Steve Gallaugher


Steve is a leading acquisition, syndicated, corporate, project, property and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) finance lawyer with almost 20 years’ experience. He regularly advises on the largest and most complex financings in New Zealand.

Steve is an expert in uni-tranche, first/second lien loans, syndicated, and bilateral finance transactions. His experience spans a wide range of industries, including childcare, healthcare, education, agribusiness, technology, telecommunications and media (TMT), infrastructure, transport, and energy.

He advises senior bank syndicates, mezzanine lenders, non-bank lenders, underwriters, domestic and offshore purchasers, investment banks, corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors on New Zealand and cross-border acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, restructuring and general corporate finance.

Steve is also well known in New Zealand’s project and property finance sectors. He has helped structure, execute, finance, and reorganise numerous New Zealand real estate transactions spanning residential, commercial, industrial, social housing and development projects. He has acted on all of the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) brought to market in New Zealand and continues to act on the majority of them in various capacities.

Recently Steve has acted on several sustainability linked loan financings. He has separately advised a major international commodity trader financing a counterparty to purchase forestry assets which will produce a stream of carbon credits eligible under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Recognised as a leading banking and finance lawyer in renowned legal directories, Steve is regarded by one client as “the go-to for project and acquisition finance-related transactions and brings with him a wealth of technical and commercial knowledge in this space” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022. Steve is widely praised by clients for being responsive, strategic and solutions focused. He draws on his international experience, having spent five years at Clifford Chance LLP in London, and strong connections in the New Zealand banking market to provide what has been described by one client as an “excellent service” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021.

Career highlights

Advising the mandated lead arranger banks in connection with the syndicated financing of Infratil’s acquisition of the Pacific Radiology Group. Subsequently acted for the lending group on the acquisitions of Auckland Radiology and Bay Radiology.

Advising the syndicate of banks on all aspects of refinancing and funding an expansion of the New Zealand Schools 2 Public Private Partnership – achieving a negotiated and documented position acceptable to the Ministry of Education, the sponsors, the financiers, and all other key project parties.

Advising Hirepool Group on all financing aspects including a refinance of senior and mezzanine facilities to recapitalise its balance sheet.

Advising Next Capital on all financing aspects in connection with its acquisition of the NZ Bus Group from Infratil. Continues to act for NZ Bus Group on all banking matters.

Acting for Kiwibank in providing secured debt facilities to Laybuy Holdings to fund its New Zealand and Australian operations prior to its listing on the Australian stock exchange.

Advising ANZ, Westpac and ICBC on their financing of the Industre Property Group – a joint venture between Stride Property Limited, listed on the NZX, and a group of international investors.

Advising the mandated lead arranger banks in connection with the syndicated and underwritten financing of Infratil’s and Brookfields’ acquisition of Vodafone NZ.

Advising Westpac and BNZ on their sustainability linked loans provided to The Warehouse Group and Deloitte (respectively).

Achievements and recognition
  • Leading Individual, Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Tier 1 team, Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Recognised, Banking and Finance, Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Notable Practitioner, Banking and Project Development, IFLR1000
  • Recognised, Banking and Finance Law, Best Lawyers
  • Recognised, Project Finance and Development Practice, Best Lawyers
  • Recognised, Banking and Finance, Expert Guides