Rising Stars: Real Estate And Construction

Real estate and construction in New Zealand

AlexanderDorrington Ltd

Boutique property firm AlexanderDorrington Ltd offers clients ‘personal service and empathy’, as well as ‘flexible working arrangements’ on mandates in the community housing sector, as well as handling a growing volume of commercial property matters ranging from acquisitions to new mixed-use developments. The practice is headed by Denise Marsden, who ‘will always go to great lengths‘ on behalf of her clients on the residential side; she is supported by Jourdan Griffin, who works on sales and leasing for high-net-worth individuals along with private investors and developers.

Other key lawyers:

Christine Cechova


‘We know the firm very well, and appreciate their detailed understanding of our unique requirements related to government funding and contracting. The team has grown over the past few years, but service makes us feel like valued and important customers of a small boutique firm. Their flexible working arrangements show that their staff are valued assets. However, this never affects the high quality of service we receive.’

‘Denise Marsden is the partner I typically deal with, and she is always readily available to provide advice. She is warm, and our success is extremely important to her. She will always go to great lengths to ensure our team and trustees thoroughly understand any advice provided. Particularly during lockdowns, we were negotiating a very important contract, and she was always available to answer questions and provide comfort for our less commercially knowledgeable trustees.’

‘Christine Cechova is the senior associate I have started working with regularly this year. She is professional and very responsive. She always delivers high-quality work in the tight timeframes we require for new projects.’

‘Personal service and empathy with our business objectives from partner level and throughout the staff.’

‘Denise Marsden is the partner overseeing our work and understands our business objectives very well. The team under Denise all get it too.’

Anderson Lloyd

With a real estate offering split across four offices in Dunedin, Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland, Anderson Lloyd‘s client roster features institutional entities including city councils, energy providers and commercial infrastructure contractors. Christchurch-based practice head Mike Kerr oversees matters ranging from land acquisitions for renewable energy developments to retail expansions and new mixed-use developments, with support from Simon Munro. Construction-side advisory work includes water conservation, water storage and irrigation projects, typically led by Anton Trixl in Auckland, where Dan Williams is a further key contact.

Practice head(s):

Mike Kerr

Key clients

Christchurch City Council

Dunedin City Council

Argosy Property Limited

New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited

Silverfin Capital Limited

NZ Retail Property Group Limited

Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc.

Chalmers Properties Limited

Foodstuffs (South Island) Properties Limited

Mitre 10 Holdings Limited

Hiringa Energy Limited

Jasper Property Limited

Hiringa Energy Limited

Tilt Renewables Limited

Trustpower Limited

Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited

Rockit Global Limited

Timaru District Council

Griffin’s Food Limited

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited

Rangitata Diversion Race Management Limited

Accident Compensation Corporation

Mt Cardrona Valley WWTP Limited

Argosy Property Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Jasper Property Limited on acquiring the initial seed properties for the Jasper Industrial Income Plus Fund.
  • Advised Silverfin Acquisitions Limited on the acquisition of Countdown Fraser Cove.
  • Advising Cardrona Valley WWTP Limited on the Mt Cardrona Station development.

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper handles a varied roster of real estate and construction mandates, leveraging its expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters. For construction, the ‘proactive’ and ‘versatile’ team is highly skilled in infrastructure projects, where it tends to provide advice on risk management, procurement and litigation relating to schedule delays and breach of contract issues. In terms of real estate, prominent work includes capital markets transactions requiring the acquisition and disposal of office blocks, shopping malls and retail centres. Ed Dunphy and Karen Kemp, a specialist in litigation, co-head the practice alongside commercial property expert Tim Barclay, who ‘goes all the way to support client needs’Tim Bunker is another key contact, as well as Christchurch-based senior associate Jessica Hanning. All other named partners are based in Auckland.

Practice head(s):

Tim Barclay; Ed Dunphy; Karen Kemp

Other key lawyers:

Tim Bunker; Jessica Hanning


‘High-quality work, technical expertise, problem-solving and access to partners.’

‘We often work with Ed Dunphy. He is very practical, listens and focuses on the important issues.’

‘Very well-informed and in touch with all segments of the property market. Very proactive in terms of highlighting risks/opportunities etc, rather than only responding to requests. Very adept at handling parties on the other side of transactions, in a respectful, non-confrontational, but authoritative manner. ’

‘Tim Barclay stands out as he is not only an experienced and outstanding lawyer, but also has the talent to understand his clients’ commercial interests which is so rare among lawyers. Tim goes all the way to support client needs, is very quick on the uptake, has an excellent memory, and is highly detailed in his analysis of legal issues without wasting time on superfluous elements.’

