Brigid is a highly regarded senior corporate/commercial lawyer, working across many sectors of the economy and government.
With over 30 years’ experience, Brigid’s corporate and commercial practice is very broad. She has a particular focus on corporate transactional work, share sales and acquisitions, balance sheet and business restructuring and capital raising, overseas investment, major contract negotiations and procurement (including IT and intellectual property), governance advice and sectoral regulatory issues. Brigid is particularly well known in the energy sector, having acted for major participants on diverse projects as well as industry regulators. Outside of straight legal practice, Brigid holds several directorships and also serves on the Attorney-General’s Legislation Design and Advisory Committee, tasked with ensuring new legislation is well designed and reflects fundamental constitutional principles.
New Zealand's Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point produces the world’s highest purity primary aluminium, contributing more than $600 million annually in export income for New Zealand.
Tiwai Point is New Zealand's largest single user of electricity by a very large margin and is an integral part of the electricity market and system – employing 800 people directly with a flow-on employment profile of over three thousand jobs.
Greenwood Roche advises New Zealand's Aluminium Smelter and Pacific Aluminium on all aspects of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter electricity supply, including the 2013 and 2015 renegotiations with Meridian Energy, and the restart of the fourth potline in 2018 and subsequent COVID-19 related shutdown in 2020.
New Zealanders are well aware of the severe challenges Bathurst Resources has overcome in progressing its West Coast coal mining project.
Greenwood Roche has been part of the Bathurst team on some important parts of the Buller Project, advising on land acquisition and land rights for the coal handling and preparation facility and the proposed aerial conveyor, and obtaining requisite Overseas Investment Office approvals.
We have also been acting jointly for Bathurst Resources and Westport Harbour on their joint arrangements for the siting, construction and operation of a coal handling facility at Westport Port.
Greenwood Roche advised L&M Energy on its acquisition of a 50% stake in the Waihapa Production Station and related petroleum producing and infrastructure assets. This was a joint acquisition with New Zealand Energy Corp.
Victoria University recently acquired Callaghan Innovation’s carbohydrate chemistry and superconductivity and energy research teams, setting up the Ferrier Research Institute and the Robinson Research Institute.
Greenwood Roche advised Victoria University on most aspects of the transfer arrangements, including the relevant people, asset and liability transfers, extensive implementation and transitional arrangements, financial arrangements including treatment of funding contracts, specialist premises leasing and also associated joint venture arrangements and downstream acquisitions around particular research product and technology.
Winstone Aggregates, which is part of the Fletcher Building group of companies, has recently acquired a strategic parcel of land for a proposed significant quarry development in New Zealand.
Greenwood Roche assisted Winstone Aggregates in relation to its acquisition of the land, including the obtaining of the consent of the Overseas Investment Office to the transaction (Winstone Aggregates is considered an ‘overseas person’ by virtue of the shareholding of its parent company Fletcher Building, which is publicly listed on both the NZX and ASX).
About Winstone Aggregates:
Australasian utility contractor Electrix, part of McConnell Dowell, has been acquired by French construction giant VINCI Energies. Electrix has approximately 2,000 employees located in New Zealand and Australia and provides a range of maintenance and construction services for utility providers.
Greenwood Roche assisted VINCI in respect of New Zealand aspects of the transaction, working closely with VINCI Energies’ international legal teams from Baker McKenzie (Sydney) and Bolze Associés (Paris). Greenwood Roche is proud to have worked with VINCI and its legal team on this project.
UK listed oil and gas explorer Mosman Oil & Gas was successful in striking a deal with Origin Energy to purchase the Taranaki Rimu, Kauri and Manutahi (RKM) petroleum fields and associated petroleum production infrastructure.
Alas, with oil prices falling below US$40 per barrel for a sustained period, Mosman and its joint venture partners were forced to cancel the sale and purchase agreement. Reportedly, the assets may still be available for purchase.
Partner Brigid McArthur and solicitors Susan Baas and Kurt McRedmond worked with Mosman on its acquisition project, including on its due diligence, sale and purchase negotiations and applications for New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals and Overseas Investment Office consents.
Ecotricity is New Zealand’s only “carboNZero” certified, 100% renewable electricity retailer. This means that it sources electricity only from sustainable and renewable sources, such as hydro and wind.
Partner Brigid McArthur recently acted for Ecotricity Limited on the establishment of the joint venture, by way of limited partnership, with Pioneer Generation Limited. Pioneer owns and operates some significant renewable generation projects in the South Island. The Ecotricity Limited Partnership is also investing in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure.
Together, Ecotricity and Pioneer are championing the case for investment in renewables and we congratulate them on their venture. They are at the forefront of what is a growing trend away from conventional fossil fuel based technologies. Your support can be enhanced by visiting the Ecotricity website and checking the deals on offer. www.ecotricity.co.nz
Brigid McArthur and Will Hulme-Moir have recently acted as independent counsel to the gas industry co-regulator, Gas Industry Company Limited, on approval of a new Gas Transmission Access Code.
The GTAC governs the terms of access to the high pressure North Island gas transmission pipeline systems owned by First Gas Limited, previously known as the Vector and Maui pipelines. Access to these pipelines has since the early 2000s been governed by separate industry codes. This separation has created operational inefficiencies particularly around capacity reservations, offtake management, gas balancing, reconciliation and liability for non‑specification gas, amongst others. With the pipelines now under common ownership has come the opportunity for a rationalisation and reset in accordance with the Gas Act objectives.
Gas Industry Co’s sanction of the new GTAC as “materially better” than the existing codes, comes after a lengthy period of engagement, consultation and extensive debate between different sectoral levels. The industry is presently engaged in IT systems and implementation processes.
