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Russell McVeagh's four-time Client Choice winners

Home Insights Russell McVeagh's four-time Client Choice winners

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Published on: December 08, 2023


Two Russell McVeagh partners Mei Fern Johnson and Troy Pilkington have been honoured for a fourth time for their outstanding work and client service in the 2023 Lexology Client Choice Awards. Mei Fern and Troy have each been named the Exclusive New Zealand Winner in their respective areas of General Corporate and Competition law.

Uniquely, nominations for these awards can only be made by corporate counsel, with criteria focused on a partner's ability to add real value to a clients' business above and beyond others in the market.

Mei Fern Johnson, General Corporate Client Choice Award Winner, New Zealand.

Feedback from Mei Fern's clients included:

  • "Mei Fern always takes the time up front to ensure she has a detailed understanding of the specific business and its needs, to ensure a timely, great value and reasoned response." 

  • "Mei Fern has the ability to think strategically; this is so valuable as it goes well beyond the legal aspects to ensure a better longer-term outcome." 

  • "Mei Fern has exceptional technical skills."

  • "Mei Fern’s friendliness and personable approach is outstanding. You genuinely feel valued by her as both a client and a person. She is an outstanding lawyer and person." 

Mei Fern advises on complex commercial contracting and on mergers and acquisitions, with particular expertise in foreign inbound investment and investment in the infrastructure, technology, transport and energy sectors.
Mei Fern recently advised on a number of significant market transactions including Beijing Capital Group's NZ$1.9 billion sale of Waste Management NZ; Amber Infrastructure's acquisition of a portfolio of social infrastructure assets; New Zealand Police on its NZ$1.4 billion investment in a new secured telecommunications network; Infratec's partnering arrangements with Lodestone Energy to deliver NZ's largest solar farm portfolio; KiwiRail on a $1.45 billion investment programme in new inter-island ferries and port upgrades; and Toka Tū Ake Earthquake Commission in a world-leading partnering arrangement with private insurers.

Troy Pilkington, Competition Client Choice winner for New Zealand.

Corporate counsel praised Troy throughout the independent research process, with comments including:

  • "Troy is like an extension of our legal team. He knows the business intimately and it allows us to get value for money, and save time."

  • "Troy’s communication and responsiveness is by far the best I receive from any other external counsel we use."

  • "Troy’s professional skill and judgment are second to none, we hugely enjoy working with him.  We would not be able to achieve what we set out to without Troy’s help."

  • "Troy is an excellent technical lawyer and has strong commercial instincts. He quickly understands the commercial drivers of the business and efficiently provides advice and direction."

As Practice Group Chair for Russell McVeagh's Government, Competition and Regulatory practice, Troy is one of New Zealand's most highly regarded competition and antitrust, consumer, and regulatory lawyers. His expertise covers the full range of the competition and antitrust, consumer, and regulatory practice areas – including advice on mergers, joint ventures, market studies, advertising, marketing and product recall issues, and Commerce Commission investigations.

Troy regularly advises a number of New Zealand's major banks, insurers, retailers, and electricity and telecommunications businesses, as well as leading private equity funds that are active in New Zealand.

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