New Zealand Law Society - Russell McVeagh announces six senior appointments

Russell McVeagh announces six senior appointments

In recent months, the firm has welcomed six new senior associates across various departments: Kate Maclean specialising in Banking and Finance, Grace Liang and Sam Kember in Corporate Advisory, Marie Kavanagh in Litigation, and Ed Kinloch and David Simpson in Real Estate and Construction.

L-R: Grace Liang, Sam Kember, Kate Maclean, David Simpson, Ed Kinloch and Marie Kavanagh

Grace, Sam and Ed are all returning alumni who began their careers with the firm, and four of these lawyers - Kate, Grace, Sam and Marie - have recently returned to New Zealand following overseas experience working at top global law firms.

Banking and Finance
Kate Maclean
Based in the Auckland office, Kate specialises in structured finance, with a particular focus on securitisations.

Kate returned to New Zealand in 2023 after spending a number of years working at Fieldfisher LLP in London as part of the Structured Finance team, where she advised on a broad range of structured transactions and financial services regulation.

Corporate Advisory
Grace Liang advises on a range of corporate transactions, including acquisitions and disposals, joint venture and shareholder arrangements, other direct and indirect investment structures, as well as general corporate and securities law issues.

Grace rejoined Russell McVeagh in early 2024 after almost four years working in London for global law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP). During her time at BCLP in the corporate real estate and investment funds team, she gained particular experience advising clients in respect of corporate transactions in the real estate and alternative investment sectors.

Sam Kember is experienced in advising on public and private M&A, equity capital markets transactions, joint venture and shareholder arrangements, and general corporate advisory work.

Sam returned to Russell McVeagh in 2023 after four years working in London for global law firm Linklaters LLP, where he advised on a number of high-profile, multi-national public and private transactions. During his time overseas, Sam also spent time on secondment in the M&A team at AXA Group in Paris, where he was involved in a number of international transactions and corporate group matters.

Marie Kavanagh
Based in Wellington, Marie advises on contentious financial regulatory matters including assisting clients with Commerce Commission and Financial Markets Authority investigations and proceedings; and responding to requests by authorities for information or interviews. She is also experienced in advising clients in relation to financial crime investigations, internal investigations and public inquiries.

Marie spent many years working at US firms in London where she advised senior individuals and corporates in cases involving alleged regulatory breaches and in cases concerning criminal allegations of complex fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering and other types of misconduct, often with a cross-border element. Marie is recommended in several leading legal directories and guides, including Who's Who Legal, Legal 500 (UK), Chambers and Partners (UK), Expert Guides, and Global Investigation Review.

Real Estate & Construction
Ed Kinloch is a commercial property specialist with a focus on overseas investment, commercial and industrial development projects, rural land, primary sector industries, and renewable energy.

He advises clients on a wide range of commercial property matters including acquisitions and disposals, sale and leaseback transactions, development agreements, commercial and industrial leases, rural leases, and forestry rights. He regularly assists clients to navigate New Zealand's overseas investment regime, including by obtaining Overseas Investment Office consents and exemptions.

Ed rejoined Russell McVeagh's Auckland team in December 2023, returning from the Waikato region where he worked for another New Zealand firm.

David Simpson
Based in Auckland, David's practice is focused on complex property developments and large-scale transactions.

David has worked with some of New Zealand's most prominent property owners and developers, with noteworthy recent projects including the PwC Tower at Commercial Bay, the Te Waihorotiu (Aotea) Station over-station development in downtown Auckland, and the sale of the Westgate Lifestyle retail centre. He has extensive experience in the negotiation of development agreements, commercial leasing, acquisitions and disposals, and due diligence investigations.

David joined the firm in February 2024 from a property law specialist firm in Auckland, where he spent several years and had been recognised as a key lawyer by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific guide.

"It is fantastic to be able to welcome such talented senior lawyers to the firm. Our ability to attract such quality people reflects the work we continue to do to create an environment which is supportive, flexible and inclusive and which offers amazing career opportunities to work alongside some of New Zealand's leading organisations," said Russell McVeagh Board Chair David Butler.

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