James is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience advising clients on a range of matters.
He specialises in assisting clients with private company mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, shareholder arrangements, Overseas Investment Office (OIO) applications and related matters. He also advises on capital raisings, corporate governance and company administration, and other general corporate advisory work.
James advises both local and overseas clients in a number of sectors, including media, technology, banking, financial services, transport, and forestry. He has also spent time on secondment with multiple clients in both the private and public sector, giving him valuable insight into the key drivers for clients and the importance of providing pragmatic, commercially focused advice.
James’ experience in the media sector includes advising MediaWorks on the sale of MediaWorks TV to Discovery, Inc. He has advised on a number of transactions in the technology space, including advising on Soul Machines’ recent capital raising and assisting Livestock Improvement Corporation with the sale of its automation business to MSD Animal Health (a division of Merck & Co, Inc). In the financial services sector, James most recently assisted Aon with the sale of its superannuation business in New Zealand (comprising its KiwiSaver scheme and Master Trust businesses) to Fisher Funds.
James started his career in Wellington at another leading New Zealand law firm, before spending four years in the Corporate team at Clyde & Co in its Dubai office. During his time in Dubai, James advised both local and international clients on significant transactions throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region involving multiple international parties. The experience and global perspective that James gained during his time in Dubai are invaluable when advising on cross-border M&A transactions.
James returned to New Zealand and joined the Corporate division at MinterEllisonRuddWatts in March 2020.
Advising MediaWorks on the sale of MediaWorks TV, New Zealand’s only privately owned major free-to-air television network, to Discovery, Inc.
Advising Aon on the sale of its superannuation business in New Zealand (comprising its KiwiSaver scheme and Master Trust businesses) to Fisher Funds. The transaction comprised the sale of certain business assets as well as shares in two of Aon’s group companies and resulted in over 21,000 Aon KiwiSaver and Master Trust members (and approximately NZD1 billion of funds under management) transferring to Fisher Funds.
Advising Soul Machines on its USD70 million capital raise (closed in the first quarter of 2022).
Advising Westpac New Zealand on the sale of its retail wealth and financial advisory business to Forsyth Barr and formation of a strategic partnership between the parties.
Advising NZX listed cooperative, Livestock Improvement Corporation on the divestment of its automation business to MSD Animal Health, including a number of ancillary transitional and long term agreements.
Advising Craigpine Timber Limited on the sale of its Southland sawmill to Niagara Sawmilling Company.
Achievements and recognition
- Band 1 team, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Corporate and M&A, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific