Lane Neave > Christchurch, New Zealand > Firm Profile

Lane Neave
PO BOX 13 - 149
New Zealand

New Zealand > Labour and employment Tier 2

Working across offices in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown, Lane Neave’s national practice advises clients on a range of matters pertaining to employment law, health and safety issues, ACC and HR mandates. The team expanded its offering with the hire of Wellington-based Andy Bell through the firm’s merger with dispute resolution boutique Bell & Co in January 2022. Bell, who has experience in employment mediations and regularly appears as counsel before the Employment Relations Authority, leads the practice alongside Christchurch-based managing partner Andrew Shaw, and Fiona McMillan, who operates from the Auckland office. Shaw regularly receives referrals from the New Zealand Law Society for vulnerable claimants, while McMillan ‘leads by example’, advising employers on a broad range of employment matters, from disciplinary cases to collective bargaining.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Shaw; Fiona McMillan; Andy Bell

Other key lawyers:

Gwen Drewitt; Maria Green


‘As a client you feel respected and are provided with the best advice from experts. The team are approachable, have a sense of humour, reliable and deliver a great customer service.’

‘Fiona McMillan is a great leader, creates a positive work environment, leads by example, mentors and continually supports the teams development.’

‘Alex Bell has been great to work with and is very responsive to queries. Andrew Shaw’s knowledge and fast pick-up of situations is reassuring – he’s seen it all before!’

‘Andrew Shaw is highly regarded, experienced and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Blair Mill NZ Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Blair Mill NZ Holdings on New Zealand employment and health and safety law, in relation to a share-purchase by an Australasian entity, Tree Scape.
  • Acted for an individual on a complex application for leave to appeal an unfavourable decision of the Employment Court to the Court of Appeal.
  • Defending a teacher in a hearing of a disciplinary charge before the New Zealand Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

New Zealand > Banking and finance Tier 3

Lane Neave’s ‘strength is in its team, which is smaller and more tight-knit, but they are able to provide services to their customers that rivals the big firms, with a personal touch’. Based in Auckland, the practice has demonstrable experience in structured finance, securitisation and receivables financing transactions, and acts as ‘trusted advisors’ to local banks and other financial institutions on property and development funding matters. Praised as ‘commercial, technically excellent and responsive’, Evelyn Jones leads the team, and has expertise in off-balance sheet financing and securitisation, as well as advising many of the practice’s clients on regulatory compliance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Evelyn Jones


‘Great practitioners, especially Evelyn Jones, who is commercial, technically excellent and responsive.’

‘Evelyn Jones takes a truly relationship-based approach to her work. She is a trusted advisor for our Australian-law transactions with a New Zealand-law leg.’

‘Lane Neave has a small but good B&F team. They have a breadth of expertise from transactional through to regulatory compliance.’

‘Evelyn Jones is a trusted advisor on property development financing transactions.’

‘Speed of solution delivery is second to none and they have a pragmatic way of dealing with issues.’

‘Evelyn Jones always finds a way to deliver a solution that will work for all parties and keeps the end client in sight. She responds to queries very quickly and care of the client is always front of mind.’

‘Lane Neave’s strength is in its team, which is smaller and more tight-knit, but they are able to provide services to their customers that rivals the big firms, with a personal touch.’

‘Evelyn Jones has become a trusted advisor in banking and finance legal matters. While clearly very knowledgeable and up-to-date on legal matters, the real value-add is her understanding and appreciation of the drivers/quirks of both her customer’s businesses, and indeed their customer’s businesses too.’

Key clients

Bank of New Zealand

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Bank of China

China Construction Bank

Vincent Securities Limited

Fisher Funds Management Limited

Unity Credit Union

Public Trust and New Zealand Permanent Trustees Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Service Foods Limited on the restructuring its debt facilities with its banking syndicate.
  • Advised ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited on its funding of the acquisition of a shopping centre located in Christchurch.
  • Advised Bank of New Zealand as the senior warehouse financier to the Harmoney Warehouse securitisation trust.

