DLA Piper New Zealand > Wellington, New Zealand > Firm Profile

DLA Piper New Zealand
CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS HOUSE, LEVEL 5
50-64 CUSTOMHOUSE QUAY
WELLINGTON 6011
New Zealand

New Zealand > Insurance Tier 1

DLA Piper New Zealand is highly acclaimed for its ‘breadth of experience and expertise in relation to insurance matters’ and its spread of work in regulatory compliance and complex litigation proceedings, often before the High Court and Court of Appeal, and relating to property damage, product liability, and claims relating to earthquake damage. Auckland based Caroline Laband is ‘an absolute litigation specialist’, and routinely acts for experience insurers, brokers, and insured corporations. Misha Henaghan is also of note for insurance claims in the same office. Wellington’s team is led by Peter Leman, who is ‘great asset when it comes to general liability claims, statutory prosecutions and fire and general insurance’. Associates Shane Swinerd and Matthew Booth often assist Leman in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘We deal primarily with the head of the insurance practice, Caroline Laband. She is highly capable, knowledgeable about a wide variety of legal facts and trends and, equally important, responsive.’

‘Peter Leman and Caroline Leband are particularly approachable, with a friendly relaxed style and demonstrate equally the collaborative qualities.’

‘Caroline Laband – an absolute litigation specialist. She knows the law and always refines her strategy as required to the particular claim at hand.’

‘Compared to some other firms I have worked with, the stand out unique point about DLA for me is the collaboration. They don’t simply provide advice, they instead keep the customer involved, to the extent that they want to be, in the entire process of assessing an issue and analysing potential risks. They have a great appreciation for things like other regulatory bodies, media perception and the fact that we have a customer at the other end of whatever the issue is that we need their assistance with.’

‘Caroline Laband and Peter Leman are the two stand-out partners. They stand-out with their knowledge and expertise and responsiveness.’

‘I have almost exclusively worked with the team in the Wellington office. Peter Leman is the partner and there are three things in particular that I value from Peter that I think he is ahead of others in the market for. The first is that he knows all of the cases in an awful lot of detail, which means that a productive conversation can always be had, even if it is impromptu. The second is his ability to explain legal concepts in a way that is easily understood and seems to have unlimited patience with questioning from non-lawyers until we have the necessary level of understanding.  These traits have filtered down into his team. I have worked a lot with Shane Swinerd and Charlotte Simmers, both of whom provide the same level of service as Peter. I trust the opinions and advice from this team. ‘

Key clients

IAG New Zealand Limited

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

Aon New Zealand

Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited

CNA Hardy

Crombie Lockwood (New Zealand) Limited (part of AJ Gallagher Group)

DUAL New Zealand Limited

Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited

DUAL New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for IAG New Zealand on recovery action for insured and uninsured losses on behalf of 78 plaintiffs against Orion (electricity lines company) and Leisure Investments (adventure park operator), resulting in judgment for $12.4m
  • Acting for a major defendant in New Zealand’s largest residential building claim and the largest ever building claim faced by Auckland Council (the primary defendant).
  • Act for Insurers, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd and Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd in response to claims relating to Emmons’ site in central Christchurch, which suffered earthquake damage.

New Zealand > Investment funds Tier 1

DLA Piper New Zealand incorporates a ‘proactive approach to solving problems that blends commerciality with the legal niceties’. In Wellington, Alasdair McBeth and Rachel Taylor are nationally recognised for their combined wealth of experience in innovative investment products and start-ups, strategic issues and compliance. McBeth acts for the trustees of public sector pension and superannuation funds, while Taylor is a go-to advisor to listed companies and public issuers, insurers, trustees and Crown entities. In Auckland, special counsel Nicole MacFarlane  advises on regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and the establishment of investment products, while Neisha Mistry who is ‘experienced in both superannuation and investment management‘ and Tom Barnes, are both top senior associates in Wellington. Tracy Cross left the practice in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Experience. The DLA Piper team offer good experience in their subject matters. If you ask them, they will think outside the box for an alternative solution.’

‘Excellent experience and depth. Highly recommend Alasdair McBeth and Tom Barnes. Excellent knowledge of the law impacting funds management and are pragmatic and commercial in it’s application. They get to the nub of issues and don’t overwork files by spending time going down rabbit holes – which is too often the case with other lawyers.’

