How NZ Lawyers Rank on the Legal 500 Rankings

The Asia Pacific Legal 500 rankings have been released, identifying the leading lawyers across a number of practice ‘bands’.

The Guide ranks law firms for each of the categories and lists individual New Zealand lawyers working in firms who it deems to be “Leading Individuals” or “Next Generation Lawyers”.

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The observations on the New Zealand legal scene from the survey note the new emphasis upon ethical standards following the Russell McVeagh sexual harassment scandal.

How NZ Lawyers Rank on the Legal 500 Rankings

From Legal 500: New Zealand experienced solid growth in 2017 and early 2018, beating the average of other OECD members. The dairy industry is key to the country’s economic performance, so the recent slump in global dairy prices is a cause for concern, but although the agricultural, horticultural, forestry, mining and fishing industries are still key pillars of the economy, the country continues to diversify into areas such as tourism and hi-tech.

The country is expecting a slowdown in immigration, which was a key issue in the general election in late 2017. The centre-right National Party that had been in power since 2008 was replaced by a coalition led by Labour, making Jacinda Ardern the new prime minister. Under the new regime, changes in policy are likely to affect key areas such as overseas investment rules and infrastructure development. PPPs are expected to be replaced by an alternate funding structure for major projects, which have shifted in focus away from road construction towards rail, and the Overseas Investment Office, which is responsible for regulating foreign direct investment, has tightened rules on the foreign ownership of real estate.

For law firms, there is much to work on, including issues that arise from regulatory changes the new government is formulating. The healthy economy has meant there have been relatively few insolvencies, though some large corporate collapses, notably in the insurance and construction sectors, have drawn in many firms with specialist practices. Insurance is another key source of work, with ongoing matters from the Canterbury earthquakes and the South Island’s more recent Kaikoura earthquakes generating a large volume of disputes.

A key trend in the legal market going forward will be ethical standards, following allegations made about the culture and conduct of male lawyers at one of the country’s largest firms.

New Zealand has a strong cadre of full-service law firms, notably Bell GullyBuddle FindlayChapman TrippMinterEllisonRuddWattsRussell McVeagh and Simpson Grierson, and international behemoth DLA Piper New Zealand also has a local office. Competition in key practice areas is fierce, however, as firms such as Kensington SwanAnderson Lloyd and Anthony Harper gain key panel appointments and build their rosters of blue-chip clients.

Boutique firms also play a vital role in many practice areas, such as corporate and commercial (Harmos Horton Lusk Limited), dispute resolution (LeeSalmonLong and Gilbert Walker), insurance (Fee Langstone and Robertsons), employment (SBM LegalDundas Street and Kiely Thompson Caisley) and IP (AJ Park).

New Zealand lawyers who are listed in these categories are as follows:

