Firms To Watch: Corporate and M&A

Based in Auckland, specialist corporate and commercial property firm Burton Partners has demonstrable capability in M&A transactions, with Nick Lovegrove and Hayden Smith serving as the practice’s key contacts.
Wellington-based Matthew Mallett, who specialises in M&A transactions and general corporate advisory work, is a key contact at specialist corporate and commercial firm Morrison Mallett.

Corporate and M&A in New Zealand

Bell Gully

Bell Gully’s established practice is ‘incredibly “well-plugged” into the Australasian and global legal and corporate world’, meaning ‘they are able to formulate and communicate commercially focused advice in high value M&A transactions’. Recent highlights for practice leader Dean Alderton saw him advising Igneo Infrastructure Partners on its NZ$1.9bn purchase of New Zealand’s largest resource recovery and waste management services provider, Waste Management NZ Limited, alongside recently promoted partner Chris Hodges, who ‘operates with humility, curiosity and empathy’. James Gibson is noted for his expertise in M&A, corporate governance and securities law matters, while Glenn Joblin handles corporate transactions in the insurance sector and ‘reliableJames Cooney has advised on major takeovers in New Zealand. In the firm’s Wellington office, practice deputy David Coull is a key driver in the corporate team’s growth in the oil and gas, mining and broader energy sectors, while Chris Goddard and Wellington-based Amon Nunns are praised as ‘extremely knowledgeable in all areas of corporate law’. Other key contacts in the group include Glenn Joblin, Anna Buchly and Jennifer Coote. All named practitioners operate from the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Dean Alderton; David Coull

Other key lawyers:

Chris Hodges; James Gibson; Glenn Joblin; Amon Nunns; James Cooney; Anna Buchly; Jennifer Coote; Angela Harford


‘Chris Hodges manages expectations and acts collaboratively with his clients. Inspires trust and operates with humility, curiosity and empathy.’

‘James Cooney is a very reliable and focused corporate partner.’

‘David Coull was always focused on the points that mattered and had a very clear understanding of the commercial and reputational consequences of decisions.’

‘Bell Gully’s USP is its strength and depth of talent across the board. What I’ve found exceptional is the talent and work ethic of the more junior staff.’

‘We work closely with Amon Nunns and Chris Goddard and both are extremely knowledgeable in all areas of corporate law.’

‘Angela Harford is a standout partner in this space for her unwavering professionalism, deep knowledge and deep understanding of her role in supporting the making of informed decisions.’

‘The Bell Gully corporate team not only has the highest technical ability across the whole sweet of relevant areas, but they areincredibly “well-plugged” into the Australasian and global legal and corporate world. This means that they are able to formulate and communicate commercially focused advice in high value M&A transactions.’

‘Jennifer Coote has impressed me since meeting her as a senior associate. Fiercely intelligent but also commercial. Anna Buckly also highly recommended.’

Key clients

Air New Zealand Limited

Ampol Limited

Igneo Infrastructure Partners

FountainVest Partners

Blackstone Group LP

Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited

Tricor Group

Ventia Services Group Limited

Plexure Group

LeasePlan Corporation N.V.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust

ASB Bank Limited

Macquarie Capital (Australia) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Air New Zealand Limited on various financial measures undertaken to assist it manage the implications of COVID-19 related travel restrictions across its domestic and global network.
  • Advised Igneo Infrastructure on the NZ$1.9bn acquisition of Waste Management NZ Limited from private equity firm Beijing Capital Group.
  • Advised Ampol Limited (Ampol) on its acquisition of 100% of Z Energy, by way of scheme of arrangement, with a total value of approximately NZ$2bn.

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp houses a ‘top tier’ corporate practice across the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices, and is praised for its ‘exceptional knowledge in M&A transactions’, as well as advising both issuers and investment banks on capital raising mandates. ‘ExcellentRoger Wallis recently advised electricity generation and multi-product utility retailer, Mercury, on its acquisition of Tilt Renewables’ New Zealand assets, in conjunction with a consortium bid with PowAR to acquire Tilt under a NZ$3.07bn scheme of arrangement. Practice leader Tim Tubman focuses on cross-border and financial services M&A transactions, while Rachel Dunne advises on equity capital markets and corporate governance matters. Joshua Pringle handles oversea investments; Lauren Curtayne specialises in energy-related M&A deals and joint ventures; and Wellington-based Josh Blackmore has ‘undeniable technical skills to provide direct, easy-to-use and practical advice’. John Strowger remains a key contact in the group. All named partners operate from the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Tim Tubman

Other key lawyers:

John Strowger; Roger Wallis; Rachel Dunne; Joshua Pringle; Lauren Curtayne; Josh Blackmore


‘Very strong industry knowledge with highly competent individuals.’

‘Work with us as a key partner to achieve our objectives. Technically astute and always responsive.’

‘Josh Blackmore truly gets our business and is able to translate that understanding and his undeniable technical skills to provide direct, easy-to-use, practical advice.’

‘Exceptional knowledge in M&A transactions, very easy to work with, responsive and know the ins and outs of our business and corporate structure. A deeply trusted partner.’

