David advises on M&A and other corporate transactions, the negotiation of commercial contracts and joint ventures, and regulatory matters.

David has particular experience in the oil and gas and natural resources sectors. This includes advising in relation to the acquisition and disposition of energy assets, joint ventures and farm-ins, land access and disputes, and permit-related obligations (including royalty and work programme obligations). He is a member of the board of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand and has recently been appointed by the Minister to the EECA Board.

His international experience includes a three-year period at Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP, the leading U.S. corporate law firm, where he acted for corporates such as Nestle S.A., ConocoPhillips, Bristol Myers Squibb and Citigroup on a wide variety of M&A transactions and advisory matters. He holds an LLM from Cambridge University (having graduated second overall).

David has been ranked as one of the leading 24 energy lawyers in the world by Who’s Who Legal: Energy 2015. David is also ranked in the top tier of energy and natural resources lawyers in Chambers Asia Pacific 2015, with sources praising him as a "very experienced, calming and logical thinker." In previous editions he has been described as "very talented lawyer" who is "immersed and enmeshed in the market", with clients describing him as commercially astute, a solid negotiator and a pleasure to work with, and Chambers noting he is "equally respected by peers, who concur that his technical ability and industry knowledge rank amongst the best in New Zealand." He is also named as a leading lawyer in IFLR 1000 2016, Who's Who Legal 2013, Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Australasian Legal Business Guide: Energy & Resources Law and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resources.


BCA, LLB(Hons), Victoria University of Wellington
LLM, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


1997 New Zealand

International Career

  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, New York and London