‘Anthony Harper provide us legal advice across a number of verticals including real estate and construction. Having the versatility to provide a breadth of expertise is advantageous to us.’

‘Nothing is ever a problem. Always keeps in contact with progress. Provides excellent advice and practical solutions to any problems and clearly identifies risks for our company.’

Key clients


Goodman Property Trust

The Fletcher Construction Company


Fletcher Distribution

Argosy Property

Stride Property Group

Otautahi Community Housing Trust

CDL Land New Zealand

Mainland Capital

Sarin Group

Arvida Limited

Heredium Group

Huadu International NZ and its development subsidiaries, HREF Health Precinct Limited and Cranmer Gardens Limited

Fulton Hogan Limited

Pacific Radiology Limited

University of Canterbury

CPB Construction Pty Ltd

Southbase Construction

Work highlights

  • Acting for Heredium Group on the acquisition of four youth hostels (Rotorua, Wellington, Tekapo and Wanaka) from Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand for a combined purchase price of $22m+, and the lease back of those properties to the YHA.
  • Acting for Woolworths New Zealand Limited on the development of a significant new Distribution Centre in the lower North Island.
  • Acting for HREF Health Precinct Limited (a subsidiary of Huadu International Construction (NZ) on the sale of a new office building in Christchurch, setting a record price for the sale of a single asset office building in the city.

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has an ‘exceptionally strong’ real estate and construction practice, known for its handling of major private and public sector mandates, including significant city transformation and infrastructure schemes. The firm’s expertise encompasses contentious and non-contentious work, which includes the structuring, procurement and implementation of projects, foreign investment transactions and widespread litigation. Andrew Petersen heads the property and real estate practice, handling a high volume of large-scale acquisitions and Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approvals. Ian Becke – for whom clients include Auckland Transport and Costco New Zealand – and Simon Ladd lead an experienced construction team alongside Wellington-based David Chisnall. Also in Wellington, commercial and corporate expert Toni Forrest offers ‘exceptional support’, while Kirsty Dobbs made partner in January 2021. Disputes specialist Jesse Wilson and the experienced Jane Holland are further key contacts; all named lawyers are based in Auckland unless otherwise stated.


‘Excellent depth and breadth of commercial experience.’

‘Andrew Petersen is outstanding on OIO matters, with an almost unparalleled working knowledge of the legislation and its practical application.’

‘The team is an exceptionally strong group, who are commercial, pragmatic, efficient, very responsive and great to deal with.’

‘Andrew Petersen is a pleasure to deal with. He knows what it takes to get deals done quickly and efficiently and is a outstanding problem solver.’

‘They get the job done without fuss.’

‘Andrew Petersen is a star in relation to overseas investment issues and he is well supported by his team (Brooke Reed until recently and now Sarah Ryan) – excellent advice and detailed documentation. Karl Andersen has provided good advice on some tricky development and leasing issues.

‘Bell Gully is a “go-to” firm for strategic advice on high-risk and complex matters.’

‘Toni Forrest provides exceptional support by understanding an organisation’s risk appetite and key drivers and navigating complex and high-risk issues. Hugh Kettle is a class act.

Key clients

Auckland Transport

ANZ Bank

Arena Living

Asset Plus


Costco New Zealand

David Jones


Fletcher Building

Horizons Regional Council

IAG New Zealand

Irongate Group (formerly Investec Australia)

Invesco Real Estate

Kiwi Property Group

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Ministry of Defence

New Zealand Infrastructure Commission

Ngāi Tahu Property

PAG Real Estate

Port Marlborough

Precinct Properties Limited

St Kentigern College

Stride Property

Tainui Group Holdings

Tāmaki Redevelopment Company

Taupo District Council

Tauranga City Council

Vital Healthcare Property Trust

Wellington City Council

Wilshire Group

West Village Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised PAG Real Estate on its forward purchase of premium grade office buildings in Auckland, including the largest value office building purchase of 2020 in New Zealand.
  • Advised Stride Property Group on the NZ$380m acquisition of four premium grade office properties in Auckland and Wellington, the establishment of a new industrial property-focused investment management fund and the disposal of large format retail properties.
  • Advised Port Marlborough on its nationally significant proposed project to fully redevelop Port Picton to accommodate New Zealand’s future interisland freight and passenger services between the North and South Islands.

