Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

New Zealand > Competition law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Competition law
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Bell Gully advises on the competition law aspects of large mergers and acquisitions and also handles high-profile litigation. Practice head and leading light Torrin Crowther recently obtained Commerce Commission clearance for Tronox in its US$1.67bn acquisition of rival titanium dioxide producer Cristal. Special counsel Glenn Shewan, who is on the board of the Competition Law and Policy Institute, also played a key role in that transaction. Crowther and senior associate Michael Tilley, who recently joined from the Commerce Commission, advised software developer MYOB, on its proposed acquisition of accounting software firm Reckon Limited. Simon Ladd is the key name for contentious matters and alongside Crowther advised US-based investment firm Platinum Equity on its proposed acquisition of business products supplier OfficeMax NZ from Office Depot. Head of litigation Jenny Stevens in Wellington also plays a key role in the practice, particularly for clients in the energy sector.

Chapman Tripp 'rates very highly - it can be relied upon to deliver legal advice based on very sound business and industry knowledge'. One client remarks that the advice is 'clear, succinct and business-focused'. The firm advises on merger approvals, abuse of market power, cartel activity and compliance audits. Recently it advised Essilor International and Luxottica Group on the local competition law aspects of their €48bn global merger. Matt Sumpter in Auckland and Neil Anderson in Wellington lead the practice. Clients describe Anderson as 'a great lateral thinker who considers problems from a number of angles'. 'Competition law savant' Sumpter is 'clever, knowledgeable, pragmatic, and has good litigation instincts'. Also recommended in Wellington are consultant Grant David, senior associate Simon Peart (who is 'very smart and provides insightful advice') and newly promoted partner Lucy Cooper. Auckland-based senior associate Colin Fife is a rising star.

At MinterEllisonRuddWatts 'the service is consistently excellent and the business acumen and industry knowledge are superb'. Ross Patterson, former NZ Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the New Zealand Commerce Commission, and Kristel McMeekin in Auckland 'know their subject matter well and have recent, deep and live experience of how the Commerce Commission deals with competition issues, so can provide solid guidance on how best to approach such issues'. Together with special counsel Melanie Tollamache, they advised Complete Office Supplies on an application for an injunction to prevent Platinum Equity from acquiring OfficeMax’s New Zealand business. They also acted for Kraft Heinz in its acquisition of the New Zealand, Australian and Singaporean food and instant coffee business of Cerebos Pacific. Oliver Meech in Wellington acted for GasNet in an investigation into whether its sale of pipeline assets substantially reduced competition in breach of the Commerce Act.

Russell McVeagh's dedicated competition law practice handles the full range of matters for a blue-chip client base. It recently acted for both Fairfax New Zealand and NZME on their NZ$122m merger, which also involved the demerger of NZME's New Zealand and Australian businesses. In Auckland, practice group chair Sarah Keene, who led on that matter, specialises in competition, consumer and regulatory law, as well as litigation, and regularly handles Commerce Commission investigations, prosecutions and merger clearances. Key partner Troy Pilkington has similar areas of expertise and has a track record of high-profile cartel and consumer law investigations, M&A transactions and joint ventures. In Wellington, partner Chris Curran and senior associate Dominic Rowe are also recommended. Curran, Pilkington and Keene all acted for Spark in its application to delay a clearance decision in the proposed merger of Sky TV and Vodafone New Zealand.

Buddle Findlay acts for public sector entities and large corporates in regulatory and merger clearance matters. Competition, overseas investment and economic regulation specialist Susie Kilty and Tony Dellow, whose early career included a stint at the New Zealand Ministry of Commerce, lead the practice from Wellington. They recently advised Toyota on its project to move to a new distribution model, which raised questions about the company's exposure under the Commerce Act and about the stance of the courts on new cartel prohibition regulations. Senior associate Jessica White, who joined from Minter Ellison in Australia, is also recommended. Litigator Laura O’Gorman in Auckland assisted Dellow with the Electricity Authority's proposals to introduce a default distributor agreement in order to promote competition in electricity retail markets. CRV Limited, Sky Television and the Ministry of Health are among the firm's clients.

