Rising Stars: Real Estate And Construction

Real estate and construction in New Zealand

AlexanderDorrington Ltd

Based in Auckland, specialist property firm AlexanderDorrington Ltd is noted for its strong capability in residential developments and commercial property matters, including acquisitions and mixed-use developments, as well as leasing and asset planning. Jourdan Griffin acts for high-net-worth individuals, private investors and developers who operate in the Auckland commercial property landscape, and advises on sales and acquisitions leases. Griffin jointly leads the ‘responsive and accessible’ practice alongside Denise Marsden, who has demonstrable experience in residential developments and mandates arising out of the housing sector.

Practice head(s):

Denise Marsden; Jourdan Griffin


‘We value Denise Marsden’s expertise and ability to meet deadlines. She always shows sincere empathy for all parties during negotiations and is very objective. Our accessibility to her is paramount and respected.’

‘Denise Marsden and the whole team are very responsive and accessible.’

‘Jourdan Griffin is very approachable and when working on a complex situation, he always brings in members of the team to troubleshoot.’

Key clients

NZ Living


Anderson Lloyd

With offices in in Dunedin, Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland, Anderson Lloyd’s real estate practice acts for clients across the forestry, agriculture and mining sectors on acquisitions and dispositions, as well as commercial and retail leasing matters. Dunedin-based Sharon Knowles leads the team, while Dan Williams, who operates from the firm’s office in Auckland, advises clients on the acquisition of forestry estates, mixed-use developments and retail expansions. Led by Auckland-based Anton Trixl, the ‘experienced, commercial and pragmatic’ construction team has demonstrable experience in large-scale water conservation, water storage and irrigation projects, in addition to renewable energy developments. Simon Munro, who represents clients in construction disputes, is a key member of the Christchurch team.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Knowles; Anton Trixl

Other key lawyers:

Dan Williams; Simon Munro; Mike Kerr; Clare O’Shea


‘The team have shown a very strong capacity to develop a deep understanding of client businesses, and what unique issues need to be addressed. They have been a “one stop shop” for our issues, but have handled the integration of multiple issues and deadlines with seamless flexibility.’

‘They have been totally reliable on complex matters. Most importantly, they have always done this with total professionalism and never a hint of anyone “losing their cool”.’

‘The team appears to work very collaboratively.’

Key clients

Hiringa Energy Limited

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited

Mt Cardrona Station Village Limited

Mercury NZ Limited

Waimea Water Limited

Timaru Mega Centre LP

Otago Polytechnic Limited

Ngāi Tahu Property Limited

Christchurch City Council

Timaru District Council

Dunedin City Council

Griffin’s Food Limited

Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited

Port Otago Limited

Manawa Energy Limited (previously Trustpower Limited)

Argosy No.1 Property Limited

New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited

Ports of Auckland Limited

Argosy Property Limited

Foodstuffs (South Island) Properties Limited

Meridian Energy Limited

Manulife Investment Management

NZ Retail Property Group Limited

NZ Hotel Wellington Asset LP & NZ Hotel Wellington Management LP

Dunedin City Council

Silverlight Studios Limited

Silverfin Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients on its joint venture for a major clean-tech project in Taranaki to produce green hydrogen using renewable energy.
  • Advised Waimea Water Limited on the development of the Waimea Community Dam, involving the construction of a dam and reservoir.
  • Advised Mount Cardrona Station Village Limited on its development of Mt Cardrona Station.
  • Advised NZ Hotel Wellington Asset LP & NZ Hotel Wellington Management LP on the NZ$100m acquisition of the Rydges Wellington Hotel.
  • Advised Taieri Forests Limited on the acquisition of Wenita Forest Products Limited.

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper’s ‘timely, responsive and personable’ real estate team regularly advises on commercial development projects, capital markets transactions involving the acquisition and disposal of office blocks, shopping malls and retail centres, and leasing matters. In the firm’s Christchurch office, practice leader Tim Barclay ‘offers the rare combination of sound legal knowledge, good communication skills and an excellent commercial sense to boot’, when advising clients on a range of commercial property matters. The ‘efficient construction team’ is led by Auckland-based Ed Dunphy, who acts for leading domestic construction companies, principals and contractors, and experience commercial litigator Karen Kemp, who represents clients in construction risk management litigation. In Christchurch, Daniel French focuses on subdivisions, commercial leasing and unit titles, while Auckland-based Tim Bunker is praised as ‘an excellent lawyer who goes the extra distance’. Christchurch-based senior associate Jessica Hanning is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Ed Dunphy; Karen Kemp; Tim Barclay

Other key lawyers:

Daniel French; Jessica Hanning


‘Very efficient construction team.’

