Firm Profile > Lowndes > Auckland, New Zealand

Lowndes
LEVEL 5, LOWNDES HOUSE
18 SHORTLAND STREET, PO BOX 7311
AUCKLAND 1141
New Zealand

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Lowndes, which was founded in 2000 as a corporate and commercial boutique, has senior lawyers with a wealth of experience in advising domestic and international companies, both listed and unlisted, on the full range of matters, from M&A to investment. Lead partner Mark Lowndes, who has 38 years' market experience, is a leading light in M&A, capital raising, private equity, venture capital and angel funding, corporate governance and international investment. Paul Hartland 's broad practice covers Overseas Investment Act, Takeovers Code and other regulatory issues, as well as commercial contracts. Up-and-coming partner Kerri Dewe specialises in M&A, securities law, business establishment and corporate structuring.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lowndes

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

“As General Counsel of a large international company, I have found the team at Lowndes to be absolute life-savers. They are all highly accomplished practitioners, and you can be confident of receiving accurate advice, at the very forefront of the law.”

“The firm is extremely client-focused and ethical, and your file will be handled by a senior associate or partner who is able to provide quick and comprehensive answers which you can rely on.”

“Kerri Dewe is a director of the firm and an outstanding practitioner. She is extremely smart, with the ability to explain complex legal issues in a clear and concise manner. Approachable and professional, with a wonderful calming presence, Kerri takes the time to understand your business, always providing practical and commercially viable solutions.”

Key clients

Huawei Technologies (New Zealand)

Rothbury Group

Barfoot & Thompson Limited

VMG Ventures Limited

Corporate Holdings Limited

Go Car Finance

SIS Australia Group Pty Limited

K One W One Limited

Ando Insurance Group Limited

B. Braun New Zealand Limited

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Lowndes has an active and highly regarded litigation practice that, though small, is frequently involved in international disputes. The firm handles the full range of commercial disputes, as well as litigation in its specialist areas of shipping, aviation, insurance, IP and insolvency. In Auckland, practice head Michael McCarthy has a prominent role in contentious shipping matters and Mike Whale is one of the country's leading lawyers for contentious insolvency. The firm recently acted for the single largest off-shore creditor in the CBL Insurance collapse, which is among the most high-profile cases in the market, and McCarthy oversaw the conclusion of litigation spinning out of the Rena shipwreck, which is one of the largest-ever litigations in New Zealand.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

Mike Whale; Tim Jeffcott

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers

P&I Services

Wilaci Pty Limited

Elite Insurance Company Ltd

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

Lowndes in Auckland climbs the ranking thanks to the high regard in which its two key partners are held and the firm's role in some of the most high-profile matters in the market. Practice head Mike Whale is lauded as ‘the godfather of the insolvency industry, he knows everything back to the Magna Carta'. Michael Anderson is vastly experienced and acts for receivers in high-value matters. The firm is advising major creditors in the biggest insolvency case in the market, that of CBL Insurance, and frequently acts for specialist insolvency practitioners and financial services institutions. Principal Jennifer Tunna is a banking and finance specialist with a strong insolvency practice. Jacque Lethbridge moved to Martelli McKegg Wells & Cormack.

Practice head(s):

Mike Whale

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent broad-based team.’

Key clients

McGrathNicol

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Meltzer Mason

Transport (rail, road, air and sea) Tier 2

Maritime law, transport law and dispute resolution services are core elements of the practice at Lowndes in Auckland, which acts for ship operators and other transport operators and their insurers. It also advises clients in the luxury boat and aviation sectors, and assists with commercial matters such as ship sale and purchase and re-flagging. For the last eight years, much of leading light Michael McCarthy's practice was focused on the extensive litigation and commercial work spinning out of the Rena shipwreck, which was one of the largest pieces of litigation ever seen in New Zealand and the second largest salvage operation in the world. McCarthy is one of the most experienced shipping lawyers in New Zealand, and he is supported by litigation principal Tim Jeffcott.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

P&I Services New Zealand

Banking and finance Tier 3

Lowndes is best known for its active borrower-side practice, though it is also on the panel of a major New Zealand bank. The firm has niche expertise in specialist security arrangements, cross-border transactions (both inbound and outbound), specialised transaction funding arrangements and advice to corporate trustees on large debt issues. The firm has a strong insolvency and restructuring team, of which members of the banking and finance practice are active members.  The partners frequently provide corporate finance advice to the firm’s commercial clients. Michael Anderson, who works in both the Auckland and Wellington offices, leads the practice. Chartered accountant Paul Hartland handles large mandates for Australasian corporates.

Practice head(s):

Michael Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Allan McRae; Mike Whale; Paul Hartland; Jennifer Tunna

Key clients

Public Trust Limited

Rothbury Group

Huawei Technologies

Go Car Finance

Australian Factoring Company

VMG Ventures

Intellectual property Tier 3

At Lowndes, IP is an important part of our the firm's broader corporate and commercial practice, complementing the firm's technology, media and telecommunications work. The firm handles IP commercialisation, particularly for clients with cross-border interests, and the firm has Chinese language capability in its team to handle matters involving assets in China. Last year, the firm successfully brought a court case challenging a trademark that infringes an international client’s intellectual property rights, resulting in the cancellation of the infringing trade mark and the transfer of domain names. Working between the firm's Auckland and Wellington offices, managing director and corporate partner Mark Lowndes leads the practice and is supported by director Sarah Kerr from the corporate team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lowndes

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Kerr; Joseph McMullin

Key clients

Las Vegas Sands

NZPM Group

Simtics Limited

Barfoot & Thompson Limited

TMT Tier 3

Founded as a corporate, technology and insolvency boutique, Lowndes continues to act for some of the most prominent domestic technology clients, as well as international companies. It counts Huawei Technologies, Chorus Call Australia and numerous domestic start-up technology companies  among its clients. Founder and corporate partner Mark Lowndes and director Kerri Dewe are the key practitioners and their experience includes commercial contracts, regulatory compliance, procurement and outsourcing. Clients praise the firm's focus on 'long-term client relationships, effective conversations and advice, and understanding of the industry and IT matters'. They note that the firm is 'easy to engage to get work completed and is responsive with a fair price'.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lowndes

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

“I have direct Access to Mark Lowndes, the company founder. He employs good people to undertake the detailed work. They are effective with a low level of bureaucracy.”

“It is vital for me to have access to accurate advice, on what is sometimes a very urgent basis. This is where Lowndes delivers. They are extremely client-focused and have a breadth of experience amongst the practitioners which makes them stand out from the crowd. They consistently deliver.”

“Mark Lowndes is an outstanding legal practitioner who is extremely client-focused. He is an absolute professional who takes the time to understand your business, resulting in practical and commercial advice which will work for your firm. He is a calming presence, approachable, ethical, and one of the top legal minds in New Zealand.”

Key clients

SkyCity Auckland

Barfoot & Thompson Limited

Huawei Technologies (New Zealand)

Autoplay Automotive Ltd

Chorus Call Australia Pty Limited

VMG Ventures Limited

Simtics

The firm: Lowndes is a specialist corporate and commercial law firm founded in 1997. It has strategically grown in size, depth and expertise by attracting experienced lawyers with specialist reputations and skills from the major NZ and overseas law firms, as well as promoting the most talented associates from within. Lowndes deliberately maintains low gearing of associates to directors. The senior lawyers joined the firm to move away from ‘Big Law’ with its increasing emphasis on the business of law and managing a large team. They prefer to be ‘on the tools’, advising and working with their clients personally. Lowndes’ clients respond to the personal care of their matters by the directors and senior lawyers.

Financial and commercial literacy is a key focus in the Lowndes commercial practice and many of its lawyers have board experience, commerce degrees and two of its senior lawyers are dual qualified as lawyers and accountants. The expertise, experience and qualifications of the Lowndes’ directors attracts sophisticated and complex work.

