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Martin Thomson


Martin Thomson is a leading lawyer in cross-border M&A and investment transactions, including those requiring consent under the Overseas Investment Act. He also advises on corporate law, joint ventures and commercial contracts.

Martin has over 30 years' experience as a corporate lawyer. His clients are based both in New Zealand and offshore. He regularly advises offshore clients on the issues involved acquiring assets or making investments in New Zealand. He has extensive experience assisting overseas clients to obtain consent under the Overseas Investment Act in New Zealand. He also advises clients on appropriate investment structures in New Zealand.

Martin advises clients involved in a diverse range of industries including particularly the forestry, agriculture, wine, food processing, insurance and financial services, technology and venture capital sectors. He has a particular focus on the primary sector.

Martin has worked on a large number of M&A transactions in the forestry sector in New Zealand for both sellers and buyers. He also has extensive experience advising on a number of the day-to-day legal matters arising in relation to forestry assets including forestry rights, Crown forestry licences, wood supply contracts, stumpage supply contracts, access arrangements, joint ventures, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, forest management arrangements and Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

Martin is Chairman of the New Zealand China Trade Association, which promotes and strengthens business relationships between New Zealand and China. He is also a board member of the New Zealand China Council. He heads the firm's China practice, which focuses on providing advice to organisations undertaking investments between China and New Zealand.

Areas of FocusInsuranceCorporate
Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, 1993
  • English
  • University of Otago, BCom, 1987
  • University of Otago, LLB, 1987


  • Martin is ranked in the 2019 Legal 500 Asia-Pacific rankings as a leading individual in Corporate and M&A. Legal 500 describes Martin as "the key partner in the firm's foreign investment practice".
  • Martin is also ranked as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer in the Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019 rankings. Chambers noting that Martin is "consistently sought out by high-end clients to advise on complex matters".
  • Martin is given particular mention in the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2018 rankings as a "cross-border transaction expert".
  • Martin was ranked as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016, with Chambers noting that he 'is recognised for his depth of knowledge on international investments, particularly on transactions that involve Chinese entities. Clients appreciate that "he has a good commercial sense, knows how to deal with risk and is forthright in providing market intelligence."'
  • Martin was ranked as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide 2015, with Chambers commenting that 'clients describe Martin Thomson as a "great leader and excellent partner." They also note his high level of client service, stating: "He really supported us with all we needed."'
  • Martin was ranked as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide 2014.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • New Zealand Law Society
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Member of The Institute of Directors of New Zealand
  • Chairman of the New Zealand China Trade Association
  • Board Member of the New Zealand China Council
  • Advisory Board Member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand