Privately Owned Businesses

Private business is the backbone of New Zealand’s economy. To stay on top, you need practical and economic legal advice from a team that understands your business.

We work with business owners to overcome legal challenges every day.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a big idea, a thriving family business looking to grown or an iconic Kiwi business we can help.

Working alongside you, we will open doors to invaluable expertise, knowledge and experience – guiding you to seize an opportunity or navigate new territory.

It’s our mission to exceed your expectations, not your budget. We offer fixed fee packages for day to day legal work and take a practical approach to complex legal requirements.

"They provide a level of confidence I value enormously. I really do feel as if I am getting a personal service." Chambers Asia Pacific

Recent work

Purchase of Phoenix Distribution NZ Limited We assisted CDB Media to acquire 100% of Phoenix Distribution Limited. A key factor was the ability to renew a key agreement. To manage this, we negotiated a deferment of part of the purchase price, payment of which was subject to Phoenix Distribution renewing the key agreement for a further term. This gave our client comfort that they would not be overpaying in the event the key agreement was not maintainable post acquisition.

Selling Tuatara Brewing Company to DB Breweries We advised on the sale of Wellington craft brewer Tuatara Brewing Company to one of the largest brewers in the world, DB Breweries Limited, achieving a successful exit for founders and shareholders of an iconic Kiwi craft beer business.

MMC Limited bringing on Pencarrow as a 50% stakeholder We advised MMC, a leading Auckland-based fund and investment administration business, in bringing on long-established New Zealand PE investor Pencarrow as a 50% stakeholder. MMC has over $27.5b of clients' funds under administration and is the first investment to be completed through Pencarrow’s $80m Bridge Fund for small-mid market expansions and buyouts.

Who can help

Neil Millar

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Neil has broad corporate and commercial experience, in particular in the mergers and acquisitions and private equity area. He is also the leader of the firm’s privately-owned business team, responsible for the delivery of commercial services to our owner-operator clients.

With extensive and international experience, Neil advises on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions and private equity, business sale, commercial and business transactions for a range of private equity players and corporate, SME and start up companies. He also advises on practical governance issues, director responsibilities and strategic issues for his clients.

Neil is also a specialist in the field of warranty and indemnity insurance, providing in-market assistance to a number of the key insurers and assisting buyers and sellers with advice in connection with policies and claims.

Neil Millar

Partner


Corporate and Commercial
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9977
M: +64 21 495 565
Email

Aaron Lloyd

Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Aaron is a partner in the firm’s dispute resolution division. He advises clients on a range of litigious and risk related matters, with particular expertise in the areas of white collar criminal and regulatory affairs, sports law and employment law.  Aaron leads our sports law practice, and is a member of the firm’s health and safety and public law teams.

Aaron is well regarded by clients for his ability to analyse and strategise complex situations. He is recognised by both clients, and his peers, for being able to implement pragmatic and commercial strategies to minimise risk and create opportunity for our clients. His ability has resulted in clients avoiding significant litigation and commercial consequences.

In 2017 Aaron was named by Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific) as one of New Zealand’s leading sports lawyers, and has been recognised for his employment and sports law expertise in other legal directories including Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Who’s Who.

Before joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts Aaron practiced as a barrister with Paul Davison QC, and has lectured at the University of Auckland.

Aaron Lloyd

Partner


Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9971
M: +64 21 532 000
Email

Andrew Ryan

Partner - Tax

Andrew is the head of the MinterEllisonRuddWatts tax team and a member of the partnership’s board. He is a chartered accountant and lawyer who has been a tax adviser since 1993.

Andrew is experienced in advising clients on all aspects of New Zealand tax laws, and assists on structuring business to be tax efficient and compliant from a New Zealand and cross-border perspective.

Andrew has particular expertise in corporate taxation and obtaining binding rulings from Inland Revenue, including corporate and trust structuring, tax disputes, rulings and settlements, employment and executive remuneration taxation and mergers and acquisitions.

He acts for employers with stock option plans and high net worth individuals looking to migrate to New Zealand. Andrew has advised domestic and international clients on the full range of taxation related matters.