‘Alasdair McBeth – abundance of experience in the legal and regulatory aspects of superannuation and investment management in New Zealand. Gives clear, concise explanations.’

‘The firm is well resourced, with an effective “hierarchy” of skills & experience. It has particular strength in investment funds and is arguably the leading law firm in this field in NZ. The firm is fully engaged and connected in the wider investment funds industry. This brings useful market intelligence and insights. The firm appears committed to corporate social responsibility – an increasingly important consideration for clients when procuring services.’

‘Alasdair McBeth (partner) – New Zealand’s kaumātua of investment funds law. Top quality legal advice and a nice man to boot. Tom Barnes (senior associate) – a rising star. Incredibly responsive. Bright, Commercially savvy.’

‘Neisha Mistry – experienced in both superannuation and investment management. Has gained institutional knowledge of our business and gives well considered feedback.’

Key clients

Select Wealth

Marsh Limited

Bank of China

Russell Investments Limited

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

Pinnacle Investment Management Pty Limited

MMC Limited

Milford Asset Management

AON New Zealand

Fisher Funds

Work highlights

  • Advising start-up platform provider, Flint Wealth Limited on all aspects of its business structure, service provider documents and customer agreements, together with advice on business processes.
  • Continued to advise Smartshares in its application to obtain a licence under the Asia Region Funds Passport and its drafting of the trust deed and disclosure documentation for its Passport funds.
  • Acted for Select Wealth KiwiSaver, Smartshares and Public Trust on the establishment of a third-party fund for Select Wealth.

New Zealand > Competition law Tier 2

Operating as part of a global competition practice, DLA Piper New Zealand‘s practice is led by Alicia Murray, who specialises in merger clearance, regulatory advisory and litigation support for the firms’ major clients across various sectors. As a seasoned litigator, she regularly represents clients before the Commerce Commission in relation to alleged breaches of competition law and consumer law, and is also active on several cartel-related cases. Specialising in non-contentious issues, Mark Williamson is instructed on regulatory compliance and general competition law matters. He is continuing to participate in the Commerce Commission’s enquiry into retail fuel.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Mark Williamson is an excellent and highly regarded NZ Competition lawyer and is assisting us on the Commerce Commission’s study of the NZ Grocery market. Mark has a good understanding of the NZ market, his client and very strong technical legal knowledge.’

Key clients

PB Technologies

Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Discovery Inc Yes (in New Zealand)

Amazon

Expedia

Work highlights

  • Acted for Discovery (UK) in acquisition of Media Works (NZ) (the leading independent free to air commercial broadcaster in New Zealand). Advised on all aspects of the transaction, including an assessment of competition law risks and notification to the Commerce Commission of the acquisition
  • Acting for Foodstuffs North Island Limited in respect of the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s market study into the New Zealand grocery industry.
  • Representing Foodstuffs North Island in an arbitration claim where the key issue is whether a restrictive covenant provision in the lease and on the land title is unenforceable because it is anti-competitive. The restrictive covenant currently prohibits the establishment of a competing supermarket on a neighbouring site.

New Zealand > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

DLA Piper New Zealand‘s ‘lawyers act as true business partners and add value in a meaningful way‘ with one client describing the group as ‘exactly what an in-house counsel needs‘. Leading the practice from Auckland, Martin Wiseman has over 30 years’ transactional experience in M&A, joint ventures, and equity capital markets, and is a trusted counsel for clients such as Foodstuffs, Auckland Council and Pfizer. Counterpart Rachel Taylor in Wellington advises listed companies, insurers, trustees, Crown entities and other corporates, and has long standing relationships with many of the firm’s annuity clients. Senior corporate partner Martin Thomson  focuses on M&A and is the go-to advisor for foreign investors operating in a range of industries under the Overseas Investment Act. Similarly, Reuben Woods also ‘provides all-round excellent service’ in multi-jurisdictional transactions across various sectors, and is supported by senior associate Aoife O’Gorman. Sam Wilson departed the team in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, providing clear concise advice, with resourcing and end product being right sized to exactly what is required. Exactly what an in-house counsel needs. No over engineering being done here. Enables faster understanding and decision making for the client.’

