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Liz Blythe

Partner

Technology, Digital & Strategic Sourcing

Profile

Liz heads up our Technology, Digital and Strategic Sourcing Practice in Auckland, advising exclusively on technology and strategic sourcing matters.

Liz advises on all things technology-related, including procurement and supply, cloud computing, everything-as-a-service, reseller and distribution models (including MVNO and network access arrangements), complex IT outsourcing and disputes and renegotiations. This work spans traditional ICT, as well as emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain. Liz also specialises in regulatory matters relevant to technology, including IP, data protection and privacy, cybersecurity and applicable financial services regulation.  

Liz's strategic sourcing practice covers both IT and business process outsourcing, procurement and transformation. Liz has advised on some of the largest and most complex NZ-based transactions in this space, including both domestic and global arrangements.   

Liz's practice includes several clients in the financial services space and she regularly advises Banks and other financial institutions on FinTech matters, including APIs and digital payment systems, distributed ledger technology and open finance arrangements, as well as the currently-proposed multi-sector Consumer Data Right more generally.
 
Liz was twice named TMT 'Lawyer of the Year' at the 2021 and 2020 Asia Pacific Women in Business Law Awards; was 'Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year' at the 2019 NZ Law Awards; and was named a 2020 'Rising Star' by NZ Lawyer Magazine. Liz is ranked as a Next Generation Partner in the Legal 500 2022 Guide and as Up-and-Coming in Chambers and Partners 2022 Guide for Technology, Media & Telecommunications. She is also recommended for Data Protection and Intellectual Property in the Chambers and Partners 2022 Guide. Liz is ranked in Doyles' 2020 guide as a recommended lawyer for Telecommunications, Media & Technology.

Client feedback in the Legal 500 2022 Guide emphasised Liz's expertise in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector, stating, "Liz Blythe is a confident and effective negotiator and can clearly and persuasively articulate her client’s requirements. Liz demonstrates an excellent understanding of the technology and how it operates, she knows the commercial drivers and the risks that need to be mitigated."

Thought Leadership:

Experience

Technology, Digital and Strategic Sourcing

  • advising one of New Zealand's largest airports in relation to the renegotiation of its outsourcing arrangements for core IT requirements.
  • advising one of New Zealand's largest companies on the outsourcing of its global application support, maintenance and development requirements to HCL.
  • advising one of New Zealand's largest media conglomerates in relation to the procurement of its core content management software platform.
  • advising National Australia Bank on the IT aspects of its sale of BNZ's life insurance business to Partners Life for $290 million, including IT separation and transitional matters.
  • advising a large airline carrier in relation to a competitive RFP outsourcing process for core IT services.
  • advising Meridian Energy in relation to the negotiation of its SaaS arrangements with Flux Federation Limited for smart billing software.
  • advising Asia Pacific Healthcare Group, New Zealand's largest provider of pathology services, on the separation and replacement of its IT systems following its sale to NZ Super Fund and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
  • advising New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer, Fidelity Life Assurance Company, on their strategic partnership with Datacom as part of Fidelity Life’s $25 million technology transformation project.
  • advising Counties Power on its partnership with WEL Networks to develop New Zealand's first end-to-end e-mobility software platform, OpenLoop.
  • advising Fonterra on the outsourcing of their global IT infrastructure requirements to HCL.
  • advising Auckland International Airport on its partnering arrangements with Vision-Box in relation to the introduction of biometric eGates.
  • advising Fidelity Life on the development of a health and wellbeing app.
  • advising a large blockchain-based mobile data trading platform on the establishment of its New Zealand operations and associated eSIM product offering.
  • advising Trustpower on the development, roll out and launch of its retail mobile service arrangements in partnership with Spark.
  • assisting several large New Zealand organisations in connection with cyberattack responses and the exercise of rights under supplier contracts in connection with the same.
  • advising a New Zealand technology company in connection with the development of a Covid-19 contact tracing app.
  • advising one of the world's largest global P2P platform providers on its on-shoring into New Zealand, including associated contracting arrangements with enterprise customers.  
  • advising some of the world's largest technology companies in relation to the supply of technology products and services into New Zealand.
  • advising multiple software and e-commerce clients in relation to the establishment of their e-commerce platforms, website terms and conditions, terms of sale and privacy policies.
  • advising digital will platform provider, Footprint, on its landmark partnership with Aon in relation to a first-of-its-kind subscription-based digital will service covering up to 70,000 Aon members and employees.
  • advising one of the world's largest food ordering and delivery software platform companies on the restructuring of its delivery model, including associated contracting arrangements.

Financial Services and FinTech

  • advising several large New Zealand banks in relation to the adoption of a blockhain-powered bank guarantee platform.
  • advising a large New Zealand finance company in relation to a competitive RFP process for the outsourcing of its core finance platform.
  • advising a large New Zealand bank in relation to its ongoing BS11 compliance program, including with respect to the renegotiation of intra-group and third party IT outsourcing arrangements.
  • acting for a large NZ Bank in drafting and negotiating a transaction switching services agreement with Windcave.
  • advising a large NZ Bank in relation to the negotiation of its arrangements with numerous PSPs, including payment aggregators.
  • negotiating on behalf of a large NZ Bank with each of Visa and Mastercard with respect to payment gateway services and the pass-through of those services to PSPs.
  • advising several large NZ Banks with respect to the services agreements governing the use of those Banks' payment and data APIs (both proprietary APIs and Payments NZ standardised APIs).
  • assisting several large NZ Banks with respect to the negotiation of afterpay payment services agreements with various third party providers.
  • advising a large New Zealand bank on the roll out of an end-to-end digital lending platform.
  • advising a large Australasian bank in connection with the development of its various proprietary apps and related service offerings in compliance with New Zealand law.

Credentials

LLB(Hons), BCom, University of Auckland

Professional

Liz is admitted to practise in New Zealand.

Prior to joining Russell McVeagh, Liz was a senior associate at Milbank, based in London, during which time she also attended Harvard Law School’s executive education programme. She was an associate based in Ashurst LLP's London office previously.

Liz is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Forum of New Zealand. 

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