‘Dan French is very hands-on and proactive in promoting his client’s interests in property transactions.’

‘Straight to the point, astute and efficient.’

‘Very well versed in property S&P contracts, and well respected by law firms acting for the other side on transactions. This helps to get complex deals across the line for our benefit.’

‘Within Anthony Harper, Tim Barclay stands out head and shoulders in a field of highly competent and dedicated lawyers. Tim offers the rare combination of sound legal knowledge, good communication skills and an excellent commercial sense to boot.’

‘Timely, responsive and personable.’

‘Very good, quick professional service.’

‘Tim Bunker is an excellent lawyer who goes the extra distance and is great to work with.’

Key clients

CPB Construction Pty Ltd

KiwiRail Ltd

Southbase Construction

Woolworths Limited

Stride Property Limited

Oceania Healthcare Limited

Ninety Four Feet Pty Limited

Templeton Kingsland Limited

Avior Consulting Pty Limited


Mainland Capital

The Fletcher Construction Company


Fletcher Distribution

Argosy Property

Stride Property Group


Otautahi Community Housing Trust

CDL Land New Zealand

Pacific Radiology Group

Sarin Group

Arvida Limited

Heredium Group

Huadu International NZ

Fulton Hogan Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mainland Captial on the establishment on a new development growth fund, and the acquisition of properties to be acquired for the fund, valued in excess of $70m.
  • Acting for state-owned-enterprise KiwiRail on the development of its purpose-built train control centre at the Blue Mountains Campus, Upper Hutt, and leasing of that facility to Kiwirail under a 20 year lease.
  • Acting for Argosy Property on the complex redevelopment and lease of a building in Wellington to Statistics New Zealand, a government department.

Bell Gully

Clients have a ‘high degree of confidence’ in Bell Gully’s sizeable real estate and construction practice, which has a strong track record in high-value acquisitions and disposals, transformative infrastructure and development projects, and leasing matters. Karl Anderson leads the real estate practice, and Andrew Petersen advises on overseas investments in New Zealand, while Jane Holland is noted for her expertise in commercial leasing and development projects. Praised for its ‘strong litigation expertise’, the construction team is well-placed to advise on the full spectrum of contentious matters, in addition to construction and infrastructure projects and contract negotiations. Wellington-based David Chisnall, who specialises in the structuring, procurement and delivery of public and private sector construction and development projects, jointly leads the construction team alongside Ian Becke, who ‘has strong experience, both in New Zealand and Australia, across a variety of projects and in all phases of construction’. Wellington-based Toni Forrest, Jesse Wilson and Brad Ward are further key contacts in the team, while Simon Ladd left the firm to join Shortland Chambers in December 2021. All named practitioners are based in the Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

David Chisnall; Ian Becke; Karl Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Jane Holland; Andrew Petersen; Jesse Wilson; Brad Ward; Toni Forrest; Kirsty Dobbs


‘Strong litigation expertise.’

‘They have a competent and effective team that is able to address complex and urgent construction disputes. I have a high degree of confidence in their legal expertise and commercial judgment.’

‘Jesse Wilson is articulate, intelligent and possesses sound analytical skills and commercial judgment.’

‘Brad Ward is thoughtful, focused and has a strong client service mentality. Produces quality work.’

‘Jane Holland is recognised and respected by everyone. She takes the time to understand key issues across the entire deal, to ensure the entire transaction succeeds.’

‘The Bell Gully team have great technical knowledge and attention to detail. Their advice and support is always up to date.’

‘Ian Becke has strong experience, both in New Zealand and Australia, across a variety of projects and in all phases of construction.’

‘David Chisnall is very succinct in his advice and quick to respond.’