‘Each of the advisers were very responsive and flexible in order to provide excellent client service despite the difficult time zones. I found their advice to be consistently legally sound and they provided commercial solutions which were appropriate in the circumstances.’

‘The lawyers act as true business partners and add value in a meaningful way.’

‘Martin Wisemen is smart and commercial, always available and a problem solver. Laura Scampion and Justin March are experts in their field and very commercial.’

‘Reuben Woods provides all-round excellent service. Reuben and his team provided consistently good legal advice and solutions, without dropping the ball on any workstreams. Reuben is also very personable and builds a strong rapport with his clients, which helps to build trust, as well as with the counter-party. This was particularly important given the remote nature of our relationship and so we could rely on DLA to progress negotiations with the counter-party in my absence.’

‘Intimate grasp of the law in highly complex and high pressure environments. Capable of providing extremely clear and concise advice in the above area under time pressure to assist in-house counsel provide advice and leadership make decisions. Advice is well tailored to the audience in terms of content, style and delivery. Very well received.’

Key clients

Accel-KKR

Pfizer

Parker Media (Sean Parker)

Tech Mahindra

Discovery, Inc.

Happy Valley Nutrition Limited

Auckland Unlimited

Bessemer Venture Partners

Finistere Ventures

Five V Capital Pty Limited

OSF Global Services (OSF Digital)

Foodstuffs North Island

13 Tower Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Accel-KKR and its portfolio company, Seequent Holdings Limited on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems, Incorporated.
  • Advised for Tech Mahindra Singapore (Pte.) Limited (a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra Limited) on its 100% equity acquisition of Tenzing Limited and Tenzing Australia Limited.
  • Advised US tech entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sean Parker, in relation to Parker Media’s strategic equity investment in Weta Digital Limited.

New Zealand > Data protection Tier 2

Nick Valentine heads the growing data protection practice at DLA Piper New Zealand, which is building an impressive client list of New Zealand’s largest corporations and household name multinationals such as Westpac New Zealand, Foodstuffs North Island, HSBC and Data Economy Collective. Known for its expertise in the financial services and insurance sectors, the practice’s experience ranges from design and implementation of businesses’ privacy and security programmes, audits, international data transfer strategies, and advising on data loss prevention.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The DLA Data Protection team/offering is led by Partner Nick Valentine who is an up and coming/Next Generation Data/Privacy lawyer in NZ. He has strong experience from Australia and NZ and has a deep understanding of current law and the latest innovations and trends in the space in this area. Nick is also developing a strong team of capable Associates under him.’

Key clients

Foodstuffs North Island

New Zealand Green Building Council

Amazon, Inc.

HSBC

Auckland Council

AIA Group

Westpac New Zealand

Campari

Trustees Executors

Work highlights

  • Advising Foodstuffs on a strategic project to better leverage customer data by engaging UK data science company dunnhumby.
  • Advising the UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the data protection and privacy landscape in New Zealand.
  • Advising Akahu, New Zealand’s leading consumer data sharing platform, on privacy and data protection compliance for its pioneering open data platform.

New Zealand > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Offering ‘a good range and depth of experienceDLA Piper New Zealand’s dispute resolution group is led by Iain Thain , ‘a very experienced litigator with excellent courtroom skills and a practical approach‘. With more than 30 years’ experience in the litigation field, he has developed a specialisation in competition and regulatory matters, insolvency and property law related matters, and counts TVNZ, AIG, Foodstuffs and Auckland Council, among his clients. Alicia Murray is ‘a gutsy litigator with an insolvency specialisation but broad expertise‘ in competition law and regulatory investigations. Emma Moran is the Wellington offices’ main litigation figure.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Commitment to going the extra mile. Thinking and providing options/solutions that are outside of the box. Deal well with complex issues with political aspects.’

‘Good range and depth of experience. Reliable and good to work with.’

‘Iain Thain is a very experienced litigator with excellent courtroom skills and a practical approach.’

‘Alicia Murray is a gutsy litigator with an insolvency specialisation but broad expertise. They are both a pleasure to work with.’

