Leading New Zealand law firm Russell McVeagh is set to further grow its partnership* with the announcement of the promotions of three outstanding lawyers and leaders of the firm – Jesse Fairley, Sarah Blackmore and Tom Gillespie. Appointed from today, 1 December 2021, these promotions continue the expansion of the firm’s senior teams and follow the partner appointments earlier this year of Tax expert Greg Neill and Employment specialist Emma Peterson.
With the three new partners being specialists in Banking and Finance, Real Estate and Construction, and Corporate Advisory respectively, Russell McVeagh is expanding the depth of expertise the firm brings when working alongside clients to deliver strategic value.
Board Chair Allison Arthur-Young says that the new partners are great examples of the firm’s leaders who help clients achieve exceptional outcomes through their market-leading expertise, as well as demonstrating the firm’s values of Respect, Excellence, Tenacity and Curiosity, in their approach.
“As leaders of our firm, they possess an extremely high level of personal integrity and they consistently deliver for their teams, our clients and for our firm, in addition to their outstanding abilities as lawyers,” she says.
Jesse Fairley, Banking and Finance
Jesse is a home-grown talent who returned to Russell McVeagh in 2018 after five years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London.
With extensive experience advising financial institutions, sponsors and corporates on complex and innovative financing transactions, Jesse specialises in general corporate and acquisition/leveraged finance, debt capital markets, asset-backed and receivables finance, and debt restructuring. He also regularly advises on financial services law and regulation.
Jesse is a proven performer who is sought out by clients for his technical excellence and collaborative and solutions focused approach.
Sarah Blackmore, Real Estate and Construction
Sarah joined Russell McVeagh as Special Counsel in March 2019 following 12 years’ experience at another large New Zealand law firm. Since joining the firm, Sarah has undertaken a broad range of commercial property work, and built her extensive specialist knowledge in development, leasing, and sales and acquisitions, including structured property transactions and the acquisition of New Zealand commercial property by overseas investment funds. Sarah also specialises in the acquisition, disposal and management of forestry assets and is a member of the firm’s climate change sector group.
Sarah has a proven ability to build strong rapport with clients and provides expert advice on a wide range of matters. She works alongside clients including Goodman, Kiwi Property, and PSPIB/CPPIB Waiheke Inc. on market-leading transactions.
Tom Gillespie, Corporate Advisory
Tom has become a well-known name in corporate law since returning from Singapore, where he worked for international law firm Linklaters, and has been recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ 2021 in the New Zealand market by NZ Lawyer. While known for his technical skills, Tom’s soft skills also set him apart, including providing an exceptional client experience and prioritising junior lawyer development, coupled with his work ethic and great sense of humour.
Tom has extensive experience advising on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures and venture capital transactions.
*Subject to Law Society requirements.