Banking and Finance
Cathryn BarberChapman TrippDavid McPhersonBell Gully
Deemple BudhiaRussell McVeaghMei NahMayne Wetherell
Geoff BuschAnderson LloydChris O’BrienMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Katie CarsonDLA Piper New ZealandNigel OliverAnthony Harper
David CraigBell GullyPeter OwlesBuddle Findlay
Tom FallMinterEllisonRuddWattsRoss PenningtonChapman Tripp
Paul FarrugiaBuddle FindlayMark ReeseChapman Tripp
Grant GoldsmithAnthony HarperJohn-Paul Rice
Andrew HarknessSimpson GriersonWill TippingMayne Wetherell
Murray KingBell GullyDave WetherellMayne Wetherell
Kate LaneMinterEllisonRuddWattsNicole XanthopolKensington Swan
Guy LethbridgeRussell McVeagh
Next Generation Lawyers
Pip BreitmeyerAnthony HarperIan MackenzieMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Rachel BrownAnderson LloydGerard SounessChapman Tripp
Daniel CollinsBuddle FindlayMichael ThompsonDLA Piper New Zealand
Luke FordChapman TrippDominic ToomeySimpson Grierson
Competition Law
Neil AndersonChapman TrippSusie KittyBuddle Findlay
Anne CallinanSimpson GriersonSimon LaddBell Gully
James CraigSimpson GriersonAndrew MatthewsMatthews Law
Torrin CrowtherBell GullyOliver MeechMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Grant DavidChapman TrippRoss PattersonMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Tony DellowBuddle FindlayTroy PilkingtonRussell McVeagh
Ian DentonWilson HarleMatt SumpterChapman Tripp
Sarah KeeneRussell McVeaghMark WilliamsonDLA Piper New Zealand
Next Generation Lawyers
Lucy CooperChapman TrippFelicity MonteiroWilson Harle
Colin FifeChapman TrippGlenn ShewanBell Gully
Kristel McMeekinMinterEllisonRuddWattsGus StewartMatthews Law
Corporate and M&A
Anna BuchlyBell GullyGraeme QuigleyWebb Henderson
Grant DunnBuddle FindlayCathy QuinnMinterEllisonRuddWatts
James GibsonBell GullySilvana SchenoneMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Brynn GilbertsonBell GullyDavid ShillsonKensington Swan
David GouldAnthony HarperGarth SinclairWebb Hendersno
Pip GreenwoodRussell McVeaghNathanael StarrenburgHarmos Horton Lusk Ltd
Andrew HarmosHarmos Horton Lusk LtdJohn StrowgerChapman Tripp
Michael HarrodMayne WetherellMark StuartMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Paul HartlandLowndesRachel TaylorDLA Piper New Zealand
James HawesSimpson GriersonTim TubmanChapman Tripp
David HoareRussell McVeaghSimon VodanovichBuddle Findlay
Greg HortonHarmos Horton Lusk LtdRoger WallisChapman Tripp
Glenn JoblinBell GullyMartin WisemanDLA Piper New Zealand
Dan JonesRussell McVeaghDaniel WongFlacks & Wong
Michael PollardSimpson Grierson
Next Generation Lawyers
Megan ComptonAnthony HarperAndrew MatthewsSimpson Grierson
Jennifer CooteBell GullyJoshua PringleChapman Tripp
Kerri DeweLowndesHayden SmithDLA Piper New Zealand
Joanna KhooRussell McVeaghBenjamin SuttonBuddle Findlay
Nick KovacevichWynn WilliamsJulika Wahlmann-SmithHesketh Henry
Bede MaherAnderson Lloyd
Dispute Resolution
Sarah ArmstrongRussell McVeaghZane KennedyMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Jania BaigentSimpson GriersonSimon LaddBell Gully
Chris BrowneWilson HarleJohn McKayChapman Tripp
Sophie EastBell GullyLaura O’GormanBuddle Findlay
Allison FergusonWilson HarleDavey SalmonLeeSalmonLong
Ian GaultBell GullyMark SandelinMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Matthew HarrisGilbert WalkerJohn ShackletonSimpson Griersno
Michael HeardLeeSalmonLongStacey ShortallMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Jeremy JohnsonWynn WilliamsJenny StevensBell Gully
Daniel KalderimisChapman Tripp
Next Generation Lawyers
Alexander HoGilbert WalkerLisa TaylorAnthony Harper
Rebecca RossBell GullyJesse WilsonBell Gully
Ian DentonWilson HarleJohn KnightChapman Tripp
Philippa FeeFee LangstoneCaroline LabandDLA Piper New Zealand