‘Alicia Murray delivers high quality advice in a clear and articulate manner. Alicia is not afraid of robust discussions, and has help us achieved some amazing outcomes.’

‘They are engaging and genuinely looking to assist. If an issue arises over costs they will discuss and compromise in the interest of the long term relationship and business.’

Key clients

Harmoney Limited

Foodstuffs

Pfizer

LCM Operations Limited

Nottingham Forest

FM Custodians/Trustees Executors

Apple

Panuku

Yashili

Work highlights

  • Acting for Harmoney, defending complex High Court proceedings brought by the New Zealand Commerce Commission. The Commission alleges that fees charged by the peer-to-peer lending provider were in fact credit fees and therefore regulated. The Commission says the fees were unreasonable, in breach of the regulations.
  • Acted for FM Custodians in relation to an appeal against instrument forfeiture orders made in respect of properties over which FM Custodians had secured mortgages. The appeal raised new and novel issues — the question of the requirement for an instrumental connection between the offending and property that can be subject to instrument forfeiture orders has never been considered by the appellant courts in New Zealand.
  • Instructed by Apple Inc in relation to pre-commencement discovery proceedings filed against Apple by Travel Xplorer. Travel Xplorer allege that Apple Pay infringes its patent relating to electronic payment systems.

New Zealand > Labour and employment Tier 2

DLA Piper New Zealand is led by Laura Scampion, who is ‘reassuring, articulate and effective’ in her advice on major outsourcing projects, significant restructures, multiple executive terminations and health and safety audits/advice. UK and New Zealand qualified, she also represents employers in significant disputes before the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and High Court. Senior associate Julia MacGibbon also plays a central role in the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Laura Scampion – When you are facing challenging employment matters, it can be difficult to think clearly and make good decisions – That, in addition to not understanding a legal process can complicate matters even more. Laura explained the law, outlined in clear language the steps in the restructure process that we needed to follow. She was reassuring, articulate and effective. Laura made the process so much easier and gave me peace of mind in a stressful situation.’

‘Global presence in the NZ market makes DLA unique. Pragmatic and commercial employment team.’

‘Laura Scampion. We use a number of different employment law firms but value Laura for the tenacity and energy that she brings to her cases, as well as her pragmatic and commercial approach.’

‘Laura Scampion – expert in her field and very commercial.’

Key clients

Happy Valley Nutrition Limited

Weta Digital Limited

Discovery Communications LLC

Tech Mahindra (Singapore) PTE Limited

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare New Zealand ULC

KPMG

Work highlights

  • Advised Weta Digital Ltd on a formal and full-scale review in relation to its workplace culture against the background of widespread and public bullying and harassment allegations.
  • Advised Discovery on all employment aspects relating to its acquisition of Media Works which covered a workforce of approximately 400-500 workers.
  • Represented GlaxoSmithKline in defence of a claim by a former employee in the Employment Relations Authority for unjustified dismissal, and unjustified disadvantage.

New Zealand > Projects and resources management (including environment) Tier 2

DLA Piper New Zealand is adept in all environmental matters from local and national planning and policy to consenting and enforcement matters relating to infrastructure developments. It is also expert in Building Act issues; clients comment that the practice ‘understands the public sector extremely well‘.  Auckland Council is a key client, with the firm acting as its principal legal adviser on designations, resource consents and unitary plans. The team also lead resource management advice for the Department of Corrections. Wellington-based Stephen Quinn heads the practice, bringing 30 years of experience acting for government departments and private companies on resource management, environmental law, and building law issues. Kerry Anderson in Wellington and Diana Hartley in Auckland c0-lead on these matters. Special counsel Emma Manohar provides key support from Wellington for matters such as the Regional Plan for the Wellington region.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Quinn

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very friendly and approachable. Listens to their clients and tailors their responses accordingly. Conducts themselves professionally and ethically as a reflection of their clients – no bullying or game playing to “win”.’

‘Friendly and responsive. Always available to talk things through and will be realistic about strategy and likelihood of success. Diana Hartley (Partner) is fantastic! Waldo Randal (Senior Assoc.) is very detailed, thorough and measured. I enjoy working with them when external legal advice is necessary.’

