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Mike Whale: Image

Mike has extensive experience across corporate, commercial, banking, securities, restructuring and insolvency law.

A qualified accountant, Mike was co–convenor of the New Zealand Law Society and Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Joint Insolvency Law Reform Committee between 1993 and 2001. He recently stepped down after 6 years as chair of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accounts Disciplinary Tribunal, of which he was a member for 14 years.

Mike is a past Chairman and a Life Member of the Restructuring and Turnaround Association of New Zealand (RITANZ, an association comprising insolvency practitioners and insolvency lawyers, previously known as INSOL New Zealand), and has served on the board of INSOL International, an association of national organisations with members involved in insolvency and corporate recovery.


With Hon. Paul Heath QC (a former Judge of the High Court of New Zealand), Mike is co-consulting editor of Heath and Whale on Insolvency, the leading text on insolvency law.

Mike has been recognised by Legal 500, IFLR1000, Chambers Asia Pacific and AsiaLaw Profiles as a leading lawyer in Restructuring and Insolvency. He is also recognised in AsiaLaw Profiles as a leading lawyer in Corporate and Commercial and M&A. 


Mike's clients have said:

  • “Mike Whale is considered a ‘doyen of the insolvency market’ and recognised for his wealth of experience in this arena. Sources report: He would be well regarded as a real intellectual in this space. You go to him for extremely complicated legal questions and thought leadership.”  (Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016)

  • “Mike Whale is among the market’s most experienced lawyers.” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016)

  • “Highly experienced consultant Mike Whale has more than 35 years of experience in the restructuring and insolvency field. A lawyer, accountant and company director, he is viewed by his peers as the standout restructuring and insolvency practitioner in New Zealand.” (Asialaw Profiles)

  • Mike Whale is one of the country’s leading lawyers for contentious insolvency and is lauded as the godfather of the insolvency industry, he knows everything back to the Magna Carta.” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019)


Areas of Expertise​​

Among his many assignments, Mike has acted for:

  • The single largest (off-shore) creditor in the recent CBL Insurance collapse

  • A major creditor of Solid Energy Limited in relation to the voluntary administration of that company

  • The receivers of Dominion Finance Group Limited

  • The liquidator of Goodall ABL Construction Limited

  • The secured creditors of the Shanton Apparel chain

  • One of the largest intentional telecommunications equipment suppliers on a USD100 million project financing transaction

  • A utilities company investing in a local fibre company involved in the Government’s ultrafast broadband initiative (share of a NZD100 million investment)

  •  Directors of insolvent companies, defending various types of claims made by the liquidators of these companies

Mike also has significant commercial and corporate governance experience.

  • He is currently the chair of a large provincial construction company, a role he has held for more than a decade, and is an observer on the board of a large financial services organisation.

  • For a number of years he also chaired a company involved in the paper industry

Qualifications and Memberships

  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

  • Bachelor of Commerce

  • Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA)

  • Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (FCIS)

  • Fellow of Financial Service Institute of Australasia (F Fin)

  • Member Institute of Directors in New Zealand

Contact details

Phone: +64 9 869 3949

Mobile: +64 27 492 1323


Mike Whale: Our Team
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