Buddle Findlay

The property and construction team at Buddle Findlay 'go to special lengths to develop strong working relationships' with clients ranging from institutional investors and local authorities to government departments and domestic contractors. Overseen by Daniel Kelleher in Auckland and Wellington-based Charlotte von Dadelszen, its recent case load involves advice throughout infrastructure, urban renewal and public transport projects – most notably, on the Aotea Station and various aspects of the City Rail Link developments. Other focus areas include disposals or acquisitions, leasing and all associated transactions. Tom Bennett, also based out of the Auckland office, is vastly experienced in real estate and procurement matters, while Stephen Whittington and senior associate Brannavan Gnanalingam reinforce operations from Wellington.


‘We work predominantly with Charlotte von Dadelszen and the team around her, including Brannavan Gnanalingam and Stephanie Snedden. All of them are very personable and helpful, and go the extra mile to help ensure our needs as a client are met. The work is also always to a high standard.’

‘Like any business, the people are key. Buddle Findlay are always open and transparent on their fees and in the events where the fee blows out (largely due to the matter negotiations continuing) it is an easy conversation to have to agree a sensible position.’

‘It is clear from my eight years working with the Buddle Findlay property team that they go to special lengths to develop strong working relationships and suspect that this is not necessarily driven at partner level but by others such as Jonny Simons and Angus Grayson.’

Key clients

Auckland Council

Panuku Development Auckland

Auckland Unlimited

BNZ Branch Properties

Auckland Transport

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency


Infratil Infrastructure Property

Precinct Properties

China Forestry Group

Goodman Property

Landcorp Farming

Christchurch International Airport

Christchurch City Council

Department of Internal Affairs

Massey University

Waikato District Council


The University of Auckland

Northland District Council

Wellington International Airport

Ashburton District Council

Ormat Technologies

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 the development agreement and project documentation for the new National Archives Facility, being a bespoke facility developed to preserve (current value) NZ$1.7bn of New Zealand cultural treasures.
  • Advising Ormat Systems Ltd and Ormat Pacific Inc in their roles as the EPC Contractor and equipment supplier (respectively) in relation to the development of new generation capacity at the Ngawha geothermal facility in Northland.

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp’s predominantly Auckland-based team handles all stages of real estate and construction projects, including procurement, joint venture agreements, sales and acquisitions and OIO applications. Recently, it has focused more heavily on projects in the health, transport and renewable energy sectors, including port expansion mandates and the development of new hospitals. Hamish Bolland, who leads the firm’s construction and major projects group, specialises in large-scale construction projects in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Matthew Carroll, who heads the national property and real estate team, advises clients across the retail and industrial sectors on acquisitions and disposals, as well as leasing work. Clients appreciate Greg Wise’s ‘technical and market knowledge, which is second-to-none’, while Mark Nicholson is experienced on large-scale commercial transactions. John McKay and Edward Scorgie are the key names to note for contentious cases.

Practice head(s):

Matthew CarrollHamish Bolland


‘Smart and high degree of legal acumen across the team; no weak links.’

‘Well-led by their partner. Very good understanding of the issues and good communication within the team.’

‘Greg Wise’s technical and market knowledge is second-to-none. He is incredibly personable and a truly trusted and valuable advisor to us. In particular we value his pragmatism, and his proactivity in delivering advice and guidance in a really user-friendly manner rather than as wordy opinions (eg flow charts for repeat decision making, visual aids, summary tables showing pros and cons of different contract options).’

‘The CT real estate and construction team are great experts in their fields. They offer fantastic technical and market knowledge for the delivery of black-letter law advice when required. But also an impressive ability to distil that into clear, commercial and practical guidance which is invaluable to us. There is always a willingness to be flexible in approach to suit lawyers or non-lawyers, and clear attention to this work being done in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Acurity Health Group Limited

Auckland International Airport Limited

Augusta Funds Management Limited

Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Blackstone Real Estate

Carrington Farms Jade LP

City Rail Link Limited

Eastland Group (Generation and Ports)

Fletcher Concrete & Infrastructure Limited

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited


Mercury NZ Limited

Ministry of Health: Christchurch Hospital Redevelopment/Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment

Napier Port

New Zealand Antarctic Institute

New Zealand Government Departments/Agencies including the Department of Corrections, the Ministry of Education and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Orion New Zealand Limited

PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited

Precinct Properties

Ryman Healthcare

Solomon Islands Electricity Authority

Tauranga Crossing Limited

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Willis Bond & Co

Winstone Wallboards Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ministry of Health in relation to the development of the New Dunedin Hospital, forming one of the largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand, with a total value of NZD $1.4bn.
  • Advised Eastland Port on the procurement method for its Wharf 7, which is part of the port’s biggest infrastructure upgrade in 100 years.
  • Acted for Augusta Capital on its acquisition of the Visy Glass factory in Penrose; at the time, it was the largest property purchase in New Zealand post-Covid.