The firm continuously innovates its legal service delivery and is a leader in the ‘New Law’ approach including flexible working, its ‘Parents in Law’ programme, remote working technology, flexible remuneration arrangements, lower overheads and the leveraging of technology for efficient delivery of services.

International client work continues to account for about a third of Lowndes’ revenue and as such the firm is set up to give overseas clients a full commercial offering ensuring ease of doing business in NZ.  Lowndes is the sole NZ representative of three international networks: Multilaw of which Mark Lowndes was a recent chairman, Legalink and the International Network of Boutique & Independent Law Firms.

Lowndes is committed to sustainability and contributing to the communities we live and work in.  It was the first NZ law firm to be certified as carbon zero in 2007.  In June 2017 Lowndes received the Outstanding Performance Award for Carbon Management in the Small Organisation category from Enviro-Mark Solutions.  It runs a quarterly programme of community contribution and is actively involved in such programmes as community law and student mentoring.

As well as recognition in Legal500 Lowndes is recognised in:

  • Chambers Asia Pacific for Corporate and Commercial, Restructuring and Insolvency and Shipping.
  • AsiaLaw Profiles for Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, IT, Telco and Media, Restructuring and Insolvency, and Shipping, Maritime and Aviation.
  • IFLR1000 for Banking and Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Restructuring and Insolvency.

Types of work undertaken: Lowndes has industry-leading specialists such as Mark Lowndes, Paul Hartland, Allan McRae, Sarah Kerr and Kerri Dewe in corporate and commercial, and mergers and acquisitions; Mark Lowndes in technology, media and telecommunications; Mike Whale, Michael Anderson, Jacqueline Lethbridge and Jennifer Tunna in restructuring and insolvency; Michael Anderson and Jennifer Tunna in banking and finance; Michael McCarthy in shipping and transport; and Michael McCarthy and Jacqueline Lethbridge in litigation and dispute resolution.

Lowndes represents notable clients in innovative and uncommon matters. It acted on one of only eight New Zealand listings in 2016. Lowndes represents sophisticated technology clients on complex transactional and regulatory matters as well as the international commercialisation of their technology. It also acted for rapidly growing innovative NZ technology companies including in connection with a joint venture representing a substantial investment in artificial intelligence for the legal profession.

In the mergers and acquisitions area the firm has represented clients engaging in significant transactions, often with cross-border aspects. It is active in the regulatory space, obtaining various exemptions from the takeovers code; acting on the preparation of complex applications for Overseas Investment Office consents; and acting on various matters involving interaction with the Financial Markets Authority, including on assisting with breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct legislation. The firm acts on specialist security arrangements (for instance, over the components of a mobile telephone network, and over multinational receivables), cross-border transactions (in-bound and out-bound) and also advises corporate trustees on large bond issues.

Lowndes leads a number of high-profile matters including the extensive litigation spinning out of the Rena shipwreck – which it believes has been the largest litigation matter in NZ. Lowndes, led by partner Michael McCarthy, is acting for the owners and insurers of the Rena. Jacqueline Lethbridge leads a number of high-profile civil litigation matters with a specialisation in restructuring and insolvency. Mike Whale is the co-editor of the leading New Zealand insolvency text book, Heath & Whale on Insolvency.  Lowndes was involved in drafting the Code of Conduct for the Restructuring, Insolvency & Turnaround Association of New Zealand Inc.

Our Expertise: Corporate and Commercial: Corporate and commercial law is the core around which the Lowndes firm is built. It brings the same pragmatic commercial law advice to multinationals and start-up businesses. Lowndes’ lawyers understand what matters in a transaction and that resilient legal structures become the platform on which to build business.  Many of the Lowndes’ lawyers hold commerce qualifications.

