NZ Law Awards 2020 winners revealed

In the face of a challenging year, the best in the country’s legal industry were honoured in a virtual ceremony

NZ Law Awards 2020 winners revealed

The top lawyers, firms and in-house legal teams in the New Zealand legal industry were recognised last night at the 2020 New Zealand Law Awards.

Kiwi news and radio personality Ryan Bridge hosted the ceremony, which went virtual for the first time since its inception.

The event was sponsored by leading law firms Russell McVeagh and Simpson Grierson, as well as by the Resolution Institute, Western Union Business Solutions and Artemis Executive Recruitment.

Over the past several months, a panel of expert judges has carefully combed through a batch of quality nominations to determine the best of the best.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

Resolution Institute Mediator of the Year

Winner
Paul Sills, mediator and barrister

Excellence Awardee
Everard Halbert, Sand Steps

Regional/Suburban Law Firm of the Year

Winner
WRMK Lawyers

Excellence Awardees
BlackmanSpargo Rural Law
Southern Legal Lawyers

Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Winner
Gilbert Walker

Excellence Awardees
Flacks & Wong
Hudson Gavin Martin
Morris Legal
Webb Henderson

Mid-size Law Firm of the Year

Winners
Harmos Horton Lusk – Corporate Team
Tompkins Wake

Excellence Awardees
Mayne Wetherell

Large Law Firm of the Year

Winner
Russell McVeagh
Excellence Awardees
Bell Gully
Buddle Findlay
Chapman Tripp
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year

Winner
Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law

Excellence Awardees
Dundas Street
Richard Upton

Litigation and Dispute Resolution Specialist Firm of the Year

Winner
Gilbert Walker

Excellence Awardees
Morris Legal
Norling Law
Wilson Harle

Western Union Business Solutions Intellectual Property Specialist Firm of the Year

Winner
AJ Park

Excellence Awardee
James & Wells

Property and Construction Specialist Law Firm of the Year

Winner
Thompson Blackie Biddles

Excellence Awardees
AlexanderDorrington Lawyers
Domain Legal

Insurance Specialist Law Firm of the Year

Winner
Fee Langstone

Excellence Awardees
Gilbert Walker
Shine Lawyers New Zealand
Wotton + Kearney

Artemis Executive Recruitment Employer of Choice (< 50 Lawyers)

Winner
Juno Legal

Excellence Awardees
AJ Park
Layburn Hodgins
Webb Henderson

Artemis Executive Recruitment Employer of Choice (51-100 Lawyers)

Winner
Tompkins Wake

Excellence Awardee
Anthony Harper

Artemis Executive Recruitment Employer of Choice (> 100 Lawyers)

Winner
Russell McVeagh

Excellence Awardees
Bell Gully
Buddle Findlay
Chapman Tripp
Dentons Kensington Swan
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

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

Winner
Angela Harford, Bell Gully

Excellence Awardees
Emma Manohar, DLA Piper
Igor Drinkovic, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Jordan Cox, Webb Henderson
Natasha Garvan, Bell Gully

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

Winner
Leah Taylor, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Excellence Awardees
Emily Acland, Vocus
Jono Willis, Lion
Vivian-Lee Schaaf, Auckland Council

Simpson Grierson Financial Services In-House Team

Winner
BNZ

Excellence Awardees
ANZ Bank New Zealand
Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation

Russell Mcveagh In-House Team of the Year

Winner
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Legal Team

Excellence Awardees
Auckland Council Legal Services Team
Chorus
Fonterra Legal Team
SkyCity Entertainment Group
Spark New Zealand
Vodafone New Zealand

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Winner
Julian Benefield, Foodstuffs North Island

Excellence Awardees
Hayley Michelle Cassidy, BNZ
Jason Nichols, Fonterra
Jo Wong, SkyCity Entertainment Group
Stephanie Manning, Canterbury District Health Board

Deal Team of the Year (< 100 Lawyers)

Winner
Webb Henderson

Excellence Awardees
Flacks & Wong
Harmos Horton Lusk Corporate Team
Mayne Wetherell

NZ Lawyer Deal Team of the Year (More Than 100 Lawyers)

Winner
Bell Gully Corporate Team

Excellence Awardees
Bell Gully Projects and Development Team
Russell McVeagh, Corporate Advisory Team

Equity Market Deal Of The Year

Winner
Napier Port IPO

Excellence Awardees
Infratil institutional placement and AREO
Kathmandu AREO

Debt Market Deal of the Year

Winner
Acquisition financing of Vodafone New Zealand

Excellence Awardees
Kāinga Ora – Housing New Zealand Wellbeing bonds
LGFA syndicated bond offers

Project Finance Deal of the Year

Winner
City Rail Link

Excellence Awardees
Southern Cross Cable
Waipipi Wind Farm

M&A Deal of the Year

Winner
Vodafone New Zealand acquisition

Excellence Awardees
Acquisition by Inner Mongolia Yili Group of Westland Co-operative Dairy Company
Apax takeover of Trade Me
Sale of Hikurangi Forest Farms to New Forests

Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year

Winner
Receivership of Ebert Construction retention fund

Mid-Market Deal of the Year

Winner
Synlait acquisition of Dairyworks

Excellence Awardees
Auckland Council green bonds issuance
Sale of New Zealand Frost Fans
Spark New Zealand - New Zealand cricket rights

New Zealand Deal of The Year

Winner
Vodafone New Zealand Acquisition

Managing Partner of the Year (< 100 Lawyers)

Winner
Jon Calder, Tompkins Wake

Excellence Awardees
Sam Hood, Norris Ward McKinnon
Tim Walden, James & Wells

Managing Partner of the Year (> 100 Lawyers)

Winner
Anna Buchly, Bell Gully

Excellence Awardees
Anne Callinan, Simpson Grierson
Nick Wells, Chapman Tripp
Paul Beverley, Buddle Findlay
Richard Greenaway, Anderson Lloyd

For the first time, the NZ Law Awards winners and finalists will be taking part in moderated panel discussions focusing on the secrets to their success and how they guided their clients through a challenging year. Event attendees and NZ Lawyer readers will gain exclusive access to the panels, which will be released in early 2021.

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