MinterEllisonRuddWatts > Wellington, New Zealand > Firm Profile

MinterEllisonRuddWatts
125 THE TERRACE
WELLINGTON
New Zealand

New Zealand > Banking and finance Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is highly regarded for its representation of leading domestic and international banks such as KiwiBank, HSBC and Bank of China on top-end acquisition finance matters, project and real estate financing. The Auckland office is home to Steve Gallaugher, who leads the leveraged and institutional finance practice, and Kate Lane who is renowned for her expertise in corporate finance and in the fast-developing area of ESG bonds. Property finance specialist Michael Langdon is another key name, as is special counsel Simon Gray and senior associate Marie Kissick . Based in Wellington, Chris O’Brien acts for public sector entities, and is a trusted advisor to the New Zealand Government Treasury. He continues to acts for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Enterprise on a series of loans advanced out of the Provincial Growth Fund.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘One factor that makes this team stand out for me is that they deeply understand our business and our industry, and that really enhances their ability to combine legal guidance with a keen commercial awareness. Above others, they are the firm that will raise with us broader implications for our business not just from regulatory change but also in relation to any given piece of work they are assisting us with.’

‘Kate Lane stands out as someone who has a real interest in understanding the commercial drivers behind any piece of work and is quickly able to combine that understanding with her obvious legal expertise to drive an efficient result. With any piece of work, Kate will always consider the broader legal implications for our business and flag these, making her a valuable adviser for our business.’

Key clients

ANZ Bank

Westpac Bank

Bank of New Zealand

ASB Bank Limited

Kiwibank Limited

The Treasury New Zealand

Synlait Milk

Refining New Zealand

MediaWorks

Work highlights

  • Advised the MLAs on arranging and funding the underwritten facilities to fund Infratil’s acquisition of the Pacific Radiology Group (with an ascribed EV of $870m).
  • Advised Wellington Gateway Partnership on the complex resettlement of the Transmission Gully PPP roading project.
  • Advised the banking syndicate, comprised of ANZ, ICBC and Westpac, on their financing of the Industre Property Group (a joint venture between Stride Property Limited, listed on the NZX, and a group of international investors, advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management).

New Zealand > Competition law Tier 1

Highly regardedMinterEllisonRuddWatts stands out for its breadth of capabilities in competition law, advising on merger clearance applications and oppositions, often with a trans-Tasman element, and behavioural enforcement matters. Renowned market figure in Auckland, Ross Patterson spearheads the practice with over 30 years’ expertise acting in the highest profile merger clearances, authorisations and Commerce Commission investigations. Jennifer Hambleton is the other key name in the same office; she focuses on contentious and regulatory matters. In Wellington, Sarah Salmond undertakes regulatory work across the retail, consumer goods, telecoms and energy sectors. Oliver Meech departed to the Commerce Commission in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Highly regarded firm who attract the best.’

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

Key clients

Refining NZ

Viagogo AG

ANZ Bank

Television New Zealand

Trustpower

2Degrees

Assa Abloy New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Refining NZ on competition law aspects of its ongoing negotiations with its refinery customers in relation to a possible transition of its refinery from a toll refinery operation to an import terminal operation.
  • Advising Viagogo AG in relation to the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s proceedings against viagogo under the Fair Trading Act.
  • Acting for Assa Abloy in relation to its application for New Zealand Commerce Commission clearance of its proposed acquisition of New Zealand Fire Doors Limited.

New Zealand > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is held in high esteem for its ‘coordinated and responsive team’, great bench strength‘ and prominent market position handling a wide range of M&A, joint ventures, corporate governance and ECM transactions. As one of New Zealand’s best known commercial and ECM lawyers, Silvana Schenone, is sought after by leading domestic businesses such as New Zealand Merino, who she advised on its capital raising. Also in the Auckland office, Mark Stuart and Mark Forman have significant experience in corporate acquisitions, private equity and capital markets experience. Both have supported Advised Healthscope on the sale of its New Zealand pathology business, Asia Pacific Healthcare Group. Neil Millar and Cathy Quinn are also highly regarded in the market while rising star senior associate Igor Drinkovic works alongside key partners in Auckland. Rodney Craig leads the Wellington corporate practice. In September 2021, Cameron Taylor left the practice to head the corporate department at EY.    

