Mr David Shillson > Dentons Kensington Swan > Wellington, New Zealand > Lawyer Profile

Dentons Kensington Swan
PO BOX 10246
New Zealand

Work Department

Corporate and Commercial law, Insolvency and Restructuring




David is a senior partner in our corporate and commercial team. He has over 30 years’ experience he has considerable expertise in transactional work involving mergers and acquisitions, investment structuring and in advising on risk and governance issues that arise. He is a highly-respected and trusted partner to both business and public entities.

He advises listed and unlisted companies (locally and internationally), central and local government, and a wide variety of business organisations on a range of complex matters that impact an organisation. He has particular expertise in transactions in the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors.

David regularly advises on asset and share transactions and has transactional expertise in the Takeovers Code and New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Regulations. When advising on such transactions he will often have responsibility for undertaking and project managing legal due diligence of the business, assets and/or shares being sold or acquired and provide advice on the funding and structuring of such transactions and investment vehicle.

In corporate finance matters David’s experience includes equity and debt raising, asset finance, receivables and trade finance and restructuring & insolvency. He acts for borrowers, financiers and receivers in assessing stressed businesses and assets and in developing strategies for realisations and managing risk.

For local authorities and council owned organisations, David often provides legal guidance on significant commercial projects which relate to infrastructure and services provided to communities. He has an active practice in the sector, with insights of the issues relating to governance of local authorities and the funding models available to them.


David is a member of INSOL New Zealand and the Institute of Directors.


LLB, Victoria University of Welington (1981) LLM, (Hons, First Class), Victoria University of Wellington (1995) Admission date: June 1981

Lawyer Rankings

New Zealand > Corporate and M&A

(Leading individuals)

David ShillsonDentons Kensington Swan

Dentons Kensington Swan full service firm is singled out in the market for its Asia- Pacific expertise, and its strong ties with Chinese and Japanese entities, particularly in relation to in-bound investments and acquisitions. Heida Donegan ’s presence as Head of Asia Business and Korean speaker Wook Jin Lee  cross-border transactional expertise, has contributed to the growth of its Asian-based client portfolio. M&A expert Chris Parke  heads the practice from Auckland, which is strengthened by David Lewis ‘ 30 years’ experience in high-end M&A transactions, company law and restructuring. He has developed a speciality in regulatory and commercial issues relating to medicines, medical devices and primary healthcare. Nick Scott  is also a central figure in Auckland. Wellington based David Shillson regularly advises on asset and share transactions. He is also instructed by government departments and local authorities in relation to significant commercial projects relating to infrastructure and services provided to communities. The firm also supports Māori businesses with regard to the full range of Māori legal issues.

New Zealand > Restructuring and insolvency

Dentons Kensington Swan has an impressive portfolio of banks, trade creditors, directors and insolvency practitioners, among them ANZ, HSBC, Deloitte and KPMG, and Borrelli Walsh. The practice works closely with the construction and major projects department to assist with debt recovery and enforcement work, as well as priority disputes and voidable transactions. In addition, it advises on distressed debt acquisitions and restructurings. Practice head James McMillan  advises across a comprehensive range of administration, receivership and liquidation-related issues. Banking partner Liz Lim in Auckland and David Shillson , based in Wellington, are also of note.