The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Kensington Swan

18 VIADUCT HARBOUR AVE, PRIVATE BAG 92101, AUCKLAND 1142, NEW ZEALAND
Tel:
Work +64 9 379 4196
Fax:
Fax +64 9 309 4276
Email:
Web:
www.kensingtonswan.com
Auckland, Wellington

New Zealand

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Kensington Swan

At Kensington Swan, Nicole Xanthopol, who is co-head of the Auckland office, has more than 25 years’ experience advising banks, corporates, trustees and local authorities on banking and finance matters. She specialises in complex transactions including leveraged acquisitions, projects, restructurings and debt capital markets issuances. Key partner Katie Carson joined DLA Piper New Zealand, but Xanthopol has support from Wellington-based partners Gerald Fitzgerald and David Shillson, whose practices cover finance, restructuring, insolvency and corporate work. She recently acted for ANZ Bank on the NZ$22m financing of a retirement village development for Northbridge Lifecare Trust, and advised a leading bank on the leveraged financing of the acquisition of a laboratory supply business by a scientific technology solutions provider.

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 3

Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan is known for its combination of expertise, experience and value for money. David Lewis leads the team in Auckland and he acted for Scottish Pacific Group Limited on the AUD293m listing of shares on ASX. Nick Scott acted for Whānau Tahi Limited on the purchase of SimplHealth Solutions and MBBO Holdings. Chris Parke led the firm’s work for Temp Holdings, alongside Allen & Overy’s Singapore office, regarding the expansion of its North Asia joint venture with TS Kelly Workforce Solutions. The co-heads of the Wellington team are Martin Dalgleish and David Shillson, who advised Range International Holdings on its ASX listing. Also recommended are Gerald Fitzgerald for mergers and acquisitions, overseas investment, corporate governance, debt financing and equity; head of the Maori business team Deborah Edmunds; and senior associate Aaron Patience, who leads the firm’s growing Japan practice.

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan’s broad litigation practice covers corporate, civil, construction and infrastructure, employment, IP, insurance and Maori treaty settlement disputes. Practice head David Campbell in Auckland focuses on civil and commercial litigation and he recently acted for a leading international healthcare company in claims arising from alleged failures in its products. Hayden Wilson in Wellington advises many clients on public sector disputes. He acted for Serco Asia Pacific in High Court proceedings following allegations by the chief executive of the Department of Corrections of organised fights at the Mt Eden Corrections Facility. He helped to manage the internal inquiry, the response to the official investigation, the judicial review and other matters relating to the company’s 25-year, NZ$300m contract to run two private prisons.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Kensington Swan

Jenni Rutter in Auckland and Charlotte Henley in Wellington lead the team at Kensington Swan. Both have more than 20 years’ experience advising global brands on IP matters. Rutter manages the New Zealand trade mark portfolios of brands such as Lindt, Tiffany and Co, and Cisco. Her highlights included advising plaintiff Lewis Road Creamery in a High Court action for trade mark infringement, passing off and breaches of the Fair Trading Act against dairy company Fonterra. The case centres on Fonterra’s use of similar product packaging for a new premium milk range launched in late 2016. Henley handles portfolio management and enforcement matters for clients such as Tourism NZ, Shott Beverages and eHarmony. She worked with Rutter to secure protection of Kellogg Company’s shape trade mark for Nutri-Grain cereal, the application having been opposed by Nestlé. For Tourism NZ, Henley advised on the strategy for a refiling programme for its revamped logo in more than 15 countries.

[back to top]

Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan is ‘one of the best firms in this area of work’. Experienced funds management partner Catriona Grover and the financial services team provide ‘excellent and well-priced advice on time and without the hype’. David Ireland has 25 years’ experience in the mutual funds space and is a seasoned adviser on regulatory reforms. The firm is regarded one of the market leaders in the regulation of discretionary investment management services and acts for several of the major non-bank participants in this space. Its clients include Guardian Trust and Mercer Investments, and the firm advises many Maori organisations on investment management arrangements. A highlight for the team was its work on the amalgamation of 24 unit trusts, with a total value of NZ$2bn, into a single scheme for AMP Wealth Management. In another key deal, the firm acted for AMP and New Zealand Guardian Trust in the establishment of new funds in compliance with the Financial Markets Conduct Act.

