Senior Associate

Ben Hickson

Ben is a senior associate in the Business Advice Team.

Originally trained in Hesketh Henry’s commercial property team, Ben re-joined the firm’s commercial group after 7 years working as a corporate lawyer in South East Asia.  Prior to his return to New Zealand, Ben was a senior associate in the Singapore corporate and M&A practice group of international law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP, specialising in cross border M&A and foreign direct investment deals into Myanmar and the wider region.  Ben’s legal experience and extensive business network in South East Asia compliments and adds depth to Hesketh Henry’s growing Asia Practice.

Ben advises on a range of corporate and commercial transactions including M&A transactions, foreign investment, joint venture arrangements, corporate governance matters, commercial licencing and other business regulatory issues.  

In addition to his corporate and cross border M&A expertise, with an early grounding and extensive experience in NZ property law, Ben has advised real estate developers, hotel operators and other property investors on acquisitions, commercial development, disposals, leasing and other property related work across New Zealand and South East Asia.

Ben has been a member of the judges panel for the PropertyGuru Myanmar Property Awards since 2015.

Ben is a founding member and former director and secretary of the New Zealand Myanmar Chamber of Commerce. 

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Examples of work completed by Ben include:

  • Advising a Hong Kong listed premium hotel owner/operator on land due diligence, regulatory consents, lease negotiations, and drafting of substantive project documentation for a US$144m hotel redevelopment of a 1920s historic colonial train station in downtown Yangon.
  • Advising a NYSE listed insurance company on its market entry, corporate structuring, licencing, and ongoing operations in Myanmar, being one of 5 successful foreign insurers to tender and receive a life insurance licence following the opening of the insurance market for the first time in modern history to foreign participants.
  • Advising an energy corporation based in Singapore with its due diligence and $NZ15m investment in an Auckland biotechnology company.
  • Advising owners of a global hospitality consultancy on the sale of its Singapore and Dubai businesses to a Florida based consultancy.
  • Advising a Malaysian state-owned telecommunications company, on Myanmar aspects of its proposed merger with a Norwegian telecommunications operator (including due diligence and advice on transactional documents).
  • Advising a joint venture (backed by prominent Japanese trading houses) on loan facilities from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), used to develop a US$65m port in Yangon, Myanmar.
Ranked by Chambers and Partners in their Legal Directory for 2021

Insights & Opinion / Ben Hickson

New proposals on modern slavery place higher responsibilities on NZ organisations
Over recent years, modern slavery has become a more prominent issue in New Zealand.
13.05.2022 Posted in Business Advice
Forestry reform impacts NZ log traders and advisors
Recently passed legislative updates impose new regulatory standards on forestry advisors and log traders – introducing new levels of professional compliance for a previously unregulated area of the forestry sector.
04.04.2022 Posted in Business Advice & Trade and Transport
M&A Pricing Mechanics: Completion Accounts vs Locked Box
A critical period in the timeline of any M&A share transaction is the period between signing the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and completion.
21.09.2021 Posted in Business Advice