‘They have become a highly trusted partner in our in-house legal team. Deeply responsive and pleasant to work with. Not overly technical unless they need to be an very solutions focused.’

‘The corporate team at Chapman Tripp is top tier. They consistently give high quality advice and stay up to date with the market.’

‘Roger Wallis is excellent, being a very experienced corporate and M&A lawyer. Lauren Curtayne is very client-focused and gives high quality advice in a manner/format that is very user-friendly.’

Key clients

My Food Bag

Mercury NZ Limited

Partners Life

Oceania Healthcare

Arvida Group Limited

Chubb Limited

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners

Eastland Group Ltd

Centuria New Zealand

Z Energy Limited


Counting domestic and multinational entities, as well as private equity firms, among its key roster of clients, ‘top professional firmMinterEllisonRuddWatts and has demonstrable experience across the full range of M&A transactions, joint ventures, equity capital markets and corporate governance matters. Neil Millar, who spearheads the corporate practice in Auckland, advises private company clients on high value M&A transactions, while Rodney Craig leads the Wellington-based team, frequently assisting early-stage and high growth businesses in the technology sector. The Auckland office is also home to Mark Forman , who has ‘has an inherent understanding of transaction dynamics, excellent judgment and knows how to close a deal’, and Mark Stuart, who acts for local and international private equity investors with their cross-border acquisitions. Other key members of the team include Auckland-based Igor Drinkovic, who focuses on public M&As, John Conlan and Cathy Quinn, who operate from the Wellington and Auckland offices, respectively. Sacha Oudyn left the firm in November 2021, as did Silvana Schenone in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Neil Millar; Rodney Craig

Other key lawyers:

Mark Stuart;  Mark Forman; John Conlan; Cathy Quinn; Igor Drinkovic


‘The MinterEllison team has a very commercial approach to transactions and looks for solutions rather than issues.’

‘Mark Forman is one of the most commercial and connected M&A lawyers in the New Zealand market. He has an inherent understanding of transaction dynamics, excellent judgment and knows how to close a deal.’

‘We value the pragmatic approach to transactions with a focus on their clients, balanced with achieving the outcomes.’

‘Lauren Archer is highly knowledgeable and always accessible. I really valued being able to confirm any issue that arose even if of a minor nature.’

‘The firm took a pragmatic approach with their advice, giving us several options on how we could tackle issues as they arose.’

‘Commercial and flexible. Willing to align risk/reward with their clients. A leading commercial team.’

‘Top professional law firm in Auckland. Goes beyond strict conservative interpretation of law to provide realistic commercial view.’

‘Silvana Schenone has a exceptionally commercial perspective. The best in the business.’

Key clients



Soul Machines Limited

Tourism Holdings Limited

CablePrice (NZ) Limited

Ritchies Transport

CITIC Capital

Pencarrow Private Equity

Advent Partners

Next Capital

Anchorage Capital Partners

Allegro Funds

MMC Limited

Shareholders of Auckland Radiology Group and Hamilton Radiology Limited

Macquarie Group

Refining NZ

Livestock Improvement Corporate (LIC)

Aon New Zealand / Aon Holdings New Zealand

Work highlights

  • Advised Next Capital on its sale of 100% of the shares in NZB Holdco Limited to Kinetic NZ Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Tourism Holdings Limited on its recent entry into a conditional scheme implementation deed to merge with Apollo Tourism and Leisure Limited through an Australian scheme of arrangement, whereby Tourism Holdings will acquire all of the shares in the Target.
  • Advised on the sale of 100% of the shares in Ritchies Transport Holdings Limited and Coachline Properties Limited to Rome NZ Bidco Limited, a subsidiary of global investment entity, KKR.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh acts for a range of domestic and international clients, including financial institutions, private equity funds, corporate organisations, government bodies and infrastructure operators on M&A transactions, joint ventures and equity capital market mandates. Praised for its ‘commerciality, responsiveness and collaboration’, the team is led by Auckland-based David Hoare, who is ‘among the most experienced corporate lawyers in New Zealand’, advising high-profile clients on all aspects of corporate and commercial transactions. The Auckland office is also home to Joe Windmeyer, Ben Paterson - who commended ‘for his ability to cut through complex issues’ - Dan Jones, Ian Beaumont and David Raudkivi, all of whom have experience in M&A transactions and general corporate matters. In the firm’s Wellington office, ‘excellent partnerMei Fern Johnson specialises in investment in (and procurement of) infrastructure, technology, transport and energy projects, while Auckland-based Cath Shirley-Brown is a ‘solution-focused’ partner with experience in cross-border transitions.

Practice head(s):

David Hoare

Other key lawyers:

Joe Windmeyer; Ben Paterson; Dan Jones; David Raudkivi; Mei Fern Johnson; Cath Shirley-Brown


‘The main contacts are always available, super knowledgable and extremely calm under pressure. The team are very collaborative and through that, you get a seamless service.’

‘Mei Fern Johnson is an excellent partner. She was very responsive to extremely technical matters that arose and other issues during the transaction.’

‘Commerciality, responsiveness and collaboration.’