Key clients

Auckland Transport

Tauranga City Council

Precinct Properties

PAG Real Estate


Tainui Group Holdings

Port Marlborough

Fletcher Building


Waka Kotahi

West Village Capital Partners


CC Thalia Trust

Slade Health

Vital Healthcare

FountainVest Partners

Crown Infrastructure

Frucor Suntory

Lineage Logistics

Wilshire Group Limited

Westgate Residential Limited

Calibre partners

META (formerly Facebook)

St Kentigern College

Invesco Real Estate


AA Insurance

The Royal Australian College of Physicians

Toyota New Zealand


Abano Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised PAG Real Estate on the completion of its forward purchase of newly-built, circa 20,000m² premium grade office building at 136 Fanshawe Street, Auckland.
  • Advised Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC on its new strategic investment partnership with Precinct Properties Limited, involving the transfer to GIC of five Precinct assets (Defence House, Charles Ferguson Building and Mayfair House in Wellington and 10 and 12 Madden St in Auckland).
  • Advised Kiwi Property Group Limited on the development and leasing of a second, 6 Green Star-rated office tower at Sylvia Park, Auckland.

Buddle Findlay

Buddle Findlay’s property and construction practice is praised for its ‘extensive experience in significant public sector infrastructure and construction projects’, counting high-profile public bodies – such as Auckland Council, and Auckland Transport and Department of Internal Affairs – among its key roster of clients. In the firm’s Auckland office, Daniel Kelleher, who has expertise in local government projects, property finance transactions and urban renewal projects, jointly leads the real estate team alongside Wellington-based Charlotte von Dadelszen, who offers ‘valuable’ and specialist advice on Public Works Act transactions. In Auckland, head of construction Tom Bennett ‘provides timely, commercially astute and pragmatic advice’ to public and private sector clients on high-profile construction projects and procurement matters. Wellington-based special counsel Brannavan Gnanalingam and Auckland-based senior associate Ed McGimpsey are other key names.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bennett; Charlotte von Dadelszen; Tom Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Brannavan Gnanalingam; Ed McGimpsey


‘The team has extensive experience in significant public sector infrastructure projects and has an excellent understanding of the client organisation’s functions, drivers and priorities. The team has good depth, capacity and experience so is responsive and proactive providing advice which is appropriate, incisive and commercially sensible.’

‘Tom Bennett has extensive experience in leading significant infrastructure and construction projects. He is diligent and provides timely, commercially astute and pragmatic advice relying on his vast experience in this industry sector.’

‘The property team at Buddle Findlay really know their stuff. They have enormous institutional knowledge which we regularly plug into. The people in the team are knowledgeable, friendly and easy to deal with and we feel valued as a client.’

Key clients

Auckland Transport

Auckland Council

Olam International (and Olam Food Ingredients New Zealand)

Ministry of Primary Industries

The University of Auckland

Department of Corrections

Wellington International Airport

Department of Internal Affairs

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Christchurch International Airport

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

ElectroNet Services and ElectroNet Transmission

Radio New Zealand

Contact Energy

Nestle New Zealand

Vodafone New Zealand

Bank of New Zealand

Department of Internal Affairs

Sky Network Television Limited

Contact Energy Limited

Grand Lakes Management Limited

Hotel Management (Featherston St) Limited

Olam Food Ingredients New Zealand Limited

Precinct Properties Holdings Limited

Landcorp Farming Limited

Norske Skog Tasman Limited

Auckland Council

Ministry of Education

GMP Pharmaceuticals

Generus Living Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Auckland Transport and Auckland Council on the City Rail Link (CRL) project, being New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project with a projected completion cost of NZ$4.4bn.
  • Advising the Department of Internal Affairs on development agreement and project documentation for the new National Archives Facility, being a bespoke facility developed to preserve NZ$1.7bn of New Zealand cultural treasures.
  • Advising Olam International Limited (and its New Zealand subsidiary Olam Food Ingredients New Zealand) on the development and construction of its first New Zealand dairy processing plant in Tokoroa, Waikato.
  • Advising Auckland Council on the development of the Aotea Station.

Chapman Tripp

Noted for its strong expertise in OIO consent issues, Chapman Tripp’s ‘excellent’ property and construction team advises public and private sector clients on the entire lifecycle of major construction and real estate projects, from procurement and joint venture agreements to project management and litigation. ‘Standout partnerMatthew Carroll spearheads the national practice and advises on the acquisition and disposal of commercial properties, development projects and leasing matters across the office, retail and industrial sectors, while Mark Nicholson focuses on development agreements and property transactions. Hamish Bolland, who leads the construction and major projects team, has experience in national and international construction projects, while Wellington-based Greg Wise acts for public sector clients on infrastructure projects. Consultant John McKay remains a key member of the team. All named practitioners operate from the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Matt Carroll; Hamish Bolland

Other key lawyers:

Mark Nicholson; Greg Wise; John McKay


‘Excellent team, who are thorough and have great technical skills.’

