New Zealand

IFLR1000 Reviews

Banking and finance
Lane Neave

Lane Neave is a New Zealand based full-service law firm established in 1868 in Christchurch. The firm now has offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. The firm also has a formal strategic alliance with leading global firm W&H Law Firm, which is a China based law firm provides legal solutions to both Chinese and foreign clients.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a focus in banking and finance sector with specialities ranging from property financing, acquisition funding, debt structuring, securitisation, off-balance sheet financing and receivables financing transactions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Bank of New Zealand, ANZ Bank New Zealand, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank.

Financial and corporate
Dentons Kensington Swan

In August 2019, Kensington Swan combined with global firm Dentons in a rare international entry into New Zealand’s legal market, easily becoming the largest international firm in the country. The firm has offices in Auckland and Wellington.

 

Focusses / specialisms  

When it comes to transactional matters, Dentons Kensington Swan is solid across the board. The firm’s corporate and finance practice is diversified, and it has a specialised China business group that assists Chinese entrants into the New Zealand market.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ANZ Bank New Zealand, Artemis Capital, Craigs Investment Partners, HSBC, Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, McDonald Vague, Johnson & Johnson, and Wellington City Council.

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)     

During the research cycle, the firm was active in banking, capital markets, M&A, projects, and restructuring.

The finance team was very active last year in real estate financing. The team was also involved in financing and regulatory work in corporate financing, asset, and asset back financing.

The capital markets practice acted in fund formations, IPOs, equity offerings, block trade, private placement of shares, securitisations, investment grade bonds, and green bonds in the automotive, retail sectors, technology and telecommunications. 

The corporate team was particularly active in advising on private acquisitions and divestment work. The team also handled asset acquisitions and financial investment works for both the buy and sell sides.

In the projects space, the firm is continually busy advising in transport, utilities, energy, PPPs, government and public policies, real estate, and constructions and materials sectors.

The restructuring team was preoccupied with advising restructuring and insolvency proceedings as well as receivership works.

The firm strengthened its corporate team by adding partner Gerard Dale from Lane Neave, senior associates Sarah Gibbs and Keegan Toft.

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)   

GreenMount NZ$130 million co-investment Fund

WELL Health C$19.25 million acquisitions of Intrahealth

The LGWM programme

Waikeria Prison PPP project

Receivership of Pyne Holdings

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022)     

Banking and finance

"Excellent preparation. Good client relationships. Pragmatic advice and dispute resolution approach."

 

Capital markets: Debt

"Knowledgeable, willing to share their understanding, timely and accurate."

 

M&A

"Expertise in the sector and professional advice provided to manage potential risks associated with the transaction."

"Extremely professional, very commercial approach to the negotiations, skilled and practical drafting of the SPA and available at all times. "

"They are result-driven, pragmatic and highly professional."

"Timely, constructive, value-add advice."

 

PPP/PFI

"Sound PPP knowledge & experience in the NZ market. Very good service, legal advice and guidance on negotiation strategies."

 

Project Development

"They know the resource management act well and provide good advice. Experienced with providing assistance to experts to write their technical assessments and expert evidence and step in to manage the process to achieve project timelines."

"They have provided very pragmatic advice to provide direction through the resource consenting process. I have had a high level of confidence that we are getting value for money - not just through the calibre of the technical advice received, but they check regularly about the level of involvement they should be providing."

 

Insolvency

"Cost-effective. Responsive."

"The firm responds very promptly to queries. The advice they provide is considered and clear. "

"The firm was thorough and quick to respond to queries. Provided good commercial advice on how best to progress matters. "

"They provided detailed and timely advice on the specific issues raised but also identified other areas of concern."

"Very knowledgeable, experienced and professional in their approach. Willing to make themselves available when required and able to work to strict deadlines."

 

M&A

"Committed. Attention to detail. Hardworking."

"Insolvency testing and legal advice around the sales structure, process and SPA."

"Solid, business-oriented advice and guidance."

 

Chris Parke

"He is approachable, responsive and provides quality advice. He is great to work with and focuses on solutions for the business."

"Very commercial and practical approach to the transaction, always available, provides practical solutions to issues that arise, adept organiser and very pleasant to deal with."

"He led the team and is very knowledgeable, focused on the big picture, pragmatic, sharp and very easy to deal with. Nothing is too much trouble."

"Committed. Attention to detail. Hardworking."

"Personable, accessible, meets deadlines, knowledge, ability to communicate succinctly, all whilst a full schedule."

