Legal 500 Award 2019

Lowndes is delighted to announce that we have been ranked again by leading international directory, Legal 500, in 2019 in 7 of our 9 practice areas that this directory researches. Three of our lawyers are ranked as Leading Individuals in their practice areas and 2 recognised as Next Generation Lawyers.  Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms in over 150 jurisdictions for 32 years. The comprehensive research programme is revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market.

Legal500 table ranking

Corporate and M&A

Paul Hartland is ‘very client-focused with strong industry knowledge, great attention to detail and excellent strategic insight’.  Managing director Mark Lowndes ‘has exceptional knowledge in all areas of company and commercial law’. Director Kerri Dewe is noted for her ‘strong commitment to customer service and broad knowledge of commercial law’. Principal Kathryn Hickling is also praised for her ‘excellent technical skills and great attention to detail’.

This practice area offers ‘a very high level of service and strong business acumen, as well as good value for money’.  One client remarks that the firm is ‘top quality – very competitive with other boutique firms and also with larger firms’, while another notes that ‘the lawyers are all from top-tier firms, so you get the top-tier advice – I would recommend them to any business’.


Restructuring and Insolvency

‘The people are very nice, very reasonable to deal with and very client-focused‘. Consultant Mike Whale has more than 30 years’ experience and leads the practice. He is currently advising PwC on a potential appeal to the Supreme Court following a successful application in the Court of Appeal by a creditor against the liquidators of a construction company to have insolvent transactions set aside. Director Michael Anderson advises on a wide range of banking, restructuring and insolvency matters and last year he handled a complex matter that involved a tracing exercise to define the proceeds of commingled goods. Principal Jennifer Tunna, who with Mike Whale is advising former directors of a flooring company on claims made by liquidators, ‘cuts straight to the chase and her advice is very clear and pragmatic’.


Transport (Rail, Road, Air and Sea)

Lowndes provides commercial and dispute resolution services to transport operators – particularly in the shipping sector – and their insurers. The firm also acts for aviation, logistics and marine industry clients, including owners of luxury yachts. Michael McCarthy is one of New Zealand’s leading shipping litigators. He led the Rena Shipwreck matter, in which he advised the owners of the ship and its P&I and hull insurers. The wreck was the largest maritime incident ever to occur on the New Zealand Coast, and the second most expensive wreck removal operation in the world. The firm is also handling the owner’s application under the Resource Management Act for consent to leave the remains of the wreck on the reef. Corporate director Mark Lowndes is playing a key role in that matter. Also recommended is Principal Tim Jeffcott, who has a broad litigation practice that includes admiralty proceedings, maritime insurance claims, vessel damage and destruction investigations.


Dispute Resolution

The practice area focuses on high-profile contentious matters. Veteran litigator Michael McCarthy has a broad dispute resolution practice that includes shipping matters. Principal Tim Jeffcott focuses on corporate disputes. Corporate director Mark Lowndes handled a complex and high-value case involving governance issues at one of the country’s largest mortgage brokers and consultant Mike Whale is also recommended for his vast experience in restructuring and insolvency disputes.


Banking and Finance

This team has key relationships with trading banks, insolvency practitioners, trustees and corporate borrowers, and is well known for its expertise in specialist security arrangements, cross-border transactions and debt capital markets trustee matters. Michael Anderson leads the practice and his work encompasses banking, insolvency and restructuring matters. Paul Hartland, who is also a chartered accountant, is a key partner for complex banking matters, and Principal Jennifer Tunna is also recommended. The practice recently acted for a large property company in the replacement of loan facilities and securities through a new bank in order to fund the acquisition of key assets, and advised a construction company on extending existing finance arrangements and arranging new funding to service corporate debt requirements.


Intellectual Property

Legal 500 and clients describe IP as a key element of the firm’s corporate and commercial practice, which handles cross-border technology, media and telecoms matters. The firm’s founder and managing director Mark Lowndes has a broad corporate practice that includes a strong IP focus. Director Sarah Kerr has more than 20 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer, acting for clients in the life sciences, diagnostic products, nutritional supplements and natural health sectors, among others. Director Kerri Dewe also handles corporate transactions in IP-rich industries.


Telecommunications, Media and Technology

‘Outstanding on all counts’ is how one client describes the practice at Lowndes. Corporate and technology director Mark Lowndes has 38 years’ experience in the market and one client notes that he has ‘a superior general knowledge in all aspects of the law, meaning he is able to advice on risks in a global manner, and how they may affect other aspects of the business’.  Lowndes directors Mark Lowndes and  Kerri Dewe (who is ‘the complete article in TMT and commercial law – extremely bright, personable, efficient and customer-centric’) advised privately owned real estate company Barfoot & Thompson on various aspects of their sophisticated technology platforms, including social media, and the negotiation of various software agreements. Director Sarah Kerr plays a key role in corporate transactions involving technology companies.


Lowndes would like to thank our clients for the time they give to providing invaluable feedback to the Legal 500 researchers.


If you are interested to see what categories we have been listed in over the years please visit our Recognitions and Awards page.


Lowndes is an award winning corporate and commercial law firm with offices in the heart of Auckland and Wellington. The firm serves local and international companies and investors doing business in New Zealand.

We are recognised for our technical expertise and exceptional client service including high levels of responsiveness and reliability, accessibility of our lawyers, and an unwavering focus on what matters – our clients’ commercial outcomes.