Three promoted to Special Counsel at Russell McVeagh

Three promoted to Special Counsel at Russell McVeagh 1

Russell McVeagh has promoted two of its litigators and one Environment, Planning and Natural Resources (EPNR) lawyer to special counsel last week.

Wellington-based litigators Hannah Bain and Jeremy Upson and EPNR specialist Kristen Gunnell based in Auckland are Russell McVeagh’s newest special counsels, following their promotions on 1 December 2022.

Hannah Bain – Litigation, Climate Change

As well as being a top-notch litigator and public law expert, Hannah Bain leads the firm’s climate change offering, and is working together in a strategic alliance with climate change advisors Te Whakahaere to support clients in this increasingly important space. Hannah is also experienced across a wide range of contentious matters, with particular experience in complex commercial disputes in the infrastructure, energy, banking and financial services sectors, and with regulatory investigations. Before joining Russell McVeagh in 2020, she was a Senior Associate at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in London, where she specialised in banking litigation and dispute resolution and worked on large-scale proceedings and investigations involving major UK financial institutions. 

Jeremy Upson – Litigation

Jeremy Upson is a highly experienced and respected litigator, with experience spanning a wide range of commercial and public law disputes. He has appeared at all levels of the court system. He joined Russell McVeagh in 2019 and has significant experience advising and acting on contractual disputes, judicial review, insolvency matters including companies’ claims against directors and auditors, proceedings under the Commerce Act, property disputes, regulatory matters, confidential information, and insurance litigation including arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Kristen Gunnell – Environment, Planning and Natural Resources

Kristen Gunnell has extensive experience advising on major commercial developments and infrastructure projects, including on resource consents, land agreements and strategy. She advises clients on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and related legislation such as the Local Government Act 1974, Local Government Act 2002, Building Act 2004, Conservation Act 1987, and Public Works Act 1981. With the Resource Management Act overhaul happening in New Zealand, Kristen is regularly involved in producing thought leadership on this topic (which can be viewed here). Kristen re-joined the firm in 2018 after spending 10 years as an in-house counsel in the UK.  

I’m thrilled to see these three incredibly talented and dedicated lawyers progress to special counsel and wish them all the best in this next stage of their careers,” said Board Chair Allison Arthur-Young.


Last week Russell McVeagh also announced the promotion of Real Estate lawyer Natalie Steur to partner (subject to Law Society requirements), which you can read more on here.

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