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Nick WellsNick Wells

Nick Wells

Nick Wells

Chief Executive Partner

M:+64 27 449 0041

T:+64 9 357 9004


F:+64 9 357 9099



MBA (Hons), IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland BCA (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington BCom, LLB, University of Canterbury


1993 New Zealand, 2000 New South Wales


Nick is Chapman Tripp's Chief Executive Partner responsible for the overall leadership of the firm and driving forward the firm's strategy and growth. 

He is a leading expert on corporate structuring for Maori, private equity, businesses and charities and will remain Kaihautū of Chapman Tripp’s Māori Legal Group, Te Waka Ture. The group specialises in providing commercial legal advice to iwi and Māori organisations, and those looking to work with them - focusing specifically on post-Treaty settlement transactions, joint ventures and collective iwi arrangements.

Nick is also responsible for the University of Auckland Law School’s Iwi Governance courses at undergraduate and Master’s level, a contributing author to the Laws of New Zealand and co-author of Wells’ Limited Partnership Handbook published by LexisNexis.

Nick has led some of the most significant corporate acquisition and private equity transactions in New Zealand.

He was the independent expert to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Limited Partnership legislation. Limited Partnerships are one of the most significant structuring initiatives for Maori, charities and corporate activity in recent times.

Nick is a trustee of KiwiAde (a New Zealand charity helping Namibian children in need). He also assists a number of community organisations including the Te Potiki National Trust, the Sir Hugh Kawharu Foundation, and the First Foundation.

Recent experience

Nick's experience includes:

  • advising Ngati Whatua Orakei on their treaty settlement and restructure

  • assisting Waikato-Tainui including both its tribal parliament Te Kauhanganui and its executive Te Arataura

  • advising Ngāpuhi on structuring its commercial and fisheries activities

  • assisting Ngati Porou in respect of its forestry holdings and joint ventures

  • advising LanzaTech on its recent US$60m capital raising, awarded "Cap Raise of the Year" in Biofuels Digest's Advanced Bioeconomy Awards for 2015

  • involvement in the establishment of most of the major private equity funds in New Zealand using corporate and/or limited partnership structures and negotiating investments made by those funds in Australasia. This has included:

    • negotiating and documenting  Maui Capital’s Indigo (2008) and Aqua (2012) Funds

    • helping Waterman Capital with the successful establishment of its most recent fund, Waterman Fund 2 LP

    • advising Craigmore Sustainables in relation to the establishment of an investment vehicle in New Zealand

    • assisting the NZ Superannuation Fund in relation to its cornerstone investments into each of the Pioneer Capital Partners II LP and Pencarrow IV Fund

    • advising Knox Investment Partners on all four of its funds

    • advising Goldman Sachs JBWere and the Hauraki funds on structure issues generally

  • advising AMP Limited in relation to all New Zealand legal and regulatory aspects of its merger and integration with AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited

  • advising Knox Investment Partners on its investment into and divestment of Northplan and investments into Ligare Group (in New South Wales), Omnigraphics (in New Zealand) and Cactus (in New South Wales and New Zealand) and on the subsequent listing on the ASX as Opus

  • advising on Hauraki Private Equity No. 2 Fund’s acquisition of the Tyco Services businesses in Australasia and subsequent migration and listing of those businesses as the Norfolk Group on the ASX, and

  • acting for Australia's Wolseley Private Equity on its acquisition of 50% of the Freshmax Group and subsequently for Wolseley and management as Maui Capital invested following a capital restructure which allowed Wolseley to divest.