Simon provides specialist legal and regulatory advice to banks and other financial sector organisations. He also has expertise in advising on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and corporate governance.
Prior to joining Buddle Findlay in 2011, Simon worked as general counsel for the Westpac Banking Corporation in New Zealand. During his 15 years as general counsel for New Zealand, Simon was responsible for providing strategic legal advice on all significant issues affecting Westpac in New Zealand. This included regulatory issues, the listing of "mirror shares" on the NZX, capital raisings and major funding programmes as well as a number of acquisitions, mergers and dispositions.
Simon's experience has given him a proven ability to put legal advice into a strategic context. It also gives him valuable insights into how law firms can work seamlessly with in-house legal teams to deliver outstanding service to clients.
Since leaving Westpac in 2007, Simon has been consulting to banks - principally working with other professionals in the banking and regulatory sector to deliver solutions for complex pan industry issues.
Simon's recent work includes:
- Establishing Payments NZ, the company which governs payment standards in New Zealand
- Developing rules that govern the NZ$35b of payments which are interchanged and settled in New Zealand each day
- Advising Cards NZ on the price fixing action brought by the Commerce Commission against it, Visa and Mastercard and most of the New Zealand banks (Cards NZ was the first defendant in these proceedings which, at the time, was the largest multi party action bought under the Commerce Act)
- Advising on the acquisition of NZ$250m of shares by Cards NZ in the Visa initial public offering (the largest public offering ever in the United States of America)
- Designing the legislation and advising on the demerger which created Westpac New Zealand - a NZ$40b restructuring which is probably the largest corporate restructuring undertaken in New Zealand
- BCom, LLB University of Auckland