Matthew FrancisWotton + KearneySimon LaddBell Gully
David FriarBell GullyCraig LangstoneFee Langstone
Garth GallawayChapman TrippPeter LemanBell Gully
Robert GapesSimpson GriersonMichael RobertsonRobertsons
Crossley GatesMartin SmithGilbert Walker
Matthew HarrisGilbert WalkerHelen TwomeyRobertsons
Antony HoldenWotton + KearneyEmily WaltonWynn Williams
Andrew HorneMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Next Generation Lawyers
Hugh KingWotton + KearneyVirginia WetheyFee Langstone
Felicity MonteiroWilson HarleRachael WoodsRobertsons
Andrew MooreWotton + Kearney
Intellectual Property
Anton BlijlevensAJ ParkSue IronsideBaldwins
Damian BroadleyAJ ParkWes JonesBaldwins
Ian FinchJames & WellsMichael MoyesAnthony Harper
Mark GavinAnthony HarperAlan RingwoodBell Gully
John GlengarryBuddle FindlayJason Rudkin-BinksHudson Gavin Martin
Justin GrahamChapman TrippJenni RutterKensington Swan
Earl GraySimpson GriersonMatt SumpterChapman Tripp
John HackettAJ ParkRichard WattsSimpson Grierson
Mark HargreavesAJ ParkChristopher YoungMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Next Generation Lawyers
Sarah ChapmanSimpson GriersonJullion Nelson ParkerAnthony Harper
Caroline HerbertHudson Gavin MartinHamish SelbyBuddle Findlay
Sooyun LeeBell Gully
Investment Funds
Tracey CrossDLA Piper New ZealandJeremy MuirMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Catriona GroverKensington SwanRachel TaylorDLA Piper New Zealand
David IrelandKensington SwanTim WilliamsChapman Tripp
Lloyd KavanaghMinterEllisonRuddWattsHaydn WongBell Gully
Alasdair McBethDLA Piper New ZealandMike WoodburyChapman Tripp
Next Generation Lawyers
Tom BarnesDLA Piper New ZealandNeisha MistryDLA Piper New Zealand
Emma DaleChapman TrippAndrew SuggateMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Phoebe GibbonsChapman TrippGeoff Ward-MarshallDLA Piper New Zealand
Tom McLaughlinKensington Swan
Labour and Employment
Kathryn BeckSBM LegalHamish KynastonBuddle Findlay
Rachael BrownBell GullyStephen LangtonLangtonHudstonButcher
Emma ButcherBell GullyDon MackinnonSBM Legal
Andrew CaisleyKiely Thompson CaisleyJennifer Mills
Peter ChemisBuddle FindlayPhillipa MuirSimpson Grierson
Tim ClarkeBell GullyMegan RichardsMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Sherridan CookBuddle FindlayLaura ScampionDLA Piper New Zealand
Kylie DunnRussell McVeaghBlair ScotlandDundas Street
David FranceKiely Thompson CaisleyGillian ServiceMinterEllisonRuddWatts
John HannanDLA Piper New ZealandPenny SwarbrickSBM Legal
Susan Hornsby-GelukDundas StreetRob TownerBell Gully
Peter KielyKiely Thompson CaisleySamantha TurnerSimpson Grierson
Next Generation Lawyers
Chris BaldockMinterEllisonRuddWattsMatthew McGoldrickSBM Legal
Rachel BurtKensington SwanTim OldfieldSBM Legal
Ethelred CheyRebecca RendleSimpson Grierson
Liz CoatsBell GullyEmma WardenMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Mere KingBuddle FindlayRos WebbyDundas Street
Chloe LuscombeDundas StreetMarie WiskerChapman Tripp
Projects and Resource Management (including Environment)
Jo AppleyardChapman TrippBill LoutitSimpson Grierson
Alison Arthur-YoungRussell McVeaghPaul MajureyAtkins Holm Majurey
Andrew BeatsonBell GullyPhilip MawWynn Williams
Paul BeverleyBuddle FindlayNicky McIndoeKensington Swan
Paula BrosnahanChapman TrippPeter OwlesBuddle Findlay
Paul BuetowKensington SwanChris SimmonsChancery Green
Bronwyn CarruthersRussell McVeaghSarah SinclairMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Brian ClaytonChapman TrippDave TruemanSimpson Grierson
Rachel DevineMinterEllisonRuddWattsSimon WattBell Gully
Chris GordonBell GullyMichael WeatherallSimpson Grierson
Hugh KettleBell GullyJason WelshChancery Green
Next Generation Lawyers
Natasha GarvanBell GullySarah ScottSimpson Grierson
