Dermot Ross Auckland New Zealand Commercial Lawyer


Dermot Ross  Barrister & Solicitor

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New  Zealand  Commercial  Lawyer

Dermot studied law at Victoria University, Wellington, graduating in 1979 with a Master of Laws with first class honours. Research papers, for which the Masters degree was conferred, were in corporate law, taxation & international law.
Dermot was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the New Zealand High Court in 1980.

Dermot Ross Bio

Dermot Ross Finance and Corporate Law | Auckland Commercial Lawyer

Career to date

After a brief stint as a law clerk and first year solicitor in a Wellington firm, in late 1980 Dermot started work as a lawyer in the banking & finance division of Coward Chance in London and worked there for three and a half years, including a two month posting to the Bahrain office.  That period of time coincided with the liberalisation and expansion of the international capital markets, and London was establishing itself as the major international financial centre.  

Dermot was introduced to a very busy diet of syndicated and financial loan transactions, asset based financings (including ship and aircraft financings), equipment leasing and derivative transactions.

In July 1984 Dermot returned to New Zealand and started work at Buddle Findlay in Wellington and became a partner in July 1985. He continued to specialise in banking and finance work.

In February 1986 Dermot moved to Auckland to establish the Auckland office of Buddle Findlay, and it rapidly expanded during a time of frenetic economic and financial activity in New Zealand.

Dermot remained a partner in Buddle Findlay until April 2000, when he left to become a partner in the Auckland office of Chapman Tripp. Dermot was at Chapman Tripp until he retired from the partnership at the end of March 2013.

During Dermot’s career he has been exposed to all kinds of financing transactions and advice, and has worked through and survived a number of different economic cycles. His clients have included national and international borrowers, lenders, financial intermediaries and other service providers.

Dermot has considerable experience in insolvencies and work-outs, securitisations and project financings and throughout his career has had a steady practice of corporate and syndicated financings acting for lenders and a number of local and foreign banks. He has also developed a particular expertise in lending and borrowing in the public health, tertiary education and local authority sectors. He has an extensive network of contacts within the New Zealand finance and corporate industry, and amongst lawyers in the major law firms in Australia and elsewhere in the world.

Since commencing sole practice in 2013 Dermot’s work has expanded considerably to include a wide range of corporate and commercial advice and transactions.  His practice has extended well beyond the legal aspects of borrowing and lending to cover a wide range of corporate and commercial activity.  In addition to having a role in many of the major insolvencies and work-outs in New Zealand during 2013 Dermot has acted on the acquisition of a business in the retail sector, a number of commercial contracts (relating to distribution, sponsorship and supply) and other corporate and commercial matters, including advising on anti-money laundering matters, the Financial Reporting Act, the Financial Markets Conduct Act and the Financial Advisers Act.

Dermot has also been asked to provide expert evidence in relation to two claims before the courts.

Positions Held

  • President of Banking & Financial Services Law Association, Australia (2001 - 2003)
  • Director – Security Pacific Bank New Zealand Limited (1986 - 1988)
  • Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Banking & Finance Law and Practice (1998 - 2015)
  • Dermot completed a 5-day company directors’ course held by the Institute of Directors in New Zealand in February 2013
  • Trustee of the Ayrlies Gardens and Wetlands Charitable Trust (since 2013)

Outside interests

Travel, supporting dressage horses, reading, wine, speaking French, tending the vegetable garden and Arsenal FC.