#NZLawAwards

THE NEW ZEALAND LAW AWARDS 2021 WINNERS


 

 

DEAL AWARDS

DEBT MARKET DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Mercury NZ Finance $200 million seven-year green bond offer

Lead Firm: Chapman Tripp

Other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): ANZ, Bell Gully, BNZ, DNV GL

 

This initial NZX-listed green bond offer was part of more than $2bn worth of NZ sustainable bond issuance. Mercury’s $200 million seven-year bond offer included $50 million in oversubscriptions.

Judges' comments include: "This transaction involved the issue of an innovative green bond across a range of investors in different jurisdictions; A significant new green bond issue, with a high level of complexity and innovation."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Kiwibank Issue of NZ $275million in subordinated notes

NZ $18.4 million refinancing of Electric Kiwi debt facilities

NZ $2 billion Warehouse Facilities to assist Shinsei Bank acquisition of UDC Finance Limited

Scentre Group US $3 billion subordinated hybrid note issue

EQUITY MARKET DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Auckland International Airport NZ$1.2bn capital raise

Lead Firm: Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh

Other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Citi, Credit Suisse, Jarden, King & Wood Mallesons

 

Judges' comments include: "A transaction of significant scale executed under urgency and trying market conditions; The largest secondary offering in NZ history and completed at the height of COVID-19 lockdown; Required significant strategic input into the timing, structure and process from external legal counsel; The largest capital raising at a time of distress, providing value to existing shareholders."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Kathmandu Group NZ $207 million capital raise

My Food Bag IPO and NZ $342 million capital raise

NZ $98 million block trade sell-down of shares in Pushpay

Sky Network Television Limited NZ $157 million placement and non-renounceable accelerated rights entitlement offer

PROJECT FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Cardrona Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant NZ $16.5m project financing

Lead Firms: Anderson Lloyd, Buddle Findlay

Oher Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): BNZ, Spencers Chartered Accountants

 

A transaction showcasing an innovative solution, via a public-private collaboration. Financing structures allowed for the development of the wastewater scheme with the private sector retaining the risks associated with development while providing the District Council with ultimate ownership and control of the scheme.

Judges' comments include: "While not a significant dollar value, this clearly involved a lot of legal work, different practice areas, complexity and innovation. Well done."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEE:

Transmission Gully public-private partnership NZ $1.25 billion project financing

M&A DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Metlifecare NZ$1.3bn sale to Asia Pacific Villages Group

Lead Firms: Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Harmos Horton Lusk

Other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Calibre Partners (formerly KordaMentha), Colliers International, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Jarden, Jones Lang LaSalle, King & Wood Mallesons, Meredith Connell, NERA Economic Consulting, Russell McVeagh, Simmons Corporate Finance, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Stout Street Chambers

 

NZX-listed Metlifecare was successful in selling 100 per cent of its shares to Asia Pacific Villages Group (APVG), via a $1.3b scheme of arrangement. The case raised complex issues including of the impact of COVID-19 and responses to the pandemic on the interpretation of MAC clauses.

Judges' comments include: "Multiple elements of this notable transaction make it a stand out in its category."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Discovery Inc. acquisition of MediaWorks TV Limited

Fonterra NZ $592 million sale of China dairy farms

Resolution Life A$3 billion acquisition of AMP's wealth protection and mature life businesses

WEL Networks and Waipa Networks sale of stake in Ultrafast Fibre Holdings

INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Liquidation of Pacific Aerospace assets

Lead Firm: Tompkins Wake

Other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Bell Gully, Holland Beckett, Khov Jones, Quigg Partners

 

Finding a solution to the insolvency of an iconic plane manufacturer was a challenge requiring creativity. Interim liquidators were appointed “without notice” and measures were taken to secure CAA certification in order to sell PAL locally.

