aware of.’

‘Jacob Nutt is always going the extra mile to deliver to timeframes and is very pragmatic at offering innovative solutions when issues present themselves creating pressure.’

‘Its smaller practice allows them to provide more personalised and personable service, and a better understanding of their clients’ needs and how best to assist compared to larger firms where there can be a tendency for small clients and engagements to be treated as second-best.’

‘The service and advice provided by Evelyn Jones and Jacob Nutt is prompt, practical and both value-add and value-for-money. Throughout an engagement they remain cognisant of their client’s drivers and goals, they communicate openly and often, and they maintain personal accountability for matters within their control.’

‘Lane Neave’s banking and finance practice is reasonably small and boutique but this means that the partner, Evelyn Jones, directly oversees all transactions and is on top of any issues that arise. This is the key difference to other firms, that may have larger teams. Evelyn has the experience and expertise to act on behalf of lenders in complex financing transactions.’

‘The Lane Neave team is quite small, mainly comprising Evelyn Jones and associate Jacob Nutt. Both Evelyn and Jacob are very attentive to detail, consider all aspects of a transaction, respond in a timely manner, provide very good legal analysis of issues but not legalistic, as they have a commercial perspective, which enables any issues that arise in transactions to be worked through.’

‘The level of service from the team is first-rate. They are always prepared to meet challenging timeframes and able to manage the work flow to deadlines.’

‘The individuals I deal with have considerable expertise with the receivables transactions I specialise in. The individuals are able to offer well-balanced advice and to identify the key legal issues, but they are also able to weigh that against commercial realities.’

‘I found the Lane Neave banking team very professional and responsive. Our bank regularly engages their professional services on client transactions as well as compliance and contract review work. They really understand our business and our products. I have a huge sense of confidence in their work. They are our trusted advisers and they provide us with top-tier service at a fair price each time we deal with them. Work is always precise and of an exceptionally high standard. Evelyn Jones recently assisted us in resolving a delicate and complex commercial matter. She really understood what was important to the bank and she protected the bank.’

‘I have enjoyed working with the Lane Neave’s banking and finance team. I always feel that the team is available to assist when needed and they are relatable, pleasant and friendly to deal with. Partner Evelyn Jones is one of our “go-to” experts. She is a very assured, effective practitioner who delivers first rate, practical advice.’

‘The team were great to work with and helped us work through the documents we were reviewing in a timely fashion and were very thorough.’

‘The individuals were very forthcoming with information, extremely helpful and took time to explain things to us.’

Key clients

Bank of New Zealand

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Bank of China

China Construction Bank

New Zealand Public Trust

Credit Union Baywide (trading as NZCU Baywide)

Mainland Investment Management Limited

Bridgewest Group, Bridgewest Finance and Bridgewest Finance (New Zealand)

Auckland Trotting Club Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Acted on the funding for US private equity fund, Silver Lake Partners, in respect of its AU$1.3bn acquisition of the TEG group.
  • Acted for Bank of New Zealand as senior loan note subscriber in connection with the establishment of a securitisation programme for a major operator of a retail consumer ‘buy now, pay later’ receivables originator in the Australian, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom markets. This was the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.
  • Acted for Public Trust as supervisor and New Zealand Permanent Trustees Limited as security trustee in connection with Metlifecare Limited’s oversubscribed retail issuance of $100m secured, unsubordinated fixed rate bonds (against a minimum target of $75m).

Vince&Rice

Vince&Rice in Auckland is a small boutique firm focused on banking and finance and restructuring law. It acts for domestic and international clients in banking, debt capital markets, acquisition finance, project finance, property and development finance, restructuring and structured finance transactions, as well as advising on financial services regulation. Practice head John-Paul Rice, whose long market experience includes stints at Herbert Smith Freehills and Russell McVeagh, has more than 20 years' experience in the market.

Practice head(s):

John-Paul Rice

Key clients

China Construction Bank

ASAP Finance Limited / Veda Capital Limited

Ngati Whatua Orakei – Whai Rawa

Douglas Pharmaceuticals

Wyborn Capital

Balle Brothers

Freshmax

Manuka Health

Good Spirits Hospitality

Index Group Limited

Centuria Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ASAP Finance and Veda Capital on the recently completed development financing for the Hunua housing development project in Drury for Classic Homes.
  • Advised NZX listed Good Spirits Hospitality on the refinancing of its senior secured bank debts arrangements with Japanese financial institution Nomura.
  • Acted for the senior secured lending group on a NZ$75m refinancing of the Bremner Ridge housing development in South Auckland.

Webb Henderson

The 'pragmatic, strategic and very good to deal withWebb Henderson in Auckland is a boutique firm that focuses predominantly on corporate and M&A matters but which has been successfully building up its presence in the banking and finance market since the hire of highly regarded partner Nicole Xanthopol from Dentons Kensington Swan in 2019. With more than 25 years' experience, she has expanded the firm's client roster of banks, corporates, corporate trustees, private equity funds, local authorities, sovereign wealth funds, and Crown entities. Partner Henry Willis works on both corporate and finance matters, which includes capital markets transactions and advice on distressed investments.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Xanthopol

Other key lawyers:

Henry Willis

Testimonials

‘They are good operators, know the market well and are well-connected and regarded.’

‘Nicole Xanthopol impresses with her technical ability, strategic thinking and overall, she is very good to deal with.’

‘Webb Henderson’s already exceptionally strong corporate practice has been bolstered by the appointment of Nicole Xanthopol to lead its banking and finance team. We have had the privilege of working alongside Webb Henderson on a number of leading transactions, assisting with due diligence and transactional matters. We have always been impressed at the technical skills and manner in which the team executes complex transactions.’

‘Nicole Xanthopol has moved across to Webb Henderson early last year. She has also gained invaluable experience from her career at a top-tier firm in London. What I really like about Nicole is she is unpretentious and so relatable. She is always a pleasure to deal with and is respectful of our collaborative relationship. We always enjoy having the opportunity to collaborate with Nicole on files.’

Key clients

SilverTree Equity Limited

ANZ Bank New Zealand

9 Spokes International Limited

Taconic Limited

Pioneer Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Silvertree Equity and Pioneer Capital on their joint acquisition (and financing) of all the shares in Agility CIS Limited, as well as their bolt-on acquisition of ZNalytics Inc.
  • Advised ANZ Bank on the financing for each stage of the development of an expanding retirement village operated by Northbridge Lifecare Trust.
  • Advised 9 Spokes in relation to their planned equity capital raising and the subsequent bridge financing facility and amendment to key terms relating to the capital raising and conversion rights.