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Hello world!

by Admin on June 8th, 2012

I have hung out my own shingle as a ‘commercial barrister’ advising on a wide range of corporate / commercial matters.

I was previously a partner at Hesketh Henry in Auckland and, before that, spent a long time working for Kensington Swan, Simpson Grierson and Bell Gully (as well as a secondment to the (then) Securities Commission and time doing the Big OE in London).

The principal areas in which I have developed experience over more than two decades as a lawyer at the ‘big end of town’ are in the areas of corporate and commercial law.  This includes work in the financial services sector (particularly securities law), business transactions and corporate governance matters.  In addition, I have had a long involvement with venture capital / private equity matters as well as matters affecting a range of ‘non-standard’ entities (e.g. co-ops, industry organisations and Maori groups) involved in commercial activities and have advised a number of not-for-profits involved with a range of undertakings.

The commercial barrister model is one I have borrowed from a couple of senior corporate / commercial lawyers who have stepped out of the big firms.  A handful of them have provided me with invaluable advice about the role.

In order to be involved in a project or piece of advice, there are some formalities to be observed in order to comply with my Law Society obligations.  These include the need for an instructing solicitor and terms of engagement.  I have found that these can be addressed quite seamlessly.  Also, in keeping with the idea of developing what is (still) an evolving business model, I am more than happy to enter into a discussion about what a job is worth to you (or your client).  Obviously, I would like those discussions to be at the outset or at key milestones – so that I can operate on a no surprises basis.

Where possible, I will seek to provide an estimate.  I think that two decades of experience at the big end of town has enabled me to get a good feel for what a project will take to complete.

I enjoy working with in-house counsel – and think that I have a reasonably good feel for the challenges that go with such a role.  This includes meeting the needs of the various stakeholders in the organisation (for example when assisting with the preparation of an internal paper or something for external consumption).  I am pleased to say that I often get asked to act as a sounding board and/or provide a second opinion.  In this regard, a saw a comment recently that I identified with that, often, all that is required is a ‘top of mind’ response (but that the provider reserved the right to know how their advice was represented to third parties).  Also, as a benchmark, if the conversation is less than 20 minutes – then I am unlikely to send a bill.

Finally, I find it challenging and rewarding to work with people who want to do some of the work themselves and only expect me to tweak / refine / flesh out their strategic and other efforts.  I am happy to provide guidance only.  In keeping with my interest in sports, I see myself as a team player.  As a result, I want to work with people on interesting issues (and hear about their work).  I enjoy working with others and being able to add value, compare war stories and help with interesting problems.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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