Luke Wells

Special Counsel - Banking and Finance

Luke is an experienced banking and finance lawyer. He has extensive international and in-house transactional and advisory experience gained in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Luke acts for New Zealand’s major trading banks, other local and international banks, investment banks, financial institutions, sponsors, major companies, and borrowers.

He assists his clients with both their transactional banking, corporate/commercial, and advisory matters. Luke advises on bank financings, debt capital markets transactions, acquisition and leveraged finance, syndicated finance, and other debt financings. He also has experience in mergers & acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, and corporate/ commercial law.

Luke specialises in advising financial institutions on financial regulation, regulatory compliance and risk issues. With his experience in the regulatory space, Luke supports his clients both with managing regulatory change and regulatory projects.

Luke began his career at MinterEllisonRuddWatts before gaining overseas experience with Herbert Smith Freehills in London and in various in-house legal roles, including for Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.) in the Middle East. His subsequent in-house experience includes legal counsel roles at Bank of New Zealand, nib New Zealand, Waste Management New Zealand, and Rabobank.

Drawing on his broad in-house experience, Luke delivers practical solutions for his clients. Luke appreciates the environment in which banks, financial institutions and corporates operate. He has supported business teams across a range of corporate and commercial matters, including corporate governance. This wide-reaching experience, alongside his specific industry knowledge, enables Luke to provide tailored, commercial, and workable solutions for his clients.

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Professional background

Recent work

Unfair contract terms regulatory changes

Advising banks on their change projects as a result of the extension of the unfair contract terms regime in the Fair Trading Act 1986 to small business contracts.

Lending transactions and credit facilities

Providing legal advice for a variety of domestic and cross-border credit facilities across a broad range of industry sectors.

Debt capital markets transactions - including GMTN, EMTN and covered bond programmes

Providing legal advice for various domestic and cross-border debt capital markets issuances, including GMTN, EMTN and covered bond programmes.

Leveraged and acquisition finance

Advising on various leveraged and acquisition financings. Team member for M&A transactions including due diligence reviews, sale and purchase agreements and advising senior management teams.


  • 1996, New Zealand


  • LLB (Hons)/BCom, University of Auckland


  • Associate Member, Governance New Zealand Inc.
  • Associate Member, Chartered Governance Institute


  • Acquisition Finance
  • Banking and Finance
  • Banking Regulation
  • Borrowing
  • Corporate Finance
  • Debt Capital Markets
  • Debt Financing
  • Financial Services Regulation
  • Leveraged Finance
  • Syndicated Finance


  • Member of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier 1 Banking and Finance team, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific