Chapman Tripp to elevate Māori legal group head to partner

Two other senior associates will also join the partnership

Chapman Tripp to elevate Māori legal group head to partner
Te Aopare Dewes

Chapman Tripp is set to elevate senior associate and Māori legal group (Te Waka Ture) head Te Aopare Dewes to partner.

Dewes is a specialist in Māori businesses and Māori land-owning entities, working also with clients who seek to collaborate with these entities. She has appeared before the Māori Land Court and the Waitangi Tribunal.

In addition to her focus on Māori business, she also has particular expertise in corporate structuring, governance, strategic and commercial advice for iwi and hapū and post settlement governance entities.

“Te Aopare was integral to the success of the firm’s Iwi Symposium held earlier this year, attracting iwi from around Aotearoa and many high profile speakers sharing experiences and opinions under the theme of ‘Disruption and Forging New Pathways,’ with a particular focus on how tikanga Māori can influence public decision makers and dispute resolution frameworks,” CEP Nick Wells said.

In addition to Dewes, the firm will also promote her fellow senior associates Nicola Swan and Luke Ford to the partnership.

Nicola Swan and Luke Ford

Wellington-based Swan specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, both in NZ and internationally, as well as public international law, public law and climate risk. She is one of the advisers on the UK government’s panel of climate change experts, and has been named a Future Leader in Who’s Who Legal’s Arbitration 2020.

“[Nicola’s] passion lies as a commercial litigator on her feet in the courtroom and she brings new energy to the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution practice,” Wells said.

Meanwhile, Ford operates from Chapman Tripp’s Auckland office as part of the firm’s finance group. He provides advice on financing and regulation matters such as retail and wholesale bond issues, convertible and regulatory/hybrid debt, derivatives, securitisation, consumer lending and regulator engagement.

“As a partner, Luke’s technical skillset and in-depth knowledge of debt capital markets, sustainability finance and other debt and financial markets transactions will continue to build Chapman Tripp’s profile in this area of expertise,” Wells said.

Dewes, Swan and Ford will step into their new roles on 1 December. The firm said that the three incoming partners are “specialist legal experts with skills not matched by any other in the New Zealand market.”

“Our new partners are each unique in terms of their specialist technical skills in growing markets. Nicola, Luke and Te Aopare each have great momentum behind their practice and elevating them to partner recognises both their leadership and ability to champion the firm’s clients,” Wells said.

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