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Great bench strength. Highly coordinated and responsive team. Involved in most significant transactions in the NZ market.’

‘The Corporate M&A practice at MERW is very plugged into the market and able to give insights and trends which are very useful commercially. They knit together relationships – a unique skill.’

‘Highly commercial and attuned to the dynamic of the deal. Mark Forman and Silvana Schenone are two of NZ’s leading commercial lawyers. It’s rare to be able to refer to a lawyer as a “dealmaker” but they both thoroughly deserve that description.’

Key clients

Infratil

Brookfield Asset Management

Essity Group Holdings

Ngai Tahu Holdings and Tainui Group Holdings

Tower

E & J Gallo Winery

The Warehouse Group

The New Zealand Refining Company Limited

MediaWorks Holdings Limited

The New Zealand Merino Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Worked with MinterEllison Australia to advise Essity Aktiebolag, listed in the Swedish stock exchange, on its acquisition of ASX listed Asaleo Care Limited (Asaleo) for approx. AU$788m.
  • Acted for The Treasury on the provision of an up to $150m equity injection from New Zealand Post’s shareholder to recapitalise and strengthen reserves of New Zealand Post from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
  • Advised listed company Infratil on the offers received from AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, to acquire 100% of the shares in Infratil by way of a scheme of arrangement for a consideration of approximately $5.4bn.

New Zealand > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The ‘technically excellent, commercially savvy‘ and ‘highly responsive‘ team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts are best known for representing New Zealand’s leading corporates, banks, public sector bodies and high-profile individuals in a range of commercial litigation matters, spanning regulatory, white collar crime, insolvency and insurance-related disputes It also has a strong track record in cross-border mandates across the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Auckland, Andrew Horne has 25 years’ experience in disputes within the financial services, technology and telecoms sectors. From the same office, Jane Standage regularly acts on investigations by the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank. Oliver Skilton ‘thinks outside the box‘ and is noted for commercial disputes, as is Nick Frith  for insurance disputes and defending negligence claims against brokers. The Wellington office houses Richard Gordon, whose work encompasses banking disputes, property law and insolvency. Stacey Shortall is recommended for environmental, insurance and white-collar criminal issues. Corporate partner Briony Davies is also central to the team.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Technically excellent, commercially savvy, pragmatic solution experienced focussed people. Highly responsive , very willing to engage and understand the business imperatives and challenges and to work very collaboratively to identify and strategise business solutions and outcomes whilst identifying and addressing the legal risks and requirements.’

‘Briony Davies and Antonia Leggat are an absolute pleasure to work with. They go above and beyond all the time. Their advice is always considered and having to wade through incredibly complex subject matter doesn’t phase them at all.’

‘Richard Gordon’s understanding of our business, responsiveness and the outcomes achieved for us make him stand out. In particular Richard’s guidance on some sensitive negotiations has been extremely valuable.’

‘Oliver Skilton- Super responsive, thinks outside the box, solution focussed. Highly collaborative.’

Key clients

Synlait

Bathurst Resources Limited

ANZ Bank of New Zealand

Refining NZ

BNZ

MacLab

Bank of New Zealand

Viagogo AG

Mainzeal Construction liquidators

Trustpower

Work highlights

  • Advising Synlait in a successful Supreme Court appeal arising from its construction of a $280m dairy processing factory on land that was subject to restrictive covenants, prohibiting its use for purposes other than farming or forestry.
  • Representing Bathurst on a US$40m coal mining rights dispute in one of the most significant contractual cases for New Zealand in recent years, in which the Supreme Court is considering the approach to the admissibility of extrinsic evidence, the distinction between interpretation and implication, and the appropriate test for implication of terms, into commercial contracts.
  • Representing the liquidators in a high profile 8-week trial in the High Court and 1-week appeal in the Court of Appeal against the directors of Mainzeal Property and Construction Ltd, and two related companies for breach of directors’ duties, reckless trading, knowing receipt and transactions for inadequate consideration. Both decisions broke new ground for the approach taken to liability and to the assessment of loss for insolvent trading.

