Nick Wells

Nick Wells

Nick Wells

Chief Executive Partner (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae), Auckland

Corporate & commercial

; {{item.Title}}

T:+64 9 357 9004

M:+64 27 449 0041


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 (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae) responsible for the overall leadership of the firm and driving the firm's strategy and growth.

Nick’s role covers all aspects of the firm’s business and professional responsibilities including client development, partner management and development, and leading the senior management team. He also sits on the firm’s board.

In addition to his role as Chief Executive Partner, Nick is a leading expert on corporate structuring for Māori, 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.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland Law School, responsible for the iwi governance courses at undergraduate and Master’s level. He is also 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 Māori, 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 has:

  • advised Ngāti Whātua Orākei on their treaty settlement, related restructure and ongoing issues with the Crown

  • assisted Waikato-Tainui in relation to major governance issues including their recent review and first principles rewrite of their constitutional documents

  • advised Ngāpuhi on structuring its commercial and fisheries activities

  • assisted Ngāti Porou in respect of its forestry holdings and joint ventures

  • helped over a dozen iwi establish the ICP as a collective vehicle to maximise the fishing quota of those participating iwi

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

  • advised AMP on all New Zealand legal and regulatory aspects of its merger and integration with AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, and

  • helped establish 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 with 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, and

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

Corporate & commercial





Māori law