Tim Williams

Tim Williams

Tim Williams

Partner, Auckland

Financial services regulation; Funds, KiwiSaver & superannuation

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T:+64 9 358 9840

M:+64 27 243 1629



BCA, LLB, Victoria University of Wellington


1986, New Zealand

Tim leads our financial services regulation team and is sought after for his practical and commercial expertise.

Tim specialises in the financial services field and leads the firm’s financial services regulation and funds, KiwiSaver & superannuation teams.

He has been a leader in the financial services and investment funds sectors for over 20 years, and has a wealth of practical experience across a wide range of commercial areas, having specialised in commercial law, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. His expertise also covers securities laws, financial services licensing and compliance, anti-money laundering (AML), insurance licensing, overseas investment and restructurings.

Tim is recognised as a Band 1 lawyer in Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 and is recognised as a leading individual in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020. He is “esteemed as the ‘leading lawyer in town’ for funds management, particularly in regard to ‘modern investment structures’” - Chambers Asia Pacific 2016. In the Chambers Global 2012 edition, he was “the best all-round adviser on funds management” and a “prominent expert in securities” and in its 2013 edition, he was described as “very capable across many different areas”.

Tim is also listed in the EuroMoney Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers 2016 as one of the outstanding practitioners in the field of investment funds, and in Best Lawyers 2016 as a leading Mutual Funds lawyer.

Tim chaired the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal Appeal Panel, and was an original member of the Tribunal (the NZX disciplinary body) where he served for the full term of 9 years. He is also a director of five 20th Century Fox film companies, and has advised the Minister of Finance on overseas investment rules.

He has an extensive background in the preparation of wealth products and was instrumental in developing many of New Zealand’s largest KiwiSaver schemes (six in total), managed investment schemes and term and cash PIE products for the New Zealand banking market, which collectively have raised over $20b.

Tim advises extensively on various pieces of legislation, including on the Financial Markets Conduct Act, the Financial Advisers and Financial Service Providers legislation, the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act, the trans-Tasman mutual recognition regime, the Non-bank Deposit takers legislation, AML legislation, the Companies Act, the Takeovers Code, and the NZX Rules.

Recent experience

Tim has:

  • developed the ASB, BNZ, Generate, Huljich, eoSaver and First NZ KiwiSaver schemes; Cash and Term PIE Funds for various banks; and advised on various investment products for AMP, AMP Capital, ANZ, ASB, AXA, BNZ, BT, Craigs, First NZ Capital, Heartland Bank, HSBC, Westpac, Barclays, Colonial, Macquarie Bank, NZX and Russell
  • advised ANZ, AMP, BNZ and a range of smaller managers on their funds’ transition to the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 regime and ANZ on its DIMS transition
  • advised Foundation Life on its acquisition of Tower Life ($700m funds under management)
  • advised fund managers on their outsourcings, restructurings, fund closures, IMAs, custody agreements, registry agreements, distribution arrangements and other similar contractual arrangements
  • advised derivative issuers and their licensing applications and compliance
  • successfully advised many issuers on regulatory inquiries from the FMA and the Reserve Bank, helping resolve issues with pragmatic solutions and suitable responses
  • advised Ansvar (ACS) on dealing with its $800m insurance claims generally, its compliance with the Insurance (Prudential Supervisor) Act and the establishment of its contingent scheme of arrangement, the first scheme of its type in New Zealand
  • obtained numerous exemptions from New Zealand’s securities and AML laws and influenced financial law reforms, including the Financial Adviser legislation, aspects of the FMCA and the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act; lobbied for FMCA class exemptions for overseas ESOPS, DRPs and overseas banks (including for Lloyds and HSBC groups)
  • advised on IPOs exceeding $8.6b in value, including seven of New Zealand's largest IPOs: Telecom (now Spark), SkyCity, AMP, Goodman Properties, Precinct Properties (ANZO), Westpac New Zealand and AMP’s WiNZ fund; on the New Zealand securities law aspects of cross boarder IPOs including for BT Investment Management (AU$247m) and BHP’s spin off of BHP Steel and OneSteel on the ASX; and on NZX's largest equity public offer
  • advised ING on the sale of ING (NZ) Holdings (as part of its Australasian group sale to ANZ for A$1.76b), on its acquisition of National Bank’s funds management and insurance businesses for $5.64b, and on its purchase and sale of Remuera Gardens and Epsom Village assets; CS Company on its sale to (and repurchase from) AMP Private Equity; Colonial on the sale of the listed Goodman Property Trust management rights; Paper Plus on its acquisition of the Books & More chain; and many other business sales and acquisitions
  • advised on listed company buybacks including by Westpac, CBA and Dairy Brands
  • led the design of the Southern Cross telecommunications cable tax arrangements in the US, which were subsequently followed by other major US telecommunications cables, and
  • influenced the establishment of the 0% PIR foreign investor tax charges, the SMA director and officer disclosure laws and the Financial Advisers (Code of Professional Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers).
Financial services regulation; Funds, KiwiSaver & superannuation; Insurance





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