New Zealand > Investment funds Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ impressive client roster includes New Zealand’s leading financial services entities including four of the five largest retail fund managers and the investment management arms of major banks. It is increasingly sought after by international institutions seeking to enter the New Zealand market with innovative financial products and services. It is also increasingly advising on the developing fintech and cryptocurrency spaces advising an exporter of digital token/coin services,  and a number of start-ups. As a funds expert of over 30 years, practice head and ‘seasoned professional’ Lloyd Kavanagh is an authority on governance, investment funds, Fintech incubation, and financial services regulation. Jeremy Muir specialises in fund establishment and private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and property investment. Senior associate Maria Collett-Bevan  and special counsel Alistair Robertson are the other key figures.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Minters have the market leading reputation in the funds management space in NZ, and we felt in safe hands. Their commercial market insights and strong relations with the key regulators meant that they are able to help with key strategic calls as well as legal advice. We also like their pro-active commercial style, and willingness to go the extra mile in client service.’

‘Lloyd Kavanagh is who we primarily work with, across a wide range of key issues. Lloyd is a seasoned professional who combines deep technical knowledge of the NZ law and keen commercial judgement. He is also a pleasure to work with, even under pressure and never loses his dry sense of humour.’

‘Jeremy Muir – very knowledgeable with regard to the PE/VC space in NZ, very approachable and efficient. Great to deal with.’

‘The MinterEllisonRuddWatts team has a market leading reputation in the financial services space in New Zealand, and we trust that their excellent technical advice, coupled with their commercial market insights will result in the best outcome for us.’

‘Lloyd Kavanagh is our principal adviser in the financial services sector at MERW. Lloyd’s technical knowledge and understanding of the regulatory environment is excellent and his AML expertise, in particular, has been invaluable.’

 

Key clients

ANZ Investment Services Limited

Westpac New Zealand Limited

BlackBull Group Limited

TSB Bank

New Zealand Bankers Association

Digital Identity New Zealand

Pioneer Capital Management Limited

Track Back Limited

Work highlights

  • Project Blackpool: Winding up of Bonus Bonds. We advised by ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Limited on all aspects of the closing of its 50-year-old public offer of Bonus Bonds and winding up of the Bonus Bonds managed investment scheme during 2020.
  • Advised Westpac New Zealand on the sale of its retail wealth and financial advisory business to Forsyth Barr (including the transfer of 32 financial advisers) and formation of a strategic partnership between the parties. Under the strategic partnership, Forsyth Barr will provide financial advice to the relevant retail clients, while their transactional and lending needs continue to be serviced by Westpac New Zealand.
  • Acted for Pioneer Capital Management Limited, one of New Zealand’s largest private equity fund managers, on the establishment of Pioneer Capital Partners IV LP, a $300m fund, with significant cornerstone investors including the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund.

New Zealand > Labour and employment Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts operates out of Wellington and Auckland. Wellington practice head Megan Richards has over 30 years’ experience working in employment law across the UK, Australia and New Zealand and applies her international background to assist large foreign and domestic employers in her consultancy and contentious work, often involving investigating and addressing complaints. In Auckland, Gillian Service is praised for her ‘implementable and practical advice’. Her key areas of work include unionised workforces, flexible working practices and the Holidays Act. In the same office, Aaron Lloyd advises on white-collar criminal and regulatory advice and litigation, often connected to employment matters, and June Hardacre is recommended for executive appointments and terminations, restraints of trade and protection of confidential information. Special counsel Emma Warden in Wellington is also noted.

Testimonials

‘Gillian Service has an exceptional team who are able to provide implementable and practical advice.’

‘They have an ability to understand the individual business and provide solutions and guidance that we can easily use. They really go above and beyond to help our business be successful. Gillian Service and June Hardacre are great to work with.’

‘MERW is well connected and have a great understanding of the wider context we are working in. They perform very well in front of the Board and senior management providing clear practical options underpinned by cogent explanations.’

‘The employment law team are fantastic. They were able to provide clear information during Covid at a time when nothing felt clear.’

‘Megan is a smart and pragmatic lawyer. She seems the bigger picture but is able to give me advice that is sensible, balanced and detailed enough I can act on it.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Oranga Tamariki

Crombie Lockwood

IBM

Rabobank

AJ Gallaugher (Crombie Lockwood)

The Royal Commission of Inquiry Into Abuse in State Care

Ventia

American Express

The Warehouse Group

Department of Internal Affairs Zespri Ports of Napier

Work highlights

  • Represented Madison Recruitment as a defendant in a full bench two-week Employment Court worker status hearing under s6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA).
  • Advised Oranga Tamariki on a variety of employment matters involving actual or potential litigation in the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court, including advising on how to manage employees who are breaching their terms of employment or engaging in suspected misconduct and responding to grievances from employees.
  • Successfully advised and partnered with Go Bus on its strategy for collective negotiations in which its focus was to engage with workers and rebuild its relationship with them without the need for the union.

New Zealand > Projects and resources management (including environment) Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts‘ practice works with teams from other disciplines, such as head of real estate David Gilbert and corporate and commercial consultant Paul Foley, to advise on large-scale infrastructure and construction projects, acting for major construction and developer clients, government entities and funders. For the government it acted also as primary advisor on reform of the resource management system, led by environmental and resource management specialist Rachel Devine, as well as assisting with the Covid-19 response regarding fast-tracking environmental consenting. The firm has a focus on project financings, including private project financings in the irrigation sector, with banking and finance partner Steve Gallaugher providing expertise in acquisition finance and refinancings. Sarah Sinclair brings the construction expertise; she worked on the Christchurch Earthquake rebuild projects with fellow construction specialist Travis Tomlinson. Resource management and environmental law specialist Bianca Tree advises on planning and resource consent strategies and is skilled in dispute resolution including before the Environment Court and High Court. Tom Fail left the firm in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Devine; David Gilbert

Testimonials

‘The team is highly competent and works to understand the client’s culture and the outcomes sought. All team members are very approachable and include the client in the legal decisions on the direction to be taken in any case.’

‘The individual team members I deal with are very approachable and always available when needed.’

‘This is a small but highly engaged team that interrelates well both with the client, other project team members and within themselves.’

‘They are motivated to do the best that they can for their client and understand the importance their contribution makes towards the client achieving their business objectives.’

Key clients

Wellington Gateway Partnership

Ministry for the Environment

Department of Internal Affairs

Ports of Auckland Limited

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

Southern Cross Hospitals Limited

Ōtākaro Limited

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Synlait Milk Limited

Kiwi Property

Work highlights

  • Advising Wellington Gateway Partnership on the delivery of the $1.25bn Transmission Gully motorway PPP project – the first PPP procured roading project in New Zealand.
  • Advising Ports of Auckland to achieve its ambitious target to be a zero emissions port by 2040, including acting on several sustainability initiatives, including a hydrogen demonstration project.
  • Appointed by the Ministry for the Environment as the primary legal adviser to the team that will progress comprehensive resource management system reforms over the next two years.

New Zealand > Real estate and construction

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):

Testimonials

‘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

Mediaworks

Z Energy

Westpac

Synlait

Metlifecare

Te Tumu Paeroa (Māori Trustee)

OneFortyOne

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

Ōtākaro

Ports of Auckland

Stride Property

Jacobs

AECOM

Metlifecare

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.

