Three partners ditch top tier to open new Auckland competition

Three partners have left an Auckland top-tier team to open the first northern office of a South Island giant and provide an alternative to Auckland’s 'Big Three'

In a very significant move for the legal fraternity, three Russell McVeagh partners and several team members have left the firm to open up a new Auckland office of South Island firm Anderson Lloyd.

From today, Geoff Busch, Chris Bargery and David Holden will lead a primarily transactions-focused practice, concentrating on corporate, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, infrastructure and public private partnerships (PPPs).

Partner Busch says he liked the fact that clients will get the best of both worlds: “The efficiency and attention of a smart boutique, backed by the horsepower of a large national firm.”

The specialisations of the new team will be complemented by Anderson Lloyd’s wider strengths in environmental, planning and natural resources; corporate and commercial; property; insurance; energy; agribusiness and irrigation.

All three of the new partners have worked offshore and their expertise is recognised in a number of international legal directories.

Busch says the trio felt it was time for a change involving a fresh approach to transactions and projects.

“There’s a lot of synergy between Anderson Lloyd’s expertise and the transactional and infrastructure focused work that the three of us do,” he says. “Their partner base has a uniformly high quality and includes some leading corporate and infrastructure lawyers who’ve worked on very significant transactions.”

Another of the new partners, David Holden, says he was particularly attracted to the “different” culture of Anderson Lloyd.

“They’re exceptionally collaborative and approach projects by forming lean, expert teams. The internal culture actively encourages people to pool their specialist expertise,” he says. “This approach will allow us to work on a wider range of deals and have more time to focus on the work we enjoy.”

The third partner appointment, Chris Bargery, says the firm’s size and leverage could give other Auckland firms a run for their money.

He confirmed that several members of their Russell McVeagh team will be joining the three lead partners from today.

“Our combined specialisations – particularly in banking and finance, PPPs, M&A, corporate, agribusiness, and environmental, planning and natural resources  – means Anderson Lloyd is now a credible alternative in Auckland to the ‘big three’ firms,” he says.

Anderson Lloyd was established in Dunedin in 1862 and also has offices in Christchurch and Queenstown.

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