It’s all about balance

by Hannah Norton28 Aug 2015
David Jones’ legal career is all about balance.

In the first instance, there’s the task of balancing his work as with a founding partner of a law firm with his role as Takeovers Panel chairperson – to which he has just been reappointed.

Then, is his role as chair of the Panel, he is also focused on balance: “Balancing the proper application of the regulation against commercial reality.

“It’s really balancing the commercial imperatives of stakeholders against the application of the code - that’s what it really boils down to. That’s one of the challenges - providing sensible outcomes which have regard to the costs of transactions and the benefits that flow from them.”

Jones, founding partner of Jones Young, has been reappointed as chairperson of the panel for one more year, effective from October, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced last week.

Richard Hunt, a member cross-appointed from the Australian Takeovers Panel, was reappointed to the Panel for a further term until April 2018.

“I am pleased David Jones and Richard Hunt have accepted further terms on the Takeovers Panel. They have a wealth of experience and their contribution to the Panel has been very valuable so far,” Goldsmith said.

Jones, who has been in legal practice for over 30 years, was first was appointed to the Takeovers Panel Advisory Committee in 1991 and has been a member of the Panel since its formation in 1995.

A leading figure in the in mergers and acquisitions and corporate law space, he has been chair of the Panel since 2007.

“Service to the economy” is what drives his work, he told NZLawyer. And his service has been previously been recognised: in 2012 he was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit as a Member for his services to business.

So how does he balance his practice and his work with the Panel? “Good organisation and good support.

“We’ve got an executive of the panel and they make the chairman’s role much easier. It is a balance between legal practice and the panel itself, but when you’ve got a good executive and good organisational help behind you, at my firm, you can manage.”

The Minister also reappointed senior barrister Geoff Clews - along with Peter Houghton and David Macdonald - to the Disciplinary Committee under the Financial Advisers Act for further terms of four-five years.

Clews specialises in contentious tax and trusts matters and has taught and written extensively on the obligations of investment professionals and on fiduciary investment standards for trustees.

He is a director of Regional Facilities Auckland and of Pathfinder Advisors' Group, chairman of the Auckland Communities Foundation and trustee of the Sir George Elliot Charitable Trust; as well as being an adjunct member of the faculty of commercial law at Auckland University.