New Zealand > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is a trusted advisor to New Zealand’s major banks and insolvency practitioners as well as an advisor to The Treasury on insolvency and restructuring assignments involving the Crown. It often acts for directors of liquidated companies in response claims alleging breaches of their duties. Asset transfer disputes, distressed debt sales and corporate restructurings are also key areas of activity. Sean Gollin impresses clients with his ‘exceptional technical skills, and very good communication’; he maintains a busy advisory, insolvency and receivership disputes practice. Michael Langdon is a prominent advisor on distressed debt, recovery, restructuring and security enforcement issues. Elsewhere, Wellington-based Richard Gordon is noted for his banking and securities law and voidable transactions-related expertise.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Sean Gollin – exceptional technical skills, and very good communicator.’

‘Simply the level of competence and an ability to cut to the point quickly. This is of course built up over the course of a relationship. Richard Gordon is excellent to deal with.’

‘A cohesive and diverse team, well-led and focused. They integrate well with other areas of the firm to provide timely, seamless and appropriate advice.’

‘Lead Partner, Sean Gollin, is calm and reassuring. When required, access is not an issue, and long hours by Sean and his focussed team are a given.’

Key clients

Bank of New Zealand

Westpac New Zealand

ASB Bank

ANZ Bank New Zealand

Kiwibank

BDO

KPMG

Rabobank

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bank of New Zealand on the enforcement of its security over a number of entities comprising the James Bull Group, which had a long-established presence in agribusiness with significant holdings in New Zealand and Australia.
  • Advised JUCY Group and then its receivers, Calibre Partners, on a variety of matters relating to the Jucy Rentals business following the impact of COVID-19.
  • Acted for Westpac New Zealand Limited on the enforcement of its security over a number of companies in one of New Zealand’s largest stone and pip fruit processing and supply businesses – the Sunfruit Group, which supplied major supermarkets throughout the country under the “Pickme” brand.

New Zealand > Tax Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is particularly experienced in advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, while its equally strong litigation team is adept at handling tax disputes with the New Zealand Inland Revenue. Clients additionally praise it as the ‘best private equity tax team in New Zealand’. Transfer pricing, financial services and investment fund transactions and warranty insurance matters are also frequent sources of work, alongside a niche expertise which the team advises on the tax aspects of cryptocurrency investments. Andrew Ryan has a balanced tax controversy and corporate tax practice; he advised Healthscope and Brookfield on the $550m sale of Healthscope’s New Zealand pathology business. Senior associate Simon Akozu is noted for transactional tax work and his expertise in the infrastructure sector. Special counsel Sacha Oudyn now concentrates on M&A.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Best private equity tax team in New Zealand; commercially oriented; responsive to transaction deadlines.’

‘I found Simon Akozu fabulous to deal with, he is thorough, proactive, helpful and inclusive. I would be happy to recommend him to anyone.’

‘Particular expertise on digital assets and an ability to extrapolate tax concepts to cover this complex and nascent asset class.’

Key clients

Healthscope and Brookfield Asset Management

Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Tainui Group Holdings

E & J Gallo Winery

Aintree Finance Limited

Wellington Gateway Partnership

Mediaworks Holdings Limited

ANZ Bank New Zealand (ANZ) (and related entities)

Pioneer Capital Management Limited

Sharesies Limited

Milford Asset Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Wellington Gateway Partnership on the tax treatment of a PPP agreement to construct, operate and maintain a 27km four-lane motorway.
  • Advised MediaWorks Holdings Limited on the sale of a television network to Discovery, Inc.
  • Advised ANZ Bank New Zealand on all tax aspects of the closing of the public offer of Bonus Bonds and winding up of the Bonus Bonds Scheme.

New Zealand > TMT Tier 1

MinterEllisonRuddWatts operates across the full spectrum of TMT, with notable sector expertise in media, energy and utilities, public sector, healthcare and financial services. Tom Maasland spearheads the team and is a key figure for major technology procurement and transformation mandates. His recent work includes assisting Soul Machines, a world-leader in AI innovation on all aspects of establishing a relationship with the World Health Organisation, and in particular the creation and ‘go-live’ of Florence, an AI ‘digital health worker’. Also of note are Jane Parker and Sonya Forbes for contractual and procurement arrangements, cloud-based services and licensing; Ross Patterson for telecoms regulation and competition matters;  John McCay for his expertise in media and entertainment; and senior associate Kate Cruickshank

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The TMT practice is the last “real” TMT practice in N.Z – there is not other law firm we would trust for advice.’

