David Butler


Property and Construction

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David is an expert in real estate and construction matters. He has a track record of advising domestic and overseas clients on significant commercial investments and developments across the real estate sector.

David has successfully assisted many overseas investors in the acquisition of New Zealand real estate, including farmland, and is highly experienced in managing the overseas investment approval process.

David is ranked as a leading New Zealand property lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500. He is also listed in Best Lawyers® 2020 New Zealand guide for Real Estate Law and the Doyle's Guide for Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers.


David’s experience includes advising:

  • Listed entities and funds on the acquisitions and divestments of major shopping centres throughout New Zealand, including The Base Shopping Centre, Lynn Mall, the Dress Smart portfolio, Meridian Mall and South City Shopping Centre.
  • Developers and occupiers on the leasing and construction of new office buildings, including the ASB Bank HQ, Fonterra HQ and Wynyard Central.
  • Overseas and local investors on the acquisition and divestments of office towers and other significant commercial property throughout New Zealand.
  • Residential developers on the acquisition, subdivision and sale of residential property.
  • Overseas and local parties on the acquisition and divestment of farmland and vineyards, including advising on the sale of Pinny Farms.


LLB, BA University of Canterbury.


David joined Russell McVeagh as a graduate in 2000 before leaving in 2004 to join the Real Estate team at Clifford Chance in London.

He rejoined Russell McVeagh in early 2009 and became a partner in 2010.

David is a listed lawyer by Chambers and Partners 2020.

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