MinterEllisonRuddWatts is one of New Zealand’s most established law firms. We are proud of our heritage dating back over 130 years.

We are part of the MinterEllison Legal Group, one of the largest legal groups across Australia and New Zealand and amongst the largest in the world, employing 1,700 people in 15 offices across five countries. Our global reach includes New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Our firm is a local and trusted advisor with offices in Auckland and Wellington.

We are proud of our people, past and present, and their contribution to the community and New Zealand.

Here is a snapshot of our journey so far. We invite you to join us.


Partner Sarah Sinclair appointed as the firm’s Board Chair, following Lloyd Kavanagh’s decision not to seek reappointment. Lloyd Kavanagh continues in partnership with the firm, heading our Band 1 Investment fund practice.


Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards names MinterEllisonRuddWatts New Zealand’s best National Firm for Women in Business and Law for second year in a row, and also awards the firm Best National Firm Mentoring Programme in the Asia Pacific region.


Named New Zealand Law Firm of the Year at the 2017 Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards.

Partner Sarah Sinclair appointed to the firm’s Board.

Our firm enters into a joint venture with Goat Ventures to explore, and capitalise on, the application of artificial intelligence for legal services.

Partner Lloyd Kavanagh appointed to the role of Chair, following Cathy Quinn’s decision not to seek reappointment. Cathy Quinn continues in partnership with the firm, heading our M&A and China practices.

The firm achieves seven new rankings in the Chambers Asia-Pacific legal directory, with 36 senior lawyers ranked overall.


Alumni Dame Patsy Reddy sworn in as the 21st Governor-General of New Zealand.

The firm appoints Mike Schubert to the role of CEO.

Partner Megan Richards appointed to the firm’s Board.



MinterEllisonRuddWatts celebrates a significant milestone, marking 30 years since the joining of three great firms creating Rudd Watts & Stone and the beginning of our relationship with the MinterEllison Legal Group.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is selected by an independent judging panel as winner of the Business $20M-$100M Turnover Award in the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards. Additionally, the firm wins the Supreme Award across all 11 award categories and 34 finalists.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts wins Large Law Firm of the Year for the second year running at the New Zealand Law Awards, as well as taking out Community Service Law Firm of the Year.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts wins Best New Zealand Firm in the Euromoney Australasia Women in Business Law Awards for the second year in a row.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts reappoints Partner Cathy Quinn to the role of Chair.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts is recognised for diversity by winning Best New Zealand Firm in the Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards for both Australasia and overall Asia, followed by winning Best New Zealand Firm for the ALBERT Leadership in Diversity Awards.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts wins Large Law Firm of the Year at the 8th annual New Zealand Law Awards.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts forms alliance with Christchurch law firm Lane Neave to leverage the strengths of each firm to better service clients in the reconstruction of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts named joint winner of the New Zealand Deal of the Year at the annual ALB Australasian Law Awards, for the 2009 Fisher & Paykel Appliances recapitalisation. The firm was also recognised as joint winner  of the Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year for the ABC Learning Centres receivership deal.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ former partner, John Allen, appointed to the position of Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade. John Allen takes up the appointment on 20 July 2009.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts appoints partner Cathy Quinn to the role of Chair..


MinterEllisonRuddWatts appoints Mark Weenink to the role of Managing Partner.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts becomes the first major New Zealand law firm to create a Latin-American practice group to serve the increasing number of New Zealand businesses conducting business in Latin America.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts named inaugural New Zealand Territorial Forces Employer Support Council (TFESC) Employer of the Year.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts forms strategic partnership with business growth centre, The ICEHOUSE (International Centre for Entrepreneurship) as part of our long term commitment to the development and growth of New Zealand business.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts wins International Law Office Client Choice Award (New Zealand).