‘Jane Parker and her team are exceptional. They know what they are doing, and are true experts in a continually changing environment. Many other law firms say they do IT, but they do not really understand the industry and how it is dynamically changing.’

‘Extremely client focused – very approachable, avoids legalese, pitches information at the right level for commercial teams. Jane Parker is keen to understand the full nature of the transaction at the start, which then helps avoid commercial misunderstandings between the parties later down the track. Jane is also able to see the transaction from both sides, and aims to create solutions that work for both parties (and ultimately the project as a whole).’

‘On the whole, Minters does a good job of leveraging previous work in order to help assist with an expedient pathway forward. The quality of advice is generally very high and in our experience, Minters provides advice that represents good value for money.’

‘Kate Cruickshank is a very capable and pragmatic lawyer, her assistance was extremely valuable to our business. Kate was a strong legal resource during the negotiation and drafting process, but also provided a strong commercial voice/sounding board during this process. ‘

Key clients

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Kiwibank

MediaWorks

Watercare Services

Ultrafast Fibre Limited

Westpac New Zealand

Generate Investment Management

Soul Machines

The Warehouse

Auckland University of Technology

Work highlights

  • Advising Project NEXT on the procurement of a national ticketing solution to enable and process payments for journeys on public transport in New Zealand.
  • Advised MediaWorks Holdings Limited, New Zealand’s largest independent commercial broadcaster, on the sale of MediaWorks TV Limited to Discovery, Inc.
  • Advised the New Zealand Government on funding screen productions being filmed in New Zealand, including Amazon Studios Lord of the Rings television series.

New Zealand > Data protection Tier 2

MinterEllisonRuddWatts three-partner data protections team comprises Richard Wells and June Hardacre, who made partner is early 2021, both are based in Auckland, and are supported by public lawyer Briony Davies in Wellington. The team supports domestic and foreign corporate clients solve and mitigate risk from major data breaches, draft privacy policies and data sharing contracts, and meet their privacy compliance obligations. The team maintain a busy practice advising on New Zealand’s recently-implemented privacy legislation, and how the GDPR and other overseas privacy laws affect local businesses.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Data Protection team has a great depth of experience and offers all aspects of legal advice to its clients. Minters’ people are systems centric, give practical legal advice and has been highly valued and appreciated by our business.’

‘Richard Wells is an excellent communicator. He combines a personable demeaner with detailed legal knowledge and offers his clients timely and practical legal advice.

Key clients

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Spark New Zealand

Orbis Diagnostics

The Institute of Directors in New Zealand

Kiwibank

Z Energy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Earthquake Commission (EQC)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Orbis Diagnostics to ensure regulatory requirements were met in respect of a new antibody test they had developed to assess a person’ immunity to COVID-19.
  • Advised US based service commerce platform, EverCommerce, on its acquisition of booking software developer, Timely.
  • Advising the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to the review of draft Cyber Communication Rules for Tokelau ahead of Tokelau’s new communications cable, which will boost international connectivity and deliver high speed capacity to Tokelau.

New Zealand > Insurance Tier 2

MinterEllisonRuddWatts has ‘deep expertise in insurance claims advocacy work‘ as well as capability in design, drafting and interpretation of insurance policies. It is often appointed to resolve large insurance and broker negligence disputes and maintains a busy practice in reinsurance, property, professional indemnity and general liability work. Andrew Horne leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘MinterEllisonRuddWatts has deep expertise, particularly in insurance claims advocacy work. They have excellent attention to detail and the high pressured nature of litigation and turnaround times, to ensure that our clients are able to respond promptly to insurers. Their advice is both spot on from a legal perspective and also commercially practical and can be applied by our clients- they have their eye on the end outcome at all times.’

