In a surprise move, well known corporate lawyer and name partner at his own firm, Mark Lowndes, is to merge his practice with Tompkins Wake in Auckland.
Lowndes team is set to join Tompkins Wake Tompkins on 1 September.
Lowndes founder Mark Lowndes, Director Kerri Dewe, and Associate Reuben Payne will join Tompkins Wake’s Auckland office in a move announced today.
Lowndes has been talking to a number of law firms recently about a possible merger. An entrepreneurial lawyer who founded Lowndes Jordan in 1986 after a spell at Simpson Grierson and as in-house counsel at BP Oil, he developed what is probably the country’s first boutique law practice.
The firm became Lowndes in 1997 with the intention of providing high level client service for major clients but within a nimble, small firm environment. He was also recently the Chair of Multilaw, a global association of over 10,000 lawyers practising in 100 countries.
Tompkins Wake has shown rapid growth in recent years as it has expanded to four offices from its Hamilton base. This March the firm appointed five new lawyers and boasted of 60 per cent growth over the past four years. The firm now has 125 staff across its offices.
The move to incorporate the Lowndes team and in particular Mark Lowndes will further boost the firm’s corporate presence in the Auckland market, providing a solid foothold into corporate work in the commercial centre.
Alongside his corporate advisory work, Mark Lowndes has enjoyed a strong reputation and holds various company directorships and trusteeships in NZ and internationally. He is a Certified Member of the Institute of Directors and has served as a mentor for the Institute of Directors’ training programmes.
“We had been talking to a number of law firms, and once we engaged with Tompkins Wake we were quickly attracted by their energy and enthusiasm, their clear business strategy, and the depth of the firm’s talent across its offices,” Lowndes said in a statement.
“We have been impressed by our dealing with Tompkins Wake. We’ve found them to be nimble and commercial to deal with. They have a great people-orientated culture and are adept at identifying and valuing the strengths that different individuals bring.”
Tompkins Wake Chief Executive Jon Calder (right) said further strengthening the firm’s Auckland office and national presence has been a key focus over the past four years.
“We’re excited about this opportunity to merge this practice into Tompkins Wake and we welcome Mark, Kerri, and Reuben with their specialist skills to continue our growth, particularly in the Auckland market.
“Lowndes have built a reputation around their unique ability to leverage their technical expertise with innovative commercial thinking and outstanding service; we think that’s a brilliant fit with
Tompkins Wake and our firm’s values.”
Mark Lowndes advises New Zealand and international companies – listed and privately owned –on a range of matters such as mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, private equity, venture capital, corporate recovery, and international investment.
He is recommended as a leading corporate/commercial lawyer by the 2020 edition of the principal international legal industry directories including Chambers Asia Pacific, Asialaw Profiles, Legal 500 and Best Lawyers in New Zealand.
“After 23 years as Managing Director, I’m looking forward to being supported to focus solely on looking after my clients.”
Reuben Payne, an Associate at Lowndes, is a commercial lawyer who has previously spent nine years in international firms in Auckland,
Melbourne, Singapore and London.
The firm is winding down its practice to coincide with the merger on 1 September. Until that time, Lowndes continues to serve its clients from its Shortland Street offices.