‘The team is one of the best local government teams in New Zealand. They also have extensive experience dealing with the private sector which makes them a very well-rounded team.’

‘Diana Hartley and Stephen Quinn are excellent technical lawyers, understand the public sector extremely well and have excellent political acumen. They think like we think. They are personable and put our staff at ease and are trusted advisers. They are genuinely happy to integrate with our team and are happy to take a light approach where that will be most effective.’

‘DLA’s team is able to draw from significant local, national and international talent to build a team around a project that is the second to none.’

‘The lawyers provide prompt, practical and high quality that gives a clear steer.’

Key clients

Auckland Council

Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust (MTT)

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Yashili Diary Co NZ Limited

Todd Generation Limited/Todd Energy Limited

Scoter Ventures Ltd

Nelson City Council

Tasman District Council

Upper Hutt City Council

Department of Corrections

Hutt City Council

Work highlights

  • Represented the Department of Corrections seeking a new resource consent to enable it to continue to discharge stormwater from the Whanganui prison into a neighbouring lake system for the continuing operation of a prison. This matter has now been appealed to the Environment Court.
  • Acted for the Wellington Regional Council in reviewing its Regional Plan. Over the last year this has involved almost 12 months of mediation by three members of the team, on 30 appeals and then moved into drafting agreed outcomes and moving on to the hearings of the outstanding appeals.
  • Successfully represented Auckland Council in the Environment Court’s rehearing of the appeals relating to the rural subdivision (following a success appeal to the High Court) provisions including rules in the Auckland Unitary Plan in June 2020.

New Zealand > Real estate and construction

As part of the firm’s wider global network, DLA Piper New Zealand‘s focus is on the domestic aspects of multijurisdictional projects. Headed by Auckland-based duo Mark Williamson and Justin March, it has a ‘stable team that is growing is confidence and capacity‘ – particularly on high-value acquisitions, disposals and the management of real estate portfolios. Elsewhere, clients benefit from its significant experience in the insurance sector, with front-end construction matters and disputes in this space typically led by Emma Moran and Misha HenaghanHeath Brunton is ‘maturing into a top-tier operator‘ on development schemes and design-build-lease agreements for office or industrial premises, having acted for prominent client Foodstuffs in a significant leasing transaction for their new head office and distribution centre.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Great service and timely advice.’

‘Strategic approach to relationships that go beyond pure legal advice.’

‘Justin March and Heath Brunton are both very experienced real estate lawyers. They both are well regarded and are also developing a strong team of associates under them.’

‘Stable team that is growing is confidence and capacity. Heath Brunton is maturing into a top-tier operator and with high-quality recent hires is developing a team to support his practice. The firm has strength in many areas, so can bring in specialist advice when required; the person we deal with always has vast experience and a good knowledge of issues that are important to business.’

‘Justin March has a good understanding of business and knows what issues are important to the client (and what issues are not), so we can focus the the key issues and not get side-tracked by things that are not so important.’

Key clients

Foodstuffs North Island

Tasman District Council

WT Partnership

Auckland Council

Happy Valley Nutrition Limited

Wellington Water Limited

Nelson City Council

IAG New Zealand Limited

Fletcher Building (PlaceMakers)

Holmes Consulting Group

Aurecon

Goodman Property Trust

Cornwall Park Trust Board

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Mondelēz

Television New Zealand

Aon

Discovery, Inc.

Starship Foundation

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

LEGO

Mitre 10

Danaher Corporation

Dairy Farms Partnership (ultimately owned by the Harvard University Endowment Fund)

General Electric

Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Hilton International Manage LLC

Kaingaroa Timberlands

Burberry

Work highlights

  • Advised Foodstuffs on the development of its new head office and distribution centre.
  • Advised Auckland Council in respect of its multibillion-dollar full facilities maintenance contracts.
  • Advised Discovery, Inc. on its acquisition of all of the shares in MediaWorks TV Limited, including legal due diligence for the real estate assets of the MediaWorks’ TV business in the major centres in New Zealand, and the real estate documents for the transfer of these assets and completion of the transaction.