Judges' comments include: "A complex transaction with regulatory hurdles and cross-jurisdictional issues to be navigated; An innovative solution to a complex deal involving issues of public interest - a real impetus to make the deal successful."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Claymark Group receivership

Distressed sale of Smiths City Group for NZ $60 million in assumed debt and cash to Polar Capital LP

Restructuring, insolvency, and exit of Jucy Group

Tahua Capital NZ $30 million purchase of Burger King New Zealand under receivership

MID-MARKET DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Centuria Capital Group NZ$175m takeover of Augusta Capital

Lead Firm: Chapman Tripp, Harmos Horton Lusk

Other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): HWL Ebsworth, Mayne Wetherell

 

Judges' comments include: "An unusual transaction undertaken on reliance of unique exemptions requiring innovative legal thinking; This deal had a lot of complications to get it over the line, creating many hurdles that they got through; Scores highly in all of the criteria. Great submission- an overall winner; Takeover offer with a variety of non-standard and innovative aspects; A multi-facted and complex transaction which was ultimately executed effectively in unique circumstances."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Abano Healthcare Group Limited NZ $136 million take-private transaction

Freightways Limited NZ$117 million acquisition of Big Chill Distribution

Price Industries purchase of Holyoake New Zealand and Australian operations

The a2 Milk Company NZ $268 million investment in Mataura Valley Milk

IN-HOUSE AWARDS

JAMES & WELLS YOUNG IN-HOUSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR (35 OR UNDER)

WINNER: Courtney Dick, Rocket Lab

 

Judges' comments include: "Outstanding achievements across multiple complex areas of the business as well as the development of business improvement functions; sole legal counsel very involved in significant grow award-categoryth & significant transactions; Successfully navigated complicated legal environments, domestically and abroad; Huge variety of work, and importance; Innovation and implementation of key legal tools; Wow, all credit to this nominee.''

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Brooke White, Calder Stewart

Charlotte Moll, Warren and Mahoney

Georgina Sanders, Mainfreight

Jemimah Giblett, Sharesies

Jeremy Jones, AIA New Zealand

Jordan Levesque, Westpac Bank New Zealand

Matt Morgan, Spark New Zealand

Stephen Drysdale, ZURU

James Wells

LANE NEAVE IN-HOUSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Natalie Bryant, Sharesies

 

Judges' comments include: ''A major contributor to the success of the business; Creativity, energy and commitment to change; A talented lawyer working in a challenging area of law in an innovative manner; A nomination that celebrates value-add work; led the team through adversity; Success through multiple challenges of a new business, new team, operating in extensively regulated markets both domestic and international."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Anton Shead, Goodman New Zealand

Beth Keightley, Wellington City Council

Chris Bougen, The New Zealand Refining Company

Hayley Cassidy, Bank of New Zealand

Katharine Armstrong, Metlifecare

Kathryn Mitchell, Crow award-categoryn Infrastructure Partners

Mary-Elizabeth Tuck, Auckland International Airport

Melissa Anastasiou, Spark New Zealand

Lane Neave

FINANCIAL SERVICES IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Westpac NZ Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Services and Legal team (RACLS)

 

Judges' comments include: "The team has not just had the pandemic and increased regulator expectations, but has been at the heart of a business transformation project; Delivered on all fronts; Leadership as well as supporting fintech innovation and reducing external legal spend by 60% in this context is an outstanding achievement; Quality and quantity with innovation demonstrated."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

AIA New Zealand

ANZ

ASB Bank

Bank of New Zealand

Legal Team at Sharesies

Suncorp New Zealand Legal Team

RUSSELL MCVEAGH IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Air New Zealand Legal Team

 

Judges' comments include: ''Played an instrumental role as part of the team guiding Air New Zealand through one of the most challenging times in its history; A high volume of business-critical work undertaken; Unprecedented challenges faced by this legal small team, across a diverse range of business challenges make it a worthy winner; Agile and adaptive, transforming operations; Significant volume of key strategic matters both COVID and non-COVID."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Airways Corporation NZ Legal Team

Crow award-categoryn Infrastructure Partners

Fonterra Legal Team

Genesis Energy Legal Team

Serko In-house Legal Team

Sky Team Legal

Russell Mcveagh

FIRM AWARDS

EMPLOYMENT LAW SPECIALIST FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law

 

Judges' comments include: "Significant cases, and overall breadth of work and activity; Commitment to pay equity and pro bono; Handled some very challenging work, good focus on training for staff; Impressive achievements; Outstanding, highly responsive services and top notch client service; Strong performance and niche expertise in the field of investigations and senior HR processes."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Dundas Street

McBride Davenport James

Richard Upton

SBM Legal

LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION SPECIALIST LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Gilbert Walker

 