Andrew practices in all areas of corporate tax law for his clients which include the leading New Zealand banks, many corporates, private equity funds and international financial institutions and companies.

Andrew Ryan

Partner


Tax
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9950
M: +64 21 606 170
Email

Cameron Taylor

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Cameron is a partner in the Corporate team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts.  He works with clients on a broad range of strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), takeovers and takeover defence, joint ventures, restructurings, capital raising, IPO’s and corporate governance.

Cameron regularly advises leading private and listed companies, financial institutions and private equity firms. He has extensive experience in the New Zealand market, as well as in New York and London where he worked for Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, one of the world’s premier law firms. He is often invited to speak at international conferences on M&A and corporate finance.

He was admitted to the bar in New York in 2002 and in New Zealand in 1998.

Prior to his legal career, Cameron was an international athlete and competed at the Olympic Games, World Track & Field Championships, NCAA Championships and World Junior Championships. Cameron is Chair of the board of Athletics New Zealand.

He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from London Business School, an LL.B. (Hons) from the University of Auckland Law School, and a B.A. in Economics and B.B.A. in Finance from SMU in Dallas, Texas.

 

Cameron Taylor

Partner


Corporate and Commercial
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9749
M: +64 21 376 125
Email

Chris O'Brien

Partner - Banking and Finance

Chris is a banking and financial services legal expert with particular talent in advising banks, major corporates, and trustee companies on corporate finance, cross-border leveraged lease transactions, and retail debt offers.

Chris has wide experience advising banks, financial institutions and major corporates on the full range of financing transactions, including syndicated facilities, project finance facilities, acquisition finance facilities and working capital facilities as well as advising and assisting major corporates with the introduction of new corporate lenders.

Chris O'Brien

Partner


Banking and Finance
Wellington

P: +64 4 498 5133
M: +64 21 888 739
Email

David Gilbert

Partner - Property and Real Estate

David is a highly regarded commercial property lawyer who has advised on some of New Zealand’s largest property transactions and developments.

Advising on property acquisitions, property developments and leasing, David has particular expertise in putting together complex acquisition agreements, project contracts, commercial subdivisions, including office, retail and industrial properties, shopping centres and industrial parks.

David has extensive public and private sector experience in due diligence, and the acquisition and disposal of land, retail premises and office complexes. He also has experience advising clients, including the Crown, in the health, military and energy sectors.

David represents major asset managers in their property portfolio requirements from acquisition, including Overseas Investment Office compliance, management and divestment. David reviews and coordinates property leases.

David also specialises in infrastructure projects, with experience in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom and a focus on public private partnerships (PPP).

David Gilbert

Partner


Property and Real Estate
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9978
M: +64 21 634 190
Email

Jane Parker

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Jane leads the technology team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and sits on the board of the firm’s joint venture, McCarthy Finch, investigating how legal services can be provided using artificial intelligence.

Jane specialises in commercial projects and commercial law with a particular focus on technology, procurement, public sector contracting and governance.

Jane has over 20 years of experience working in and for technology and blue chip organisations. She is trusted with clients’ most business-critical and complex technology projects, right across the technology spectrum. She is recognised as a practical option-generator, an excellent facilitator and clear communicator.

Jane Parker

Partner


Corporate and Commercial
Wellington

P: +64 4 498 5128
M: +64 27 444 5993
Email

Janine Stewart

Partner - Construction

Janine is a specialist construction, property and projects lawyer who acts on the full spectrum of construction projects and property disputes. She has particular experience in claims under the Public Works Act 1981 (for land acquisition relating to development) and mid-project and post-project phases of construction. Janine is known for her pragmatic approach, adopting either litigation and/or dispute resolution to achieve a commercially-effective outcome for her clients.

Janine also has significant experience in landlord and tenant obligations and contentious rent review disputes. She regularly appears in various dispute forums.

Named Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year at the 2015 New Zealand Law Awards and up and coming in 2016 Chambers directory, Janine is actively engaged in thought leadership on issues impacting the property and construction industry.  Janine regularly contributes to a number of publications and presents widely on complex construction and property issues.

Janine lectures ‘Law for Construction” in the Masters of Project Management programme at AUT University, is a member of the New Zealand Society of Construction Law and a member of the Building Advisory Panel to MBIE.

