Peter Ratner

Peter specialises in corporate and commercial law. He is actively involved in business start-ups, structuring, mergers and acquisitions and public offerings. Peter also has an active practice in commercial litigation and mediation. Read more

PETER EDWARD RATNER, JD Columbia Law School, LLB Victoria University of Wellington, BA Wesleyan University, admitted to practice in New Zealand, New York (ret), California and Connecticut (ret), LEADR Accredited Panel Member.

Peter  practised as a lawyer in US for 7 years before moving to New Zealand. He worked for the Securities Commission in its formative years and was involved in establishing the policy for, and then drafting, the Securities Regulations 1983 and the Securities Amendment Act 1988.

After Peter left the Commission he joined Rudd Watts & Stone (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts) where he became one of the firm’s leading commercial partners. He was the liaison partner and general counsel for a number of major clients including, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Limited, Trust Bank New Zealand Limited (now part of Westpac), New Zealand Rail Limited (now Tranz Rail Limited), the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Reuters New Zealand Limited and TeamTalk Limited.

Peter was the lead advisor in numerous mergers, acquisitions and takeovers (both acquisitions and defences), including the acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Limited by Mitsubishi, Japan, the defence of Colonial Motors Limited against hostile bids by Brierley Investments Limited, the sale of General Finance Limited by The National Bank of New Zealand Limited and the sale of 100% of Trust Bank New Zealand Limited to Westpac Banking Corporation.

He was involved in establishing the terms of the privatisation of airports and actively participated in matters relating to the restructuring and privatisation of the electricity industry and the privatisation and restructuring of Rail Corporation, New Zealand Rail Limited and Coal Corp (now Solid Energy Limited). Peter was New Zealand counsel for BellSouth International Incorporated in all phases of the establishment of its GSM cellular telephone network in New Zealand.

More recently he has had a significant involvement in the primary production sector. He acts for the representative bodies of the pipfruit and summerfruit growers as well as various wine companies and meat processors.

Peter has developed a commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice. Having participated as counsel in a significant number of successful commercial mediations he is now a LEADR Accredited Panel Member.

Peter has had an active involvement in the development of Commercial Law in New Zealand. He served as a member of the Company Law Monitoring Group and was the Convener of the Commercial and Business Law Committee of the New Zealand Law Society. He taught a Masters of Law course in Commercial Law at Victoria University and is an author and former editor of the Securities Law Section of Morison’s Company and Securities Law.