New Zealand > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

DLA Piper New Zealand‘s restructuring practice combines the experience of two co-heads; Alicia Murray’s expertise acting on litigation insolvency proceedings and advising on various structures and options, with Michael Thompson’s strong track record in cross-border financial transactions and restructuring mandates. Iain Thain is another name to note.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DLA Piper benefits from a strong team and international connections. It is also innovative in its approach.’

‘Alicia Murray is a gutsy lawyer who will stand her ground when needed. She has very good legal and courtroom skills and sound judgment.’

Key clients

Heartland Bank

Foodstuffs

Humm Group (previously FlexiGroup New Zealand Limited)

McGrathNicol

Dual NZ

Trustees Executors

Work highlights

  • Advising Auckland Council on various issues relating to the liquidation of a contractor engaged to complete the refurbishment of a Council building.
  • Provided debt recovery and insolvency legal services to WestCity, the owner of WestCity Waitakere Mall, a major regional shopping centre in Auckland.
  • Acting for Kare Johnstone and Andrew Grenfell of McGrathNicol as liquidators of CBL Insurance Limited, following an application made by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) for breaches of regulatory requirements.

New Zealand > Banking and finance Tier 3

DLA Piper New Zealand‘s Auckland office is home to a finance, projects and restructuring practice where Michael Thompson ‘s ‘team have a good understanding of the market, combined with strong technical knowledge and a commercial responsive approach‘. Thompson is a trusted advisor in leveraged and acquisition finance, corporate finance and the restructuring of distressed financings. He has developed a strong specialisation in property and development finance, particularly in affordable and social housing. The practice further bolstered its cross-border banking expertise with lateral hire, Rachel Brown, who joined in April 2021 from Anderson Lloyd. Having previously worked in a top London firm, she has a strong foundation in the European markets, and regularly acts for banks, borrowers and private equity sponsors on a variety of acquisition finance transactions. Jacob Nutt has joined from Lane Neave.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Michael Thompson and his Banking and Finance team have a good understanding of the NZ market and its key players. This combined with their strong technical knowledge, knowledge of their client’s business and commercial responsive approach makes them very valuable.’

‘Michael Thompson stands out as a strong Banking & Finance lawyer in NZ.’

‘We use Rachel Brown who is a recent lateral hire. She is a relatively junior partner, but is operating at a level where we feel very confident in her abilities.’

‘Rachel Brown is very commercial and pragmatic when needed. She understands the market well, acting regularly for both borrowers and lenders. I have complete faith in her to get on with the legals, and only raise points of commercial significance or material risk with us.’

Key clients

Westpac New Zealand Limited

ASB Bank Limited

HSBC

Harmoney

Humm Group

Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited

China Construction Bank (New Zealand) Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

 

 

Work highlights

  • Acted for Happy Valley Nutrition on its senior secured development facility and secured convertible note issuance.
  • Acted for Harmoney on its new $200m securitisation funding programme with M&G Investments. This represents their second securitisation trust.
  • Continues to act for Foodstuffs North Island on all aspects of its financing arrangements.

New Zealand > Tax Tier 3

Seasoned tax lawyer’ David Johnston leads the tax practice at DLA Piper New Zealand, offering significant experience in transactional and contentious tax matters in in New Zealand and the UK. He is particularly sought after for his ‘deep understanding‘ of transfer pricing, inbound and outbound investments and capital raises. The firm draws upon its wide network of offices to advice on tax aspects of M&A transactions, fund-related work, employee share option plans and warranty and indemnity insurance.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘David Johnston is a seasoned tax lawyer and provides excellent, timely and commercial advice.’

‘The team, although smaller, is very experienced and able to not just address legal tax questions but also provide them with the overlay of an understanding of the accounting that underpins the tax assessments which is quite unique in my experience.’

‘David Johnston is a very practical advisor who has a deep understanding of both the accounting and legal sides of the tax equation. He is able to get to the root of issues quickly and provide meaningful commercial advice.’

Key clients

Sean Parker

AIG

Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Accel-KKR / Seequent

Discovery Communications, LLC

FlexiGroup

Amazon

Relay

Work highlights

  • Advised Accel-KKR on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems.
  • Advising Totara on the implementation of the group’s ESOP following its acquisition by Five V Capital.
  • Advising AIG on providing W&I insurance in connection with a number of underwritten transactions in New Zealand and internationally.

