Mike Cronin, General Counsel at Fonterra is one of the lawyers at the forefront of the inhouse counsel, a group who have continued to rise in importance as their numbers grow and the use of panels for legal work grows. Despite downsizing and redundancies within Fonterra and although he operates with a relatively small team, Mike Cronin’s significance as in-house chief of the largest company in the country makes him a power player.
Cronin came to Fonterra after working for Russell McVeagh and in London, although his legal career started with Chapman Tripp. He was reported as explaining that in selecting firms to work with he likes to shop around but to also seek synergies, having someone with personality as well as with the necessary ability to take them to his board and senior colleagues.
Fonterra generally use Mike Cronin’s former firms, Chapman Tripp and Russell McVeagh for their commercial work, along with Mayne Wetherell for banking and finance and Harkness Henry for property and Simpson Grierson for employment.