New Zealand > Dispute resolution Tier 3

One client praises Lane Neave as ‘an absolute go-to firm for litigation and insolvency advice in the South Island, no matter how large or complex the case is’. In the firm’s Christchurch office, ‘outstanding lawyer and court advocateBen Russell, who leads the team, advises clients on a range of commercial issues, from contentious contract and property matters to trusts, insurance, insolvency and shareholder disputes. The Christchurch office is also home to Rebecca Scott, an ‘impressive talent on the rise’ who has experience in litigation concerning electricity and agribusiness issues, as well as consultant Simon Clay. In Auckland, special counsel Hayley McKee joined the team from Meredith Connell in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ben Russell

Other key lawyers:


‘Rebecca Scott is smart, strategic, pragmatic, tough, but very personable with clients. She is an impressive talent on the rise.’

‘A strong South Island practice. An absolute go-to firm for litigation and insolvency advice in the South Island, no matter how large or complex the case is.’

‘Ben Russell is really coming into his stride, leading a strong litigation team.’

‘The Lane Neave dispute resolution team are technically excellent, but what marks them out is their absolute focus on achieving their client’s preferred outcome, whether that be a “principled” outcome or a commercially pragmatic one’

‘They have an excellent team, a good depth of knowledge and smart tools to isolate core information. Delivery of solutions is well-documented, strategy well-thought and results celebrated.’

‘Most of my dealings are with Ben Russell, who is an outstanding lawyer and court advocate.’

‘Smart, well-educated and very approachable.’

‘Ben Russell was excellent to deal with, personable, accommodating and thoroughly across the issues and invested in the case.’

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers (Christchurch)

Ernst & Young Ltd

Grantleigh Farm Limited

Westland District Council

Wellington International Airport Limited

North Ridge Living No. 3 Limited

Trustees Executors Limited

Bathurst Resources Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the liquidators of Chesterfields Preschools Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, in litigation involving the company’s director and the company’s creditor, the Inland Revenue Department.
  • Represented the liquidator of Rilean Construction (Central Otago) Limited and sought directions from the High Court, to be appointed receiver of a subcontractor retentions fund held by Rilean.
  • Successfully represented the Mayor and CEO of Westland District Council in a defamation claim against two individual defendants in the High Court.

New Zealand > Investment funds Tier 3

Counting NZX-affiliated brokers, non-bank deposit takers, financial institutions, investment managers, registered banks and commercial property syndicate managers among its key roster of clients, Lane Neave has demonstrable experience in structuring and establishing managed investment schemes. Based in Christchurch, practice leader Claire Evans gives clients ‘confidence in the firm’s ability to provide comprehensive and appropriate advice’ on limited partnerships and investment funds, and is frequently supported by associate Alex Stone. The practice is well-placed to advise on all aspects of capital raising, investment and financial markets law.

Practice head(s):

Claire Evans

Other key lawyers:


‘For investment funds engagements, the Lane Neave team worked to tight deadlines and helped push the engagements forward. They provided a very quick turnaround on documents and were focused on enabling us to achieve the right outcomes.’

‘Claire Evans gave us confidence in the firm’s ability to provide comprehensive and appropriate advice to the detail we required.’

‘Alex Stone was able to deliver appropriate advice and documents to tight deadlines and made himself available where required at short notice to support various engagements.’

Key clients

Williams Corporation Capital Limited

Williams Corporation Capital Partnership LP

WC Syndicate Alpha LP

Source Capital Limited

New Zealand Public Trust

Unity Credit Union

Erskine and Owen (Westland Property Syndicate LP, NZ Daycare Properties Fund LP and E+O Healthcare Properties Fund LP)

Hashbane Interactive Limited

Syft Technologies Limited

Pegasus Health (Charitable) Limited

Zincovery Process Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Erskine and Owen as the issuer for the establishment of three wholesale commercial property funds being Westland Property Syndicate LP, NZ Daycare Properties Fund LP and E+O Healthcare Properties Fund LP.
  • Acted for a New Zealand property developer in establishing a wholesale finance company through a $126m offer of redeemable preference shares.
  • Acted for Unity Credit Union in relation to its continuous issuer obligations under a regulated offer.

New Zealand > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

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

Practice head(s):

Claire Evans

Other key lawyers:


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

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

‘A strong South Island corporate and commercial team.’