‘The depth of knowledge for collaborative contracting is the key reason why we use Chapman Tripp, particularly Matt Carroll, who is known in the industry as the go-to for alliance issues.’

‘Matt Carroll is a standout partner. He is commercially minded and understands our organisation.’

Key clients

Auckland International Airport Limited


Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

Ministry of Health: Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment

Mercury NZ Limited

Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Wellington City Council

Department of Corrections

Ministry of Health: Hutt Valley Acute Mental Health Unit

Centuria Capital

Auckland Waterfront Apartments Limited

Willis Bond & Co

Property for Industry

Ric Kayne / Tara Iti Holdings


Tauranga Crossing Limited

Parliamentary Service and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

The Wellington Company / Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika

Department of Corrections

Wellington City Council

Wellington International Airport


Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministry of Health on all aspects of its development of the New Dunedin Hospital.
  • Advised Willis Bond & Co on the development of the residential apartment projects at Wynyard Quarter, in central Auckland.
  • Advised Ric Kayne and Tara Iti Holdings on the development of golf courses, visitor accommodation and residential lots at Te Arai, Mangawhai, including assisting with the acquisition of leasehold and freehold estates and obtaining OIO consent for the development of two further courses.

Dentons New Zealand

Dentons New Zealand regularly advises central government bodies, local authorities, domestic contractors, and multinational corporates on major transportation, infrastructure and property development construction contracts, and counts high-value property portfolio acquisitions and disposals, as well as retail, office and industrial leasing matters, in its workload. In the firm’s Auckland office, head of real estate Matthew Ockleston has considerable experience acting for public sector clients in transport infrastructure projects, while Stuart Robertson spearheads the major projects and construction group and advises clients on a range projects, in addition to multi-party claims and construction disputes. In Wellington, Paul Holth and Ish Fraser are key contacts in the real estate team, along with Auckland-based Paula Ormandy and Michelle Hill, while Paul Buetow advises on transport, water and energy infrastructure projects from the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Ockleston; Stuart Robertson

Other key lawyers:

Paul Buetow; Paul Holth; Ish Fraser; Paula Ormandy; Michelle Hill; John Meads


‘Paul Holth and Matthew Ockleston have been hugely helpful. They consistently prioritise speaking with clients, and are efficiently able to decide what level of advice is required for a particular problem.’

‘A good understanding of the construction contract and processes, disputes and challenges. Stuart Robertson has a trades background and he quickly and easily grasps the issue to provide some early pointers.’


Key clients

New Zealand Transport Agency

Ministry of Social Development

Grand Complex Properties Limited

Universal Homes Limited

Ministry of Justice

ESR (Hong Kong)

DB Breweries Limited

Sanem Investments Limited

AMP Services (NZ) Limited


Bridgestone New Zealand Ltd

George Weston Foods

Pro-Invest Group

Tāmaki Regeneration Limited

PMG Capital Fund

Fletcher Building Limited

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Limited

Oji Fibre Solutions

Danone Nutricia


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Downer New Zealand

Aurecon New Zealand

Calibre Consulting Limited

CentrePort Limited


Work highlights

DLA Piper New Zealand

DLA Piper New Zealand continues to consolidate its ‘strength in the New Zealand market by leveraging the firm’s wider international experience’, as demonstrated by its advice on the domestic aspects of cross-border acquisitions and disposals, as well as development projects. National head of real estate Justin March manages the property portfolios of domestic and multinational corporates, while Heath Brunton has a ‘strong depth of experience’ in designing build lease agreements for office and industrial premises, in addition to advising on residential developments and mixed-use schemes. Mark Williamson, who leads the construction team, is praised for his ‘high level of knowledge and expertise’ in procurement and construction matters arising out of local government, retail and food manufacturing sectors. All named partners are based in the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

Justin March; Mark Williamson

Other key lawyers:

Heath Brunton; Emma Moran


‘DLA Piper have a very strong real estate practice and a deep understanding of this sector in New Zealand.’

‘Increasing strength in the New Zealand market by leveraging the firm’s wider international experience.’

