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Russell McVeagh inducted into Asia-Pacific's first Green Guide

Home Insights Russell McVeagh inducted into Asia-Pacific's first Green Guide

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Published on: December 09, 2022


Russell McVeagh has been named one of only five New Zealand firms to feature in Legal 500's inaugural and independent Green Guide - Asia Pacific.

This marks the first guide highlighting the region's top law firms advising on issues around climate change, governance, and sustainability, as well as recognising their contribution to 'Green Change' and ESG, examining case work and the firm's own sustainability initiatives.

"We are honoured to be recognised for our leading legal expertise assisting our clients to achieve their sustainability goals," says Russell McVeagh CEO Jo Avenell. "We are focused on helping our clients navigate the wide range of continually evolving issues in this fast-moving area. From future proofing their businesses from climate risk through to managing the transition to a low-carbon world. Our Alliance with Te Whakahaere, a climate change advisory consultancy, will also allow us to broaden our service offering in the climate change space."

Russell McVeagh in the Green Guide

Sustainable financing

Advising on the majority of NZ sustainable financing issuances in 2021, including acting for five significant New Zealand borrowers on a number of sustainability linked loans (SLL) and green loans and bonds:

  • KiwiRail on the first shipping loan in the world to be certified under the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)'s framework. Led by partners John Powell (Banking and Finance) and Mei Fern Johnson (Corporate Advisory). Read more on this here. This won 'Project Finance Deal of the Year' at the NZ Law Awards 2022 and was a finalist for, 'Project Finance Deal of the Year' at the IFLR Asia Pacific Awards 2022.

  • ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank as joint Sustainability Coordinators for Kathmandu Holdings Limited's A$300m debt facility refinancing, which included the establishment of a syndicated A$100m SLL facility - the largest syndicated SLL in the New Zealand market at the time. Led by partner John Powell (Banking and Finance). Read more here.

  • Summerset Group on completing a loan facility refinance for approximately $1.2b, incorporating a $700m SLL – the (then) largest SLL in the market and first in the retirement care sector. Led by Banking and Finance partners John Powell and Tom Hunt. Read more here.

  • MetLifeCare on New Zealand's largest SLL (NZ$1.25b). Led by partner John Powell.

  • Genesis Energy on the establishment of its Sustainable Finance Framework and $250m of SLL's with Westpac, BNZ and MUFG which are all aligned with the Climate Transition Finance Handbook. Led by partner Jesse Fairley (Banking and Finance). Read more here.  

  • Spark on New Zealand's first sustainability-linked bond. Led by partner Tom Hunt (Banking and Finance).

  • NZ Post/NZ Green Investment Finance on an NZ$20m financing agreement to accelerate the adoption of low emission vehicles. Led by partner Tom Hunt (Banking and Finance).

  • Goodman Property Trust's inaugural green bonds issuance NZ$150m. Led by partner Deemple Budhia (Banking and Finance) and senior associate Ling Yan Pang (Banking and Finance).

Climate change related projects

Our climate change related projects include clean energy and carbon sink projects, and transactions involving the Emissions Trading Scheme. Examples of our work include advising:

  • Genesis Energy on its establishment of a joint venture to develop solar farms. Led by partner Ben Paterson (Corporate Advisory). Read more here.

  • Meridian Energy on its Harapaki wind farm project. Led by partners Ed Crook (Real Estate and Construction) and Daniel Minhinnick (ENPR).

  • WEL Networks' on the development of a 35MW battery energy storage system – NZ's first utility scale battery energy storage system. Led by partner Mei Fern Johnson (Corporate Advisory).

  • Infratec on the EPC arrangements for the development of Lodestone Energy’s portfolio of solar farms. Led by partner Mei Fern Johnson.

  • NZ Government on the introduction of a new Climate Change Information System. Led by partner Mei Fern Johnson.

  • Investment structures for investing in New Zealand Emission Units. Led by partner Mei Fern Johnson.

‚ÄčInternal sustainability initiatives

Russell McVeagh's ESG Report aims to capture and share the firm's progress on its commitments focused around helping to shape a sustainable and thriving Aotearoa New Zealand.

You can access The Legal 500 Green Guide - Asia Pacific here.
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