Where do you work now?
I am currently a solicitor in Webb Henderson’s Corporate and Finance team. Webb Henderson New Zealand (the firm has offices in both Auckland and Sydney) is a specialist corporate advisory firm with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate governance, capital markets, telecommunications and technology, banking and finance, and competition law. In Sydney, the firm also has leading experts in Competition & Consumer law, Disputes / Litigation and Telecommunications and Media.
What kind of work have you been involved in at Webb Henderson?
Since joining Webb Henderson as a graduate in February 2022, I have been involved in a range of corporate matters and transactions. I have worked on M&A transactions (for both domestic and international clients and from both a buy-side and sell-side position), advised on a range of corporate governance matters (including for large NZX-listed companies), assisted with capital markets work, and carried out extensive research on complex corporate and commercial matters. Additionally, I have been involved in the firm’s growing banking and finance practice through assisting with the financing aspects of these transactions and other funding arrangements.
What do you enjoy most about working at Webb Henderson?
Webb Henderson offers a very supportive and collaborative work environment. The firm regularly acts on leading corporate transactions and this has given me an opportunity to be involved in high-quality work. Being given exposure to this calibre of work straight out of university is very unique.
I work with a great team. The people genuinely want to see you grow and develop. They value open communication, manage clear expectations and recognise hard work. I feel lucky to have met some good friends at Webb Henderson and we all have a great deal of respect for one another.
Finally, the firm’s values closely align with mine. An example of this is the pro-bono work I have had the opportunity to assist with for Christians Against Poverty (CAP). CAP provides a range of services with the aim of releasing individuals from debt and money problems.
What was the most challenging part of working at Webb Henderson?
When I started working at Webb Henderson as a graduate, we were still mainly working online. It was strange starting a new role and not seeing colleagues face to face (especially when I was coming in with no legal experience). However, the team made a real effort to make sure this did not inhibit my social and professional development. There were regular calls with my buddy and responsible partner, and I never felt isolated.
What makes Webb Henderson different from other firms?
The combination of a small team, high quality work and great people. As the only graduate to start in 2022 and one of only a few juniors generally, I have been given an opportunity to work on a number of interesting matters. This experience is unique to juniors in boutique firms and a key reason I chose to join Webb Henderson. Further, working directly with colleagues at all levels, including partners, is something I have really valued. The ability to work directly with and learn from industry leaders is a fantastic opportunity.
What has been your favourite experience whilst working at Webb Henderson so far?
My favourite experience would have to be attending the 2022 firm retreat in Fiji. The retreat provided an opportunity to learn more about the firm and meet our Trans-Tasman colleagues. The retreat reinforced to me that I work in a firm which helps me to develop both personally and professionally. I was also very grateful that my parents were invited to the firm to celebrate my admission. That meant a lot to me. The firm has been very generous to me from the time I started.
Work wise, I have been involved in some very interesting matters, including two leading 2022 transactions. I was a part of the team which advised Allegro Funds on the acquisition of Gull New Zealand from Ampol Limited for a value of approximately NZ$522M. Further, I assisted the team which advised Spark New Zealand on the 70% sale of its Spark TowerCo business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for approximately NZ$900M. These were both really interesting matters to be involved in and provided me with great learning experience.
What would be your advice be to students wishing to apply to Webb Henderson?
A piece of advice from me is to make clear in your cover letter why you are interested in being a part of the team. This ensures the firm finds the right fit both for yourself and them. The firm does not expect students to have any past legal experience, however, having a proactive attitude is a key attribute which will ensure your success in the firm and the profession.
To read more about Webb Henderson, click here.
About Webb Henderson
Webb Henderson is a Trans-Tasman specialist law firm with offices in Auckland and Sydney.
The New Zealand office specialises in strategic legal advice for corporate and finance transactions, with significant experience in M & A, capital markets, banking / finance, and infrastructure matters. It also has expertise in competition, consumer and economic regulatory law as well as TMT (telecommunications, media and technology) law.
The 17 lawyer local team has been recognised at the New Zealand Law Awards as Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2014 – 2018, 2021 and were finalists once again in 2022.