‘Andrew Horne provides great service, he qualifies with real world examples and global quality feedback. He is busy but is generally very quick to respond and his turnaround time is excellent’

Key clients

Earthquake Commission (EQC)

Marsh Limited

Aon New Zealand

Youi Insurance

AMP Life

AIG Insurance

AIA Insurance

Medical Assurance Society New Zealand

Pacific International Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lloyd’s syndicates in resolving a high-profile, $20m million claim by a seed merchant, PGG Wrightson, resulting from mis-sold seed that affected over 500 farming operations.
  • Acting for the owners of a large, historic apartment complex in Auckland affected by two substantial storm events which caused widespread damage to the building and resulted in insurance claims for physical damage and temporary accommodation costs.
  • Acting for PIC Insurance Brokers in defending a fourth party claim brought against it by a real estate agency, Synergy. Synergy is being sued by its former clients, the vendors of a property near Queenstown, who in turn are being sued by the purchasers for various alleged misrepresentations, including in relation to the weathertightness of the property.

New Zealand > Intellectual property Tier 2

MinterEllisonRuddWatts‘ ‘knowledgeable, responsive and client centric’ IP group is led by Christopher Young QC who advises leading New Zealand and international clients in media, sports, retail and technology sectors. The practice is highly regarded for its experience in IP litigation, trade mark registrations and portfolio management. Young and corporate lawyer Richard Wells also handle the commercialisation of IP assets, such as licensing and on IP aspects of significant corporate transactions. Wellington based John McCay stands out for his knowledge of the New Zealand film industry.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm’s expertise is second to none, we always feel thoroughly informed during every dealing with MinterEllison and this enables us to confidently make decisions around both business and legal matters. Most of the work that MinterEllison does is in areas that are completely new to Nick and I, however, we only ever leave feeling well taught. We believe this is truly invaluable. In terms of client care, we really couldn’t imagine a better firm. ‘

‘Christopher Young is our main contact, we have found him to be extremely personable and overall, he has been a huge asset to us. Chris considers options and solutions that are both unique to the position of our business, and economically efficient. We always trust that we are in the best hands with Chris. Integrity, efficiency and quality is always delivered.’

‘Strong leadership from Christopher Young and a supportive team A senior relationship with competent Intellectual Property partnerships globally Chris keeps a good relationship with his major clients Strong loyalty relationship.’

‘This team always provides very sound commercial advice, which differs greatly from the black-letter law advice we are sometimes provided, that have no bearing on the client’s business and is divorced from commercial realties.’

‘Christopher Young has been a very steady and safe counsel who I have know for many years. In fact, asides from working directly together on matters, we also share some clients by chance. These clients have nothing but outstanding things to say about Chris.’

‘The Minter Ellison Rudd Watts IP team are knowledgeable, responsive and client centric.’

‘Chris Young has had many years of experience in this area and gives practical and timely advice to his clients.’

Key clients

Southern Cross Healthcare

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited

Karen Murrell Enterprises Limited

Scholastic Inc

ASOS Plc

Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Karen Murrell, a growing New Zealand cosmetics brand in successfully challenging a Chinese business that had inappropriately registered the KAREN MURRELL trade mark, leading then to the successful registration of the mark by Karen Murrell Enterprises Limited in China.
  • Advising SkyCity Entertainment on its strategy for its IP in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide and advising on a wide range of IP matters for SkyCity including brand strategy and portfolio management in New Zealand, Australia and internationally, IP advisory work, disputes, oppositions, brand clearance, trade mark registration, IP licensing and contracts.
  • Advising leading worldwide online retailer, ASOS PLC, in relation to its New Zealand IP including brand strategy, disputes and trade mark registration in New Zealand.

New Zealand > Transport (rail, road, air and sea) Tier 3

MinterEllisonRuddWatts has extensive expertise advising constructors, developers and government bodies through all stages of the project lifecycle. Aviation, ports and maritime infrastructure are a core source of work, with matters encompassing funding, procurement and construction for large-scale projects. Key figures include Auckland-based infrastructure specialist Sarah Sinclair and corporate partner Mark Forman, and Wellington-based Briony Davies.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The firm is highly responsive, commercially attuned and has strong industry knowledge. Its focus is on substantial matters and the practice integrates seamlessly with our team.’

