2023 NZ Law Awards excellence awardees unveiled

NZ Lawyer reveals the finalists shortlisted across 27 categories

2023 NZ Law Awards excellence awardees unveiled

The excellence awardees for the 2023 New Zealand Law Awards have been announced.

The awards recognise the top stars in the New Zealand legal market across 27 categories that cover the achievers and achievements of law firms, in-house legal teams, lawyers, arbitrators, mediators and service providers.

NZ Lawyer would like to extend special thanks to event partner LexisNexis, as well as to event sponsors Resolution Institute, Fluid Recruitment, James & Wells, Russell McVeagh, Artemis Executive Recruitment, LEAP Legal Software and Robert Walters for supporting this event and the recognition of legal excellence”.

DEAL AWARDS

Debt Market Deal of the Year

Auckland Council Sustainability-Linked Loans 

  • Lead firms: Buddle Findlay, Mayne Wetherell

  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): ANZ, Auckland Council, Bank New Zealand Limited

 

Financing for Igneo’s acquisition of Waste Management NZ 

  • Lead firms: Bell Gully, Simpson Grierson 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Craigs Investment Partners, MUFG Bank Limited, Hong Kong Branch, Natixis, RBC Capital Markets, Royal Bank of Canada

New Zealand sovereign Green Bond Framework and first green bond issuance 

  • Lead firm: Chapman Tripp 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Allens, Freshfields, Clifford Chance

Senior Debt for Tourism Holdings Ltd as part of merger with Apollo Tourism and Leisure 

  • Lead firms: Buddle Findlay, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Baker McKenzie, Buddle Findlay, Hamilton Locke, Jones Day, MinterEllison  

Syndicated funding for Allegro’s acquisition of fuel retailer Gull NZ  

  • Lead firms: Russell McVeagh, Simpson Grierson, Webb Henderson
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Allegro Funds, Ares Capital, ASB Bank Limited, Gilbert + Tobin

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Inc senior debt facilities to fund the purchase of properties from the Crown 

  • Lead firm: Chapman Tripp 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Armillary Private Capital, Bank of New Zealand, Chapman Tripp, Craigs Investment Partners, Dentons, Fisher Funds, JP Morgan, Pou Manaaki, PT (Booster Investments) Nominees Limited, Rotomā No.1 Incorporation, Russell McVeagh, Tumu Whakarae, Westpac New Zealand Limited

Equity Market Deal of the Year

 

$2.2-billion Recapitalisation of Air New Zealand 

  • Lead firms: Allen & Overy, Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Baker & McKenzie, Calibre Partners, Chapman Tripp, Citibank, Citigroup, Craigs Investment Partners, Deloitte, Forsyth Barr, Goldman Sachs, Herbert Smith Freehills, KPMG, Sidley Austin, UBS, Vorigo Advisory

Heartland Group Holdings $200 million equity raise 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Jarden Securities Limited, Rimon Law

Ryman Healthcare $902.4 million capital raise 

  • Lead firms: Bell Gully, Russell McVeagh 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Baker & McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macquarie, Montarne, Sidley Austin, UBS

Project Finance Deal of the Year

Financing of Lodestone Energy Solar Project  

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Simpson Grierson
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Tom Fail Limited, Westpac

Financing of special purpose vehicle to fund infrastructure and urban development projects in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty 

  • Lead firms: Bell Gully, Buddle Findlay 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Bank of New Zealand, Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Crown Infrastructure Partners, Deloitte, KPMG, Mafic Partners, Simpson Grierson, Tauranga City Council, Westpac New Zealand Limited 

M&A Deal of the Year

Acquisition of Partners Life by Dai-ichi Life 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Bank of America, Baker McKenzie, Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Deloitte, MinterEllison

 Acquisition of Z Energy by Ampol             

  • Lead firms: Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Calibre Partners, Goldman Sachs, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macquarie

 Crown takes 100% control of Kiwibank with purchase of NZ Super Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation and NZ Post stakes     