New Zealand > TMT Tier 3

Nick Valentine leads DLA Piper New Zealand’s TMT practice which supports public and private sector entities on large-scale business process and IT outsourcing, M&A and commercial agreements, telecoms and infrastructure rollouts. Senior associate Edward Eisdell-Moore joined from Simpson Grierson in May 2021, further expanding the teams’ expertise in IP commercialisation, licencing and data protection. Eisdell-Moore also regularly advises start-up and growth companies on commercial arrangements, as well as assisting foreign corporations with their plans to expand into New Zealand. The firm has an extensive portfolio of clients in the sports, media and fintech sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The DLA TMT team/offering is led by Nick Valentine who is an up and coming / Next Generation TMT lawyer in NZ. He has strong experience from Australia and has a deep understanding of current law and the latest innovations and trends in the Legal space in this area. He is easy to deal with, responsive, commercial and keen to understand a client’s needs. Nick is also developing a strong team of capable Associates under him.’

‘Great team to work with, outcome focused partners. Amazing collaboration and take the time to really understand our needs before providing solutions.’

Key clients

Accel-KKR

Spark

Westpac

HSBC

Foodstuffs North Island

Auckland Council

Heartland Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Accel-KKR on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems, Incorporated for approx. NZ$1.46bn.
  • Advised Partners Life on the procurement and implementation of a new cloud-based claims management system from Irish insurance SaaS provider FINEOS Corporation.
  • Advised Discovery, Inc. on its acquisition of all of the shares in MediaWorks TV Limited from MediaWorks Holdings Limited.

Global co-chairs: Frank W. Ryan and Andrew Darwin
Co-chief executive officers: Simon Levine and Frank W. Ryan
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.

Global co-chairs: Frank W. Ryan and Andrew Darwin
Co-chief executive officers: Simon Levine and Frank W. Ryan
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.


DLA Piper has a leading pro bono practice, providing over 200,000 hours’ worth of legal support annually to charities, NGOs, governments in least developed countries and vulnerable individuals around the world. We are one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services globally. Our thriving practice provides support for aforementioned organisations on a wide range of areas that are critical to their missions. This includes research, legal advice and strategic counsel. The global team works collaboratively to ensure a global impact on our key strategic focus areas including: forcible displacement, statelessness, gender-based violence, climate justice, and good governance.

In the Asia Pacific region, we deliver cutting edge pro bono programs. This includes our Know Your Rights Program, focused on fostering legal empowerment for migrants and refugees, and delivering practical legal skills programs to students in developing Pacific Island Nations. We also advise on gender based violence through our partnership with the RainLily Clinic (Hong Kong) and the Refugee Legal Family Violence Clinic (Australia).

Our Pro Bono program is led by a dedicated team of pro bono lawyers who sit within the international Responsible Business Team. As a team we are committed to looking for opportunities to use our strength as a leading global law firm to make a positive contribution to the world around us. We are focused on being a truly sustainable business, makes a positive social and environmental impact. This commitment exists at every level within the firm and is part of our culture.

Our Responsible Business team works internationally on a vast array of ESG topics, aligning to the firm’s ESG strategic priorities. This includes advising on key environmental and conservation matters, working on projects relating to illegal wildlife trafficking, climate and conservation. We also work to promote and invest in projects that advance sustainable development and the rule of law in developing nations.

DLA Piper’s pro bono work forms part of the firm’s wider Sustainability & ESG Strategy, focused on understanding, measuring and managing the firm’s impact in four key areas – our people, clients and suppliers, environment, and society. These focus areas are identified through a formal materiality assessment. We also report on our progress annually via our Sustainability Report. Our ambitions and actions align with globally accepted standards and frameworks (e.g. the UN Global Compact, Business Ambition for 1.5, Science Based Targets initiative, Mindful Business Charter, and others).

We are firmly committed to diversity and inclusion. For us, diversity isn’t just about visible differences, it’s the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual and we know it’s crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued. In 2021, we launched our global diversity and inclusions goals, including ensuring that at least 30% of our partnership is made up of women by 2025 (and 40% by 2030). Our employee networks play a crucial part in helping us learn, reflect and share our experiences in diversity and inclusion.