A leading corporate lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience in the UK and New Zealand, Neil heads our Auckland corporate practice. He specialises in private equity and private company mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
Neil’s clients include private business owner-operators, a range of private equity funds, large corporates, SME, and start-up companies. He has significant experience acting for clients on transactions in the health, education, food and beverage, and privately held business sectors.
Relationship driven, collaborative and commercial, Neil is renowned for getting the most complex deals done. He advises on all aspects of M&A and private equity, business sales, and commercial and business transactions and contracts, as well as joint ventures and shareholding arrangements. He also manages complex and often large-scale consolidations and roll up strategies.
In addition to his M&A and private equity practice, Neil advises on practical governance issues, director responsibilities and strategic issues for his clients. A trusted and pragmatic adviser, he has been asked to assist several of his clients in their own strategic planning workshops and board discussions. Clients appreciate that “he makes proactive calls to check in on various aspects of our business and is happy to provide feedback on macro factors that may affect us" - Chambers Global 2021.
Neil is also one of New Zealand’s leading warranty and indemnity insurance experts, providing in-market assistance to most of the key insurers and assisting buyers and sellers with advice in connection with policies and claims.
Recognised as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer by many top legal directories including Chambers Asia-Pacific and Global, Neil has been described by clients as an “approachable and affable lawyer” who “provides excellent support and a pragmatic, commercially centred approach” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022. One client reported that the “high calibre of the advice which we received from him was key to the deal's success" - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020. Neil is a skilful negotiator who builds and maintains good relationships with counterparties which ultimately benefit his clients.
Neil has worked both in London at McGrigors and in Philadelphia at Pepper Hamilton LLP. Clients value his international experience, noting that he brings a global perspective to transactions.
Neil is the author of the firm’s annual M&A Forecast.
Advising the shareholders of Ritchies Transport on all aspects of the sale of that company to KKR. The deal realises the Ritchies family’s 80-year investment into the iconic transport business.
Advising Pencarrow Private Equity and the other shareholders of MMC on the sale of that business to Apex (having also advised the founders of MMC in respect of Pencarrow’s initial investment and MMC on its acquisition of Aegis from ASB).
Separately advising the shareholders of Auckland Radiology on the sale of their business to Infratil and the shareholders of Bay Radiology on the sale of that business (also to Infratil).
Advising the shareholders of Hamilton Radiology on the sale of that business to Australia’s largest radiology business (IMed).
Advising NZEP on its investments into HazardCo, Contract Mechanical Services Limited and Traffic Safe Limited.
Advising the shareholders of advertising agency Shine Communications (now rebranded as Bastion Shine) with negotiating the sale of a majority stake in the company to Australian advertising agency Bastion Collective.
Advising the shareholders of Habit Health (including New Zealand Equity Partners) on the sale of Habit to UK based private equity firm, Livingbridge. Subsequently advising Livingbridge on Habit’s acquisition of Southern Rehab and EAP Services.
Advising Bauer Media on its exit from the New Zealand market following the closure of its New Zealand operations due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Assisting Evolve Education to purchase 85 early childcare education centres from 39 separate sellers. The project took 12 months and was financed through a $139m equity raise via an IPO on the NZX. We then assisted Evolve to continue to purchase centres post-IPO, taking its total to 125 centres.
Achievements and recognition
- Recognised, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Band 1 team, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Recognised, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Global
- Tier 1 team, Corporate and M&A, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Highly Regarded, M&A and Private Equity, IFLR1000
- Recognised, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Best Lawyers
- Recognised, Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice, Best Lawyers