Simpson Grierson appoints nine to special counsel

Firm's chairwoman says each new special counsel is "an incredible asset to our firm"

Simpson Grierson appoints nine to special counsel

Simpson Grierson has promoted nine of its senior lawyers to special counsel.

Chairwoman Anne Callinan said that the promotions, which come into effect on 1 January, reflect the stature of each new special counsel as a recognised specialist who can deliver client service at the highest level.

“Each is an incredible asset to our firm, demonstrating a genuine investment in the future success of our clients,” she said.

The newly promoted lawyers are:

Carl Blake – Employment, Auckland

Blake advises on all aspects of employment law, including corporate restructures, personal grievances, employment agreements and policies, health and safety, human rights and privacy, and collective bargaining. He regularly represents employers in mediations and has appeared before the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and Court of Appeal.

John Craig – Commercial property, Wellington

Craig has advised on major projects for Crown and local authority entities, as well as corporate clients. These include the development and leasing of new build premises, refurbishment projects, due diligence, joint ventures, and the management of significant sales and purchases of commercial properties.

Sandy Donaldson ­– Commercial property, Auckland

As specialised in property law and property development, Donaldson advises from small-scale residential subdivisions to complex commercial developments. Her expertise also extends to property and due diligence advice in residential and commercial developments and commercial leasing.

Nicky Hall – Commercial litigation, Auckland

Hall is a senior litigator with more than 20 years’ experience in general civil litigation. She has particular expertise in property litigation, public-works compensation and rent reviews. She is also a specialist in contract and commercial disputes. She is currently leading the process for addressing land compensation issues connected to the City Rail Link project.

Jane Harris – Commercial, Auckland

Harris is a commercial law expert who has advised corporate clients on a wide range of transactions related to the sale and purchase of companies and businesses. Her past work include Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group’s acquisition of Westland by scheme of arrangement, the sale of TRG Imaging to a Waterman Fund, and assisting Hilton Foods with a green-fields processing factory development.

Graeme Palmer – Local government and environment, Auckland

Palmer advises public entities, and in particular local government clients, across a wide range of matters, including rates, council-controlled organisations, infrastructure, bylaws and statutory bills. He also specialises in judicial review, appearing in numerous High Court and Court of Appeal hearings, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court.

Deborah Rowe – Construction, Auckland

Rowe advises clients from a wide range of sector on construction contracts and in resolving construction related disputes, including Construction Contracts Act adjudications, arbitration and litigation.

Louise Taylor – Commercial, Auckland

Taylor specialises in all aspects of technology law and advises clients across a range of general commercial and technology-related projects. She has particular expertise in new and emerging tech, including AI, blockchain, internet of things, cloud/fog, quantum computing and drones. She is deputy chair of the AI Forum NZ Executive Council.

Sonia Vitas – Construction, Auckland

Vitas has advised clients on construction projects across a wide range of industry sectors and has particular expertise in project procurement and documentation. She most recently advised Watercare on the Central Interceptor Project, one of the largest and most complex wastewater infrastructure projects undertaken in New Zealand.

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