Jane is a commercial barrister, with a wide range of public and commercial experience.  At the bar she is involved in a broad range of public sector and commercial advisory work, working with in-house legal teams, firms of solicitors and overseas clients.

She has undertaken a number of independent enquiries and reviews for government departments, including the independent investigation conducted for  MBIE into the Pike River Tragedy and assisting the Auditor-General in relation to her enquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership. She is also the Chief Commissioner of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, a standing commission of enquiry and an independent Crown entity.

She provides advice on the process of development of legislation, both in New Zealand and overseas, and on complex matters of statutory interpretation, particularly in relation to the application of public sector statutes, and has been involved with the design, drafting and negotiation of a number of complex commercial transactions both for the public and private sector.

She currently has a number of governance roles in addition to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission and is chair of the Risk and Audit Committee of the Parliamentary Counsel Office, a director of ECNZ,  a member of the Governance and Investor Oversight board of Trustees Executors Limited, an independent member of two commercial advisory boards for the Department of Corrections, chair of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand Trust and a trustee of the UNICEF Children’s Foundation.

She has a co-opted member of the council of the New Zealand Bar Association.

Prior to joining Clifton Chambers, Jane was the chief legal adviser at the New Zealand Treasury – the Treasury Solicitor – and before that was a corporate and commercial partner at Bell Gully.

During her time at the Treasury she was responsible for legal oversight of the Treasury’s wide range of responsibilities and was required to advise on the implications of Treasury’s legislation, including the Public Finance Act, the State-Owned Enterprises Act, the reporting and financial obligations provisions of the Crown Entities Act and the Overseas Investment Act.  She developed and, with other members of the Treasury’s legal team, delivered a whole-of-government education programme on the Public Finance Act, and implemented compliance, conflict of interest and legal risk management programmes across Treasury.  Her general public sector experience has given her a sound understanding of core public sector processes and structures, the framework within which it operates and key statutes such as the Official Information Act and the State Sector Act.

Jane was able to bring her private sector commercial experience to bear in transactions such as the establishment and administration of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (including advising on processes for finance company failures), the government’s financial contributions to Rugby World Cup and Team NZ, assistance for the NZDMO in relation to the government’s borrowings and debt security offerings both in New Zealand and overseas, the Export Credit Office’s work and advice to ministers in relation to the Overseas Investment regime.

Whilst a commercial partner at Bell Gully, she was responsible for a wide variety of commercial transactions including acquisitions, dispositions, privatisations (mainly acting for the Crown), mergers, restructurings and general corporate and contractual matters.

She also drafted and implemented a firm-wide risk management plan for Bell Gully, spent some time assisting the Takeovers Panel to set up systems and procedures prior to the introduction of the new Takeovers Code in 2001 and was the Manager, Legal Group at the Department of Internal Affairs.

Jane is admitted in New Zealand and England & Wales.

Contact Jane Meares

Level 1 Solnet House
70 The Terrace
Wellington 6011
Phone: +64 4 974 5952
Mobile: +64 21 662 532
jane.meares@cliftonchambers.co.nz