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Simpson Grierson, Webb Henderson
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Cameron Partners

  Futureverse roll-up and Series A capital raise 

  • Lead firm: PwC Legal 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Avid Legal, Bell Gully, Burton & Co, Centrapay, Dentons, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Gunderson Dettmer, Heimsath Alexander, Kindrik Partners, Latham & Watkins LLP, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, The Forest Road Company, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Walkers

     

 Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board’s acquisition of 70% stake of Spark NZ’s passive mobile infrastructure business 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, Webb Henderson 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Allens, Bank of America Securities, Jarden and Forsyth Barr, Linklaters, Mayne Wetherell, Russell McVeagh, Simpson Grierson 

 Sale of One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Passive Mobile Towers to InfraRed and Northleaf Capital Partners 

  • Lead firms: Allens Linklaters, Bell Gully, Buddle Findlay, Chapman Tripp 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Allens, Altman Solon, Alvarez & Marsal, Aon, Aurecon, Barrenjoey, Colliers, Gallaghers, PwC, RBC Capital Markets, RPS, Russell McVeagh, UBS, UBS New Zealand  

Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year

Financial Restructuring and recapitalisation of Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Co. 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Russell McVeagh 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Buddle Findlay, Calibre Partners, MinterEllison

 Liquidation of CBL Insurance Limited 

Receivership of Optic Security Group Limited and Related Sale of Subsidiary 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Simpson Grierson
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Buddle Findlay, Calibre Partners, Grant Thornton, MinterEllison

Mid-Market Deal of the Year

Acquisition of Eastland Network by Igneo Infrastructure Partners 

  • Lead firm: Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Chapman Tripp 

Acquisition of the Better Health Company by Nestlé New Zealand  

  • Lead firm: Buddle Findlay, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Deloitte

AMP Sale of Collimate Capital 

  • Lead firm: Bell Gully 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): King Wood Mallesons 

Fisher Funds purchase of Kiwi Wealth  

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh 
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Anderson Lloyd, Buddle Findlay, Deloitte, Dentons, KPMG, Goldman Sachs & Co, LLC, Macquarie Group Limited, Minter Ellison

 Next Capital sale of New Zealand's largest urban bus operator to Kinetic NZ Holdings 

  • Lead firms: MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Chapman Tripp
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Deloitte

 Sale of Trustpower retail business to Mercury Energy 

  • Lead firms: Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh
  • All other Organisations that worked on the deal (Firms, Banks and Accountants): Deloitte, Forsyth Barr, PwC

IN-HOUSE AWARDS

Young In-House Lawyer of the Year (35 Or Under)

Amir Ansari, Tourism Holdings
Angus Haines, DB Breweries Limited
Charlotte Foster, Warner Bros. Discovery
Claude Smith, Meridian Energy
Lisa Cameron, Meta
Marcus Playle, Lion
Nerida Kennedy, Datacom
Penny Kitto, Metlifecare

James & Wells In-House Lawyer of the Year

Beth McKay, Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited
Jack Lynskey, Wealthpoint Limited
Jason Nichols, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited
Juliet Jones, One New Zealand (formerly Vodafone)
Justine Hollows, Winton
Kirsten Clayton, Contact Energy Limited
Melissa Anastasiou, Spark New Zealand
Paris Bree, New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited
Penny Bower, Waste Management NZ

Sponsored by James & Wells


 

Financial Services In-House Team of the Year

AIA NZ Limited
IAG Legal Team
MAS - Medical Assurance Society
Partners Life Legal team
Perpetual Guardian - Legal
 

Energy In-House Team of the Year

Genesis Legal Team
Lodestone Energy
Meridian Energy
 

Telecommunications In-House Team of the Year

2degrees
One New Zealand 
Spark New Zealand
Tuatahi First Fibre Limited Legal & Regulatory Team
 

Russell McVeagh In-House Team of the Year

Air New Zealand 
Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited
Fonterra Legal Team
SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited 
Waikato-Tainui In-House Legal Team
Waste Management New Zealand Limited  

Sponsored by Russell McVeagh 

FIRM AWARDS

Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (35 or Under)

Bradley Aburn, Russell McVeagh
Elizabeth Ogle, Webb Henderson
Jacob Nutt, DLA Piper New Zealand
Jade Magrath, Rice Speir Limited
Rosa McPhee, Chapman Tripp
Samuel Moore, Wolfe Street Chambers
Shane Campbell, Wynn Williams
Tayla Johnston, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Zac Fargher, Simpson Grierson
Zac Kedgley-Foot, Bell Gully
 

Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year

Black Door Law Limited
Copeland Ashcroft Law
Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law
McBride Davenport James
richard upton limited
Watermark Employment Law
 

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Specialist Law Firm of the Year

Gilbert Walker
Morris
Norling Law
Russell Legal
Wilson Harle      
 

Intellectual Property Specialist Law Firm of the Year

AJ Park
Henry Hughes IP
James & Wells
Zone Law
 

Property & Construction Specialist Law Firm of the Year

AlexanderDorrington
Convey Law
Domain Legal Limited
Kate Sheehan Lawyers
TBB
 

Insurance Specialist Law Firm of the Year

Darroch Forrest Lawyers
Gilbert Walker
Wotton + Kearney Lawyers
 

LexisNexis Boutique Law Firm of the Year

BlackmanSpargo Rural Law Limited
Dixon & Co Lawyers
Flacks & Wong
Juno Legal Limited
Webb Henderson

Sponsored by LexisNexis
Employer of Choice (>100 Lawyers)

Anderson Lloyd
Anthony Harper
Bell Gully 
Chapman Tripp
Dentons
MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Russell McVeagh
Simpson Grierson
Tompkins Wake
 

Fluid Legal Recruitment Employer of Choice (<100 Lawyers)

AJ Park
Juno Legal Limited
Lane Neave
McCaw Lewis
Norling Law Limited
Norris Ward McKinnon
PwC Legal
SHIFT Advisory Limited
Wynn Williams

Sponsored by Fluid Legal Recruitment

 
LEAP Legal Software Mid-Size Law Firm of the Year

Cooney Lees Morgan
Harmos Horton Lusk
K3 Legal
Mayne Wetherell
McCaw Lewis

Sponsored by LEAP Legal Software

 
 

Robert Walters Large Law Firm of the Year

Anthony Harper
Bell Gully 
Buddle Findlay 
Chapman Tripp
Dentons
DLA Piper New Zealand
MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Russell McVeagh
Simpson Grierson
Tompkins Wake

Sponsored by Robert Walters


 

Resolution Institute Mediator of the Year

Simon Roughton, Orb Solutions Ltd
Sue Smith, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission
Wi Pere Mita, Laidlaw Law and Consultancy

Sponsored by Resolution Institute


 

Law Firm Leader of the Year (>100 Lawyers)

Allison Arthur-Young, Russell McVeagh
Hayden Wilson, Dentons
Jennifer Caldwell, Buddle Findlay
Jon Calder, Tompkins Wake
Kerry O'Donnell, Anderson Lloyd
Laura Scampion, DLA Piper New Zealand
Malcolm Hurley, Anthony Harper
 

Law Firm Leader of the Year (≤100 Lawyers)

Brent James Norling, Norling Law
Glenn Forster, McCaw Lewis
Helen Mackay, Juno Legal
Edwin Morrison, K3 Legal
Matthew Jones, Wynn Williams
Sally Morris, Morris
Sam Hood, Norris Ward McKinnon
Tim Walden, James & Wells

PROFESSION AWARDS

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

Anderson Lloyd
Buddle Findlay 
Dentons
DLA Piper in New Zealand
Laidlaw Law and Consultancy
MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Russell McVeagh
Simpson Grierson

The winners will be crowned at a black-tie gala to be held on 23 November at the Cordis Auckland.

The list of excellence awardees can also be found here.

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