DLA Piper expands in NZ with two new special counsel

by Sol Dolor07 Nov 2018

DLA Piper has expanded its team in New Zealand with the addition of internationally experienced senior lawyers to the firm.

David Johnston has been appointed special counsel in the tax practice, while Ran Robinson has been named special counsel in the firm’s finance, projects, and restructuring group.

“As experienced practitioners in their fields, David and Ran fit our strategy to attract quality talent to further strengthen our expertise and enhance our high-performance culture,” said Martin Wiseman, DLA Piper’s New Zealand country managing partner. “Their appointments complement DLA Piper’s vast international pool of capability in both areas of law.”

DLA Piper welcomed special counsel Nick Valentine in Auckland in September from King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney. That month, the firm elevated two insurance experts to partner. In June, the global firm attracted two partners from two top-tier NZ firms.

Johnston moves to the firm from Deloitte New Zealand, where he was director for nearly two years. He was also regional tax and customs manager for Asia, Middle East, and Africa at Fonterra.

He brings to the firm international experience, having been European head of tax at Oaktree Capital Management, one of the ten largest private equity firms in the world. He was also previously with EY and PwC.

Johnston’s expertise includes includes multinational and cross-border taxation, corporate tax, disputes with fiscal authorities and IR audits.

“All governments have sharpened their focus on the tax treatment of multinational cross-border investment recently,” he said. “My main focus is this area, including the recent tax and customs law changes. Because my experience is of tax in multiple jurisdictions, and because DLA Piper is a global law firm, it’s an area in which we have an edge.”

Robinson also adds international experience to DLA Piper, bringing nearly two decades’ experience in banking and finance in London, Singapore, and New Zealand. An expert in corporate and asset financing, she has extensive experience in all aspects of banking law and regulation.

“There are myriad changes and challenges facing the banking and finance sector, both from a digital and technology perspective as well as a number of potentially far-reaching legislative reforms in the pipeline,” she said.

David Johnston and Ran Robinson

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