Leading individuals

Catriona Grover - Kensington Swan

David Ireland - Kensington Swan

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 2

Kensington Swan

Managing partner Anthony Drake, who co-leads the Kensington Swan employment and industrial law team from Auckland, is ‘a very experienced practitioner who is highly regarded in employment law circles’. Team co-head Michael O’Brien in Wellington advises large corporates such as Qantas Airways on strategic employment matters. Clients also recommend health and safety specialists Grant Nicholson in Auckland and, in Wellington, Greg Cain. Cain defended New Zealand Transport Agency in Employment Court and Employment Relations Authority proceedings against allegations of breaching a collective bargaining agreement. O’Brien acted for the Order of St John on strategic matters, including collective bargaining negotiations with five different unions. The team also defended an application for interim reinstatement of a parking officer for Auckland Transport, and advised Broadspectrum on an investigation by WorkSafe New Zealand and prosecution under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Burt - Kensington Swan

[back to top]

Projects and resource management (including environment)
Projects and resource management (including environment) - ranked: tier 2

Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan is involved in many high-profile projects, especially in Auckland, and has played a role in every PPP in New Zealand to date. In Auckland, projects specialist and managing partner Paul Buetow, public works expert Matthew Ockleston, environment and planning expert Christina Sheard, corporate partner Chris Parke and newly hired special counsel Marija Batistich play key roles in the practice. In Wellington, environment and planning specialist Nicky McIndoe and office head David Shillson are highly recommended. The team advised the NZ$1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund on the preparation of development agreements for new housing projects. Another highlight saw Parke and Buetow act for Tamaki Redevelopment Phase 1 in a NZ$200m social housing project that will involve the redevelopment of a significant site in central Auckland.

[back to top]

Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

Kensington Swan

At Kensington Swan, the real estate team comprises the vastly experienced John Meads and Ish Fraser in Wellington and Auckland-based Matthew Ockleston, who is best known for advising on the Public Works Act and infrastructure projects. Meads advised the Government Property Group on the Wellington Accommodation Project, which included issues arising from the Kaikoura earthquake that left many government departments without accommodation for staff during the refurbishment of key buildings. Ockleston acted for New Zealand Transport Agency in property acquisitions for the project to improve State Highway 1. The construction team in Auckland consists of infrastructure projects specialist Paul Buetow, industry veterans Chris Booth and Stuart Robertson and newly hired Brendan Cash from Bell Gully. Buetow’s key matters included advising Hawaiki Submarine Cable New Zealand on construction contracts for onshore landing stations for an undersea internet cabling project.

Leading individuals

John Meads - Kensington Swan

Next generation lawyers

Helen Brown - Kensington Swan

[back to top]

Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Kensington Swan

At Kensington Swan, banking and finance partner Nicole Xanthopol and insolvency and litigation specialist James McMillan lead the team from Auckland. The firm has strong relationships with insolvency practitioners and banks, including ANZ Bank, Bank of New Zealand and HSBC. McMillan acted for BDO Auckland as the receivers of marine industry business Hall NZ Ltd. The firm also advised David Petterson as liquidator of PPS, which involved an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning orders by the Court of Appeal that David Browne Contractors Limited and David Browne Mechanical Limited repay to the company sums that had been paid pursuant to transactions that had been set aside by default.

[back to top]

TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Kensington Swan

Hayley Miller at Kensington Swan in Auckland is a technology and commercial partner specialising in IT, telecoms, privacy, IP, outsourcing and commercial supply and procurement. She advised Crown Fibre Holdings on the drafting of ultra-fast broadband network infrastructure project agreements. Senior associate Peter Fernando in Wellington is recommended for his in-depth knowledge of IT, procurement and outsourcing. The firm assisted ContainerCo (NZL) with the implementation of its online booking system, which included the drafting of online booking terms. The team also acts for Tourism New Zealand on ICT projects, which last year included the procurement of a new system to enable online reporting by the public relations team.

Next generation lawyers

Peter Fernando - Kensington Swan

[back to top]

Transport (rail, road, air and sea)
Transport (rail, road, air and sea) - ranked: tier 3

Kensington Swan

Kensington Swan’s multidisciplinary team advises on infrastructure development, corporate transactions, planning and property matters that stem from transport projects. In Auckland, infrastructure projects partner Paul Buetow is heavily involved in major developments in the road and rail sectors. Finance partner Nicole Xanthopol and property partner Matthew Ockleston are also recommended. Resource management specialist Christina Sheard advises many infrastructure providers, councils and private sector clients. She is working with Wellington-based head of environmental and planning Nicky McIndoe on the Northern Corridor Improvements project, which involves the construction of a new direct motorway-to-motorway connection on the North Shore of Auckland. In Wellington, corporate and commercial partners David Shillson and Chris Parke play key roles in the team.

[back to top]


Further information on Kensington Swan

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Kensington Swan in other jurisdictions.

New Zealand

Offices in Wellington and Auckland

Legal Developments in New Zealand

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to