‘Heath Brunton is an experienced operator with strong depth of experience. She is very well known in the market, which helps ensure good outcomes for clients.’

‘Meticulous attention to detail.’

‘Excellent expertise and ability to communicate complex matters. Very responsive and quick turnaround times.’

‘Mark Williamson is very experienced, has an in-depth understanding of the construction market and excellent expertise. Very approachable. Advice is always spot-on and tailored exactly to clients’ requirements.’

‘Pragmatic and solution-focused.’

‘Mark Williamson has a high level of knowledge and expertise and is able to identify the right pathway best suited to meeting client objectives.’

Key clients

Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Cornwall Park Trust Board

Ingka Investments

Auckland Council





West City Partnership



Starship Foundation


Happy Valley Nutritional


Dairy Farm Partnership



LOGOS Property

Tasman District Council

WT Partnership

Wellington Water Limited

Nelson City Council

Fletcher Building (PlaceMakers)

Contact Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Foodstuffs North Island on its real estate portfolio and the acquisitions, disposals, and leasing for over 300 stores.
  • Advising Dairy Farms Partnership (DFP) on its sale of approximately 3,500 hectares of farmland in Central Otago, New Zealand to NZRLC Dairy Holdings Limited.
  • Advising Datagrid on its Southland property acquisition for the establishment of one of the New Zealand’s first hyper-scale data centre projects.
  • Acted for Auckland Council on the sale of its Amenities and Infrastructure Maintenance Services (AIMS) business unit.
  • Advising Babcock International, alongside David Holden Law, on the redrafting and renewal of a maritime fleet sustainment services agreement with the New Zealand Defence Force, for Babcock to provide dockyard facilities and engineering management services.

Hesketh Henry

Praised for its ‘excellent knowledge and niche capabilities’, Hesketh Henry is strong in contentious construction mandates, while also advising on commercial property acquisitions and disposals, subdivisions and leasing matters. Head of construction Nick Gillies ‘provides highly considered advice’ on the full range of construction matters, from time and money disputes and building defect claims to contract work, while Glen Holm-Hansen is praised for his ‘in-depth understanding in construction law’. Robert Berry, who has notable expertise in ground leases both historical and contemporary, jointly leads the real estate team alongside Brian Coburn, who advises on commercial office developments. Other key members of the practice include prominent litigators Helen Macfarlane and Christina Bryant, Jacintha Tan, and senior associate Sarah Holderness.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gillies; Robert Berry; Brian Coburn

Other key lawyers:

Helen Macfarlane; Glen Holm-Hansen; Christina Bryant; Jacintha Tan; Sarah Holderness


‘Nick and his team at Hesketh Henry provide an exemplary service to the major players in the NZ market.’

‘Glen Holm-Hansen has an in-depth understanding of construction law, but also displays a deeper understanding of construction in general and the day-to-day operational issues that face construction companies.’

‘Excellent knowledge, combined with a true commercial approach to addressing issues.’

‘Nick Gillies is knowledgeable, thoughtful and provides highly considered advice. Glen Holm- Hansen is thorough and tireless in trying to achieve desired outcomes.’

‘Exceptional technical skills in land law, particularly regarding subdivision and land development. Also strong in commercial leasing and banking, which enables a full service on development projects.’

‘Nick Gillies has solid experience and is readily available to give practical advice.’

‘Wonderful team, demonstrating excellent knowledge and niche capabilities.’

‘We engage both Jacintha Tan and Robert Berry and have found that they provide quality work. They understand our need for quick, practical advice on a day-to-day basis.’

Key clients

McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd

Fulton Hogan Ltd

Naylor Love Ltd

WSP New Zealand Ltd

Norman Disney & Young Ltd

Russell Group (including Dominion Constructors Ltd)