Dentons Kensington Swan

Dentons Kensington Swan‘s practice provides contentious and non-contentious services to real estate and construction clients. It is particularly well-known for advising government departments on significant transport and infrastructure build schemes. Additionally, the team is very active in the retail, office, and industrial sectors, providing well-rounded transactional and regulatory support during major developments. Auckland partner Matthew Ockleston, who leads the real estate practice, stands out for his expertise in public sector-led instructions, including various transport-related acquisitions and disposals, with support from Paula Ormandy. Stuart Robertson – also from Auckland – heads the construction side, which regularly handles project development services and support during business-critical disputes, particularly within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Paul Buetow in Auckland, along with veteran John MeadsIsh Fraser and Paul Holth in Wellington, are further key contacts.


‘Although we are relatively small company, Kensington Swan has never made us feel as though we are a lower priority to other clients. We enjoy a very fast response time on our requirements. Having different types of lawyers on hand has been a real benefit; for example, when dealing with the land contamination our main lawyer was able to pull in a health and safety expert immediately to consult on certain issues. As far as costs go, Kensington Swan are the most expensive lawyers we have used, however we believe that you get what you pay for. We see Kensington Swan as “hard-hitters” and definitely value for money.’

‘We call  Michelle  Hill “Smackdown” Hill! This is because of her amazing support during Covid-19 when we were inundated with tenant disputes, in many of which we felt the tenants were being unreasonable. It was a really tough time and Michelle took us through the process for each tenant to get a resolution. She was very compassionate towards us despite the stress. She listens to our opinion but most importantly makes sure that we understand her view.  Michelle is very confident and has extensive knowledge of commercial leasing and we trust her to go to battle for us. On a more personal nature, we really like Michelle’s sense of humour and kindness and we always enjoy meeting with her either in person or on Zoom.’

Key clients

New Zealand Transport Agency

Ministry of Social Development

Grand Complex Properties Limited

Universal Homes Limited

Pro-Invest Group

Tāmaki Regeneration Limited

PMG Capital Fund

Fletcher Building Limited

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Limited

Oji Fibre Solutions

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Downer New Zealand

CPB Contractors

Fulton Hogan

China Construction Group

HEB Construction

McConnell Dowell

Auckland Transport

Naylor Love

Leighs Construction

Work highlights

  • Advising PMG Funds on a number of commercial conveyancing matters that the firm is handling, including on the purchase of two adjacent properties in central Christchurch, for a total of $59.2m.
  • Acting for Pernod Ricard on the sale of its former bottling, storage and distribution facility at 171 Pilkington Road, Point England.
  • Advising Waka Kotahi (a New Zealand Crown entity tasked with promoting safe and functional transport by land) on a portfolio across New Zealand ranging from substantial multi-let buildings, office and commercial buildings and land, farm and grazing land and residential properties.

DLA Piper New Zealand

As part of the firm’s wider global network, DLA Piper New Zealand‘s focus is on the domestic aspects of multijurisdictional projects. Headed by Auckland-based duo Mark Williamson and Justin March, it has a ‘stable team that is growing is confidence and capacity‘ – particularly on high-value acquisitions, disposals and the management of real estate portfolios. Elsewhere, clients benefit from its significant experience in the insurance sector, with front-end construction matters and disputes in this space typically led by Emma Moran and Misha HenaghanHeath Brunton is ‘maturing into a top-tier operator‘ on development schemes and design-build-lease agreements for office or industrial premises, having acted for prominent client Foodstuffs in a significant leasing transaction for their new head office and distribution centre.

Practice head(s):

Mark Williamson; Justin March


‘Great service and timely advice.’

‘Strategic approach to relationships that go beyond pure legal advice.’

‘Justin March and Heath Brunton are both very experienced real estate lawyers. They both are well regarded and are also developing a strong team of associates under them.’

‘Stable team that is growing is confidence and capacity. Heath Brunton is maturing into a top-tier operator and with high-quality recent hires is developing a team to support his practice. The firm has strength in many areas, so can bring in specialist advice when required; the person we deal with always has vast experience and a good knowledge of issues that are important to business.’

‘Justin March has a good understanding of business and knows what issues are important to the client (and what issues are not), so we can focus the the key issues and not get side-tracked by things that are not so important.’

Key clients

Foodstuffs North Island

Tasman District Council

WT Partnership

Auckland Council

Happy Valley Nutrition Limited

Wellington Water Limited

Nelson City Council

IAG New Zealand Limited

Fletcher Building (PlaceMakers)

Holmes Consulting Group


Goodman Property Trust

Cornwall Park Trust Board

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu


Television New Zealand


Discovery, Inc.

