John Powell > Russell McVeagh > Auckland, New Zealand > Lawyer Profile

Russell McVeagh
New Zealand

Work Department

Banking and Finance




John is a specialist in asset, development, corporate and acquisition finance, complex debt restructuring solutions and export credit financing.

Bringing years of international experience to his practice, John provides expert advice to banks, mezzanine funders and debtors.

John works with some of New Zealand’s major banks, corporates and insolvency advisors. He has recently advised on the world-first ‘green’ loan certification, certified under the Climate Bonds Initiative framework, applied to KiwiRail’s procurement or bespoke ferries from Hyundai Mipo and has spent much of 2021 advising on issues in the developing New Zealand’s sustainability-linked loans market. John is sought after by institutions and individuals for his sharp insight, pragmatic style and wealth of experience.

John became a partner at Russell McVeagh in 2004. Prior to joining Russell McVeagh, he was a consultant at the Hong Kong office of Linklaters.


John is on the Russell McVeagh Ethics Committee. He was Chair of the Partnership from 2017-2019 and was previously the Practice Group Chair for Banking and Finance


LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Canterbury.

Notary Public.

Lawyer Rankings

New Zealand > Banking and finance

(Leading individuals)

John PowellRussell McVeagh

Unrivalled by its breadth of knowledge, availability and ability to solve complex finance issuesRussell McVeagh‘s corporate and acquisition financing practice demonstrates strong capability on bond issuances, securitisation, refinancings and debt restructuring. National practice group chair Guy Lethbridge is widely recognised for his expertise in debt capital markets and the regulation of banks, insurers and other financial institutions. ‘Highly competentDeemple Budhia is likewise a key figure in this field; she recently acted for ANZ on the sale of UDC Finance and established UDC’s $2bn securitisation programme. John Powell is ‘completely on top of all areas of banking and securities law’, and similarly, up-and-coming partner Tom Hunt is ‘very knowledgeable and fully understanding of his clients’ needs’, and is also active in corporate financing. David Weavers is another figure for corporate finance and alternative credit segment, and is active on funds formation mandates for new private credit platforms.

New Zealand > Restructuring and insolvency

Russell McVeagh continues to be involved in many of the country’s high profile insolvencies, such as the cross-border liquidation of Halifax, as well as significant domestic instructions, such as the receivership of FE Investments, and on recent property development collapses, Sanctuary No 8 and Lighthouse. The team is increasingly taking instructions on corporate distress and insolvencies in the construction, forestry and retail sectors. Practice head Matthew Kersey acts predominantly for secured creditors and insolvency professionals, alongside Polly Pope who handles contentious mandates, and John Powell who assists both banks and corporates on restructuring issues. Nathaniel Walker and senior associate Jeremy Upson are recommended for insolvency litigation. All individuals are based in Auckland.