Miles Dean

Special Counsel


Miles is a senior commercial property lawyer who provides timely and commercial advice on all aspects of his clients’ property arrangements.

Miles develops strong and ongoing relationships with clients operating in both the public and private sectors. His clients include: New Zealand’s largest fuel retailer, Z Energy; NZX-listed property fund, Precinct Properties; the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

With a diverse property practice, Miles advises across clients’ full property portfolios. He assists with buying and selling both commercial and forestry assets, leasing, subdivisions, and property finance. He also advises on the implications of property legislation including the Overseas Investment Act (OIA), Unit Titles Act (UTA), and Public Works Act (PWA).

Much of Miles’ recent focus has been on assisting clients with large scale residential developments, helping to deliver affordable housing at scale. He advises from the early due diligence stage through to documenting agreements for sale and purchase and complex development agreements. His experience acting for Crown clients in this area has given him a deep understanding of the Crown land disposal process.

Miles is also an expert in commercial leasing. He assists landlords and tenants with negotiating and documenting their leasing arrangements. He has a particular expertise in advising on complex turnkey tenancies and integrated fitouts. He also advises on issues as they arise during and at the end of the lease term, including maintenance and reinstatement obligations.

Clients appreciate Miles’ depth of knowledge, drawing on over 15 years’ experience in property law. Miles believes that excellent legal advice first requires a genuine understanding of his clients’ needs. He listens to his clients’ commercial and strategic goals and delivers advice tailored to meet those goals. He enjoys getting involved in projects early, allowing him to help shape those projects as they develop. Miles advises clients on all aspects of commercial property and construction matters, including sale and purchase, leasing, property finance concerns and large-scale residential developments.

Miles works very closely with Kāinga Ora’s KiwiBuild unit, supporting it in drafting and negotiating key relationship and development documentation with a range of development partners and stakeholders.

Miles also works closely with HUD, drafting and negotiating development agreements with private sector developers under the Land for Housing Programme.

Career highlights

Acting for Kāinga Ora’s KiwiBuild unit on the initiative to bring new, affordable homes to market. The role includes supporting the KiwiBuild unit to develop key template documentation for the Crown underwrite for “off the plans” KiwiBuild homes. Also involves negotiating agreements with a range of development partners and stakeholders.

Acting for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on its land for housing programme, focused on better utilising surplus Crown land and private land for the delivery of affordable housing at scale. Activities include providing strategic project advice, undertaking due diligence on proposed sites, acquiring relevant land, and negotiating development agreements with private sector developers.

Advising Z Energy’s in-house legal team, property team, and external lease managers on all aspects of its property portfolio. Includes involvement in the strategic management of its portfolio, retail network, truck stop network, aviation sites and terminals, as well as its development programme for new retail sites.

Acting for Precinct Properties on its office and retail leasing arrangements and development activities throughout its Wellington portfolio. Highlights include negotiating and documenting yet to be announced tenancies within the retail space at 1 Willis Street.

Advising a range of government departments and other entities on their “business as usual” property needs, including the Department of Corrections, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and TAB New Zealand.

  • Member, Property Council New Zealand (PCNZ)
  • Member, Property Law Section, New Zealand Law Society
Achievements and recognition
  • Tier 1 team, Real Estate, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific