Mark Copeland Lawyers

The team at Mark Copeland Lawyers has a wealth of commercial and agri-business law experience.

Prior to establishing the Firm in 2009, Founder and Principal Mark Copeland was a Partner in top-level, awards-winning corporate, commercial and specialist rural law firms in Auckland and Rotorua, New Zealand.

The Firm has been extremely successful.  Our team has acted for a wide range of clients, from private individuals to New Zealand government entities and major international corporations, advising on all aspects of commercial, agri-business and property laws.

Mark Copeland Lawyers’ practice includes the following fields:

  • Commercial Contracts and Risk Mitigation
  • Banking, Finance and Securities
  • Agri-Business Transactions, including domestic and international land and rural infrastructure Investment
  • General Property Transactions (Sales, Development, Leasing etc.) and Trust Law
  • Iwi Commercial Development
  • Energy (Electricity, Gas, Geothermal) Contracts Employment and Sharemilking Disputes
  • Business Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Resource Management Act – Consenting, Compliance and Sustainable Land Use
  • Forestry Leases, Rights and Management Contracts
  • Employment and Sharemilking Disputes
  • Conciliator and Arbitrator Services

The Firm’s lawyers have a range of industry body memberships and accolades including:

  • Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors,
  • Member of the Rural Panel of the Arbitrators & Mediators Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ), Mark Copeland is a director of several large-scale agribusiness companies and a past member of the Advisory Board of the Bank of New Zealand for the Central Plateau Region.
  • Mark Copeland is one of a select few New Zealand graduates from the Multilaw Academy in Quebec City, Canada, an intensive course for senior lawyers run by the Multilaw group of 80 top law firms, covering international commercial law negotiations.

Our Firm also heavily support not-for-profit sector in various roles, Mark is the Chairman of the Legal and Ethics Committee of the International Paralympics Committee based in Bonn, Germany, immediate past-President and Chairman of Paralympics New Zealand and the Chair of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Education Centres of New Zealand (Hillary Outdoors).

In addition, Mark Copeland has written and spoken widely and internationally on commercial law topics, particularly on investment and commercial development in the agri-business and high-tech sectors.

Highlights for the Firm include acting for: 

  • As lead legal adviser to the Sir Michael Fay-led Crafarms’ Purchaser Group, in its successful Judicial Review litigation against the NZ Government and subsequent attempted acquisition of the whole Crafar Farms Group from Receivership
  • iHug, then NZ’s third-largest Internet Service Provider, in all aspects of commercial laws, including on the 2003 sale of all of its shares and certain assets to iiNet Limited (AUS)
  • Virtual Spectator Group, a leading provider of sports TV and Internet-based animation technologies, in numerous international commercial arrangements, including myriad capital-raising and private equity ventures, supply contracts with America’s Cup Inc., The World Rally Championship, The Formula 1 Championship, Manchester United Football Club, US PGA Golf and The Volvo Ocean Race, providing on-going management of the VS Group’s intellectual property portfolio and providing all corporate legal advice
  • Scion, a Rotorua-based NZ Crown Research Institute (CRI) specialising in research, science and technology commercialisation for the forestry, wood product, wood-derived materials and other biomaterial sectors, across science and research collaboration and commercialisation projects
  • Airspan plc, the UK vendor of one of the world’s most advanced wireless broadband radio spectrum technologies, on extensive supply deals with Broadcast Communications Limited (now Kordia) throughout NZ
  • Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest aircraft and military weapons manufacturer, on legal matters in NZ
  • The Tata Group, India’s largest listed conglomerate, on legal matters in NZ
  • Siemens Group (NZ) Ltd and private specialist consortiums, on the supply and purchase of sophisticated medical equipment in NZ
  • The Nobilo Family, in the sale of all of its shares and certain property assets in NZ’s second-largest wine company to BRL Hardy Limited, Australia
  • Royal & SunAlliance, (then) NZ’s largest insurance group by premium revenue, in its separate acquisitions of Norwich Union Insurance (NZ) Limited and Guardian Assurance (NZ) Limited

Significant matters on which Mark Copeland Lawyers has acted in the last three years include:

  • Acting for the purchasers in each of the largest (by area) dairy farm sales in the Western Bay of Plenty region
  • Acting for the purchaser of large-scale dairy farm operations in Oamaru involving various complex on-farm and legal issues, including conducting due diligence, preparing the structural ownership and farm management arrangements, liaising with the North Otago Irrigation Scheme Provider, reviewing on-farm management practices under the relevant Regional Plans and dealing with the tax implications arising from the purchase
  • Acting for key Iwi landholder interests in negotiating the development of a number of significant geothermal power developments in the BOP and Central Plateau, and ongoing commercial matters
  • Acting for a significant agri-business company in the $80millon refinance of its agri-business portfolio
  • Advising an Eastern Bay of Plenty Maori Trust dairy farm owner on a significant breach of contract claim filed by its Sharemilker
  • Acting for a local Maori Trust in negotiating and finally obtaining a Maori Roadway Order from the Maori Land Court, where the relevant landowner parties had previously been unable to reach agreement on such an Order for over 60 years
  • Acting for key Iwi landholder interests in re-negotiating long-term Forestry Lease and Forestry Rights arrangements in the central North Island
  • Acting for a significant number of large-scale farming operators throughout New Zealand advising on and defending animal welfare, effluent discharge and other containment and health and safety law charges laid under NZ Animal Welfare, Resource Management and Workplace Health and Safety legislation.