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December, 2007 - Auckland, New Zealand


New Managing Partner appointed


Trans Tasman law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, has announced the appointment of Mark Weenink, as its new Managing Partner in New Zealand, following an international search. Mr Weenink is currently Head of Legal for Challenger Financial Services Group (Asset Management Division) in Sydney. Mr Weenink succeeds the retiring CEO, Russell Hay.

Mr Weenink has a strong legal Banking and Finance background. Prior to joining Challenger he was a Banking and Finance Partner with US law firm McDermott Will & Emery based in London. He has also worked for Clifford Chance in London, in the Project Finance Department. Mr Weenink has an LLB from Victoria University and an MBA (Corporate Finance) from Massey University.

Mr Weenink has experience in advising on cross border M&A transactions , PPP, infrastructure, debt and alternate asset classes with a particular focus in the energy industry.

Under Mr Weenink’s leadership the Challenger Asset Management Division’s legal team was nominated for this year’s Australian Corporate Lawyers Association in house legal team of the year award.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark to the firm”, David Patterson, the firm Chairman, said. “His appointment highlights the Minter Ellison ethos of maintaining the high standards of client service the firm sets for itself, by attracting the best people with the best track record and skills."

“Mark has a reputation as having an inclusive leadership style which we believe suits our firm’s culture. Mark has great legal skills, in particular in the Banking and Finance area. He has knowledge of the Australasian market in which we operate and will be able to provide valuable support and advice to clients and the partnership in this area.” Mr Patterson said.

Mr Weenink is a New Zealander returning home, having worked overseas since 1998. Mr Weenink commences with the firm on 28 January 2008.

David Patterson also paid tribute to Russell Hay’s significant contribution to the trans Tasman firm during his tenure. "Russell has done an absolutely fantastic job as CEO over the last three and a half years. Simply put, his experience, his unflappable nature, his ability to make decisions and get things done, and his absolute integrity and reliability, have been fantastic assets to the firm over the time he has been here. For me it has been a genuine privilege to see Russell in operation."


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