Nigel Oliver


+64 3 364 3813

+64 21 361 032


Nigel Oliver acts for many of New Zealand’s leading financial institutions, advises foreign law firms and banks transacting in New Zealand, and provides foreign law legal opinions for international transactions. He specialises in the financing of commercial property, agribusiness, viticulture, fisheries and aquaculture, and acts in corporate and institutional law. Other practice areas include regulatory compliance (such as the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and the Responsible Lending Code), capital raising for financial institutions, and drafting template documents for financial institutions.

Nigel commenced practice in 1986 and has been a dedicated banking law specialist for his entire career. His practice is nationwide and he works closely with the firm’s banking, finance and insolvency lawyers located in Christchurch and Auckland.

In addition to his banking practice, Nigel acts for established businesses in the viticulture and beer brewing industries, and provides advice to those clients in matters such as corporate law, viticulture developments, finance and supply and customer contracts.

Nigel is known for his wide experience in many sectors that financial institutions transact with. He is able to offer insight into legal issues when a financial institution deals with a sector, and provides structuring advice on lending transactions and appropriate security.

For startup financial institutions, Nigel provides advice on capital raising (including compliance with the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013), and regulatory compliance in the banking, non-bank deposit taker, and finance sectors.

Nigel is a Leading Individual in the 2019-2024 Asia Pacific Legal 500 Guides, where clients noted that he is “quick to respond, has good business acumen and is highly commercial”.

He is also ranked in the 2021-2024 Chambers and Partners Directories, where he is praised by clients as a “good communicator” with “extensive knowledge” and “superb work ethics.”

Key Transactions


  • For a consortium of banks who lend to the New Zealand dairy sector. Nigel's work covers all bank documentation, facility limit reviews and cross-border lending issues.
  • For VinLink Marlborough Limited for its acquisition of the Marlborough assets of Sacred Hill Marlborough Limited, including the work for the financing of that transaction.
Involved in:
  • Many property finance transactions to re-establish the Christchurch CBD following the 2011 earthquakes, including due diligence of New Zealand Government leases tenants occupying properties being developed.


  • Asia Pacific Legal 500, Banking and Finance, Leading Individual, 2019-2024
  • Chambers and Partners, Banking and Finance, Ranked, 2021-2024


  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB), University of Canterbury

Admission to the Bar

  • New Zealand, 1986

Professional Memberships

  • New Zealand Law Society, Member
  • Institute of Directors New Zealand, Member

Nigel was a founding member of ChristchurchNZ’s “Amplifier” program to assist up and coming businesses with business planning and strategy. He served on the Executive Leadership Team while the program was in place.

Contributed Articles

  • Business Debt Hibernation

    As part of the changes to assist businesses ride out the COVID-19 storm, parliament has proposed a business debt hibernation scheme to supplement the existing insolvency mechanisms under the Companies Act 1993. Business Debt Hibernation The measure was intended for “businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until [the businesses] are able […]

  • Conduct of financial institutions… the Government hits back

    On 25 September 2019, the Government announced conduct licensing and other conduct rules for banks, insurers, and non-bank deposit takers (like credit unions). What will the changes mean? The conduct of financial institutions continues to make headlines, both in New Zealand and overseas. It is front of mind and a major focus across the sector, […]

  • Supreme Court clarifies the law under s292 of the Companies Act

    The Supreme Court has now issued a judgment in Robt. Jones Holdings Limited v McCullagh and Lawrence in [2019] NZSC 86.  The decision clarifies the test under section 292, giving liquidators and advisors certainty around what must be proven in a claim for recovery.  It is significant as the decision had the potential to turn […]

  • Final report of the Australian Royal Commission

    The final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was released on 4 February 2019. The report is bleak: it makes uncomfortable reading for anyone who participates in the sector. The report concludes that conduct by financial services entities “over many years” has caused substantial loss to […]

  • Financial services – Looking ahead to 2019

    Legal reform and the financial services sector go hand-in-hand, with almost constant regulatory change the norm. Looking ahead to 2019, there are two developments which will need particular attention – good conduct, and changes to financial advice laws. An increasing focus on conduct Good conduct in financial services is an emerging issue globally. It’s been […]