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8 August 20238 minute read

DLA Piper promotes two exceptional new partners

Global law firm DLA Piper is pleased to welcome Pavanie Edirisuriya (Auckland) and Tom Barnes (Wellington) as partners to the New Zealand practice. Both Pavanie (Pav) and Tom have been with DLA Piper for a number of years.

Pav has a wide range of corporate and commercial experience. She advises on domestic and cross-border M&A, overseas investment, commercial contracts, and joint ventures. Pav has extensive experience in primary and renewable energy sectors, specialising in regulatory frameworks applicable to these sectors, including the emissions trading scheme. Pav regularly advises overseas clients investing in New Zealand. Her clients include some of the key offshore investors in the forestry and renewable sectors recently in New Zealand.

Pav says “There has been a significant increase in investments in renewables assets in New Zealand in the last 24 months, and this trend is expected to continue for some time. While investments have mainly been in early-stage development projects, we are also seeing an increased interest in fully developed renewables assets. As the sector sees more diversification and increased opportunities as a result of technology and government support, it will inevitably require, and attract more investment."

Pav has been leading the way in shaping the overseas investment landscape for renewable energy projects in New Zealand. She plays a key role, alongside highly regarded expert and DLA Piper New Zealand Corporate partner, Martin Thomson, in all overseas investment transactions handled in New Zealand by DLA Piper.

"We’re delighted to welcome Pav to the partnership,” says Martin Thomson, “She is DLA Piper talent who began her career with us and has become an exceptional leader in our firm. She is highly regarded by clients and colleagues alike. Pav's engaging personality, deep sector knowledge and OIA expertise make her a true asset to the team.”

With her participation in diversity and inclusion initiatives within the firm, Pav is an exemplary role model for her colleagues. "The diversity and inclusion programme is one of the things that I love about the firm. The culture created through these initiatives, has supported and allowed me to be embrace who I am and flourish", Pav says.

Tom Barnes is in DLA Piper’s financial services and funds management team. He advises leading financial institutions across the whole gamut of issues of concern to fund managers, trustees, custodians, distributors and their service providers. Tom handles regulatory compliance, governance and legal risk management, and has a strong interest in exploring the suitability of innovative products for the New Zealand market. Tom has been actively involved in TOKO, one of DLA Piper's Law& solutions. TOKO uses market-leading distributed ledger technology to enable asset owners to tokenise them and raise funds quickly and securely and businesses to track and report on the sustainability of their supply chains.

Most of Tom’s work involves working with the funds management industry. He thinks it enriches the lives of New Zealanders. “It’s been a steady and ongoing development,” he says, “it puts people’s savings in the hands of professionals. And now the typical plain, vanilla funds have been supplemented by new and interesting offerings in more specialist sectors. There has been a trend towards passive investment management in recent times, but in the current economic climate there is an opportunity for active managers to prove their worth. This is all happening against a wider context of downward pressure on fees and ever-increasing regulation.”

“I’ve been at DLA Piper for all of my private practice legal career and there's an alignment of values” says Tom. “I've enjoyed seeing the financial services industry evolve, forming genuine and long-lasting relationships with our clients and our people, as they go from strength to strength, is what keeps me energised."

“Tom has well and truly proven his worth with us,” says Rachel Taylor, head of Corporate at DLA Piper New Zealand. “Some of our largest financial institutions are being well served by his depth of expertise, and his dedication to clients, with whom he has a great rapport. Tom is a valuable addition to the New Zealand partnership of DLA Piper.”

"I'm delighted to welcome Pav and Tom to the partnership" says Laura Scampion, managing partner of DLA Piper in New Zealand. "Both are highly regarded lawyers and are true advocates of our values of being supportive, collaborative, bold and exceptional. I have no doubt Pav and Tom will continue to provide excellent support to our clients."