Three new partners for global law firm

DLA Piper promote three to partner status in New Zealand. NZ Lawyer speaks to them to find out more

Three new partners for global law firm

September is set to be a big month for DLA Piper, as the end of August marked the appointment of three new partners for the firm – Emma Moran, Nick Valentine and David Johnston.

Moran is an effective commercial litigator who advises clients and resolves disputes across areas including public law, construction, insurance, and life sciences. Solutions-focussed, Moran is an advocate who excels in finessing resolutions to disputes that seem intractable. 

“I can see past the commotion to the core of the cases I take on,” says Emma. "I believe in simplifying issues. What gives me the most satisfaction is enabling my clients to get on with their business without being distracted by disputes."

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Currently, Moran is advising Capital & Coast District Health Board on a complex construction claim against parties involved in the design and construction of Wellington Regional Hospital. She will be appearing as counsel in a trial in the Wellington High Court later this year. 

Valentine has extensive experience in technology transactions and data protection/cybersecurity advisory work and has established himself as a thought leader within the field. He also recently advised Foodstuffs on its engagement of UK data science company dunnhumby to support Foodstuffs' data strategy.

"The ability to bring DLA Piper's global, market-leading IPT expertise to New Zealand is a real advantage in helping our clients navigate some of the biggest risks facing they're facing – data protection and cybersecurity issues,” says Valentine. 

His experience in outsourcing transactions, software development and licensing, and data protection, privacy and cybersecurity, including developing data strategies, implementing best practice cybersecurity standards and responding to data breaches has helped forge him into a trusted advisor – particularly for clients looking for means of business transformation or new marketing channels.

Johnston is an experienced tax lawyer, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and international tax, and also regularly advises on the tax treatment of funds and employee/management share plans. Johnston recently advised Sean Parker in connection with his investment in Weta Digital, including advising on all tax aspects of the investment and the Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) for senior management.

“In this current environment, tax change is inevitable,” says Johnston. “All governments have sharpened their focus on changing the tax treatment of multinational cross-border investment and increasing taxes. It’s an area where I think we have a significant advantage as a firm, in part due to my own experience of tax in multiple jurisdictions, and DLA Piper's global reach.”

The addition of Moran, Valentine and Johnston – and of course, their collective expertise – to DLA Piper’s partnership ranks is sure to boost the firm’s commitment to servicing clients with excellence.

Additionally, there are a number of additional promotions and new hires for DLA Piper. Emma Manohar was promoted to Special Counsel, with Jason Mackie also joining the firm in the same capacity as well. The firm’s new Senior Associates are Sara Battersby, Charles Henley and Aoife O’Gorman. Gorman is also a new addition to the firm.  Vincent Burns and Anna Sweeney were promoted to Senior Solicitor.


Emma Moran

David Johnston

Nick Valentine

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