Form Building & Developments Ltd

CMP Construction Ltd

Mainmark Ground Engineering (NZ) Ltd

MBSS Ltd t/a MAXRaft

The General Trust Board of the Diocese of Auckland

The Marianne Caughey Smith-Preston Memorial Rest Homes Trust Board

BW Group

Kahawai Point Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for WSP New Zealand Ltd in High Court proceedings concerning a prominent Christchurch building with alleged defects.
  • Acted for a specialist subcontractor in proceedings of practical importance to subcontractors, which concerned the duty of care owed by subcontractors to principals.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ real estate and construction practices exemplify ‘excellent knowledge’ across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters, from high-value acquisitions, portfolio management and commercial leasing to major infrastructure projects and construction-related disputes. Head of real estate David Gilbert handles the acquisition, development and disposal of land, retail premises and office complexes, while Andrew Monteith has experience in large-scale infrastructure projects and consultant Ross Pickmere advises on a broad range of commercial property deals. Janine Stewart, who regularly acts on matters relating to defective buildings, as well as landlord and tenant obligations and rent review disputes, jointly leads the construction team alongside Travis Tomlinson, who focuses on public sector construction projects and capital works programs. Other key members of the team include infrastructure specialist Sarah Sinclair, expert construction litigator Stephen Price and Mark Crosbie. All named practitioners are based in the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

David Gilbert; Janine Stewart; Travis Tomlinson

Other key lawyers:

Ross Pickmere; Andrew Monteith; Stephen Price; Sarah Sinclair; Mark Crosbie


‘Strong property knowledge.’

‘The team is very capable and always appears to be across current and developing industry issues.’

‘The individuals are very knowledgeable and proactive at foreseeing issues that need to be considered. Seem to be at the forefront of construction-related issues.’

‘Excellent knowledge and experience across the team, there hasn’t been any instances where they have been unsure about the best way to handle a situation.’

‘The individuals are very good at piecing together all of the information and from that preparing the required documentation.’

‘The team understands our business and can provide practical and pragmatic advice.’

‘Andrew Monteith is an excellent and approachable lawyer.’

Key clients

Metlifecare Limited

Mercury New Zealand Limited

Auckland Council

Wellington Gateway Partnership

Ōtākaro Limited

Department of Internal Affairs | Te Tari Taiwhenua

Auckland District Health Board

Taranaki District Health Board

Ministry of Transport

Kiwi Property Group

Jacobs New Zealand Limited

Tainui Group Holdings

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry for Primary Industries

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited

Ikea New Zealand

DCI Data Centres

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH


Fisher and Paykel Healthcare


Southern Cross

Z Energy

Westpac New Zealand

Tower Insurance


Greenplan Forestry Limited

Channel Infrastructure New Zealand (formerly Refining NZ)

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

Newcrest Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Ōtākaro Limited on all aspects of its NZ$1bn+ earthquake rebuild ‘Anchor Projects’ as part of the Christchurch earthquake rebuild.
  • Acting for both Auckland DHB and Taranaki DHB on their respective core development programmes – FIRP and Maunga Stage 2 respectively.
  • Acting for Metlifecare in proceedings before the High Court against James Hardie entities in New Zealand, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland, for the negligent design, manufacture and supply of products, and breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1986 and Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.
  • Advising The New Zealand Refining Company Limited (now Channel Infrastructure) on the conversion of New Zealand’s only oil refinery to an import terminal.
  • Acting for IKEA on the acquisition and development of its first store in New Zealand.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh is praised for its ‘exceptional expertise in the real estate space’, as demonstrated by its advice on large-scale development projects and subdivisions, capital markets transactions, acquisitions and sales, as well as leasing arrangements. ‘Excellent operatorEd Crook chairs the national property and construction practice – including the equally capable front-end construction practice – and specialises in commercial property developments, sales and leasing matters, in addition to associated construction and finance work. Polly Pope spearheads the construction litigation group, acting for principals, financiers, contractors, subcontractors and consultants on a broad range of disputes, while David Butler provides ‘invaluable’ advice on real estate capital markets transactions and development projects. ‘Extremely practicalAnna Crosbie focuses on acquisitions, residential developments and leasing matters, while construction litigators Michael Taylor and Sarah Blackmore are also key contacts. All named practitioners are based in the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

Ed Crook; Polly Pope

Other key lawyers:

David Butler; Anna Crosbie; Michael Taylor; Sarah Blackmore; Doran Wyatt


‘We have had a long relationship of 15 years with David Butler. When we have complex issues, David’s strategic thinking and business solutions have been invaluable to create a path forward to achieve our business goals.’

‘Excellent depth in team with ability to handle high-profile and complex matters.’

‘Ed Crook is the market leader and an excellent operator.’

‘This is a young, dynamic practice with real depth in the construction space.’

‘Anna Crosbie and Michael Taylor both combine great expertise with a personable and commercial approach.’