Starship Foundation

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH


Mitre 10

Danaher Corporation

Dairy Farms Partnership (ultimately owned by the Harvard University Endowment Fund)

General Electric

Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Hilton International Manage LLC

Kaingaroa Timberlands


Work highlights

  • Advised Foodstuffs on the development of its new head office and distribution centre.
  • Advised Auckland Council in respect of its multibillion-dollar full facilities maintenance contracts.
  • Advised Discovery, Inc. on its acquisition of all of the shares in MediaWorks TV Limited, including legal due diligence for the real estate assets of the MediaWorks’ TV business in the major centres in New Zealand, and the real estate documents for the transfer of these assets and completion of the transaction.

Hesketh Henry

Hesketh Henry is known for its ‘very pragmatic and approachable people‘, led by ground lease expert Robert Berry and commercial office development specialist Brian Coburn on the real estate side, and Nick Gillies for construction mandates. The firm’s wider capabilities among the insurance, transport and insolvency sectors ensure a wide-reaching advisory case load, with cases ranging from commercial property acquisitions to high-value project delay claims. Renowned litigators Helen Macfarlane and Christina Bryant reinforce its contentious offering, with a strong track record before the domestic High Courts. Clients also recognise associate Sarah Holderness as ‘incredibly strong on contracts‘, while Glen Holm-Hansen made partner in February 2021.


Good practical, mid-market real estate experience. Good time management and transaction planning by associates.

Hesketh Henry has a diverse team covering a range of legal areas. Sarah Holderness and Stephanie Corban have been brilliant at balancing the practicalities and time pressure of construction issues, maintaining legal work of the highest standard. Excellent industry knowledge specific to contractors. Timely value-for-money advice.

Nick Gillies and Glen Holme-Hansen provide pragmatic and commercially sound legal advice.

Go the extra mile to ensure the service is in line with client requirements. Vast experience (domestically and internationally) and knowledgeable.

We have really enjoyed working with the construction team. We have had support with front-end contract requirements in addition to guidance around potential litigation and managing contract requirements during a project cycle. Different people have provided support and all have been strong.

Sarah Holderness is incredibly strong on construction contracts, with in-depth knowledge of SA2017 and NZS3910. Excellent wordsmith.

A medium-sized practice with extensive specialisation in construction litigation and dispute resolution. Very pragmatic and approachable people in providing legal and strategic advice including Nick Gillies, Glen Holm-Hansen and Helen Macfarlane.

Key clients

Vladi Private Islands GmbH

Richmond Villas Limited

Palms Lifestyle Village Limited

Speldhurst Country Estate Limited

Infinity Enterprises Ltd

Kahawai Point Developments Limited

The General Trust Board of the Diocese of Auckland

St John’s College Trust Board

The Melanesian Mission Trust Board

Doubletree Holdings Limited

AECOM New Zealand Ltd

McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd

Fulton Hogan Ltd

Naylor Love Construction Ltd

Form Building & Developments Ltd

CMP Construction Ltd

Russell Group

WSP New Zealand Ltd

Norman Disney & Young Ltd

Mainmark Ground Engineering (NZ) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Bowen House Holdings Limited on a development agreement for the redevelopment of the 21-level building at 1 Bowen Street Wellington, including the negotiation of a new lease of the building with Parliamentary Corporation to commence following the completion of the development work.
  • Advised The General Trust Board of the Diocese of Auckland on the granting of a long-term pre-paid ground lease of land close to historic and category 1 protected buildings and trees to a developer to enable a high-rise development.
  • Advised Speldhurst Country Estate Limited on best market practice options for changing its contractual terms for offering occupation rights to units


MinterEllisonRuddWatts has ‘strength in its leadership to motivate all staff and deliver excellent lead advice’ to clients. The practice specialises in all front-end and back-end aspects of construction and real estate developments, with a particular focus on new transport, renewable energy and social infrastructure schemes. Janine Stewart, who leads on the construction side, primarily advises clients during major domestic developments and complex litigation. David Gilbert heads the real estate team and handles commercial transactions or procurement in various sectors, including hotels and leisure, whilst Mark Crosbie and Travis Tomlinson are key names to note for construction matters. Other key contacts include disputes expert Stephen Price and infrastructure specialist Sarah Sinclair, as well as Ross Pickmere for commercial property mandates. All named lawyers are based in Auckland, aside from the ‘approachable, friendly and problem-solverAndrew Monteith, who splits his time with the Wellington office.