‘Cath Shirley-Brown is very commercial, solutions focused and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Russell McVeagh have developed a leading corporate practice across New Zealand. They work collaboratively with their clients and utterly understand and work to resolve the issues their clients face.’

‘David Hoare is among the most experienced corporate lawyers in New Zealand, and he is supported by an excellent team of partners who balance commerciality, pragmatism, and deep industry experience.’

‘Ben Paterson deserves specific mention for his ability to cut through complex issues quickly.’

‘All of the senior associates are all deeply capable, organised and on top of all of the details.’

Key clients

Square Inc.

Tilt Renewables


National Australia Bank

Westpac Bank



Fonterra Co-operative Group

Pacific Equity Partners

Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation

Pioneer Capital

CPE Capital

ANZ Bank


WEL Networks


Beijing Capital Group

UBS NZ Limited

Citigroup Global Markets

Forsyth Barr

Work highlights

  • Advised Beijing Capital Group on the sale of Waste Management to Igneo Infrastructure Partners for NZ$1.9bn.
  • Advised the underwriters and joint lead managers, UBS New Zealand Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Forsyth Barr Limited, on the NZ$1.2bn equity capital raising by Air New Zealand Limited.
  • Advised Westpac Financial Services Group on the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business, Westpac Life-NZ- Limited, to Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited.

Simpson Grierson

Praised for its ‘first-class service’, Simpson Grierson has a strong inbound investment practice, acting for offshore PE funds - primarily in the UK, US and Australia - and MNCs who are seeking to invest in the New Zealand market. Working across offices in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, the team’s workload also includes M&A transactions, capital market mandates, corporate restructuring and commercial infrastructure projects. Andrew Matthews, who leads the team from the firm’s Auckland office, advises on M&A deals and overseas investments, while James Hawes handles private equity and venture capital matters. Michael Pollard has considerable experience in corporate transactions and equity capital markets, while Simon Vannini ‘provides excellent advice’ on corporate acquisitions. Wellington-based Don Holborow is regarded by clients as ‘technically brilliant, practical and commercial’. All named partners operate from the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Matthews

Other key lawyers:

James Hawes; Don Holborow; Simon Vannini; Michael Pollard; Anastasiya Gutorova


‘First class service, well-informed and dedicated team who are prepared to think creatively.’

‘Andrew Matthews has been my primary contact with Simpson Grierson. He is an excellent partner. Insightful, fully engaged, supportive and very efficient.’

‘They add value where possible, they don’t seek to second guess and operate extremely efficiently, which allows them to work on deals of varying sizes cost effectively.’

‘Michael Pollard and Anastasiya Gutorova both have very quick, commercial minds.’

‘Simpson Grierson stands out for its willingness to understand the business drivers for the relevant transaction, and provide proactive business-focused advice, whilst suggesting alternative solutions where appropriate.’

‘James Hawes, Don Holborow and Andrew Matthews are all exceedingly approachable, with excellent knowledge of the corporate/M&A market. They turn around advice very quickly, and ensure it is concise and focused.’

‘Simon Vannini provides excellent advice and our relationship with him is greatly valued by our business.’

‘Don Holborow is my primary contact at Simpson Grierson. Don is an exceptional lawyer. Technically brilliant, practical and commercial.’

Key clients

New Zealand Rugby (NZR)

Voyage Digital (NZ) Limited

The a2 Milk Company Ltd

nib New Zealand

Adamantem Capital

Livingbridge Capital

Mercury Capital

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

PIP Global Holdings

Gilbert + Tobin

Clayton Utz

Baker & McKenzie

Heritage Lifecare Ltd

Healthcare Holdings Ltd

SG Fleet Group Ltd

Lodestone Energy

Transpower New Zealand Ltd

New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd

Enable Networks Ltd

Rocket Lab

BCI Media Group Pty Ltd

Auckland Council

Empired Limited

Comvita Ltd

Alliance Group Limited

The Terrace Development

Alliance Select Foods

Work highlights

  • Advised MAM on its JV with Real Assets and Aware Super and subsequent acquisition of telecommunications group, Vocus Group for NZ$3.5bn.
  • Advised on the NZ$1.7bn merger of Orcon and the 2degrees Group Ltd.
  • Advised Heritage Lifecare on a $291m sale and leaseback transaction involving Heritage group’s NZ aged care property assets to Centuria Capital.

Buddle Findlay

Praised for its ‘great level of engagement and commercial experience’ and a ‘team-based culture resonates in the quality of the work’, Buddle Findlay acts for a wide range of clients – from domestic and multinational corporations, private equity funds, financial institutions and insurance companies to state-owned enterprises and local authorities – on M&A transactions and commercial projects. Grant Dunn spearheads the Auckland-based group, and is noted for his experience in private equity and cross-border M&A, while Steve Nightingale leads the practice in Wellington and Mark Odlin heads the team from the firm’s office in Christchurch. The Auckland office is also home to M&A specialists David Thomson, Nick Bragg and Sarah McEwan, who advise on capital markets, securities transactions and corporate acquisitions, and senior consultant Simon Vodanovich. Other key members of the practice include Lisette Hood and special counsel Benjamin Sutton, who operate from the firm’s Auckland office, and Wellington-based Renee Stiles.

