James Varney


Albany Office
James Varney
's Insights

Areas of Expertise

Banking and Finance
Commercial Contracts
Commercial Property and Bodies Corporate
Estate Administration
Land and Property Disputes
Residential Property – Buying & Selling
Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney


James has over 30 years of experience in the legal field, during which he has developed a wide range of practical skills and knowledge in commercial, property law, trusts, and private client matters. He has a pragmatic and practical approach, which allows him to quickly understand complex concepts and get to the heart of issues.

About twenty years ago, James moved from the City to establish the North Shore practice of McVeagh Fleming, starting with only one lawyer. Today, the practice has grown to become one of the largest on the North Shore, with over 30 lawyers and legal executives. James's goal was, and still is, to offer specialised advice in areas that other firms on the shore cannot, particularly in relation to corporate, commercial, business, and employment matters.

He believes that the North Shore has its own unique identity and feel and that individuals and business owners should not have to "cross the bridge" to get specialised legal advice.

The practice offers a wide range of legal services, with a special focus on commercial and corporate matters. They also have experienced specialists in the city office who provide additional support. James believes that this formula has worked well to date and sees no reason for it to change.

Clients can expect clear and commercially viable solutions, as well as prompt responses to their phone calls and emails. James has built long-term relationships with his clients, many of whom refer him to others.


Throughout his secondary school and university years, James gained a diverse range of work experience through various holiday jobs, including working on the wharves, driving trucks, serving as a brush hand for a large commercial painting company, and working as a courier for the Education Department. He believed that these experiences helped him develop as an individual and honed his ability to connect with people from various backgrounds.

After graduation, James was uncertain of his career path. Despite his desire to become a doctor, his academic performance in chemistry and physics did not meet the necessary requirements. Nevertheless, he decided to pursue a career in law and was successful in securing a position at McVeagh Fleming in 1982. Within a short period of three years, he was fortunate enough to be promoted to the position of partner.

Main practice areas


LLB, University of Auckland 1983


  • Honorary Solicitor for North Shore Association Football Club
  • Honorary Solicitor for Sport North Harbour
  • Assisting Soccer New Zealand with judicial matters

Examples of transactions

  • Assisted a North Shore family-owned business with a buyout, reorganisation, and incorporation of a major corporation as a shareholder, resolving internal disputes and restructuring the company. The company continues to retain my services and is experiencing growth.
  • Assisted in establishing Waitakere United Football Club's franchise in the National League by unifying 12 clubs and meeting Soccer New Zealand and FIFA's requirements on a tight budget.
  • James represents multiple developers in the North Harbour area on various topics such as purchasing, dividing land, obtaining financial support, renting, and selling.

Outside interests

James has a wide range of sporting interests, including soccer, where he played 17 seasons in the National League and won several major titles.

He also represented Auckland and New Zealand in various indoor football competitions.

He has coached at various levels, including women's teams, and enjoys contact sports like league and rugby, as well as American Football.

He also enjoys outdoor activities like skiing, cycling, fishing, and diving.