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

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

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

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

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

Key clients

Banyan Software Holdings LLC

Bathurst Resources Limited

BT Mining Limited

Pegasus Health (Charitable) Limited

Unity Credit Union

Williams Corporation Capital Limited

Woolworths New Zealand Limited

Synlait Milk Limited

Brown Brothers Engineering Limited

Zincovery Process Technologies Limited

Covenant Trustee Services Limited

LMS Energy Limited

Hashbane Interactive Limited

New Zealand Public Trust

Work highlights

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

New Zealand > Projects and resources management (including environment) Tier 4

Lane Neave’s ‘dedicated and knowledgeable’ practice advises on changes to regional and district planning document and plan reviews, in addition to resource management issues relating to mining projects and appeals before the Environment Court. ‘Outstanding’ practice leader Joshua Leckie divides his time between the firm’s Queenstown and Auckland offices, advising on development projects under the Resource Management Act. Leckie is supported by a a team that includes Christchurch-based senior associate Annabel Hawkins, and the Auckland-based special counsel Katharine Hockly and senior associate Sarah Anderton, the latter of whom joined from Bell Gully in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Leckie


‘A leading team in the environment space, especially when it comes to mining.’

‘Joshua Leckie is an outstanding partner, who is well regarded for his work in the environment space.’

‘Highly effective practice, cost efficient and knowledgable.’

‘The Lane Neave resource management team is incredible. They are dedicated and knowledgeable. It is always a pleasure to work with them and they look after their clients very well. Their work is efficient, high quality, focused and always on point.’

‘Joshua Leckie is always available to give efficient and focused advice. He has a great understanding of our values and goes the extra mile to ensure we feel supported and well-resourced. Josh is down to earth and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Katharine Hockley is intelligent, savvy and gives thoughtful and thorough advice. Katharine is kind, practical, and also ensures we feel well supported.’

‘They make a real effort to understand and work with our business needs.’

Key clients

Bathurst Resources Limited and BT Mining Limited

Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited

Woolworths New Zealand Limited

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Remarkables Station Limited

University of Otago

Bluesky Pastures Limited

Shundi Queenstown Limited

Kapiti Retail Holdings Limited

Blackthorn Limited

Trojan Holdings Limited

Williams Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing resource consenting advice to Kapiti Retail Holdings Limited and Woolworths New Zealand Limited on a new supermarket development in Kāpiti.
  • Acting for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in proceedings related to the Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan and the High Court litigation concerning the Otago Regional Policy Statement.
  • Represented Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited in an Environment Court appeal resolution process successfully obtaining rezoning for an additional area of Ski Area Subzone, adjacent to its existing ski field operation.

Lane Neave is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading full-service tier 1 law firms, with 24 partners and over 150 staff nationwide. We provide legal services to clients throughout New Zealand.

Founded in 1868, we combine the capability of our specialist legal expertise with our significant depth of resources, focusing on delivering personalised legal service to create close and long-lasting client relationships.

Committed to solving legal problems and realising opportunities, we have the necessary experience, intellectual firepower and commercial pragmatism to deliver results to all our clients, from multinational corporates to small business owners and individuals.

Many of our partners are recognised by Legal 500, Chambers and Partners, Doyles and Best Lawyer. Lane Neave is one of the few law firms selected by the New Zealand Government to provide legal services under an All of Government procurement programme. The firm is a member of the International Commercial Law Alliance (ICLA).

Practice areas: Lane Neave has the depth of expertise and experience to really make a difference to businesses. The firm will give decisive, strategic advice on everything from day to day transactions to complex legal cases.

The team have the level of experience required to deal with the complexities involved in each area of personal law. The firm will deliver real clarity and take the lead in ensuring its clients get the best outcome.

The firm’s specialisms include:

  • Banking and finance
  • Building and construction
  • Commercial property
  • Competition, consumer and marketing
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Dispute resolution and litigation
  • Environmental investment funds and capital markets mergers and acquisitions
  • Insolvency and restructuring
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual property
  • Local government
  • Resource management
  • Technology, data protection and privacy
  • Workplace law (employment, health and safety, ACC and immigration)

Details of all Lane Neave’s practice areas are available on the website –

Employment Andrew 29 244 9001
CEO Peter 21 888 290
Ben Russell photo Ben RussellBen is a dispute resolution specialist with broad experience in commercial litigation…
Anna Ryan photo Anna RyanAnna specialises in corporate and commercial law and leads Lane Neave’s competition…
Rebecca Scott photo Rebecca ScottRebecca is a Partner in Lane Neave’s dispute resolution and litigation team.…
Andrew Shaw photoMr Andrew ShawAndrew is the Managing Partner of Lane Neave and he heads the…
International Commercial Law Alliance (ICLA)