Practice head(s):

Grant Dunn; Steve Nightingale; Mark Odlin

Other key lawyers:

David Thomson; Nick Bragg; Sarah McEwan; Simon Vodanovich; Lisette Hood; Renee Stiles; Benjamin Sutton


‘Great detail and technical nuances, but adept at standing back and looking at the big picture, what actually matters and what actually drives value.’

‘The team – namely Nick Bragg, Sarah McEwan, Steve Nightingale and Simon Vodanovich – are all extremely proficient, commercial, hard-working, available and good to work with. What really stands out, however, is how they work together (as a team and with other specialists) so you are guaranteed to have the right person doing each part of the work. The team-based culture really resonates in the quality of the work and the trust we have in the work-product.’

‘Great level of engagement and commercial experience in dealing with potential transaction issues.’

Key clients


Goldman Sachs


Vodafone New Zealand

Sixth Street Partners

Bank of New Zealand

Contact Energy

Sky TV

New Zealand Post Group

Pencarrow Private Equity


GE Capital

H.R.L. Morrison & Co Ltd

Z Energy

Live Nation

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Auckland Council

PSP Investments

Chevron Corporation

The Growth Fund

Nongfu Spring Co



Adamantem Capital


Work highlights

  • Advising Infratil on its acquisition of a majority stake in Pacific Radiology Group Limited.
  • Advising PTT Global Chemical Company on its acquisition of Allnex Holding GmbH.
  • Advising Brookfield on its acquisition of Intellihub.

Dentons Kensington Swan

On account of the firm’s global network, Dentons Kensington Swan ‘has a wealth of international experience’ to advise on cross-border M&A transactions, as well as handling domestic acquisitions and joint ventures for both local and multinational clients. National practice head Chris Parke has demonstrable experience across the food and beverage, infrastructure, media and technology sectors, while Wellington-based David Shillson advises on the full spectrum of corporate transactions, in addition to debt and equity investment deals. Head of the firm’s Asia business team Heida Donegan is ‘a recognised expert in Asia Pacific and China-based investments into New Zealand’, and Wook Jin Lee is praised as a ‘first-class corporate and M&A lawyer’. Other key members of the team include Nick Scott, who advises insurers in relation to the placement of M&A warranty insurance, market veteran David Lewis, and energy expert Gerard Dale, who joined the team in May 2022. All named partners are based in the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Chris Parke

Other key lawyers:

David Shillson; Heida Donegan; Wook Jin Lee; Nick Scott; David Lewis; Gerard Dale


‘Dentons is highly-skilled, always solution-focused and really pragmatic. The team has a wealth of international experience and skill-sets, having practised in different parts of the world. They care about diversity and inclusivity.’

‘Heida Donegan is our go-to partner. She is highly commercial, engaging and a pleasure to work with – a recognised expert in Asia/China-based investments into NZ. We highly recommend her as a leading individual in cross-border M&A with an unparalleled skill-set.’

‘Stuart Robertson is great with giving us direct and precise advice that we are after.’

‘Dentons Kensington Swan NZ team excels in handling a variety of cross-border transactions, as well as domestic deals.’

‘Heida Donegan has substantial knowledge across NZ and the Asia-Pacific region. She is well-connected and resourceful in both NZ and China.’

‘Accessible partners, world wide network and a responsive service.’

‘Wook Jin Lee is my main contact and a first-class corporate and M&A lawyer.’

‘Heida Donegan is highly professional, easy to communicate with, and prompt to answer any questions.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Warner Music


Campus Living Villages


Oji Fibre Solutions

Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Limited

Bridgestone New Zealand Limited

Shiseido Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd

Garmin Inc

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of a majority ownership interest in the Fertility Associates group to a private equity consortium.
  • Advised Campus Living Villages on the sale of its portfolio at the University of Canterbury and exit from other management contracts with tertiary institutions in New Zealand.
  • Advised on all aspects of the implementation of a strategy for Nyriad New Zealand promoting a migration of the company to the US via a share swap (or reverse takeover of a US company).

DLA Piper New Zealand

DLA Piper New Zealand’s ‘strong corporate practice’ counts multinational and listed companies, private equity funds, government entities and financial institutions among its key roster of clients, handling large-scale M&A transactions across the technology, primary, and energy sectors. Martin Thomson, who acts for domestic and offshore clients on cross-border M&A and venture capital transactions, jointly leads the practice alongside Wellington-based Rachel Taylor, who advises listed companies, insurers, trustees, Crown entities and other corporates. Martin Wiseman's recent highlights include acting for Wētā FX Limited, as well as shareholders Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju, on the US$1.625bn sale of its VFX Tech Division to Unity, while Reuben Woods is praised as a ‘top tier lawyer in the corporate space, especially private M&A and technology-related transactions’. Other key members of the team include senior associates Pavanie Edirisuriya and Aoife O’Gorman. All named practitioners are based in the Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Martin Thomson; Rachel Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Martin Wiseman; Reuben Woods; Pavanie Edirisuriya; Aoife O’Gorman


‘DLA Piper has a very strong corporate practice. They have a good understanding of our business, which enables them to provide tailored commercial advice.’