Janine Stewart

Partner


Construction
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9922
M: +64 21 784 808
Email

Jeremy Muir

Partner - Financial Services

Jeremy is a specialist financial services and investment lawyer. He works with retail and wholesale fund managers (including KiwiSaver and superannuation), trustee companies, derivatives issuers, FinTech (including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platforms), insurers and start-ups.  He is also one of New Zealand’s leading lawyers advising on cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital tokens – working closely with the Financial Markets Authority and other regulators in relation to the treatment of coins, tokens, schemes and exchanges under New Zealand law.

Jeremy advises on all aspects of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA), in particular managed investment schemes and all required licences. He also advises on all other financial services legislation (including financial service provider registration, non-bank deposit takers (NBDTs), insurance prudential supervision, financial advice and broking).

Jeremy enjoys working with alternative assets and structures across private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, property investment vehicles, marinas and innovative platforms and products. He is a limited partnerships expert, having established numerous private equity and venture capital funds, including negotiating with significant cornerstone investors such as the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), New Zealand Super Fund, ACC and Maori investors.

Jeremy also spent several years working in offshore funds for a major offshore law firm, and is admitted to the bar in both Guernsey and the Cayman Islands.

Jeremy Muir

Partner


Financial Services
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9819
M: +64 21 625 319
Email

Lloyd Kavanagh

Chair and Partner - Financial Services

Chair of the MinterEllisonRuddWatts partnership and ranked Band 1 for Investment Funds by Chambers Asia Pacific, Lloyd is a highly regarded opinion-leader on financial services and an expert in corporate governance.

Lloyd is acclaimed by commentators and clients in international research publications.

In recognition for his work on financial markets law reform, Lloyd was made a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand Inc. (INFINZ), the first lawyer to receive the accolade. His expertise is proven by being the co-author of Morison’s Company and Securities Law and MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ Corporate Governance White Paper. Lloyd is also a former member of the New Zealand Securities Commission.

Lloyd advises institutions and boutiques on investment funds, equity and debt offerings, and managed investment schemes of all types, specialising in public offers, M&A, and restructuring projects. He advises on securities regulation including Financial Markets Conduct Act, Financial Advisers Act, AML/CFT, and directors’ duties.

Lloyd Kavanagh

Chair and Partner


Financial Services
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9976
M: +64 21 786 172
Email

Marilyn Mrkusich

Senior Associate - Corporate and Commercial

Marilyn advises on all aspects of corporate and commercial law, including negotiating and drafting commercial contracts, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder, joint venture and arrangements, companies and securities legislation compliance and corporate restructuring. She has a special interest in consumer law and assisting her clients with sales and promotional activities, and product labelling and compliance.

Marilyn has assisted a wide range of clients from individuals, not-for-profit entities and privately owned businesses to large corporates, across a wide range of industries including finance, retail, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing. She believes in developing close relationships with her clients to understand their business and commercial environment to ensure they receive meaningful legal advice.

Marilyn Mrkusich

Senior Associate


Corporate and Commercial
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9846
M: +64 21 240 2658
Email

Mark Forman

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Mark is a corporate and commercial lawyer with broad corporate experience in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

He specialises in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, forestry transactions, commercial contract advice, NZX listing rules/takeovers code advice, corporate governance advice, shareholder agreements and employee shareholding arrangements. Mark also advises on Overseas Investment Office consent applications.

Mark has advised on numerous high profile New Zealand transactions in recent years, including the largest forestry transaction in New Zealand in a number of years, and the MediaWorks – NBCUniversal joint venture, which won Consumer, Media and Tech Deal of the Year at the 2017 NZ Law Awards. Having advised on large merger and acquisition transactions for international financial institutions, in New Zealand, Europe and the United States, he is familiar with global trends.

Mark has particular experience advising clients in the media/technology, forestry, financial services and aged care/health sectors. Clients include MediaWorks, Campbell Global, Hastings Funds Management, Metlifecare, Southern Cross Hospitals and Bupa Group.

Mark Forman

Partner


Corporate and Commercial
Auckland

P: +64 9 353 9944
M: +64 21 243 6954
Email

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