Claire HarmsworthBell GullyTravis TomlinsonMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Emma ManoharDLA Piper New ZealandFrances WeddeKensington Swan
Michelle MehlhoptWynn WilliamsKirstie WyssWynn Williams
Real Estate and Construction
Tim BarclayAnthony HarperJohn MeadsKensington Swan
James BlackieThompson Blackie BiddlesMark NicholsonChapman Tripp
David ButlerRussell McVeaghMatthew OcklestonKensington Swan
Matthew CarrollChapman TrippAndrew PetersonBell Gully
David ChisnallBell GullyRoss PickmereMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Ed CrookRussell McVeaghStephen PriceMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Debra DorringtonAlexanderDorrington LtdSarah SinclairMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Edward DunphyAnthony HarperGreg ThompsonThompson Blackie Biddles
David GilbertMinterEllisonRuddWattsGreg TowersSimpson Grierson
Jane HollandBell GullyMichael WeatherallSimpson Grierson
Daniel KelleherBuddle FindlayMark WilliamsonDLA Piper New Zealand
Justin MarchDLA Piper New ZealandMichael WoodSimpson Grierson
Denise MarsdenAlexanderDorrington Ltd
Next Generation Lawyers
Ian BeckeBell GullyMiles DeanMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Hamish BollandChapman TrippJessica HanningAnthony Harper
Helen BrownKensington SwanPaula OrmandyBell Gully
Tim BunkerAnthony HarperNick WilsonSimpson Grierson
Anna CrosbieRussell McVeagh
Restructuring and Insolvency
Scott AbelBuddle FindlayMichael LangdonMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Michael ArthurChapman TrippJames McMillanKensington Swan
Scott BarkerBuddle FindlayDavid McPhersonBell Gully
James CairdSimpson GriersonDavid PerryBuddle Findlay
Sean GolinMinterEllisonRuddWattsMichael RobinsonSimpson Grierson
Michael HarperChapman TrippMark SandelinMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Dan HughesAnthony HarperCrispin VinnellAnthony Harper
Matthew KerseyRussell McVeaghMike WhaleLowndes
Next Generation Lawyers
Chloe JolliffeAnthony HarperJennifer TunnaLowndes
Nick MoffattBell GullyLynne VanAnthony Harper
Mihai PascariuMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Brendan BrownRussell McVeaghNeil RussBuddle Findlay
Barney CumberlandSimpson GriersonAndrew RyanMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Stuart HutchinsonSimpson GriersonWilly SussmanBell Gully
Mathew McKayBell GullyFred WardRussell McVeagh
Graeme OldingChapman TrippTony WilkinsonBuddle Findlay
David PattersonChapman Tripp
Next Generation Lawyers
Nick BlandSimpson GriersonCampbell PentneyBell Gully
Vivian ChengChapman TrippHayden RobertsBell Gully
Jai NarioChapman Tripp
Technology, Media and Telecommunications
Mei Fern JohnsonRussell McVeaghKaren NganSimpson Grierson
Tom MaaslandMinterEllisonRuddWattsDean OppenhuisBell Gully
Simon MartinHudson Gavin MartinJane ParkerMinterEllisonRuddWatts
John McCayMinterEllisonRuddWattsRoss PattersonMinterEllisonRuddWatts
Bruce McClintockChapman TrippAmy RyburnBuddle Findlay
Kelly McFadzienChapman TrippPhilip WoodBuddle Findlay
Michael MoyesAnthony HarperAllan YeomanBuddle Findlay
Next Generation Lawyers
Anchali AnandanayagamHudson Gavin MartinTim ShermanChapman Tripp
Kate CruickshankMinterEllisonRuddWattsDamien Steel-BakerBuddle Findlay
Andrew DenticeHudson Gavin MartinRenee StilesBuddle Findlay
Keri JohanssonBuddle FindlayLouise TaylorSimpson Grierson
Dominic RoweRussell McVeagh
Transport (Rail, Road, Air and Sea)
Tom BennettBell GullyMichael McCarthyLowndes
Simon CartwrightHesketh HenryFelicity MonteiroWilson Harle
Torrin CrowtherBell GullyAlan SherlockHesketh Henry
Chris DannAnthony HarperMichael WeatherallSimpson Grierson
John KnightChapman TrippMichael WoodSimpson Grierson
Next Generation Lawyers
Kerryn WebsterWilson Harle

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