 

Ezekiel Hudspith

"Very open and collaborative, a genuine pleasure to work with. Very considered in his approach and a strong technical knowledge."

 

Heida Donegan

"Professional, good customer relationship skills, strong network, good sense of risk identification and control."

"She always takes extra time to understand our business targets; is solution-focused, result-driven, professional and easy to deal with; has great communication and interpersonal skills."

 

James McMillan

"Very approachable, good communicator. Able to find pragmatic solutions."

"Has a very good knowledge of insolvency and related issues and is very approachable."

"His subject-matter knowledge is excellent and he responds promptly to queries. Ahis advice is always considered and clear. He has the ability to explain complex issues in simple terms."

"Professional, approachable, knowledgeable, efficient."

"Very responsive. Knowledgeable on technical insolvency matters."

 

Liz Lim

"Clear communication, happy to engage to explain issues and legal processes."

 

Nicky McIndoe

"Responsive. Manages her team well."

 

Paul Buetow

"Very experienced. Reputation for problem-solving between parties rather than defaulting to formal dispute process in the first instance."

 

Patrick Glennie

"His advice was clear and concise. Legal advice was practical and commercial. Kept updated on progress and flagged when potential issues could arise. "

 

Wook Jin Lee

"Timely, thoughtful and business-oriented advice and guidance."

Mayne Wetherell

Mayne Wetherell is a boutique Auckland-based independent law firm founded in 2004.

 

Focusses / specialisms  

The firm is among New Zealand’s strongest finance firms and enjoys a particularly strong reputation in securitisation work, and for its debt capital markets and leveraged finance work.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ASB Bank, Auckland International Airport, Avanti Finance, Bank of New Zealand, Deutsche Bank, KKR, Macquarie, 2degrees, and Calibre Partners.  

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)    

During the research period, the finance team was particularly active in financing and refinancing transactions for financiers, lenders, and borrowers. The firm also advised on securitisations and bond issuances such as green bonds, RMBS, and ABS for issuers, trustees, guarantors, originators, and asset service providers.

In the corporate practice, the firm has been busy with private acquisitions, financial investments, mergers, and divestments and often acted for acquirers and investors. 

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)   

Auckland Council NZ$300 million green bond issue

Avanti NZ$350 million RMBS 2021-1 Trust issue

KKR NZ$435 million acquisition of 100% shares of Education Perfect

2degrees $NZ1.7 billion merger with Orcon Group

Tompkins Wake

Tompkins Wake is a Hamilton-based independent mid-sized law firm with over 65 lawyers and further offices in Auckland, Tauranga, and Rotorua.

 

Focusses / specialisms  

The firm is best known for corporate and commercial work including corporate financing, construction projects, commercial developments, health and safety and commercial acquisitions, disposals and leasing, and for infrastructure projects, land acquisitions and PPPs in power, social infrastructure, transport and utilities.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include SkyCity Entertainment, Global from Day One, Hillfarance Venture Capital, JVC Kenwood, Huawei Technologies, PepsiCo New Zealand, WEL Networks, and Hamilton City Council.

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)   

The firm has been active in M&A, projects, and restructuring during the research period.

In the M&A area, the firm kept busy with cross-border acquisitions advising clients from buy and sell sides.

The projects team was active in advising energy, utilities, mining, and social infrastructures and often acted for local government and companies. 

Last year, the firm hired partner Chen Jiang in the restructuring space. For corporate and projects, the firm added two senior associates Luke Bowers from Chapman Tripp and Jill Gregory from Bell Gully.

 

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)   

Bermele NZ$59 million acquisition of East Imperial

Hamilton City Council NZ$200 million transport project

Anderson Lloyd

Anderson Lloyd is a mid-sized New Zealand law firm with over 150 professionals across offices in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown and is the only South Island firm on the national institutional banking panels for three of the four main trading banks.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is best known for its work in domestic project finance and high-end acquisition and real estate finance. Project development, energy, construction and infrastructure are core areas of the firm.

The firm also actively advises clients in banking and finance, private equity and capital raisings.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Accident Compensation, Sealord Group, ASB Bank, ANZ Bank New Zealand, Trustpower, Precinct Properties, Queenstown Airport, Christchurch City Council and Mercury NZ.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking and finance

“Responsive, good industry experience and well versed on market practice.”

 

Project development

“Pragmatic, clearly articulate legal positions, international and national experienced in this area.”