Brigid McArthur and Rachel Murdoch acted for Horizon Oil International Limited on its acquisition of an additional 16% interest in the Maari petroleum permit and associated joint venture assets.
Horizon Oil, already the holder of a 10% participating interest in the producing Maari/Manaia fields, has acquired an additional 16% interest from Todd Energy as a result of Todd’s rationalisation of its Taranaki oil and gas assets. OMV (operator) and Cue Taranaki hold the balance.
Brigid and Rachel advised on the requisite Overseas Investment Office sensitive land application and the application for Ministerial consent under the Crown Minerals Act, and assisted Horizon Oil’s General Counsel with certain other closing matters. Following the obtaining of these regulatory consents, closing was successfully completed on 31 May 2018.
The Maari and Manaia fields have offered stable oil production since 2009 and stable employment opportunities for over 100 people. As at November 2017, gross field production stood at 8,840bpd of oil. Gross projected 2P reserves were at 21 mmbls and 2C reserves of oil at 69 mmbls, as at 30 June 2017. Since 2017 the joint venture has been undertaking field optimisation work as part of the Maari Production Improvement Program.
Greenwood Roche has assisted Mighty River Power with the procurement and negotiation of contracts for its plant refurbishment project at Aratiatia
Austria-based Andritz was awarded the contract to provide work on three generating units at the 78-MW Aratiatia hydroelectric station.
The Greenwood Roche team for this project comprised partner Barry Walker and special counsel Adrian Doherty. Barry and Adrian are experienced international construction project lawyers, comfortable using a variety of international standard documents, including FIDIC, to assist in smooth cross-border negotiations.
Brigid McArthur, Monique Thomas and Sam Green acted earlier this year, alongside an Allen & Overy team, on New Zealand aspects of the purchase by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises of Australia’s largest electricity and gas utility, Alinta Energy.
The sale follows an about-face on Alinta’s delayed public float, which itself followed an earlier inconclusive sale process. The deal remains subject to foreign investment approval in Australia.
In New Zealand, the Alinta assets include the Glenbrook Steel Mill cogeneration plant.
Chow Tai Fook is a privately-owned holding company with existing investments across 50 countries, straddling hotels, retail, property and jewellery businesses.
- Photo courtesy of Alinta Energy
Brigid McArthur has acted this year for New Zealand Aluminium Smelters and parent Pacific Aluminium on the electricity hedge contract and associated arrangements with NZX and Sumitomo, for the restart of potline 4 at the Tiwai Point Smelter.
On 1 May 2018 New Zealand Aluminium Smelters announced plans to restart the fourth potline at its Tiwai Point Smelter, that has been sitting idle in a low price aluminium market since 2012.
Greenwood Roche partner Brigid McArthur acted for NZAS on its contract with Meridian Energy for an additional 50 MW electricity hedge to enable the restart, underwriting NZAS’ spot price risk on the extra volume out to 2022. The new contract effectively sits on top of the existing 572 MW contract for Tiwai, lasting until 2030.
Meridian itself supported the Tiwai arrangement with its own separate contracts with Contact Energy, Genesis Energy and Mercury.
The fourth potline restart is a further boon to the Southland economy, with an additional 32 skilled jobs and a further 85 tonnes of aluminium produced per day, and this from a smelter with one of the lowest carbon footprints globally.
In 2020 and 2021 Greenwood Roche has advised on the acquisition by overseas investors of two separate hotel businesses, advising on sale and purchase terms for the land and business and application of the overseas investment rules, conducting due diligence, drafting and advising on management contracts, advising on liquor licensing, advising on transitional hand-over arrangements and generally arranging for completion of the transactions to occur with minimal disruption to the business.
Our work here builds on significant experience across different team members’ work on previous hotel transactions, including large international hotel chains throughout New Zealand.
We have recently advised solarZero on its negotiations with the Ministry of Education on the template energy services agreement that solarZero will offer to eligible state schools across New Zealand.
Have you memories of a long school building surrounded by sun-baked asphalt and playing fields, quite possibly with not a shade tree in sight? Our client solarZero has launched a new project to generate solar electricity off school roofs across the country.
With financing made available by New Zealand Green Investment Finance, the solarZero Schools initiative enables solarZero to deploy distributed solar generation across schools, demonstrating to future generations in a tangible way what a low carbon world can look like.
The 20 year contract we have helped solarZero develop provides solar energy services to the school for no up-front cost and with long‑term fixed costs at a price below the current cost of retail electricity, making it an attractive option for schools. Across the school sector there is scope for up to 200MW of solar power over time which is a significant contribution to current renewable energy targets.
The long-term contract contains some novel features, being required to operate within the regulatory framework for New Zealand state schools and meet the requirements of the Ministry as school property owner.
Partner, Greenwood Roche 2010 –
Partner, Chapman Tripp 1996 – 2010
Principal, Chapman Tripp 1995 – 1996
Solicitor, Chapman Tripp 1986 – 1996 (with 2 years’ absence overseas)
Graduate lawyer, Clifford Chance (Paris) 1985 – 1986
Chair, Energy Law Association
Member of Petroleum Exploration and Production Association, Straterra, AMPLA, Institute of Directors
Member of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee
Recommended as a leading practitioner by Legal Media Group Guide to World’s Leading Energy and Natural Resources Lawyers, Who's Who Legal - Energy, Asia/Pacific Legal 500 and Chambers Asia Pacific
LLB (Hons), BA (Victoria University of Wellington)
DDI: +64 4 471 8528
Mobile: +64 27 447 5147
Phone: +64 4 494 8500
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Brigid is primarily based in Wellington.
Physical: Level 13
36 Customhouse Quay
Mail: PO Box 25501
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