‘Reuben Woods is a top tier lawyer in the corporate space, especially private M&A and technology-related transactions.’

‘Rachel Taylor is very good in the public M&A and private equity space.’

‘Martin Wiseman is a strong leader in this space with a fantastic commitment to client service.’

‘They are proactive and willing to invest the time to understand our business. They also focus on the key issues and drivers of our business so they can tailor their advice.’

‘Martin Wiseman and Mark Williamson are both excellent. They are commercially focused and pragmatic in their advice.’

Key clients

Accel-KKR / Seequent Holdings Limited / Springbrook

AIG, Liberty, Fusion, Tokio marine HCC (W&I insurers)

AMP Capital

Auckland Council


Busy Bees

Contact Energy Limited

Dairy Farms Partnership (owned by Harvard Endowment Fund)

Danaher Corporation

Datagrid New Zealand Limited

Discovery, Inc.

Du Val Group

Finistere Ventures

Five V Capital Pty Limited

Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Harbour Asset Management

Happy Valley Nutrition Limited

Ingka Investments


Mitre 10

OCS Group

OSF Digital


Sinotrans (NZ) Limited and Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Co., Ltd

Tech Mahindra

Television New Zealand Limited

TRG Renewable Resources New Zealand

TOWER Limited

Weta Digital Limited (now Wētā FX Limited)

Yamaha Motor Ventures

Yashili NZ

Work highlights

  • Advised Weta Digital Limited (now Wētā FX Limited) and shareholders Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju, on the sale of Weta Digital’s VFX Tech Division to Unity for US$1.625bn.
  • Advised Accel-KKR and its portfolio company, Seequent Holdings Limited on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems, Incorporated NZ$1.46bn.
  • Advised Sinotrans (NZ) Limited and Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Co., Ltd on the sale of a 62% shareholding in Wenita Forest Products Limited and related shareholder loans to Netherlands-based Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and UK-based Pension Protection Fund.

Harmos Horton Lusk Limited

Based in Auckland, specialist corporate firm Harmos Horton Lusk Limited is praised as ‘one of the best in the business’, with demonstrable experience in large-scale public and private M&A transactions, equity capital market mandates, corporate governance and compliance matters. Andrew Harmos is noted for his expertise in public takeovers, as well as offshore investments in New Zealand, while Nathanael Starrenburg is praised for being ‘on the money each and every time’. Tim Mitchelson focuses on equity capital market mandates, M&A transactions and joint ventures, while Annie Steel acts for clients across the healthcare, agriculture and dairy, real estate and telecoms sectors. Emma Barnett, who was promoted to director in April 2022, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Harmos; Nathanael Starrenburg; Tim Mitchelson; Annie Steel; Emma Barnett


‘Boutique firm, who specialise in corporate and M&A, and in my view, are one of the best in the business. Pragmatic, commercial and they get deals done.’

‘Nathaniel Starrenburg is experienced, a deep thinker, and on the money each and every time.’

Key clients

Powering Australian Renewables

Unity Software Inc.

Seeka Limited

Pushpay Holdings Limited

Just Life Group Limited

The a2 Milk Company Limited

Argosy Property Limited

Silver Fern Farms (Co-operative) Limited

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited

AFT Pharmaceuticals Limited

Vector Limited

Fulton Hogan Limited

Radius Residential Care Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised TSX-listed Trilogy International Partners on the sale of its 73% shareholding in 2degrees.
  • Advised Powering Australian Renewables and Mercury NZ’s acquisition of Tilt Renewables for NZ$3.05bn.
  • Advised Unity Software on its acquisition of Weta Digital Limited’s digital assets for US$1.6bn.

Mayne Wetherell

Praised by its blue-chip client base for providing ‘a professional and well-structured approach to M&A deals’, Mayne Wetherell is also well regarded for its capabilities in structuring and executing foreign direct investment into New Zealand and on the Overseas Investment Act regime. Primarily based in Auckland, the team has demonstrable experience across the financial services, healthcare, private equity, primary industry and technology sectors. Both Matthew Olsen and Michael Pritchard, who jointly lead the practice, handle public and private M&A transactions, as well as private equity mandates, foreign investments and corporate advisory. Consultant Simon Horner notably focuses on capital markets and securities matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Pritchard; Matthew Olsen

Other key lawyers:

Simon Horner


‘MW provide a professional and well-structured approach to M&A deals. They slowly worked through the process with us and were able to escalate resources , adjust to the natural course of the deal dynamics with ease and little fuss.’

‘We felt the same level of skill and professionalism with all the MW team, from junior associates right through to partners.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and/or affiliates and related/managed funds (KKR)

Intermediate Capital Group

Waterman Private Capital


The Warehouse Group

Arnott’s Group

Shareholders in Ziwi

Shareholders in Papinelle

ADM Capital


Thorn Finance

Masthead (the private office of the Stewart Family)

Brockwell Capital

Tokio Marine HCC


Work highlights

  • Acted as primary counsel for 2degrees through an IPO process, and subsequent private sale process, prior to 2degrees merging with Orcon Group.
  • Acted for ZIWI in its acquisition by FountainVest.
  • Acted for KKR in its acquisition of 100% of the ordinary shares in Ritchies Transport.

