Cath Shirley-Brown


Corporate Advisory

Home Our People Cath Shirley-Brown


Cath is a corporate lawyer who specialises in public and private M&A (including distressed transactions), joint venture and shareholder arrangements, and corporate and commercial law generally. She has experience advising clients across a wide range of industries, including real estate, infrastructure, retail, energy, IT and finance. She also has experience advising central and local government entities on corporate and commercial matters, and specific expertise in advising on cross-border transactions. 

Prior to returning to the firm in May 2020, Cath was a partner at another large New Zealand law firm. She returned to New Zealand in 2018, having worked in London for a long period, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and latterly as a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Cath is recognised by the Best Lawyers® 2024 New Zealand Guide for Mergers and Acquisitions Law and is named in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide 2024 as a Next Generation Partner for Corporate M&A (New Zealand), as well as in the IFLR1000 as a Notable Practitioner in M&A and Real Estate Acquisitions. She has been recognised by The Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner for Corporate and M&D, as well a recommended lawyer for upper-mid market deals (£250m+) in England. Cath co-authored the New Zealand Chapter in the Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guide 2023 - Private Equity. She also contributes a number of articles to Thompson Reuters Practical Law - New Zealand on corporate matters and is a member of Global Women, a collective of ambassadors for Global Women with the goal of driving diversity in leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Client feedback in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 Guide emphasised Cath's expertise in the Corporate Advisory sector, stating Cath is "hard working, commercially focused and great to deal with".


Cath's recent experience includes advising:

  • An English private equity sponsored portfolio company on its acquisition of a holiday rental business.
  • An Israeli conglomerate on its disposal of its motorway service area portfolio.
  • An international food company on various M&A activities, including a public takeover of an LSE listed company.
  • A NYSE listed global IT services provider on its acquisition of a provider of outsourcing services.
  • An infrastructure fund on its sale of an international broadcasting and media services company.
  • An UK private equity firm on its acquisition of a cinema group and an oil logistics company, and its disposal of a packaging business.
  • A South African listed retailer on its acquisition of an international women’s clothing manufacturer and distributor.
  • One of the UK's largest retailers on the disposal of its opticians business.
  • A Spanish investment company in relation to the restructuring of its electronic car racing business and subsequent sell-down of its stake in the company.
  • An English housing association on its venture arrangements with a sovereign wealth fund in respect of a private rental accommodation company.
  • A US pharmaceutical company on its acquisition of a LSE listed neuroscience company (by way of a scheme of arrangement).
  • A NYSE listed investment company on its public takeover of a biotech company.
  • A NYSE listed manufacturing company on its acquisition of a LSE listed manufacturing company (by way of a scheme of arrangement).
  • The tourism arm of a sovereign wealth fund on its joint venture with a luxury goods company in relation to a development in Abu Dhabi.
  • An English infrastructure fund on the refinancing of a portfolio of affordable housing assets and its subsequent sale of the portfolio to a pension fund.
  • An English infrastructure fund on its acquisition of a 50% stake in an energy storage system development and related joint venture arrangements.
  • An English private equity firm on its joint venture arrangements in relation to a private rental sector co-living and working platform and an affordable student accommodation portfolio. 


BA, LLB (Hons), University of Canterbury.


Admitted to practice in New Zealand in 1998.
Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, in 2004
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