Practice head(s):

David GilbertJanine Stewart


‘The team’s strength is its leadership to motivate all their staff to deliver excellent lead advice and services to clients.’

‘Andrew Monteith is approachable, friendly, a problem-solver, who understands our business and provides practical advice.’

‘The team is responsive to our queries. They try to tailor their advice to the circumstances and offer to have meetings in person or virtually so we can understand said advice and issues. Friendly and approachable. Jack McCaw is knowledgeable, providing solid and well-reasoned advice. Holly Hill is approachable, firm and clear with advice. Aware of legal risks and the bigger picture.’

‘The team at MERW combine their collective talents and varying approached to ensure the best outcome for their clients. Matters are openly debated with us to ensure the final approach is appropriate, with ego put to the side. The individuals we work with at Minters have excellent and significant experience across legal disciplines, and with previous employers, so we get the best insight into the matters at hand and potential responses.’

‘The team’s strength is its leadership to motivate all their staff to deliver excellent lead advice and services to clients. Andrew Monteith is approachable, friendly and a problem-solver, who understands our business and provides practical advice.’

‘Very personable team who are experts in their fields but still have the ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner.’

‘Mark Crosbie is always approachable and pleasant to deal with. He has standing and great amount of respect in the industry. Janine Stewart again has great respect in the industry. Mark and Janine are in charge of a very competent team of specialists. Travis Tomlinson and Rebecca Cook have been approachable, accessible and a valuable part of our professional support team when needed.’

Key clients

Kainga Ora–Homes and Communities

Spark New Zealand

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development


Z Energy




Te Tumu Paeroa (Māori Trustee)


The Crown (through the Ministry of Transport and The Treasury New Zealand)


Ports of Auckland

Stride Property




Wellington Gateway Partnership

Auckland District Health Board

Auckland Council

Generus Living Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to implement the Land for Housing Programme, as well as the KiwiBuild Unit at Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities to implement the KiwiBuild “Buying Off the Plans” programme.
  • Acted on the record-breaking sale of premium of 20 Customhouse Quay to Stride Property for NZ$228m – the highest price ever paid for an office building in Wellington.
  • Advised New Zealand’s largest multi-media group, MediaWorks, on the strategic sale of its television broadcast and production business to global entertainment giant Discovery, Inc.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh’s practice covers the full spectrum of construction and real estate work. On the construction side, it is best known for expertise in highly sensitive disputes, project development, procurement and leasing arrangements. In terms of real estate work, the team specialises in high-value capital markets transactions, acquisitions and sales. Ed Crook leads the firm’s front-end construction offering, which is focused primarily on advising institutional property owners relating to major developments across Australia. Polly Pope leads the firm’s contentious mandates, acting for principals, financiers, contractors and consultants in a diverse range of disputes and significant projects. David Butler stands out for his strong track record when advising on complex capital markets transactions and development schemes. Anna Crosbie and Michael Taylor are also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Auckland.

Practice head(s):

Ed Crook; Polly Pope


‘Strong real estate team with great industry experience. Well respected. Provides quality work. The people are great and understand our business well and work to ensure they are able to deliver what we need in the timeframes we require.’

‘Availability, friendliness, ease of advice. Trustworthy and very skilful.’

‘The team is the top real estate team in New Zealand and comparable to any we have dealt with across the globe. They provide high quality work and manage client goals well.’

‘Ed Crook and Dave Butler are excellent leaders and commercially focused lawyers. They are a pleasure to deal with.’

‘When dealing with Russell McVeagh, you have confidence that they will be able to use their significant resources to meet any difficult deadlines and use all of the experience within their firm to give a comprehensive answer. There is also a level of confidence in the legal advice given in that you feel that you can rely upon it to be robust and well considered. This all started when we initially worked with Anna, then transitioned more to David, Natalie and Jeremy.’

‘The team at Russell McVeagh are the best in the market. They are commercial, not pedantic, and don’t draft for the sake of being clever. Focused totally on client’s commercial goals. Ed Crook has laser-sharp intelligence. He cuts to the heart of the issue immediately, is  good humoured and tireless. What makes him different? He can say the right thing with less words. Focuses on being commercial not point-scoring.’

‘Anna Crosbie makes everything look easy; nothing is a problem and she has excellent commercial focus with immense knowledge of the law, being genuine and supremely talented. Natalie Steur has a talented commercial brain alongside excellent client skills. Natalie Sundstrom also has excellent technical and client skills.’

‘A strong team with a number of excellent partners meaning they are the top choice for large or complex jobs. Ed Crook is the best operator in the market and is recognised as such by his peers which can aid negotiations.’

