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Rob McInnes

Rob specialises in Banking and Finance and Insolvency law. He is actively involved in advising finance companies, security deed trustees and on secured credit generally. Rob also has an active practice in public offerings in the finance sector. Read more

ROBERT DOUGLAS McINNES, LLB (Hons) and LLM Victoria University of Wellington.

Rob joined Crengle Shreves & Ratner in May 2003 from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.  Rob was a partner of that firm and its predecessors (beginning with Watts & Patterson) since 1983.  Rob was the Chairman of that firm’s Wellington Office from 1993 to 1998, and the Executive Partner and a Board Member from 1998 to 2000.

Before joining us, Rob had been the principal legal adviser on a national basis to a number of finance companies, including UDC Finance Limited since 1983, and continues to be regarded as a specialist in the finance company sector. Reflecting that, Rob has also been the legal adviser to the Financial Services Federation (the New Zealand association of finance companies) for some time, and in that capacity has been heavily involved in the recent reforms of the non-bank financial sector and the new prudential regime applicable to non-bank deposit takers.

Rob also has a significant background in insolvency law, and has in the past been named as one of world’s leading insolvency practitioners in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Insolvency Practitioners, and in The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers.

His insolvency-related assignments have included-

  • acting for the receivers of Cory-Wright & Salmon Limited;
  • acting for the liquidators of Weddell NZ Limited;
  • acting for UDC in respect of the dealer collapse that ultimately resulted in the Privy Council decision in Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute v UDC Finance (1991) Limited
  • a central role in the breakup of Waitaki International Limited, New Zealand’s largest meat company at the time, and the sale of its assets to AFFCO and Alliance Group;
  • advising the Government of the Cook Islands on restructuring its public debts, involving “Paris Club” negotiations with sovereign creditors and international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank;
  • advising the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on a range of issues in respect of the DFC statutory management;
  • also advising the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on a range of other issues including netting law reforms, the establishment of the New Zealand securities repurchase market and the Real Time Gross Settlement system;
  • at present, advising the liquidators of South Canterbury Finance Limited.

Rob has been involved in a number of public floats, contested takeovers and major corporate restructurings.  These have included listed company floats (including the first equity securities prospectus under the Securities Regulations), reverse takeovers and contested takeovers of listed companies.

Significant acquisitions on which Rob has acted include acting for Amcor Ltd in respect of its bid for NZ Forest Products Ltd, for Nissui on its acquisition of 50% of Sealord Group Ltd from BIL, acting for Unilever plc in respect of its acquisition of the shares in Quality Packers NZ Limited (better known as “Choysa Tea”), as well as involvement in a number of state asset sales or corporatisations, including Petrocorp (for BIL), Telecom NZ (for Cable & Wireless plc), Air New Zealand (for British Airways plc) and Landcorp (for the Treasury).

More recently, Rob acted for the Marketplace Company Ltd (known as “M-co”, and the operator of the New Zealand electricity market and of the “Unlisted” securities trading platform) in respect of the sale of most of its assets to NZX.

Rob has had a longstanding involvement in the New Zealand meat industry, including as  legal adviser to Freesia Investments Limited (the investment subsidiary of the NZ Meat Board) in respect of Fortex Group Ltd, the restructurings of Affco New Zealand Limited, Alliance Group Limited, Richmond Limited and the NZ Lamb Company (North America) Limited.  Rob’s meat industry involvement continues as an adviser to Anzco Foods Limited, the owner of several meat processing plants in the North and South Islands, and which is also New Zealand’s principal exporter of meat to Japan and North Asia. Rob appeared for Anzco in the Court of Appeal decision in Anzco Foods Waitara Limited v AFFCO New Zealand Limited (2005) 11 TCLR 278; (2005) 17 PRNZ 676, a leading Commerce Act decision.

Rob also has had significant corporate banking experience, including having acted as New Zealand advisor to Amro Bank in respect of the lease financing of the first Ansett NZ Aircraft to fly in New Zealand, the leasing of aircraft to establish Airpost Ltd for N Z Post, and syndicated loans.

Rob has also advised a number of trust companies, including drafting security Trust Deeds, advising on issues arising from them, and in respect of issues arising in their enforcement in the event of issuer insolvency. In recent times, that has involved advice to Perpetual Trust on debt restructuring and moratorium arrangements in respect of Strategic Finance Limited, St Laurence Limited and MFS Pacific Finance Limited.

Before commencing a career in private practice, Rob taught law at Victoria University.  Rob served on the Joint Insolvency Committee established by the NZ Law Society and ICANZ from its establishment until he resigned in 2000, and was a member of the Personal Property Securities Law Reform Committee of the New Zealand Law Society which was heavily involved in the evolution of PPSA.  He was also a co-presenter of the New Zealand Law Society’s two series of seminars on the Personal Property Securities Act, and also on the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003.  He is a member of Insol International (the international association of insolvency practitioners), and of the Banking & Financial Services Law Association of Australasia Ltd (“BFSLA”) and has delivered papers at past BFSLA Conferences.