Webb Henderson is a genuinely close team, where successes are celebrated, challenges are supported, learning, feedback and growth is constant, people are well rewarded and every individual makes a meaningful difference to the culture and direction of the firm.
Clients and Work
The firm is proud to work with pre-eminent clients. If you join Webb Henderson, the egalitarian and collaborative team ethos means you will work closely with all partners and staff on:
- Major corporate transactions, such as acting for privately owned family businesses, private equity firms and corporates on their most significant transactions (across the full range of transaction sizes – from $15m to more than $1bn);
- Advising on a range of significant capital markets transactions, including IPOs and takeovers;
- Drafting and negotiating unique and sophisticated commercial contracts and agreements;
- Providing specialist advice on significant and complex corporate and governance issues; and
- Drafting and negotiating documents involved in significant infrastructure projects.
In New Zealand, six partners lead an experienced corporate and finance team, alongside two partners with specialist competition and TMT law expertise.
The partners have attracted, and importantly retained, an outstanding team of lawyers at all levels. Lawyers have joined directly from law school, from other leading New Zealand firms or returned from major overseas firms to work at Webb Henderson. While people have diverse life experiences, they are strongly connected by shared values and aspirations, their drive and work ethic, their regard for one another and desire to genuinely enjoy working together.
The glue that binds Webb Henderson’s outstanding team, clients, and work is its distinctive values based culture. The partners are actively committed to creating a highly inclusive, increasingly diverse, engaged and rewarding work environment. This includes encouraging and supporting the team to integrate their professional and personal lives to be able to fulfill their goals and aspirations in both spheres.
Examples of the culture in action include:
- Working flexibly and taking time out after busy periods;
- Active, regular personal mentoring from partners and more experienced lawyers;
- Access to an external professional coach for team and individual sessions focussing on personal growth and soft skill development, along with access to external conferences;
- Quarterly career discussions and day-to-day development feedback;
- Provision of various types of support people may require to respond to life’s challenges from time to time;
- Team feedback sessions to continually shape the team culture;
- Firm wide training and development sessions and off-site retreats – in Fiji – at which everyone from both offices comes together to learn and contribute to the firm’s strategy and goals;
- The opportunity to learn about the “business of law”. Growth and development of the firm is discussed openly and transparently with the team in financial meetings. Everyone understands, and is invested in, the firm’s performance; and
- Top of market remuneration including contractual (rather than discretionary) bonuses, based on team and individual performance.
Environmental, Social and Governance
For some years, the firm has been focused on mitigating its impact on the environment and proactively supporting a variety of socially responsible initiatives. Examples include:
- Becoming a Toitū Carbon Zero Certified Organisation in 2019;
- Being signatories to the NZLS Gender Equitable Engagement and Instruction Policy and extending the policy to apply to the engagement of all lawyers (as opposed to barristers only) which the firm regularly does as a specialist, rather than full service firm;
- The firm’s lawyers supporting a mentoring programme for University of Auckland law students with limited exposure to the legal industry;
- Actively participating in the TupuToa internship programme for Maori and Pacific law students;
Volunteering for Eat My Lunch, Ronald McDonald House, and for Variety – the Children’s Charity projects;
- Supporting a number of charitable appeals and events each year (Love Grace Handbag appeal, Te Wiki o te Reo Maori etc); and
- Undertaking a range of pro-bono legal engagements, where the firm’s experience and expertise can make a real difference.
Opportunities for Summer Clerks in Auckland
If you are in your penultimate year, and you would like your career to be in corporate law, we encourage you to apply for 2 summer clerk positions available from mid November 2023 to mid February 2024.
As you would expect, joining a high calibre team, your IQ, EQ, drive, proactivity, and interest in corporate law and business will be strong. Your values will also be aligned with those of the firm – your authenticity, integrity, commitment to excellence and innovation, generosity toward others, and modesty in relation to yourself, will ensure you thrive.
To discuss or apply
If you would like to discuss summer clerking, please telephone Victoria Fletcher on 021 300 982.
Alternatively if you are ready to apply, please email your cover letter, CV and academic transcript to email@example.com. Applications open 9 March and close on 27 March 2023.
Corporate and Finance team.