‘The Russell McVeagh real estate and construction team provides high quality, accurate and pragmatic legal advice and legal documents. There is good depth across the team, which is highly collaborative. I value their industry and sector knowledge, and their ability to partner successfully with us to deliver on our objectives. Anna Crosbie is a trusted advisor with excellent technical skills and a sound knowledge of the real estate and construction sectors.’

Key clients

Goodman Property Trust

Oyster Property Group

JP Morgan

Kiwi Property Group

Precinct Properties

Enviro Waste Services Limited

Auckland International Airport


NZ PropCo Limited



Charter Hall

Templeton Group

Cavalier Bremworth

Work highlights

  • Advised JP Morgan Asset Management on the establishment of a joint venture fund, known as Industre Property, to hold the industrial properties currently in Stride Property Group’s portfolio.
  • Advised Logos and a global investor on the acquisition and partial lease back of an approximately 17 hectare industrial site in South Auckland from Toll Networks (NZ) Limited, with an estimated value of the logistic estate being NZ$250m.
  • Advised Charter Hall on the acquisition of a 49% interest in a unit trust which owns BP New Zealand’s portfolio retail sites in New Zealand for an approximate value of NZ$262m.

Simpson Grierson

Simpson Grierson’s ‘pragmatic and commercially sound’ practice has a leading reputation in construction litigation, which is supplemented by broader project development expertise and a focus on the transport sector. To this end, Michael Weatherall is leading on the $1.2bn Central Interceptor Project and Auckland’s $4.4bn City Rail Link. The team also has a strong track record advising buyers, sellers, and developers of real estate, particularly when managing PPPs and OIO land acquisition applications. Michael Wood specialises in commercial infrastructure projects, while Greg Allen has notable experience on land acquisitions, due diligence and corporate transactions across the spectrum of commercial property, along with Nick Wilson. Jo-Anne Knight and Shanti Frater are core members of the firm’s contentious offering, known for representing clients during building-related liability disputes. Tara Wylie made partner in July 2021. All named partners are Auckland-based.


‘Pragmatic and commercially sound legal advice. Prepared to consider alternative solutions and strategies.’

‘Actual industry experience and qualifications. Encyclopaedic knowledge and extensive international experience.’

‘SG offers a wide all round practice with a significant skill base and depth that ensures a thoughtful and through legal response. Their in-house practice is able to support all elements of legal services to provide a robust and commercial outcome. They have a huge resource capacity and are able to offer excellent services in a timely and professional manner.’

‘Richard Lange is a proven litigator; he has excellent skills and focuses on the key aspects of any given case, with an outstanding track record of achieving successful outcomes for clients.’

‘Michael Wood is recognised within the public sector and particularly on the Public Works Act, with a proven track record which is second-to-none in terms of commercial outcomes.’

‘Bill Loutit is also recognised in the New Zealand market as a leader in the RMA area; he has advised the public sector on significant planning matters, particularly around the Auckland Unitary Plan. Bill also is a thoughtful litigator, and has multiple skills, having acted within the Public Works Act area as well.’

Key clients

Fletcher Residential Limited

Auckland Council

City Rail Link Limited

Porirua City Council

Auckland Transport

Scentre Group (Westfield)

Lomai Properties

The Church of Jesus Christ

Hilton Foods New Zealand Limited


Bunnings Limited

Palmerston North City Council

Tauranga City Council

Fletcher Residential Limited

Watercare Services Limited

Christchurch City Council

Waitemata District Health Board

Work highlights

  • Acting for City Rail Link Limited on the City Rail Link Project, having previously acted for Auckland Transport, an Auckland Council-Controlled Organisation, in respect of the same project.
  • Advising Auckland Council, which is conducting the renewal of the Northcote Town Centre on Auckland’s North Shore, a major long-term urban renewal project for the region.
  • Assisted Auckland Council/Panuku Development Auckland (as applicant) in obtaining consents for the necessary infrastructure which enabled Auckland to hold the 36th America’s Cup in March 2021.

Thompson Blackie Biddles

Clients suggest the ‘hard-working, personable and reliableThompson Blackie Biddles boutique real estate practice is ‘at the forefront of commercial property law’ in New Zealand. It specialises in high-end matters ranging from acquisitions to development projects, with a client roster featuring institutional and multinational property companies, as well as private equity funds. Sam Greenwood and Greg Thompson are leading for Precinct Properties Holdings on the negotiation and implementation of tenant lease agreements at the new $1bn Commercial Bay Tower and No. 1 Queen Street project in Auckland, scheduled for completion in 2023. Greenwood, Thompson and other name partners James Blackie and Joe Biddles – an ‘excellent leader in the legal community’ – are the firm’s key contacts, with collectively, decades of high-end commercial experience.

