‘Tis the season: Wave of partnership announcements

by Sophie Schroder01 Dec 2014
Both Chapman Tripp and Russell McVeagh have just announced new partnership admissions effective as of today.
The firms have promoted two talented lawyers each in the Wellington and Auckland offices.
At Chapman Tripp, Rachel Dunne has taken the role of corporate partner in Auckland, while David Patterson is now a tax partner in Wellington.
Dunne, who has been at the firm for the past seven years, told NZ Lawyer that she loves her workplace because of the culture of respect for individuality, which leads to a team of “talented, fun and fascinating people”.
“A key focus for me as a new partner will be continuing to develop and encourage our young talent within the firm by ensuring they have exposure to the most interesting legal work in New Zealand,” she says.
The revival of New Zealand’s capital markets over the past couple of years has given Dunne the opportunity to challenge herself and work on some of the country’s most high profile IPOs, including acting for Mighty River Power on its IPO as the first in the Government’s mixed ownership model programme and for The Treasury on the IPO of Genesis Energy.
“These were complex and lengthy transactions and I relished the opportunity to work as part of a team of advisors helping to shape the process and disclosures for many IPOs to come.”
New Wellington tax partner Patterson has been at Chapman Tripp for the past four years, following 20 years of partnership at an Australasian firm.
He’s looking forward to his new role, which has a focus on building the firm’s national tax practise in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland.
Throughout his career, Patterson says he’s most liked working on projects that “create things” or lead to investment.
“The roles I’ve particularly enjoyed include advising on investments in the US energy sector, the Z float, the Fonterra/Port of Tauranga transport arrangements, an international cable project and on the Transmission Gully PPP project,” he says.
“Advising the Government on its negotiation with Warner Bros to keep the Hobbit films in New Zealand was also a memorable highlight.”
Two new partner promotions have also been announced at top tier Russell McVeagh. The firm has welcomed Allison Arthur-Young in Auckland and Chris Curran in Wellington to the partnership ranks.
Arthur-Young, who grew up in Vancouver, Canada, has been in the firm’s Auckland environment, planning and natural resources group for almost nine years.
She told NZ Lawyer she most enjoys the challenging work and strong team culture offered by Russell McVeagh, and she hopes to continue her focus on her leadership and mentoring skills as partner.
There have been many highlights during Arthur-Young’s time at the firm, but one case in particular sticks out, she says.
“Leading a challenging piece of resource management litigation with a fantastic team of experts, a sophisticated and energised client, and amazing team support - all while working part-time with a toddler at home.  I learned then that just about anything was possible with the right tools and attitude.”
The other newly promoted Russell McVeagh partner, Curran, has been with the firm since 2011 – although his association with it goes back to 2000, when he was awarded a Russell McVeagh scholarship.
His areas of practice as partner will be commercial and public litigation, drawing on the significant advocacy experience he gained during seven years at the Crown Law Office in Wellington.
Curran told NZ Lawyer that Russell McVeagh makes for a rewarding work environment thanks to its high calibre of partners and staff.
“I am looking forward to the increased leadership role that comes with partnership, and am determined to continue the firm's tradition of excellent legal work and top client service,” he says.
The litigation expert’s career highlights include many of the rewarding court room experiences, such as his first time presenting oral argument in the Supreme Court, and a recent success in a particularly hard-fought commercial dispute after a prolonged trial.
“However, as a lawyer, I have to say the moments that stick with you most are when you able to make a real difference for your clients, particularly in situations of significant stress or uncertainty. That is when the law seems most like a vocation as well as a great job,” Curran says.



Photos L-R: Rachel Dunne, David Patterson (Chapman Tripp); Allison Arthur-Young, Chris Curran (Russell McVeagh).