MinterEllisonRuddWatts moves to offices in Auckland’s new Lumley Tower on Shortland Street.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts celebrates 20 years as legal advisors to the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts appoints Russell Hay to the role of CEO.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts partner, Chris Allan, appointed as a Judge of the High Court.  A proud moment for our firm and a celebration of over 40 years of an esteemed legal career with us.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts appoints partner David Patterson to the role of Chair.


Rudd Watts & Stone became MinterEllisonRuddWatts on 1 September, with a celebration at the National Portrait Gallery.

The name change reinforces the firm’s international profile and recognised the fifteen year partnership between Rudd Watts & Stone and the MinterEllison Legal Group.

The firm remains a partnership owned and operated business in New Zealand with strong trans-Tasman and Asia Pacific connections.


The Auckland office moves to BNZ Tower at 125 Queen Street, Auckland.


The firm becomes Rudd Watts & Stone formed by a merger of Rudd Garland Horrocks Stewart Johnston in Auckland, Stone & Co and Watts & Patterson in  Wellington, creating the first of New Zealand’s ‘mega-firms’ with a significant presence in both Auckland and Wellington.

Rudd Watts & Stone forms an association with the MinterEllison Legal Group in support of the growing economic relationship with Australia and to enhance the firm’s international profile.


Rudd Garland & Horrocks and Stewart Johnston Campbell Drummond & Co amalgamate their practices on 1st July. The new firm is named Rudd Garland Horrocks Stewart Johnston.


Rudd Garland & Horrocks moves to Quay Tower, Corner Customs Street West and Lower Albert Street, Auckland on 2nd February.


The Hon Justice Dobson becomes a partner in Stone & Co until 1990 when he is appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998 and returns to the Bar. He was president of the New Zealand Bar Association from 2002-2004 and appointed a High Court Judge in 2007.


Justice Alan MacKenzie becomes a partner of Stone & Co and continued as partner when the firm becomes Rudd Watts & Stone in 1984, 13 years later.


Jack Watts, founding partner of Watts and Patterson, one of the founding firms of Rudd Watts & Stone circa 1960, passes away. He was an MP in the 1950s and served as Minister of Finance in the Holland and Holyoake governments.

Justice Chris Allan becomes a partner of Rudd Garland & Horrocks and continued as partner when the firm became Rudd Watts & Stone in 1984.

Stone and Co formed by Kempthorne Stone.


Justice Christopher Allan joins Rudd Garland & Horrocks.


Watts and Patterson, one of the founding firms of Rudd Watts & Stone formed in Wellington by Jack Watts and Colin Patterson.

Pamela Mitchell (one of the first women lawyers in New Zealand, having started as a Law Clerk in 1942) becomes a partner in Rudd Garland & Horrocks. Pamela Mitchell passed away in 1985, still in Partnership with Rudd Watts & Stone.  The firm library carries her name and continues her tradition with a high percentage of female partners including our past Board Chair, Cathy Quinn and current Board Chair Sarah Sinclair.


Rudd & Garland takes John Horrocks into partnership and becomes Rudd, Garland & Horrocks.


John Horrocks wins the Military Cross near Casale, Italy, while serving as a Captain with the Royal New Zealand Artillery. After the war he becomes Commanding Officer of the 9th Coast Regiment and served as Aide-de-Camp to Governor-General Sir Willoughby Norrie. On his return to New Zealand, Horrocks establishes his talent as a lawyer, serving as a partner with Rudd Garland & Horrocks and succeeding practices for 40 years.


Rudd & Garland formed by Jack Garland and Laurie Rudd.

From 1939-1946 Laurie Rudd serves overseas in the New Zealand Forces. For his overall wartime services he is awarded DSO (Distingished Service Order) for leadership and OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), and attains rank of Colonel.


Mr Stewart forms the practice that will become Stewart Johnston Campbell Drummond & Co with a proud history dating back to the 1880’s, and which influenced early New Zealand history.

Co-founder J B Johnston was a leading Auckland lawyer in the business and commercial area for many years in the 1920’s to 1960’s.