Mark is highly regarded for his specialist legal work in large scale and complex property, construction, and development projects. He provides high-end, commercial and strategic advice to public and private sector clients about development and construction issues. He is an expert in project structuring, funding, procurement, legislative and regulatory compliance, and project documentation. He also provides commercial advice on project disputes.
Mark acts primarily for owners and developers, as well as investors and funders of projects, both domestically and internationally. He also acts for some key contractors. He has extensive industry experience including in the following sectors: large scale residential, shopping centres, hospitals, retirement, office and commercial, heritage projects, and technology.
Mark’s clients include Kiwi Property Group (New Zealand’s largest listed property company), Cooper and Company (owner and developer of Auckland’s CBD waterfront heritage precinct), Generus Living Group (high-end retirement village developers and operators), several Government Ministries, and several Health Boards.
Regularly engaged for significant New Zealand commercial projects, Mark advises on planning, procurement strategies and implementation. As a former director of major construction and development companies, Mark is renowned for his pragmatic advice. Described by clients as “an acknowledged leader on contracting” (Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020), Mark assists with contract drafting and negotiation. He also advises on dispute resolution strategies, has experience conducting independent reviews of projects, and has sat on project dispute resolution boards.
His formidable track record of achievement in development projects features high profile office and residential towers and precincts, hospitals and medical premises, data centres, port developments, regional parks, utilities, education assets, and social housing projects.
Mark also has expertise in real estate financed transactions and the acquisition and sale of commercial property.
Top-ranked – in Band 1 – for construction by esteemed directory Chambers Asia-Pacific since inception of the category in 2015, Mark is praised by clients for his responsive, pragmatic, and commercial advice. One client appreciates that he is “very proactive and not reactive,” adding: “He anticipates the next steps and understands the project requirements in great depth. He is not just limited to the law” – Chambers Asia Pacific 2022. Mark is also described as “always approachable and pleasant to deal with. He has standing and great amount of respect in the industry” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022.
A regular industry commentator, Mark has presented a variety of seminars on construction related legislation, particularly the Construction Contracts Act and the Building Act. He lectures the construction law papers for the Master of Engineering degree at the University of Auckland. Recently he has provided COVID-19 related presentations to the construction sector, with a focus on sector business and projects continuity.
Establishing the legal joint venture advising on the programme of works, advising on procurement and probity, and drafting, negotiating, and advising on project documents for the Government’s key projects. Projects advised on include the Justice Precinct, the Bus Interchange, and the Avon River Precinct.
Acting with the developer, Cooper and Company, in the ongoing development of the Britomart Precinct since inception. This includes most recently the refurbishment and renovation of heritage buildings and the development of an award-wining boutique hotel, The Hotel Britomart. The hotel development included some new (to New Zealand) construction techniques requiring contract documents to align with the assurance processes structured by the team for such construction.
Acting for PwC on its deal with Precinct Properties to become the anchor tenant of the Commercial Bay office tower (now called PwC Tower), the landmark 38-storey office tower in the Auckland CBD. This was one of the highest value and highest profile office leasing transactions in Auckland in recent times.
Acting for Sylvia Park Business Centre Limited on all aspects of the development of its Sylvia Park Shopping Centre landholdings in Mt Wellington, Auckland. Recent developments include a new office tower, a Build-to-Rent precinct, and expanded large format retail. The Sylvia Park shopping centre has long been the largest in New Zealand.
Acting for both Te Whatu Ora - Te Toka Tumai Auckland (formerly Auckland DHB) and Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki (formerly Tarnaki DHB) on their core development programmes – ‘FIRP’ and ‘Maunga Stage 2’ respectively. This included leading a cross region group in developing a new format ‘Major Works Contract’ aimed at addressing market issues in construction and in construction contracts. Also advised on procurement and project implementation strategies to progress the programmes through COVID-19 and an industry peak cycle.
Acting for Generus Group on its development of multiple high-end retirement villages in Auckland and Tauranga, including its flagship project ‘The Foundation’ in Parnell, Auckland. Working with Generus’ in-house development team we put together the project documentation with the design and construction teams, while covering off the requirements of the joint venture partners.
- Member, Society of Construction Law New Zealand
- Member, Property Council New Zealand (PCNZ)
Achievements and recognition
- Band 1, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Band 1 team, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Recognised, Leading Construction, Projects and Infrastructure Lawyer, Doyles Guide
- Winner, Lawyer of the Year - Construction Law, Best Lawyers, 2024
- Recognised, Construction Law, Best Lawyers