‘Highly responsive and commercially attuned with strong industry knowledge. They focus on substantial matters and are integrated seamlessly with our team.’

Key clients

Ports of Auckland Limited

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Authority

Ministry of Transport

Go Bus

Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association Inc

Wellington Gateway Partnership

Metrobox Limited and Pinnacle Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ministry of Transport on the Auckland Light Rail project.
  • Advising an international joint venture comprising  UGL Rail Services Pty Ltd and ComfortDelGro Transit Pte Ltd on their involvement in a procurement process for the operation of the Auckland metro rail network.
  • Advising the Transmission Gully project on historical claims made by the JV against the client and NZTA, and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the project.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is leading full-service, legal and business advisory firm with offices in Auckland and Wellington. We are a New Zealand owned and operated partnership with 47 partners and more than 180 other legal staff. Our New Zealand heritage, dating back 130 years, is a firm foundation on which we have built an established and strong brand in the market.

We advise our clients on a wide range of practice areas from regulatory to commercial law, finance to real estate, employment to taxation, and from public law to dispute resolution. Our clients come from a broad range of industries including banking and financial services, central and local government, aviation, infrastructure, energy and resources, manufacturing, health and aged care, telecommunications, media and technology.

While an independent New Zealand firm, we are a member of the MinterEllison Legal Group (MELG). With more than 200 partners and 900 legal staff, we are the only top-tier international law firm in New Zealand. Our network of offices in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom enables us to provide a full range of legal services to both local business and international companies.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Head of Banking and Financial Services Jeremy Muirjeremy.muir@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9819
Head of Competition Dr Ross Pattersonross.patterson@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9864
Head of Construction Janine Stewartjanine.stewart@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9922
Head of Corporate (Auckland) Silvana SchenoneSilvana.Schenone@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9986
Head of Corporate (Wellington) Rodney Craigrodney.craig@minterellison.co.nz+64 4 498 5025
Co-head of Dispute Resolution, Insurance Andrew Horneandrew.horne@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9903
Co-head of Dispute Resolution Jane Standagejane.standage@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9754
Head of Employment (Auckland) Gillian Servicegillian.service@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9817
Head of Employment (Wellington) Megan Richardsmegan.richards@minterellison.co.nz+64 4 498 5023
Head of Environment Rachel Devinerachel.devine@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9912
Head of Intellectual Property Christopher Youngchristopher.young@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9910
Head of Real Estate David Gilbertdavid.gilbert@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9978
Head of Restructuring and Insolvency Sean Gollinsean.gollin@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9814
Head of Tax Andrew Ryanandrew.ryan@minterellison.co.nz+64 9 353 9950
Head of TMT Jane Parkerjane.parker@minterellison.co.nz+64 4 498 5128
PhotoNamePositionProfile
John Conlan photo John ConlanPartner – Corporate
Kate Cruickshank photo Kate CruickshankSenior Associate
Miles Dean photo Miles DeanSpecial Counsel
John McCay photo John McCayPartner
Oliver Meech photo Oliver MeechPartner – Competition and Regulation
Chris O'Brien photo Chris O'BrienPartner
Jane Parker photo Jane ParkerPartner – TMT
Megan Richards photo Megan RichardsPartner – Employment, MinterEllisonRuddWatts board member
Stacey Shortall photo Stacey ShortallPartner
Partners : 47
Other legal staff : 180
Business service staff : 90
English
Spanish
Arabic
Cantonese
French
German
Hindi
Italian
Korean
Mandarin
Maori
Tongan
World Services Group (WSG)
International Bar Association (IBA)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of NZ
Institute of Financial Professionals New Zealand (INFINZ)
Society of Construction Law
Banking and Financial Services Law Association (BFSLA)
Institute of Directors
Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association