Many of the Power Players are businessmen and women who may not practice law any longer but they have come up through the legal ranks to assume power positions in the law.
Among the leading legal business lights are those below who continue to exert a range of influence throughout the business community in particular and frequently throughout the entire country.
As CEO of Westpac, the former Wellington staff solicitor has had a spectacular rise to head
one of the country’s biggest bank. The lawyer who noted that “life doesn’t always go according to plan” has wound up in one of the most powerful positions in the country.
Mr McLean was a solicitor with Wellington firm Macalister Mazengarb for three years, from 1982 until 1985 and has been with Westpac since 1999. He previously headed up the bank’s New Zealand institutional, private and wealth management businesses before taking over from Australian CEO Peter Clare who resigned as a result of a health issue, drawing Mr McLean from his equally desirable New York job with the bank.
McLean, who attended Wellington College before getting a law degree from Victoria University, said he was excited to have landed the top role.
“This is sort of my dream job in a way,” he said. “Because I do know the business very well, and I know New Zealand very well, I think we can do great things.”
John Allen, former Chief Executive at both NZPost and Mfat and now chief executive at the New Zealand Racing Board has enjoyed a jet-propelled career from his earlier role at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.
An energetic and inspirational speaker, John Allen will remain a prominent figure in New Zealand business life.
As chief executive of Mfat, where he oversaw a difficult and politically-charged reconstruction of the organisation, Allen was paid more than $600,000, making him one of the best paid public servants in the country. His role at the NZ Racing Board has seen an increase bringing him closer to the $1 million mark.
The 55 year old joined the NZ Racing Board in 2015 and oversees the $2 billion racing industry, thus retaining his position as a major power player, albeit off the ‘legal list’.
Jason Boyes heads legal services for Infratril and banker Morrison & Co, joining the firm from Buddle Findlay where he had spent seven years as a partner and handling finance deals for the Z Energy deal.
The growth of Infratril as a leading infrastructure investor has cemented his place as a key operator working on some of the biggest deals in the country, as well as co-coordinating legal work from outside firms.
The CEO of Britomart developer Cooper & Co, owned by former Russell McVeagh partner Cooper, Matthew Cockram is himself a former Bell Gully partner who also worked effectively as a senior executive at Southern Cross.
Helping to lead the drive to transform the Britomart into a trendy and successful hospitality and business precinct, his commercial, negotiation and leadership skills mark him as one of Auckland’s important and powerful leaders.
Meridian chief Mark Binns left Simpson Grierson to join Fletcher Challenge and has since been involved in some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country, including SKYCITY, Te Papa, the Waterview Connection, Wiri Prison and others.
Joining Meridian in 2012 following his work heading Fletcher’s Infrastructure Division, he also headed operations in Asia, Australia, South America, the United States and Pacific.
He has been recently involved in a deal with Genesis Energy to keep the coal fired stations at Huntly operating as a backup as well as increasing electricity prices on the basis of economic growth, particularly int he rural sector.
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Paul Ridley Smith