GCR 100 - 18th Edition

Russell McVeagh

11 January 2018

New Zealand

Sarah Keene leads the competition and antitrust group at RUSSELL MCVEAGH, which has seen some movement in its ranks over the last year. Troy Pilkington has been promoted to partner, joining Keene as the two primary competition partners at the firm. Meanwhile, former senior associate Christopher Graf has decamped to London to join Dentons.

Though competition litigation is rare in New Zealand, Keene and her team attract it, and it keeps her and partners from the firm’s disputes group busy. Russell McVeagh currently leads an appeal for publishers NZME and Fairfax, which saw their proposed deal blocked in May 2017. The ComCom claims the combined deal would have a de facto monopoly in print publishing. Keene and her group also advise Suncorp during the ComCom’s review of its attempted takeover of Tower Limited from Vero New Zealand.

The firm represented telecommunications company Spark when it interjected in the now-abandoned Sky TV and Vodafone New Zealand tie-up, and when it attempted an aggressive takeover of TeamTalk last March. Keene’s team also advises on multiple international deals; it helped secure New Zealand clearance for the now-complete Dow/DuPont merger, and Tronox’s purchase of the titanium dioxide pigment business of Cristal, which ComCom finally cleared in September 2017.

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