‘Natalie Sundstrom is excellent at handling and managing multiple workloads. Provides sound solutions when issues arise.’

‘Exceptional expertise in the real estate space.’

‘Anna Crosbie is extremely practical and commercial, with deep understanding of the market. Always provides excellent advice.’

Key clients

T&G Global


Queenstown Airport Corporation

PSPIB/CPPIB Waiheke Inc.

AMP Capital

Precinct Properties

Auckland International Airport

Argon Construction

Wellington Water

Summerset Group Holdings

Ponga Silva Limited.

Kiwi Property

Goodman New Zealand Limited

Precinct Properties

KiwiRail Holdings Limited



Winton Land Limited

Auckland International Airport Limited

Woolworths New Zealand

Work highlights

  • Advising Precinct Properties on their $1bn retail and office tower development at Commercial Bay in Auckland’s CBD.
  • Advising PSPIB/CPPIB Waiheke Inc. and AMP Capital on its development of a new Archives facility in Wellington for c$290m.
  • Acting for the lead plaintiff, and group of funded plaintiffs, in relation to a substantial class action against the manufacturer and suppliers of cladding known as “Alucobond”.
  • Advised Ponga Silva on the acquisition of the Tokomaru Forestry.
  • Advised Kiwi Property on its agreement with IKEA representing IKEA’s first entry into the New Zealand market.

Simpson Grierson

Praised as a ‘true industry leading practice’, Simpson Grierson has a ‘great depth of skill and knowledge’ in construction litigation, augmented by its demonstrable capability in large-scale development projects, particularly in the transport sector. The practice also acts for buyers, sellers and commercial property developers on managing PPPs and OIO land acquisition applications. Head of construction Michael Weatherall has considerable experience in the structuring and development of major infrastructure projects, collaborative contracting, and procurement processes, while ‘strong advocateJo-Anne Knight covers the full range of construction-related disputes and Shanti Frater is commended for her ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’. Greg Allen, who spearheads the infrastructure group, advises on forestry, farm and property transactions, as well as land acquisitions, while Michael Wood leads the commercial property team. Nick Wilson and Tara Wylie, who advises on property developments and leasing matters, are also key members of the practice. All named practitioners are based in the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

Michael Weatherall; Greg Allen; Michael Wood

Other key lawyers:

Jo-Anne Knight; Shanti Frater; Michael Wood; Tara Wylie; Nick Wilson; Donna Hurley; Lisa Curran; Sonia Vitas; Sandy Donaldson


‘Jo-Anne Knight is excellent in mediations and court hearings. A very strong advocate.’

‘Significant experience in their area of practice with good ability to tap into other teams across the firm as required.’

‘Tara Wylie is approachable and provided excellent advice that is readily understandable across our business.’

Key clients

Auckland Council

Watercare Services Limited

Tauranga City Council

Christchurch City Council

Queenstown-Lakes District Council

Auckland Transport

Waitemata District Health Board

Horowhenua District Council

Gisborne District Council

Premier Lifestyle Villages Limited

CPB Contractors Pty Limited

Dominion Constructors Limited

Schick Group

Downer New Zealand Limited

Southbase Construction Limited

Bunnings Limited

Lodestone Energy Limited

Lanskey Constructions Limited

Vestas-New Zealand Wind Technology Limited


University of Otago

Intergroup Limited

Schering-Plough Animal Health Limited

Great Eagle Hotels (New Zealand) Limited

Clark Road Developments Limited

Icon Co Pty (NZ) Limited

National Storage Limited

NZ Strong Construction Limited

Palmerston North City Council

Roxy-Pacific NZI Limited

New Zealand Carbon Farming

Heritage Lifecare Limited

Auckland Transport / Eastern Busway Alliance

Auckland Council

City Rail Link Limited – City Rail Link

Auckland Council – North/West Office Hub, Munro Lane, Albany

Work highlights

  • Advised City Rail Link Ltd in relation to overall project procurement in the first phase. In the current phase of this project, we advised Auckland Council in relation to its approval as a Sponsor of C5/C7 Work Package into the CRL Alliance.
  • Advising on all aspects of the procurement phase, and continue to advise Watercare Services Ltd on the construction phases for the Central Interceptor Main Works project.
  • Acting for Auckland Council in its defence of several building defects claims.
  • Acted for Heritage Lifecare Limited with respect to the sale and leaseback of 38 of its aged care and retirement village properties throughout New Zealand to Centuria Capital for $291m with a minimum 30 year leaseback term (excluding renewals).
  • Acting for New Zealand Carbon Farming on its identification and acquisition of established forests (either freehold land or forestry rights) or farm land suitable for conversion and planting of permanent forest sinks.