Anderson Lloyd

With offices in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, Anderson Lloyd draws on its strong national presence to advise a range of domestic corporates, private equity firms, professional investors and infrastructure providers. Praised as an ‘exceptional lawyer’, Auckland-based Chris Bargery has experience in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, with a particular focus in private equity investments. Other names to note in Auckland include Bede Maher, while Dunedin-based Anne McLeod is the firm’s key contact in the South Island, frequently acting for hospitality clients on a range of M&A and capital rising matters. Ben Johnston leads the team from the firm’s Christchurch office. Josh Williams was promoted to partner in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ben Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bargery; Anne McLeod; Bede Maher; Josh Williams


‘Chris Bargery is excellent. He does a great job of leading the deal, but also knows when to step back and let the principals sort issues out.’

‘Chris Bargery is an exceptional lawyer. Commercial and practical, yet able to align those skills with expert legal knowledge.’

Key clients

Pioneer Capital Partners

New Forests Asset Management

Ngāi Tahu Holdings Limited

Tally Group Holdings Limited

Pacific Edge Limited

Blis Technologies Limited

Foodstuffs South Island Limited

Farmlands Co-operative Limited

Russell Group

Port Otago Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Pioneer Capital Partners, together with the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, on the acquisitions of Fertility Associates and Bluelab.
  • Advised on the acquisition of the Rydges Wellington Hotel (involving land, buildings and the hotel business) by way of a negotiated transaction and a High Court process.
  • Advised Ngāi Tahu Holdings, the investment arm of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, on its investment in Fidelity Life as part of Fidelity’s NZ$400m acquisition of Westpac Life NZ.

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper provides ‘a comprehensive service with a high level of expertise’ in mid-market M&A transactions, corporate restructuring, due diligence and regulatory compliance matters. In the firm’s Christchurch office, Chris Dann leads the practice and David Gould has experience in acting for multinational clients in corporate acquisitions and sales, as well as commercial transactions. The Auckland office is home to managing partner and M&A expert Malcolm Hurley, Alex Campbell, who is noted for his expertise in the automotive sector, and Geoff Hosking, who frequently advises on inbound investments into New Zealand. The practice, which is noted for its retirement village expertise, also includes Auckland-based Matt Smith, and Sam Wilson and senior associate Jordan Wright, who operate from the Christchurch office.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dann

Other key lawyers:

David Gould; Alex Campbell; Malcolm Hurley; Matt Smith; Sam Wilson; Jordan Wright


‘David Gould is pragmatic, informed and holds ground on matters of importance.’

‘The team is responsive, supportive, and knowledgeable.’

‘Top tier advice from a smaller boutique firm. Depth of experience and commerciality brought to negotiations. Direct partner interaction and excellent value.’

‘I find the team to be commercial and strategic. They are excellent at working with us to achieve our business objectives and to ensure that the advice that they provide is tailored and helpful.’

‘Malcolm Hurley is calm, commercial and experienced. Always available.’

‘Anthony Harper provide a comprehensive service with a high level of expertise.’

‘From a corporate and M&A perspective, we deal with Malcolm Hurley. Malcolm is exceptional in the service and value he brings to our business. His skill and expertise result in a very high level of comfort for us in an area that comes with a high level of risk.’

Key clients

Synlait Milk Limited

Rhenus Logistics Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

Scales Corporation Limited

Mercedes-Benz Group AG

IE Money Limited

Donaghys Limited

Lion NZ Limited

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand Limited

Emergent Cold

Arvida Group

Nissan NZ Ltd / Nissan Financial Services NZ Pty Ltd

AIA New Zealand



Work highlights

  • Advising Tinderbox Media on the sale of 100% of its shares to NASDAQ listed Autodesk, Inc. for $50m.
  • Advising Vinlink Malborough on its acquisition of the Sacred Hill Group from receivers for NZ$40m.
  • Advising Planon Group on its acquisition of a majority interest in, and formation of a strategic partnership with, SPM Assets, for an enterprise value of approximately $20m.

Flacks & Wong

Premium boutique corporate firmFlacks & Wong houses a ‘dynamic, commercially-astute team’, who focus on a range of matters, including public takeovers, private M&A transactions, corporate governance and capital markets mandates. ‘Excellent operatorDaniel Wong leads the Auckland-based practice, and has demonstrable experience in mid-market M&A deals, joint ventures, shareholder arrangements and innovative forms of capital raising. Senior associate Katie Green is another key name to note, drawing high praise from clients: ‘all-round capability, coupled with her interpersonal skills and understanding of a client’s business, makes her a standout lawyer’. David Flacks is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Wong

Other key lawyers:

Katie Green; David Flacks


‘This is a premium boutique corporate firm. Great access to partners and senior resource. Premium legal advice and individuals understand and accommodate the commercial elements of a transaction in a seamless way.’

‘Katie Green has a great demeanor, is very responsive, and her work is always of high quality.’

