Wynn Williams
Level 5, Wynn Williams House
47 Hereford Street
Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

Contact: Jonathan Gillard

Phone: 64 3 379 7622

Firm Profile
Wynn Williams is one of New Zealand’s leading and most respected law firms. The firm was established in 1859 and continues to serve clients from large corporations to private individuals. The firm has the unique distinction of having produced three High Court Judges and a Supreme Court Judge within the last 50 years. Wynn Williams is widely acknowledged as a leader in the following twelve core areas of law: Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Resource Management; Agriculture; Company and Commercial Law; Insurance Law; Property; Local Government; Private Client; Trusts; Relationship and Family Law; Investing in New Zealand and Immigration; and Exporting Legal Services.

Practice Areas
Agribusiness & Rural Law
Banking & Finance
Commercial Property
Contentious Trusts & Estates
Corporate Advisory
Dispute Resolution
Education Law

Financial Services & Compliance
Freshwater Management
Health & Safety
Investing in New Zealand
Local Government Strategy & Advisory
Private Client

Prosecutions, Enforcement & Regulation
Relationship Property & Family Law
Residential Property
Resource Management & Environmental Law
Restructuring & Insolvency
Sports Law
Transport Law
Wills, Trusts & Asset Planning

November 2018: Andrew Watkins and Mike Doesburg have joined New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Mr. Watkins is a nationally recognized relationship property lawyer and will be joining the dispute resolution team in the firm’s Christchurch office. He has been involved in many high profile cases, regularly providing media comment nationally on issues relating to family law. Having completed advanced courses in negotiation and mediation at Harvard, he has conducted over 70 successful mediations during the course of his career. Mr. Doesberg will join the resource management team in the firm’s Auckland office. His experience has been in infrastructure, industrial, residential and coastal projects, as well as district and regional planning matters. He also specializes in local government and public law including liquor licensing and alcohol policy.

September 2018: Philip Maw of New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams has been appointed national managing partner following the retirement of Jared Ormsby. Mr. Maw has been a partner in the firm since 2011 and has led the nationally renowned resource management and environmental team since 2012. He joined the firm in 2004 as a law clerk.  He is recognized by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a recommended and recognized leader in his field. Mr. Ormsby will retire from the firm next month.

July 2018: The corporate advisory team at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams has recently acted for Bendon on its merger with Naked Brand and its stock exchange listing on the Nasdaq. Bendon is an iconic New Zealand intimate apparel business that is host to brands such as Heidi Klum, Stella McCartney, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Hickory, Fayreform and Davenport. Naked Brand is a U.S.-based intimates and sleepwear business that has previously also been listed on the Nasdaq, and is sold at such major retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The New Zealand aspects of the transaction involved raising capital in advance of the listing and a scrip-for-scrip rollover of the New Zealand shareholders in Bendon into a new Australian company named Naked Brand Group Limited.  The core business of Bendon will remain in New Zealand, with its main distribution center based in Auckland.

May 2018: New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams’ corporate advisory team represented New Zealand Warriors Limited, the company that owns the Vodafone Warriors, in the sale of the club to a consortium made up of the Carlaw Heritage Trust and Autex Industries. The firm’s team was led by partner Nick Kovacevich. The Carlaw Heritage Trust is an arm of Auckland Rugby League, with Cameron McGregor the chairman of both bodies. It acquired a 67% share of the club, with manufacturing company Autex Industries, a longstanding supporter of the rugby league in New Zealand, acquiring the remainder. The transaction was completed via a competitive sales process, with the Carlaw Heritage Trust and Autex Industries being chosen ahead of other bidders, including an American investment consortium led by Hawaiian Richard Fale.

April 2018: New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams has announced the following promotions. To senior associate are Tom Corkill (corporate & commercial); Jenny Turner (private client services); Hayden Baird (commercial property and projects); Josh Taylor (dispute resolution); and Shane Campbell (dispute resolution). To associate are Tiana Ritchie (dispute resolution) and Nic Lawrence (dispute resolution). Also at Wynn Williams, Ellie Harrison has joined the firm’s national dispute resolution team as a senior associate, focusing primarily on insurance law.

January 2018: Charlene Sell and Nick Kovacevich have been named partners at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Both are members of the firm’s corporate team. Ms. Sell focuses her practice on assisting with business acquisitions and sales, drafting and providing advice on commercial contracts and terms of trade, dealing with employment matters and helping clients’ protect their brand, while Mr. Kovacevich specializes, among other things, on public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investment, startups and growth-stage businesses, joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and constitutions, commercial contracts, and franchising.

December 2017: New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams has been ranked in the areas of corporate and mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, insurance, labor and employment and projects and resource management in the 2018 Asia Pacific edition of The Legal 500. In addition, Jeremy Johnson has been singled out for his expertise in dispute resolution, while Nick Kovacevich (corporate and mergers and acquisitions), Michelle Mehlhopt (projects and resource management), and Kirstie Wyss (projects and resource management) have all been named “next generation” lawyers. The Legal 500 assesses the strengths of law firms in over 100 jurisdictions around the world, with a comprehensive research program revised and updated every year to assure readers of the most current profile of the global legal market. Also at Wynn Williams, Anthony Drake will join the firm January 1, 2018, as a member of its employment and dispute resolution practices. He is internationally recognized in Chambers Asia Pacific 2018 as a leader in the field of employment law. Mr. Drake’s arrival takes the partnership to 20 and continues the expansion of the firm’s Auckland office, where he’ll be based.

February 2017: Lucy de Latour, Stephen Lowe and Matthew Couch have been named partners at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Ms. de Latour is a resource management and local government specialist. Since joining the firm in 2013, her practice has focused primarily on issues associated with freshwater management, the Canterbury rebuild and a range of retail and industrial developments throughout New Zealand. A member of the corporate advisory team, Mr. Lowe has over 30 years’ legal experience helping leading enterprises and entrepreneurs undertake transactions and resolve legal issues. He has been cited as a “leading lawyer” in mergers and acquisitions by independent legal directory IFLR1000. Finally, Mr. Couch has extensive commercial property experience both in New Zealand and the U.K. His practice is focused on large-scale property acquisitions and disposals, commercial leasing, unit title developments and property financing. He is a member of the firm’s commercial property and projects team. Also at Wynn Williams, the firm has been ranked a leading firm in Chambers’ Asia Pacific 2017 guide. Additionally, Jared Ormsby and Jeremy Johnson have been ranked individually in dispute resolution in the Chambers’ Asia Pacific 2017 guide; Richard Hern, in insurance; and Philip Maw, in environment.

January 2017: Stephen Lowe has been made a partner at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Mr. Lowe specializes in corporate and commercial law, with particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions and securities and energy law. He has over 30 years’ legal experience and advises clients on all aspects of commercial law including corporate governance, contract law, trade practices, overseas investment, competition and securities. Mr. Lowe has been named a “leading lawyer” in mergers and acquisitions by independent legal directory IFLR1000, and is included in NZ Lawyer’s Hot List.