Thompson Blackie Biddles

Based in Auckland, boutique firm Thompson Blackie Biddles houses an ‘experienced team with exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge in the real estate sector’. The practice, which is ‘well tapped into the New Zealand real estate market’, has demonstrable experience in high-value acquisitions and divestment transactions, as well as development projects and commercial leasing matters. Key clients include domestic and multinational property companies, private equity funds, high-net-worth individuals and charitable entities, in addition to overseas developers and investors. The practice is jointly led by ‘commercially savvyJames BlackieGreg Thompson, who is noted for his expertise in property leasings and projects developments; ‘exceptionalJoe Biddles; and ‘best-in-classSam Greenwood, who collectively bring ‘a wealth of local intellect and experience to the table’. Associates Tom McGarry and David Simpson are also key members in the team.

Practice head(s):

Greg Thompson; James Blackie; Joe Biddles; Sam Greenwood

Other key lawyers:

Tom McGarry; David Simpson


‘Boutique practice with an excellent understanding of all property sector issues.’

‘Highly skilled, specialist real estate lawyers.’

‘They are boutique operators who are very commercial, pragmatic and focused on client outcomes, but also have the balance of understanding the whole picture. They are very well tapped into the New Zealand real estate market and brings a wealth of local intellect and experience to the table.’

Key clients

Precinct Properties Holdings Limited

Kiwi Property Group Limited

Stride Property

Investore Property

Todd Property

Robt. Jones Holdings Limited

Oyster Property

KKR / Oyster Property JV

Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad

Fife Capital

Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited

Lion – Beer Spirits and Wine (NZ) Limited

Goodman Property Trust

Trust Investments Management

Hallenstein Bros. Limited / Glassons Limited

McConnell Property

Blackstone/151 Property

Te Arawa Group

Ariadne Marinas Oceania Pty Limited/Orams Group Limited

Fort Hill Property Limited

Tim Glasson

Krukziener Property

Wendy’s Restaurants

Newcrest Group

Higgins Family Holdings Limited/Frances Holdings Limited

Ladstone Holdings Limited

Spotlight Group

Silverfin Property

UPC Group


Foodstuffs North Island

Walker & Hall

Work highlights

  • Acting for MRCB with respect to its development of Auckland Council’s prepaid leasehold land at Aotea Station for the first comprehensive over-station development in New Zealand and the acquisition of Bledisloe House and surrounding assets.
  • Acting for Precinct in relation to the anchor tenant leasing at 1 Queen Street.
  • Acting for Goodman Property Trust in its acquisition (and leaseback to Sky) of the Sky Television site in Mt Wellington.

Tompkins Wake

Tompkins Wake’s ‘commercially astute’ real estate practice advises local government authorities, developers and investors, property funds and private sector clients on development projects, acquisitions and disposals, as well as leasing matters. Scott Ratuki, who has experience in large-scale commercial developments and subdivisions, jointly leads the practice alongside Peter Duncan, who specialises in local government property mandates. In November 2021, Andrew Orme left for Lane Neave, while Rotorua-based Catriona Gordon joined the firm following its merger with Lava Law. Other key members of the team include Peter Fanning, who focuses on development projects, subdivisions and land acquisitions, Kate Searancke and Campbell Stewart. All named practitioners are based in the firm’s Hamilton office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Scott Ratuki; Peter Duncan

Other key lawyers:

Peter Fanning; Campbell Stewart; Kate Searancke; Catriona Gordon


‘Very responsive.’

‘I’ve had the pleasure in dealing with several of the partners at Tompkins Wake. They have always be commercially astute, whilst providing clear and well-considered legal advice.’

Key clients

Stark Property Group

AFI Investments

Fosters Construction

Rotorua Lakes Council

Hamilton City Council

Waipa District Council

WEL Energy Networks Limited

Waitomo District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised AFI Investments on its downtown development project that will substantially transform the southern end of the Hamilton CBD, and the face of corporate office space in Hamilton city.
  • Advised Hamilton City Council on acquisition of land under the Public Works Act