Other key lawyers:

David Simpson


‘In-depth knowledge of complex property issues, but also happy to deal with normal day-to-day issues.’

‘Sam Greenwood has excellent knowledge and quickly understands any issues; good at identifying solutions. David Simpson does a lot of the hands-on work, also good knowledge and prompt communication.’

‘The team are specialist real estate lawyers at the forefront of commercial property law in New Zealand. They also bring a strong commercial focus to any transaction.’

‘They are hard-working, personable and reliable.’

‘Strong real estate team with great industry experience. Well-respected. Provides quality work. The people are great and understand business well and work to ensure they are able to deliver what is needed in the timeframes required.’

‘Availability, friendliness, ease of advice. Trustworthy and very skilful.’

‘An excellent legal practice that has specialized understanding of the commercial real estate market. Very collaborative and proactive in resolving both commercial and legal aspects of a transaction.’

‘Joe Biddles is an excellent leader in the legal community. He has fostered a great team who in their own right will become leaders in the field of commercial property law over the course of time.’

Key clients

Precinct Properties Holdings Limited (NZX listed)

Kiwi Property Group Limited (NZX listed)

Stride Property (NZX listed)

Investore Property (NZX listed)

Todd Property

Robt. Jones Holdings Limited

Oyster Property

KKR / Oyster Property JV

Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MYR listed)

Fife Capital

Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited

Lion – Beer Spirits and Wine (NZ) Limited

Roxy Pacific

Trust Investments Management

Hallenstein Bros. Limited / Glassons Limited (NZX listed)

McConnell Property

Blackstone/151 Property

Te Arawa Group

Ariadne Marinas Oceania Pty Limited/Orams Group Limited

Fort Hill Property Ltd

Tim Glasson/Sabina Limited

Krukziener Property

Wendy’s Restaurants

Capital Group

Newcrest Group

Lamont Group

Mansons TCLM

Wilshire Property Group

Ngati Whatua Orakei

Ngati Whatua O Kaipara Whenua

Goodman Property Trust (NZX listed)

Wyborn Group

Higgins Family Holdings Limited/Frances Holdings Limited

Ladstone Holdings Limited

Spotlight Group

Silverfin Property

UPC Group


Work highlights

  • Acting for Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhard (MRCB) with respect to New Zealand’s first comprehensive over-station development of Auckland Council prepaid leasehold land at Aotea Station, with an estimated $450m value.
  • Advising Oyster Industrial Fund on the creation, fundraising and acquisition process involved in establishing a property fund of circa $300m.
  • Acting for One Whitmore Street LP in the development and leasing to BNZ of Wellington’s newest premium commercial office tower.

Tompkins Wake

Clients appreciate the ‘good quality advice’ on offer from Tompkins Wake‘s practice, which assists with new domestic developments from the retail and residential sectors. Scott Ratuki leads on its commercial side and heads the team alongside local government specialist Peter Duncan, who specialises in property and real estate mandates. Both are based from the firm’s Hamilton office alongside other key names Peter Fanning and Kate Searancke. Other areas of recent focus include Public Works Act-related acquisitions, disposals and leasing issues, while the ‘approachable’ Campbell Stewart has experience handling Overseas Investment Office and Emissions Trading Scheme compliance.

Practice head(s):

Scott Ratuki; Peter Duncan


‘Partners collaborate well to utilise their individual unique skills for the benefit of clients.’

‘Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of new legislative changes in their specific area. Being abreast of potential changes. Providing commercial introductions when appropriate and beneficial for both parties.’

‘People don’t over-engineer the process. Good quality advice.’

‘Campbell Stewart from the property team is very approachable. Happy to discuss issues over phone and take ownership to resolve them rather than spend time writing emails.’

Key clients

Stark Property

AFI Investments

Perjuli Developments Limited

FDL Tamahere Limited

Hamilton City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised the Stark Property Group on the $110m redevelopment and sale of the Hamilton Shopping Precinct.
  • Advised Hamilton City Council on a highly complex Public Works Act acquisition involving unique betterment issues.
  • Advised AFI Investments Limited on a $160m transformational development mixed-use commercial office, retail and lifestyle project that will substantially transform the southern end of the Hamilton City CBD.

Wynn Williams

At Wynn Williams, the construction team is predominantly known for a strong litigation practice, although it also handles front-end matters involving the drafting and negotiation of build contracts. To complement the firm's expertise in finance, business structuring, resource management, employment and regulatory compliance, clients – which include domestic contractors, developers and engineering companies – are offered a highly comprehensive service.