Firm boosts talent in predicted growth areas

by Samantha Woodhill18 Feb 2015
A leading New Zealand firm has added a partner and appointed three new senior associates in predicted growth areas for 2015.

Simpson Grierson is anticipating commercial and corporate, commercial property and transactional finance to be growth areas this year, and has backed up those predictions with the appointment of a new partner and three senior associates working in those practice areas.

Chairman Kevin Jaffe said the firm has seen significant growth in commercial and corporate and finance sectors over the past year and expected that growth to continue in 2015.

“In corporate for example, there’s a lot of transaction work,” he said.  “Once you get that corporate activity that leads into banking transactions as well.”

In response, Simpson Grierson has added James Hawes to the partnership. Hawes’ practice includes mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital, and he has acted on a number of capital markets transactions.

The firm has also appointed Sarah Lee and Nicki Montgomery as senior associates.  Montgomery specialises in leveraged finance, cross-border acquisition finance, restructuring and non-contentious insolvency, while Lee specialises in sales and marketing, consumer and fair trading laws.  

Jaffe also observed that the property market continues to rise.

“The property market is doing reasonably well and there’s been quite a lot of activity and uplift over the last couple of years.  It’s not really a new thing but those are all areas where we’re seeing good work flows,” he said.

To capitalise on this opportunity, the firm has appointed Ruth McLean, a commercial property expert and specialising in sales and acquisitions, agribusiness and Overseas Investment Office work as a senior associate.

Outside those particular practice areas, Jaffe expects that overall hiring activity will increase over the next 12 months, with the demand leading to increased competition in New Zealand, particularly for lawyers with 3-5 years’ experience.

“People want talent and people with talent usually have options,” he said.