Partner - Corporate and Commercial
Tom leads the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice at MinterEllisonRuddWatts – a practice which is recognised by international legal directory, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, as Tier 1 in New Zealand.
Tom advises on the full gamut of technology law issues – including major technology transformation programs and technology procurement, outsourcing, managed services and “as a service” arrangements, through to the more run of the mill software licensing and support agreements. Tom also advises on emerging technology areas such as cyber security, artificial intelligence, blockchain and smart contract related advice.
To compliment his “black-letter” law expertise developed in private practice in NZ and the UK, Tom is able to draw on deep commercial acumen following significant in-house experience at Spark NZ and at Telefonica O2 in the UK and Ireland.
Tom has been ranked by Chambers & Partners as a leading TMT lawyer since 2013 where sources say “He is very knowledgeable… a good communicator, able to articulate what can be a complex concept in a way that is easily understood by various parties.” The Asia Pacific Legal 500 ranks him a leading individual in TMT, where sources describe Tom as “very strong in terms of black letter law, but is also commercially pragmatic.”
Strategic Transformation Programme
Advised Watercare on its Strategic Transformation Programme, including on the management of vendor selection processes and transformation programmes generally and the contractual arrangements for both the critical technology infrastructure (cloud) and the associated implementation project (agile methodology). This was the largest change project the client had undertaken to date and was achieved over an aggressive timescale.
New Zealand’s first Telecommunications Network Sharing Agreement
Led the team that advised 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone on the agreement between the Rural Connectivity Group (a joint venture between 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone) and Crown Fibre Holdings under which the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) will receive between $150million and $250million in funding to build out at least 400 new cellsite towers in rural areas to improve internet connectivity and reduce mobile “blackspots.” Tom advised the RCG again in 2018, on its $100m expansion to the agreement to build further cellsites in hard-to-reach rural areas.
New digital platform upgrade – critical systems
Advised New Zealand Lotteries Commission on its upgrade and replacement of core gaming platforms.
Support on complex M&A transactions
As part of the MinterEllisonRuddWatts deal team advising ANZ on the sale of ANZ Securities online share and bond trading platform to First NZ Capital, Tom advised ANZ on all technology aspects of the transaction.
Advised Vector on a major network monitoring, control and data analytics agreement with Israeli energy management company mPrest. This included complex licensing and support arrangements, and rights to resell mPrest’s solution throughout Australasia.
Highly complex, strategic procurement
Tom advised Vector on its technology procurement agreements with Tesla Inc for both residential and large-scale corporate battery storage solutions, and Vector’s customer and business to business agreements.
In addition to the above major project examples, Tom has advised and continues to advise the following companies on technology related matters: New Zealand Lotteries Commission, Westpac, ANZ, MOTAT, Soul Machines, and The Warehouse.
- 2000, New Zealand
- BA, LLB (Hons), Canterbury University
- Business Technology Contracts
- Commercial Contracts
- Emerging Technologies Contracts
- Privacy and Data Protection
- Cyber Security
- Ranked as a leading Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) lawyer, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Ranked as a Leading Individual – TMT, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
- Winner – Consumer, Media and Technology Deal of the Year, New Zealand Law Awards (2018)