Introducing our people – David Holden
David Holden joined his former Russell McVeagh colleagues Geoff Busch and Chris Bargery in opening Anderson Lloyd’s new Auckland office earlier this year. The three partners were attracted by the opportunity to go out on their own while still being part of a large, well-established law firm.
David says the Auckland office provides a unique partner-led service similar to a boutique, but with the support and expertise of Anderson Lloyd’s sought-after lawyers in the South Island.
A specialist infrastructure and construction lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, David has found the past few months since the trio joined Anderson Lloyd extremely busy.
“We are working on some major Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and mergers and acquisitions – it’s been a great start. The office has a special buzz and collegiality which we hope to foster and maintain going forwards.”
David’s pathway to becoming a lawyer was via a degree in Japanese and German at Leeds University in the United Kingdom. During his last year of study he shared a flat with a law student and soon became interested in learning more about the legal profession.
“I never went to university to study law initially, but it soon caught my interest after reading my flatmate’s cases,” says David.
“There was one case about free movement of people within the EU and the involvement of a Belgian footballer who was refused to play in England even though he was out of contract with his Belgian club. As a football lover, I found the case fascinating and decided to apply for post-grad courses in law.”
David went on to complete his law degree at the College of Law in London. He worked in the UK for eight years before immigrating to New Zealand.
David’s career has seen him advise on social and economic infrastructure, power generation and major construction projects. He featured in the 2014-15 edition of ‘Best Lawyers in New Zealand’ as a leading player in project finance and development practice.
Currently, David is working on two major PPP projects, one in respect of four schools and the other an Auckland prison. He also continues to advise on the building of the Wiri Men’s Prison in Auckland, which is nearing completion.
“I have always had a particular interest in infrastructure and construction law as I like to see the tangible result of my work,” he says.
“I am particularly proud of all the PPP projects that I have done. They were exhausting, but the relationships formed with clients and other lawyers are energising.”
Major challenges in this area include tight timeframes and trying to find staff experienced in PPPs, which is still a minor specialty in New Zealand, says David.
“However the work is not yet commoditised so it remains interesting and enjoyable.”
David dedicates most of his spare time outside of work to his three children, who are all aged under four.
“As you can imagine there is little time for hobbies, but I very much enjoy living and working in Auckland – I have no desire to go back to London at all.”