Judges' comments include: ''Significant dispute resolution work, demonstrating expertise and client service; A cut above in terms of breath & depth of reputation, level of work undertaken and results as well as pro bono contributions; Impressive range of cases, complex matters and contribution to community"

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

K3 Legal

Morris Legal

Norling Law

Rice Speir

Shine Lawyers

Wilson Harle

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SPECIALIST LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: AJ Park

 

Judges' comments include: "PhD-qualified staff providing IP advice across the diverse range of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, software and ICT, mechanical and electrical engineering, manufacturing, medical technology, fashion, retail and FMCG ; A very strong all-round submission demonstrating all aspects of the judging criteria and significant firm grow award-categoryth and development; A successful year following lots of change at this firm."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Ellis Terry

Henry Hughes Law

James & Wells

Zone Law

PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Thompson Blackie Biddles

 

Judges comments include: ''Significant quantity and quality of work in the field; A specialist commercial property law firm advising on significant real estate transactions in excess of $1 billion (within the relevant 12-month period); Impressed with the depth of expertise, the size of deals, and a "who's who" client book; An extensive and impressive deal sheet of strategically important work underpinned by high calibre staff and an impressive reputation"

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

AlexanderDorrington

Domain Legal

Kate Sheehan

INSURANCE SPECIALIST LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Wotton + Kearney

 

Judges' comments include: "An outstanding submission including a huge range of complex national and international matters as well as showing a strong commitment to the mental health of the profession; Very strong specialist expertise, breadth of work, client base, recognition of individuals, and focus on mental health".

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Fee Langstone

Gilbert Walker

Robertsons

Shine Lawyers

BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Webb Henderson

 

Judges' comments include: "Top caliber lawyers, who provide top tier advice on complex legal matters; Experts in their field, a focus on excellence, an impressive list of transactions completed for high profile clients in the last year; An impressive deal sheet of top tier clients and work."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

BlackmanSpargo Rural Law

Couch Harlowe Kovacevich

Flacks & Wong

Franks Ogilvie

Hudson Gavin Martin

Morrison Mallett

Sykes Legal

ARTEMIS EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT EMPLOYER OF CHOICE (<50 LAWYERS)

WINNER: Norris Ward McKinnon

 

Judges' comments include: "An impressive range of initiatives including innovation around KPIs, contributions to community law, appointing a cultural ambassador; Strong commitment to staff; A very diverse workforce with the added commercial advantage of multi lingual practitioners; Strategic approach to key aspects of the employee value proposition shows thoughtful basis, focus and commitment to deliver outcomes."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

James & Wells

Juno Legal

Norling Law

PwC Legal

Smith and Partners Lawyers

Webb Henderson

Wotton + Kearney

WRMK Lawyers

Artemis

ARTEMIS EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT EMPLOYER OF CHOICE (51-100 LAWYERS)

WINNER: Tompkins Wake

 

Judges' comments include: "Great initiatives; A real focus on core values and active initiatives achieving a diverse, inclusive and rainbow friendly workplace; A very comprehensive approach to employees, mental health issues, an extensive Hauora programme, rainbow tick accreditation and zero harm programme; A stand-out in this category, some really thoughtful innovation practices, including Covid-specific measures; A thorough and compelling submission, clear excellence."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

AJ Park

Lane Neave

Wynn Williams

Artemis

ARTEMIS EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT EMPLOYER OF CHOICE (>100 LAWYERS)

WINNER: MinterEllisonRuddWatts

 

Judges' comments include: "Clearly demonstrates successful initiatives focused on employees and facilitating diversity and inclusion; Commitment to diversity, with real change showing in statistics; Really embraced diversity and implemented some great initiatives for its staff."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Anderson Lloyd

Anthony Harper

Bell Gully

Buddle Findlay

Chapman Tripp

Russell McVeagh

Simpson Grierson

Artemis

RESOLUTION INSTITUTE MEDIATOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Wi Pere Mita, Laidlaw Consultants & Tūhono Collective

 

Judges' comments include: "Impressive community contribution and use of diverse skill-set to support under-privileged; Impressive focus of work, commitment and contribution to society; a huge personal and professional commitment to bringing tikanga and te ao Maori into the law and meeting Te Tiriti commitments in doing so; Impact over a range of organisations from the Justice Committee to ground roots community organisations; Solid leadership supporting meaningful change to operation of legal profession"

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Hayden Wilson, Dentons Kensington Swan

Matthew Clayton, Talk-Meet-Resolve

Resolution Institute

YOUNG PRIVATE PRACTICE LAWYER OF THE YEAR (35 OR UNDER)

WINNER: Nick Valentine, DLA Piper

 

Leads the firm's IP and Technology team;- promoted to Partner last year - making him the firm's youngest Partner in NZ. Highly regarded for his technical expertise and commercial pragmatism.