Anthony Harper

Anthony Harper is an independent New Zealand law firm with 77 lawyers across offices in Auckland and Christchurch. The firm is one of New Zealand’s oldest-standing law firms with a history of more than 150 years.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is focused on restructuring and insolvency and handles joint ventures, M&As and restructuring mandates. It also is known for real estate finance and financing matters including leveraged finance, project and property finance, structured finance and syndicated corporate facilities. It also has experience in dealing with different banking transactions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ASB Bank, Bank of China (New Zealand), Bank of New Zealand, China Construction Bank (New Zealand), Synlait Milk, Rhenus Logistics Asia Pacific, Daimler AG, IE Money, AIA NZ and KPMG.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A

“Highly competent, deep market knowledge and technically very strong. Good team depth and very responsive to time critical requests and deadlines.”

 

Restructuring

“Informative. Knowledgeable. Friendly and outcome driven.”

Bell Gully

Bell Gully

Founded in 1840, Auckland-based Bell Gully is among the Big Three and one of New Zealand’s largest firms with over 400 employees including 200 lawyers and a further office in Wellington.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strongest in its banking and finance, debt and equity capital markets, project development and M&A works.

In banking and finance the firm maintains a healthy balance between acting for borrowers and lenders and is a strong choice for New Zealand's blue-chip companies, investment banks, retail banks and non-bank financial institutions.

The firm has a leading M&A practice and is also strong in securitisations and PPPs (public-private partnership), and it has been at the forefront of the market taking advantage of acquisition finance work and the continued interest in local debt markets by offshore issuers.

The firm also actively advises clients on restructuring and insolvency and securitisations sectors.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ANZ, ASB, Air New Zealand, Xero, Macquarie Capital, SkyCity, FountainVest, Blackstone, Ampol, Auckland Transport, Precinct Properties, New Zealand Oil & Gas, City Rail Link and Wellington City Council.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

M&A

“Bell Gully provides excellent legal services that go beyond legal advice. They work hard to understand the business of their clients in order to support achieving key commercial outcomes. The lawyers are willing to express their opinions and judgements beyond pure legal advice.”

 

Project development

“Extensive knowledge in areas of construction contracts, disputes and negotiation.”

Buddle Findlay

Buddle Findlay

Formed in 1895, Buddle Findlay is an independent New Zealand law firm with 180 lawyers including 46 partners across offices in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The full-service firm is strong across the board but excels with its finance practice and restructuring and insolvency team owing to its strong networks in banking and professional services.

The firm also actively advises clients in project development and debt and equity capital markets.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Bank of New Zealand, ANZ Bank New Zealand, Westpac NZ, Kiwibank, Rabobank, Bank of China, Infratil, Contact Energy, Sixth Street Partners, Brookfield, Goldman Sach, Auckland Transport and Ormat Technologies.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking and finance

“Excellent technical advice which is always provided in a prompt timeframe and easy to digest manner, and with commercial considerations in mind.”

 

Insolvency

“Great team, highly knowledgeable and enjoyable to work worth.”

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp

Established in 1875, Auckland-based Chapman Tripp is traditionally among the market’s Big Three law firms with over 50 partners and around 260 legal staff across offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strong across the transactional board including Capital markets, M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency, banking and finance.

It is particularly known for its capital markets—more recently in developing green bond and sustainable finance markets—and securitisation work and restructuring and insolvency practice. It also has one of the largest M&A practices in the market.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Mercury, Vector, Fonterra, Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment, ANZ Bank, ASB, HSBC, PGG Wrightson, Mercury Energy and Calibre Partners.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking and finance

“Strong market leaders in terms of industry knowledge, deal execution, quality of advice, and clarity of communication.”

 

M&A

“Responsive, understand our business, provide quality advice that is workable.”

Harmos Horton Lusk

Founded in 2002, Harmos Horton Lusk is a corporate law firm based in Auckland. As an incorporated law firm, the firm’s principals are directors. Many of its directors have direct governance expertise in commercial or significant non-profit organisations. 

 

Focusses/ specialisms    

The firm is best known for its public M&A, private M&A, equity capital markets transactions, including advising on the structuring, public offering and underwriting of listed and unlisted securities and public and private capital raisings, board-level strategic and governance advice and compliance with New Zealand’s foreign investment and financial services regimes. 

 

Key clients 

Notable clients include NZX, Powering Australian Renewables Fund, Mercury Capital, Centuria Capital Group, Trilogy International Partners, Unity Software, The a2 Milk Company, AFT Pharmaceuticals, Pushpay and Armstrong’s Motor.  

 

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Capital markets 

"Excellent understanding of the law and practical and pragmatic advice." 

