Steve is among New Zealand’s most experienced corporate insolvency and restructuring lawyers.  Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023 describes him as “a greatly respected veteran player in the restructuring, insolvency and securities spaces”.

He advises on corporate securities law, corporate restructuring, and corporate insolvency. This sees him regularly acting for prominent corporate insolvency practitioners when they are appointed as receivers, liquidators, and administrators, or where they are providing restructuring advice.  He also assists companies, and their boards with restructuring and insolvency advice.

In addition, Steve has considerable experience in international and domestic corporate financing and capital markets.

Steve was a partner in Simpson Grierson (and a constituent firm) for over 18 years.

Steve is an Honorary Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, having taught there since 2000.  He is a past member of the New Zealand Law Society subcommittee reviewing the Personal Property Securities Act, and the Committee on Insolvency Law Reform. 

Steve has authored the following publications (indicative)

  • The Nature of a Security Interest: Hamersley v Forge - A Missed Opportunity? (2019) 30 JBFLP 207
  • Hamersley v Forge: PPSA and Set-Off - a New Zealand Perspective (2018) 29 JBFLP 175
  • PPSA: When are Battle Lines Drawn? Australian Banking & Finance Law Bulletin (2013) 29(5)
  • PPSA or Not PPSA? Two New Zealand Cases. Australian Banking & Finance Law Bulletin (2013) 29(1)
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2024
Restructuring & Insolvency

Leading Lawyer (Senior Statespeople)

The International Who’s Who Legal
Restructuring & Insolvency

Global Leader

Work Highlights

Solid Energy 

Acting for the board and the company in the context of the state–owned enterprise's restructuring, including two creditors’ compromises, and a successful voluntary administration, which won the New Zealand Law Awards’ New Zealand Deal of the Year in 2014 and 2016.


Receivership of Ebert Construction, and court-appointed receivership of the Ebert Construction retentions fund – the latter winning the New Zealand Law Awards’ Restructuring & Insolvency Deal of the Year in 2020.

Grant Thornton 

Liquidation of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.


Receiverships of Lombard Finance & Investments and Strategic Finance.

United States institutional investors 

Acceleration and early repayment of US$100 million notes issued by South Canterbury Finance.


Final aspects of the liquidation of FCS Loans (formerly South Canterbury Finance).

New Zealand Oil & Gas 

Appointing security holder in receivership of Pike River Coal.

McGrath + Nicol 

Liquidation of the HIH Insurance Group's New Zealand assets (part of Australasia's largest corporate collapse).

New Zealand Treasury and PwC 

Receivership of Terralink (the first, and to date only, receivership of a state–owned enterprise).

Leading (in Singapore and London) the financing of BIL International's successful £627 million cash offer for Thistle Hotels.

Areas of Expertise

Insights & News