Global law firm DLA Piper announces the promotion of corporate lawyers Pavanie (Pav) Edirisuriya, Tom Barnes and Aoife O’Gorman to special counsel.
Pav and Tom have grown with DLA Piper, both joining as solicitors over a decade ago. Aoife joined in early 2020 after working in major law firms across New Zealand, the UK, as well as her native country Ireland.
Pav has extensive experience in corporate and commercial law and is an expert in the overseas investment regime, regularly advising international clients looking to invest in New Zealand. She has advised on a number of significant transactions, recently including advising Ingka Investments in several large forestry investments in New Zealand.
“We are seeing a lot of activity in the overseas investment space currently,” says Pav, “particularly in the renewable energy and forestry sectors. I am working closely with my clients to navigate changes to the overseas investment regime and the unique challenges faced by investors in the renewables sector.”
Pav is heavily involved in DLA Piper’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is a driving force in the firm’s Heritage and Identity Project committee, promoting a workplace culture that is inclusive of all. Pav is also a mentor for Head Start, a social mobility programme designed to break down barriers to the legal profession faced by underrepresented groups.
Tom specialises in financial services and acts for a number of New Zealand’s leading institutions in the sector, advising on a diverse range of transactional and day-to-day legal matters. He is recognised for his technical expertise, industry knowledge and emphasis on delivering successful client outcomes.
Tom has worked closely with colleagues internationally to bring solutions such as TOKO to New Zealand. TOKO is a digital asset creation engine designed to solve the inefficiencies of today’s capital markets by using the best of distributed ledger technology.
Tom says, “Over recent years we’ve seen a number of regulatory changes radically changing the legal and commercial landscape. With the recent passage of the Conduct of Financial Institutions legislation we can only expect this to continue.”
Aoife joined DLA Piper’s corporate team having previously specialised as a finance lawyer for over ten years. She has a depth of international experience having practised law across three commonwealth jurisdictions. Aoife advises both domestic and global clients, with extensive expertise in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), venture capital, private equity investments and corporate governance matters. Her clients include Auckland Council, Bessemer Venture Partners, Waterlogic, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa Limited and James Hardie.
“Constant change is the new normal and those who can adapt quickly will lead the way. I’m excited to support clients in a range of matters across the corporate spectrum as they navigate the changes and seize opportunities that naturally arise from an evolving landscape. I find this hugely satisfying – it’s what I’m about.”
Aoife is a champion of pro bono legal work and in 2021 she was appointed as co-director of the New Zealand pro bono practice. DLA Piper is one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services globally, with a genuine commitment to giving back to the local community.
Managing partner of DLA Piper in New Zealand, Laura Scampion, says “Pav, Tom and Aoife are very deserving of their promotions. The value and energy they bring to DLA Piper and our clients is unmatched, and I look forward to seeing their continued growth as special counsel.”