Judges' comments include: ' Recognised by an impressive client list for responsive and pragmatic advice; significant contributions to diversity & inclusion and pro bono; Leadership, proven expertise and excellence tackling new/novel legal concepts''

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Anna Cherkashina, Norling Law

Ashton Goatley, Webb Henderson

Beatrix H Woodhouse, John Miller Law

Brad Ward, Bell Gully

Ed McGimpsey, Buddle Findlay

Michelle Needham, Lane Neave

Stephanie de Groot, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Tom McLaughlin, Dentons Kensington Swan

Will Irving, Russell McVeagh

MANAGING PARTNER OF THE YEAR (≤100 LAWYERS)

WINNER: Sam Hood, Norris Ward McKinnon, Hamilton

 

Judges' comments include: "Challenging the status quo to lead his firm and the wider profession with authenticity; Impressive year of work- innovation, community service, financial performance;  A strong focus on firm culture and grow award-categoryth whilst championing a firm leadership programme; Well-rounded, showing foresight and values-based management style; Outstanding contribution to legal firm culture and to the profession  through mentoring and leadership.''

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Angela Parlane, Shine Lawyers

Edwin Morrison, K3 Legal

Philip Maw, Wynn Williams

Sally Morris, Morris Legal

Tim Walden, James & Wells

MANAGING PARTNER OF THE YEAR (>100 LAWYERS)

WINNER: Richard Greenaway, Anderson Lloyd

 

Judges' comments include: ''Marked leadership achieved with grow award-categoryth, innovation and people-centred behaviours; Achievement across a broad range of activities in challenging times; Significant and meaningful commitment to sustainability and inclusion initiatives; Strong employee engagement, revenue grow award-categoryth, development of young partners and efficiencies made at management and support levels."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Anne Callinan, Simpson Grierson

Haydn Wong, Bell Gully

Jennifer Caldwell, Buddle Findlay

Malcolm Hurley, Anthony Harper

REGIONAL/SUBURBAN LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Norris Ward McKinnon

 

Judges' comments include: "A success story in equality, diversity and a well-being focus delivering business grow award-categoryth; impressive results; forward looking with a focus on strategy and grow award-categoryth while maintaining a strong link to its regional roots; breadth, depth and innovation; a strong deal sheet across multiple practice areas; commended for the broad approach to building a diverse team including a range of multi-lingual lawyers and achieving a 50% rate of women as equity partners."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

BlackmanSpargo Rural Law

Dean & Coleman Law

WRMK Lawyers

MID-SIZE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Tompkins Wake

 

Judges' comments include: "Innovative, expert firm improving the client experience with innovative solutions; Strongest across judging criteria - deal sheet, accolades & credentials, continued focus on client service through innovation; The innovation for the start up ecosystem and for NZ's large community of SME's is a real stand out amongst a strong pool of mid size firms together with impressive external recognition"

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Cavell Leitch

Harmos Horton Lusk

Martelli McKegg Lawyers

Mayne Wetherell

Norris Ward McKinnon

WRMK Lawyers

Wynn Williams

LARGE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Chapman Tripp

 

Judges' comments include: "A standout amongst the competition, with a combination of market leading transaction coverage, recognised market-leading experts, legal innovation and cultural & professional leadership; Leading the way with innovative initiatives; Another year of significant achievements providing market leading advice; Delivered across a range of practice areas, whilst innovating and delivering cultural change"

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:

Anderson Lloyd

Anthony Harper

Bell Gully

Buddle Findlay

Lane Neave

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Russell McVeagh

Simpson Grierson

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Simpson Grierson

 

Judges' comments include: "Strategic, comprehensive and committed programme of work delivered to acknowledged success; A range of innovative programmes successfully implemented to actively support diversity and inclusion; Impressive dedication to pro bono work; Internal and external initiatives with a meaningful impact; Outstanding."

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDEE

Buddle Findlay

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