The Rich Lawyer List: 6 of the Richest on The LawFuel List

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Sir Michael Friedlander

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The Keegan Alexander consultant has a vast property portfolio via his Sampson Corporation with a fortune that may well be touching a billion.

Still retaining a modest entry on the Keegan Alexander website, he has a Power List ranking befitting his wealth and philanthropy through his Friedlander Foundation.

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A consultant at law firm Keegan Alexander (modestly referred to as a consultant, commercial/property law) – where he was a partner for 40 years – Friedlander was made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community in 2016.

He is a well-known philanthropist through the Friedlander Foundation, as well as donating generously to the Liggins Institute, the Auckland Art Gallery, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Jewish community.

Peter Cooper

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Former Russell McVeagh lawyer Peter Cooper made a fortune in California and Texas before coming home to create the 18 building Britomart heritage restoration. Principal in Cooper and Company he has offices in Newport Beach, California, Southlake, Texas and Auckland.

The latest for Britomart is a 10-level hotel as well as sitesd he owns between the former Central Post Office and Britomart transport hub and the Westpac building

Mark Dunphy

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Hitting the headlines recently with his plans to keep the America’s Cup in New Zealand with local backing, Dunphy is a Wellingtonian who graduated law from VUW, son of former senior partner at the predecessor to the currently-named Morrison Kent, Malcolm Dunphy.

Dunphy’s fortune, estimated by the NBR to be around $220 million, came from his ownership of Greymouth Petroleum, the second largest locally-owned and operated production and exploration company whose assets include the onshore Turangi, Onaero, Kowhai, Radnor and Ngatoro gas fields. He has formally been chairman of ASX-listed Cultus Petroleum and privately owned Australian company Interstate Energy.

He last hit the headlines with his lawsuit against energy minister Megan Woods over the government moves under the Crown Minerals Act halting offshore gas and oil exploration.

Claudia Batten

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Another former Russell McVeagh millionaire (there are many) is serial entrepreneur Claudia Batten, 45, the Wellingtonian who shuttles between New Zealand and her California digs following the successful sale of two startups. Her gaming company Massive was sold to Microsoft no less in 2006 for a reported USD400 million.

That success was followed up by her Colorado-based Victors & Spoils (V&S), an advertising agency built on the principles of crowdsourcing, which was sold to a French company in 2012 for an undisclosed amount but, safe to say, enough to create additional substantial wealth.

A person given to work mentoring and encouraging others to achieve their dreams she is the youngest recipient ever of the World Class New Zealand Supreme Award at 39 years old. Claudia is also a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership award recognizing her as a Kiwi Leader working to achieve the extraordinary for New Zealand. She also won the High Tech Awards Flying Kiwi award in 2018 and was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business in New Zealand award at the 2017 CIO Awards.

She is a digital adviser to Westpac and was recently appointed as a director of Air New Zealand.

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Christopher Chandler

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The Malta resident and arch conservative former Hamiltonian made a fortune estimated by The Guardian to be worth $1.7 billion, certain Chris Chandler and his equally wealthy brother Richard are wealthy enough to buy the jewel-in-the-Crown Cap Ferrat home (below) formerly belonging to movie star David Niven.

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some at $1.5 billion, mainly from so-called emerging economies, including Russia’s breakup that generated multi billion profits for oligarchs and others. Working with his brother, the two inherited their Chandler House furniture business before moving to greener pastures in Monaco from which they started the Sovereign business.

He co-founded Legatum, a private, multibillion-dollar investment firm that puts money into companies in developing countries as well as the world’s capital markets. The company works from its own building in Dubai.

Simon Herbert

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Paula and Simon Herbert

An ‘A List’ rich lister, Simon Herbert, developer of Bayswater Marina Village and other significant investments who hit the headlines again late 2018 with news that his Orewa West sub-division property that he purchased for $3.9 million four years ago was sold for $62.8 million.

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He  hit the news with the $20 million sale of their Remuera Mansion,  (below) which was formerly owned by David Richwhite, and in respect of a stoush over a deal involving 246 Queen Street.

He and wife Paula had just bought a Cremorne St property, a modernist Brent Helena concrete place with its own boat-shed, helicopter pad, pool overlooking the waterfront and beachfront access for a record-breaking $30 million.


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