‘The key attraction for us is getting access to senior lawyers, with the talent and responsiveness of a big firm.’

‘Daniel Wong is an excellent operator, very experienced, great commercial acumen but underpinned by extreme intellect.’

‘Katie Green is an experienced senior associate. She can work autonomously on matters and her work is always trustworthy.’

‘Flacks & Wong has a dynamic, commercially astute team that responds quickly to the commercial needs of their client base.’

‘Daniel Wong is a fantastic operator regularly (if not always) exceeding the expectations of clients.’

‘Katie Green’s all-round capability, coupled with her interpersonal skills and understanding of a client’s business, makes her a standout.’

Key clients

Impact Enterprise Fund

Leaft Foods

Keytone Dairy

Milford Asset Management


Scott Technology


Tanarra Capital


Toru Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Tesbrit, as a shareholder of 2degrees, on the $1.7bn merger between 2degrees and Orcon Group
  • Advised a senior Ziwi executive on the sale of Ziwi to FountainVest Partners.
  • Advised Leaft Foods on its US$15m Series A capital raise.

Hesketh Henry

Based in Auckland, Hesketh Henry is ‘always on the ball’ when advising SMEs, corporates and private equity funds on leveraged buyouts, venture capital investments, management buyouts and trans-Tasman M&A deals. Erich Bachmann – who regularly advises foreign investors, particularly those from Germany and other German-speaking nations, on M&A deals and business contracts – jointly leads the team alongside Kate Telford, who provides ‘excellent advice’ in acquisitions, disposals and investments in relation to the Overseas Investment Act. Senior associates Julika Wahlmann-Smith and Ben Hickson, who joined the firm from Stephenson Harwood LLP in July 2021, are further key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Erich Bachmann; Kate Telford

Other key lawyers:

Julika Wahlmann-Smith; Ben Hickson


‘Kate Telford has provided excellent advice, which has enabled us to obtain legal outcomes which have benefited us immensely.’

‘Hesketh Henry are always available for advice. They have worked collaboratively with our other external advisors and always offer an insight we had not considered.’

‘Kate Telford is our go-to lawyer on any corporate matter.’

‘Very happy with the performance of this team. They have the right blend of being big enough to be specialised and great at what they do, while also being small enough hat you are dealing with individuals who take the time to understand out business’

‘We have a great, long-standing working relationship with Julika Wahlmann-Smith and she provides great advice.’

‘Great team to work with, wide sector knowledgeable and always on the ball.’

‘Erich Bachmann and Ben Hickson provide commercially sensible advice, and take a collaborative approach, which makes it really easy to work with them.’

Key clients

Altus NZ Limited

AECOM New Zealand Limited

BW Group

China Animal Husbandry Group

Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur

Dominion Constructors Limited

Independent Timber Merchants

InterMed Medical Limited

Jennian Homes Limited

Juken New Zealand Limited

Kookmin Bank

Soft Tech (NZ) Limited

Vestner Aufzuge GmbH and subsidiaries

Work highlights

  • Advised BW Digital Pte. Ltd and international counsel Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance in relation to New Zealand law and regulatory aspects of BW Digital’s acquisition of 100% of Hawaiki Submarine Cable Limited Partnership and International Connectivity Services Limited (Hawaiki).
  • Advised China Animal Husbandry Group in relation to the partial divestment of its shareholding interests in Southland dairy processer Mataura Valley Milk Limited (MVM) to a2 Milk Company Limited.
  • Advised Compagnie Française D’assurance Pour Le Commerce Extérieur (Coface) on its successful application for a licence to carry on insurance business in New Zealand.

Webb Henderson

Based in Auckland, Webb Henderson ‘houses a group of outstanding individuals’, who are praised by one client as ‘passionate, resilient and positive, approaching every issue with vim and vigor’. Garth Sinclair and ‘standoutGraeme Quigley, who jointly lead the team, collectively possess considerable experience in M&A transactions, divestments, corporate restructurings and joint ventures, in addition to major projects. Michael Gartshore‘s ‘“never give up” attitude provides great confidence’ to clients, particularly when advising on private equity transactions, while Henry Willis focuses on M&A deals, corporate restructurings and capital rising mandates. Senior associate Ashton Goatley is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Garth Sinclair; Graeme Quigley

Other key lawyers:

Michael Gartshore; Henry Willis; Ashton Goatley


‘Webb Henderson has a particularly strong team, especially amongst their partners and senior associates.  They have a diverse range of personalities and styles that enable them to engage well with a wide range of clients, from large corporates to private business owners.’

‘Graeme Quigley provides strategic, considered and creative advice, always based on extensive experience and a deep knowledge of his clients and their drivers.  He cuts to the nub of complex issues swiftly.’

‘The Webb Henderson corporate team is a go-to for complex corporate, governance and M&A matters. They have deep experience and bring creative and pragmatic legal solutions for our transactions.’

‘Ashton Goatley provides insightful, well-reasoned and solutions-focused advice.  We’ve used him on many of our most innovative corporate matters and his input has been invaluable.’

‘Michael Gartshore is very commercial and practical, which enables him to quickly achieve great outcomes for his clients.’

