Tim Williams Tim Williams

Tim Williams

Financial services regulation
Investment funds & superannuation

Tim is a leading commercial lawyer, who established Chapman Tripp’s Financial Services team.

Tim is sought after for his knowledge, and commercial and practical expertise, particularly in investment funds, insurance, investment products, financial services and banking. He has a broad range of practical experience, including commercial law, licensing, compliance, mergers and acquisitions, anti-money laundering (AML), overseas investment, restructurings, takeovers and NZX listings.

He was instrumental in developing many of the country’s largest KiwiSaver schemes and other investment funds, including cash and term PIE products, which collectively raised over $20b. He also advises insurers and brokers on licensing and compliance programmes. Tim’s advice covers a range of legislation including the Financial Markets Conduct Act, Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act, AML legislation, Financial Advisers Act, Financial Service Providers legislation, Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act, trans-Tasman mutual recognition regime, Non-bank Deposit Takers legislation, Companies Act, Takeovers Code and NZX Rules.

Tim is recognised as a Band 1 lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2021 and as a leading individual by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021. He is also listed in EuroMoney Experts Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers as one of the outstanding investment funds practitioners, and in Best Lawyers 2020 as a leading mutual funds lawyer.

Recent highlights

  • Developed investment and fund management schemes including KiwiSaver schemes for ASB, BNZ, Generate and three other providers; cash and term PIE funds for ASB, HSBC, BNZ and various other banks; and established and advised on various investment products for AMP, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac and various other banks, NZX and financial providers, helping with their outsourcings, restructurings, fund closures, IMAs, custody agreements, registry agreements, distribution arrangements and other similar contractual arrangements.
  • Assisted four major insurers with their responses to the FMA/RBNZ “conduct and culture” reviews. He also helped develop actions plans, compliance plans, governance structures, distribution arrangements, policies, procedures and controls and FSLAA responses, and assisted with business acquisitions and broker network arrangements.
  • Advised various organisations on their licensing applications and associated compliance programmes including licences for financial advisers, insurers, fund managers, discretionary investment scheme  providers and derivative issuers, prepared risk assessments and compliance plans for AML/CFT financial institutions, and established ACS’s contingent scheme of arrangement, the first Court approved scheme of its type in New Zealand.
  • Obtained exemptions from the FMCA and AML/CFT legislation, advised on responses to statutory inquiries, made submissions on and influenced proposed legislation, and successfully lobbied for FMCA class exemptions for overseas ESOPS, DRPs and overseas banks (including a class exemption for overseas banks to carry on business in New Zealand).
  • Acted for buyers and sellers of businesses in the financial services sector. He led Foundation Life’s acquisition of Tower Life, which involved its participating insurance business (with $700m FUM), AUB Group on its acquisition of interests in a number of New Zealand insurance broking businesses; the sale of ING New Zealand to ANZ as part of the group’s AU$1.76b transaction, ING’s acquisition of ANZ National Bank’s funds management and insurance business (with $700m FUM); CS Company’s sale to (and repurchase from) AMP Private Equity; and many other business sales and acquisitions.
  • Advised on listing financial products, including IPOs exceeding $8.6b in value; seven of which were New Zealand's largest IPOs: Telecom (now Spark), SkyCity, AMP, Goodman Properties, Precinct Properties (ANZO), Westpac New Zealand and AMP’s WiNZ fund; on the New Zealand securities law aspects of cross-boarder IPOs; on NZX's largest equity public offer Ameritech’s instalment receipt offering, and on listed company buybacks including by Westpac and CBA.


  • Director of seven companies.
  • Member of Institute of Directors, Financial Services Council, Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand.

Tim's insights

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Impact investment poised for lift off

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