 

M&A 

"They do well in everything. HHL excels at providing smart, practical, business-minded advice and carefully guiding you through the transaction from start to finish. "

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

With offices in Auckland and Wellington, MinterEllisonRuddWatts is part of the Australia-based MinterEllison Legal Group that has 1700 employees across offices in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Ulaanbaatar.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is best known for its restructuring and insolvency team and financing practice but also has expertise in M&A, private equity and project development work. It also actively advises clients in debt and equity capital markets.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Westpac New Zealand, ANZ Bank New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, The Co-operative Bank, TSB Bank, Metrics Capital, Bupa, Metlifecare, UPS, Ministry of Transport and Refining NZ.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh

Established in 1863, Auckland-based full-service law firm Russell McVeagh is one among the New Zealand legal market’s Big Three with over 250 lawyers and an additional office in Wellington.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Russell McVeagh's finance team is one of the leading experts on financial regulation in New Zealand and transactionally, it specialises in the capital markets, bank lending, structured finance and securitisation and derivatives. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have remained a focus for infrastructure funding in New Zealand and the firm's finance team has advised financiers to such projects.

The firm is also very active in debt and equity capital markets, project development, M&A and restructuring practices.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ANZ, BNZ, ASB, Westpac, Kiwi Bank, KiwiRail, Infratil, Genesis Energy, Pacific Equity Partners, Tilt Renewables, PWC, KPMG and Meltzer Mason.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking and finance

“They provide a deep level of understanding of our banking products, the wider NZ legal framework and industry. Their securitisation knowledge in NZ is second to none.”

 

M&A

“The team at Russell McVeagh are super responsive and pro-active. Their turnaround times are really good and they made themselves available at short notice and worked to very tight timelines. Although we of course know that we are not, they made us feel like we were their only client.”

TWA Legal

TWA Legal is a boutique Auckland-based independent law firm that was established in July 2020 by Jennifer Tunna, Mike Whale and Michael Anderson following the dissolution of corporate and commercial law firm Lowndes.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is the only boutique restructuring and insolvency firm in New Zealand but also has experience in banking and finance, M&A and capital raising. The firm also has an expertise in the funds management industry.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include Bassant Professional Trustee Services, Go Car Finance, Trade Depot, Advance Scaffold (Auckland), Khov Jones and Rodewald Consulting.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Insolvency

“Experts in the insolvency field. Responsive and are able to analyse/problem solve efficiently.”

“Proactive, down to earth, easy to understand, easy to contact/communicate with.”

Vince & Rice

Vince & Rice is a boutique independent Auckland-based law firm that was formed by lawyers Kyra Vince and John-Paul Rice in December 2018. 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is focused on finance and restructuring matters that spans across banking, debt capital markets, acquisition finance, project finance, real estate finance, structured finance and financial services regulation.

Key clients

Key clients of the firm include Centuria Capital, Orams Group, Manuka Health New Zealand, Icon Property Group, China Construction Bank New Zealand, Freshmax Global and Douglas Pharmaceuticals.  

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the firm kept busy advising on acquisition financing mandates and other deals involving project finance, restructuring matters, real estate finance and refinancing.   

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

-Airedale Apartment restructuring

-Augusta Capital NZ$204 million acquisition financing 

-Manuka Health NZ$140 million refinancing

-New Ground Hobsonville development

-Orams Marine NZ$70 million refinancing 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Deep experience, proactive, very commercial, transparent on fees.”

“Good communication, very pro-active and very responsive. Great legal knowledge.”

“Astute, well connected, great expertise and very responsive (all hours of day and night).”

M&A

“Hands on partner involvement, extensive bank contacts and commercial acumen.” 

Webb Henderson

Webb Henderson is a boutique independent law firm with offices in Auckland and Sydney comprised of a team of five partners and 13 lawyers.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is best known for its corporate and M&A work and the banking and finance practice that is gaining traction. The banking team specialises in complex financing transactions including leveraged acquisitions, projects, restructurings, property, debt capital markets and derivatives. It also has expertise in the energy and telecommunications and media industries.

 

Key clients 

Key clients of the firm include ANZ Bank New Zealand, Public Trust, SilverTree Equity, Indevin Group, Argenta, Intercoll, Electromotiv and Carbn Asset Management.

 

Client Feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Financial restructuring

“Personal attention from a highly experienced senior commercial lawyer (Graeme Quigley) backed up by a very capable team. Advice received is timely and strategic and the personal support has been greatly appreciated. I would not hesitate to recommend Webb Henderson.”