‘Garth Sinclair and Michael Gartshore are both excellent. They are easy to deal with and give commercial advice.’

‘Graeme Quigley is a standout, his commitment is second to none, while Michael Gartshore’s “never give up” attitude provides great confidence. Both are solution orientated which makes getting a deal over the line easier.’

‘Webb Henderson houses a group of outstanding individuals. They are passionate, resilient and positive, approaching every issue with vim and vigour. This is a high performance team who seek excellence in everything they do.’

Key clients

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

Channel Infrastructure NZ Limited

Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation

Spark New Zealand

Genesis Energy Limited

Allegro Funds Pty Limited

Vulcan Steel Limited

Mercury Capital

Indevin Group Limited

Macquarie Asset Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited on its Capital Structure project.
  • Advising Channel Infrastructure on its transition from an oil refinery to an import terminal.
  • Advising Allegro Funds Pty Ltd on its purchase of the Gull business in New Zealand from Ampol Limited, through a transaction vehicle entity of Allegro Funds.

Lane Neave

Primarily based in Christchurch, the ‘strong South Island corporate and commercial team’ at Lane Neave acts for both local and overseas clients on domestic M&A transactions, inbound investments and corporate restructurings in New Zealand. Following the departure of Gerard Dale to Dentons Kensington Swan’s corporate group in December 2021, Claire Evans has assumed leadership of the practice, where she brings expertise in limited partnerships and investment funds, as well as governance and corporate advisory work. Joelle Grace is a ‘trusted advisor for the management of M&A transactions’, which often involve trans-Tasman and cross-border elements.

Practice head(s):

Claire Evans

Other key lawyers:

Joelle Grace


‘They are thorough, detail-oriented, but also reasonably pragmatic and effective.’

‘I find Joelle Grace to be thorough, persistent, helpful, pragmatic and knowledgeable about inbound investment. She has become our trusted counsel in the APAC region.’

‘A strong South Island corporate and commercial team.’

‘Joelle Grace is a rising star, with her calm and efficient manner winning her work.’

‘Joelle Grace is a trusted advisor for the management of M&A transactions. She provides clear, well considered advice and is reliable and efficient with her project management of transactions.’

‘The Lane Neave team are quick to respond and get into the detail of complex engagements. They have provided well thought-out advice with a commercial view.’

‘Claire Evans’ insight and pragmatic commercial input was much appreciated, particularly for complex matters.’

‘Our dealings with Lane Neave have been very professional, efficent and knowledgable in overseas companies operating in New Zealand. We will continue to use Lane Neave on all future matters.’

Key clients

Banyan Software Holdings LLC

Bathurst Resources Limited

BT Mining Limited

Pegasus Health (Charitable) Limited

Unity Credit Union

Williams Corporation Capital Limited

Woolworths New Zealand Limited

Synlait Milk Limited

Brown Brothers Engineering Limited

Zincovery Process Technologies Limited

Covenant Trustee Services Limited

LMS Energy Limited

Hashbane Interactive Limited

New Zealand Public Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Banyan Software Holdings LLC on its first acquisition in New Zealand of the business and assets of Argus Tracking Limited.
  • Advised on the New Zealand and due diligence aspects of the €1.5bn acquisition of JF Hillebrand Group by Deutsche Post DHL Group.
  • Advised WMG Management Europe Limited (Wasserman) in connection with its acquisition of Esportif Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries over various jurisdictions.

Tompkins Wake

Tompkins Wake goes ‘beyond the call of duty’ for its diverse roster of clients – including large corporates, indigenous tribes, domestic banks and local government authorities – on commercial acquisitions, disposals and capital raising mandates. In the firm’s Hamilton office, Mark Renner leads the team, while Phil Taylor leverages his international experience to assist start-ups through all stages of their growth, from formation and investment funding to M&A. The Auckland office is home to ‘exceptional M&A lawyerMark Lowndes, ‘exemplaryTom Arieli, and Kerri Dewe, who is praised as ‘extremely diligent and focused’.

Practice head(s):

Mark Renner

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lowndes; Phil Taylor; Tom Arieli; Kerri Dewe; Bryce Davey


‘The team at Tompkins Wake are very approachable and work with you to meet your timelines.’

‘A real willingness to go the extra mile.’

‘Great breath of skills, experience and also geographic coverage. Very commercial and practical, while being across the details.’

‘Mark Lowndes is an exceptional M&A partner and business-focused.’

‘Kerri Dewe is always across from the details, extremely diligent and focused.’

‘The individuals I deal with are outstanding. They have our back and I have seen them in full flight, fighting our corner which is always comforting.’

‘Great team, always going beyond the call of duty.’

‘I’ve worked extensively with Tom Arieli over many years, and rate him very highly. His knowledge of the corporate law is exemplary, and so is his business acumen.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Hillfarrance Venture Capital on its investment in three technology startups
  • Advised Vesper Marine in its acquisition by NYSE-listed multinational technology group Garmin International.
  • Advised Bermele Plc on the cross-border acquisition of New Zealand company East Imperial by Bermele Plc and reverse listing of East Imperial on the London Stock Exchange.