Banking and Financial Services: Lowndes advises on a broad range of financial services, banking and financing transactions including complex international, corporate, trade and supplier financing arrangements, all forms of public and private debt and equity financing, and related regulatory issues.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution: The Lowndes commercial litigation team is focussed on achieving commercial outcomes from litigation whether it be through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation, or arbitration or through court proceedings. Lowndes’ litigators have appeared at all levels of the court system and often work collaboratively with senior barristers and Queen’s Counsel.

Property, Real Estate and Construction: Lowndes’ property and construction team understand that property projects must be executed precisely, efficiently and innovatively. Its sound knowledge of New Zealand property market enables it to act across the whole spectrum of complex property related transactions. Lowndes commercial property lawyers act for corporates, individuals and trusts.

Intellectual Property: Lowndes’ international focus and experience comes to the fore in advising on intellectual property protection and commercialisation. It has defended IP rights for multinationals and assisted early stage companies in their international growth.

Restructuring and Insolvency: The Lowndes’ team includes some of New Zealand’s leading practitioners combining relevant banking, insolvency, restructuring and litigation expertise. Lowndes acts for the leading insolvency practitioners and has been involved in various cross-border assignments.

Employment, Health and Safety: Lowndes provides decisive practical advice and cost effective solutions in relation to large or small work forces.

Technology, Media and Telecommunications: Lowndes acts for multinationals to start-ups and has advised on all aspects of projects ranging from infrastructure to ground breaking technologies.

International Trade and Investment: Lowndes has an extensive international practice working regularly on cross border transactions, investments and disputes. Their large international network of overseas law firms gives access to trusted advice around the world. Lowndes provides comprehensive commercial and regulatory advice.

Maritime, Aviation, Transport and Insurance: Lowndes has one of New Zealand’s leading practices representing many well-known local and international companies and insurers in maritime, shipping, transport, ports and aviation. They assist with providing commercial advice and dispute resolution. There is no substitute for industry knowledge and experience combined with technical expertise.

Mergers and Acquisitions: Lowndes’ lawyers have extensive experience in large and complex transactions over a broad range of industries and including cross border matters. They understand the need for teamwork with our client and other advisors, staying focussed on issues of commercial importance and delivery of outcomes in the required timeframes.

Competition and Trade Practices: Lowndes is highly experienced in all aspects of this area including takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, fair trading and misleading conduct, restrictive trade practices, price control and price fixing, competition and antitrust,  Commerce Commission, clearances & authorisations, market investigations, cartel legislation, sale of goods, consumer and marketing law, Privacy Act compliance, advertising codes, and prosecutions.  It offers strategic advice and resolves disputes cost effectively.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate and commercial | Mergers and acquisitions | Intellectual property | International trade and investment | Technology, media and telecommunications Mark Lowndes
Corporate and commercial | Mergers and acquisitions | Banking and financial services Allan McRae
Litigation and dispute resolution | Restructuring and insolvency Jacqueline Lethbridge
Banking and financial services | Restructuring and insolvency | Corporate and commercial Jennifer Tunna
Property, real estate and construction Kathryn Hickling
Corporate and commercial | Mergers and acquisitions | Competition, trade practices and consumer law | Employment, health and safety Kerri Dewe
Maritime, aviation, transport and insurance | Litigation and dispute resolution | International trade and investment | Competition, trade practices and consumer law Michael McCarthy
Banking and financial services | Restructuring and insolvency Michael Anderson
Corporate and commercial | Banking and financial services | Mergers and acquisitions Paul Hartland
Corporate and commercial | Mergers and acquisitions Sarah Kerr
Litigation and dispute resolution | Restructuring and insolvency | Employment Tim Jeffcott
Photo Name Position Profile
 Kerri Dewe  photo Kerri Dewe Director
 Paul Hartland  photo Paul Hartland Director
 Tim Jeffcott  photo Tim Jeffcott Principal
Mr Mark Lowndes photo Mr Mark Lowndes Managing Director
 Michael McCarthy  photo Michael McCarthy Director
Number of lawyers : 19
Legal Executives : 2
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INBLF
Multilaw
LegaLink
IBA (International Bar Association)
IPBA( Inter Pacific Bar Association)