DLA Piper New Zealand is 'very good - it understands clients' business and meets or exceeds their expectations'. The firm handles market regulation issues, investigations, cartel allegations and merger clearances for local and multinational companies such as Foodstuffs North Island, Expedia, Mondelēz and General Mills. The practice is led from Auckland by 'highly regarded competition lawyer' Mark Williamson and litigator Iain Thain, who are 'equal to or better than any in this area'. Williamson advises on regulation, trade practices, antitrust matters and compliance strategies. Thain's contentious work includes cases in the courts and before the Commerce Commission. He works closely with special counsel Alicia Murray, who is on the board of the New Zealand Competition Law and Policy Institute. The practice frequently handles the local law aspects of international mergers and acquisitions, and it recently advised facilities management company OCS on a cross-border corporate disposal.

Matthews Law is 'the strongest firm we use in this area by a long shot', according to one client, who remarks that the firm's 'technical knowledge is exceptional and applied with a healthy degree of pragmatism'. It is New Zealand's only competition law boutique and practice head Andrew Matthews 'excels in detailed analysis and his technical knowledge off the cuff is outstanding'. One client says 'his key skill is strategy on when and how to engage with the regulators'. Senior associate Gus Stewart is recommended for his 'great attention to detail and technical skill'. The practice's recent highlights include acting for Realestate.co.nz and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Incorporated in the Commerce Commission’s prosecution of real estate agencies. It achieved the only successful defence of an individual in those High Court prosecutions. The team also handled the local law aspects of HP's $1.05bn acquisition of Samsung's global printer business.

Simpson Grierson provides regulatory and competition law advice to corporates and local authorities, which includes analysis of mergers and acquisitions, obtaining Commerce Commission clearances, structuring joint ventures to ensure regulatory compliance, preparing access and supply arrangements, and assisting clients with pricing issues. Its experienced litigators handle investigations and court proceedings relating to alleged restrictive trade practices and other anti-competitive behaviour. The practice in Auckland is led by Anne Callinan, who specialises in cartel litigation and is a former board member of the Competition Law & Policy Institute, and the 'extremely proficient' James Craig. Callinan recently acted for peer-to-peer lending platform Harmoney in a Commerce Commission investigation, which is awaiting a decision from the High Court. For Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, Craig handled an application for the authorisation of a price-fixing and output restriction arrangement with the Commerce Commission.

Wilson Harle is a specialist litigation boutique based in Auckland that handles high-end commercial, public law and regulatory disputes. A significant amount of its work relates to contentious competition, cartel, fair trading and consumer law matters, which in 2017 included acting for Wilson Parking in the Commerce Commission’s investigation of its acquisition of a carpark building lease in Wellington. Ian Denton led that matter. Key partner Allison Ferguson acted for Vodafone in disputes involving alleged breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1986 arising from the company's marketing of Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable network services as FibreX. Newly promoted partner Felicity Monteiro also worked on that matter and has a busy practice handling advertising injunctions, telecoms, competition and compliance work for Vodafone, and advising on contracts and joint ventures in the transport sector.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Powerlist -
Australia and New Zealand Teams

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in New Zealand

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • The Tax Working Group’s Interim Report - A capital gains tax for New Zealand?

    ​​​​​​The Tax Working Group has released its Interim Report on the Future of Tax. Amongst a number of other matters, the Interim Report describes two alternative methods for the implementation of a capital gains tax in New Zealand, which will be the subject of further consideration over the coming months. 
  • Privilege in regulatory investigations: UK Court of Appeal supports a broad approach

    Last week, the UK Court of Appeal released its much-anticipated judgment in ENRC v SFO[1], a decision with significant implications for the scope of legal professional privilege in the context of regulatory investigations.
  • Overseas Investment - review announced just as new regime comes into force

    Just days before amendments to New Zealand’s overseas investment regime take effect, the government has announced its intention to undertake a further review of the legislation.
  • New NZX Listing Rules in force from 1 January 2019

    NZX today published the final version of its updated listing rules. These new rules will take effect on 1 January 2019, subject to a six-month transition period.
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership trade benefits are coming

    Following several years of negotiations, and after the high-profile collapse of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership ( TPP ) in 2017, the renamed “Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership” ( CPTPP ) has now met the required number of ratifications to come into force. This is due to occur on 30 December 2018. This will offer New Zealand businesses a range of opportunities they should plan for, including reduced tariffs on a number of key exports.​
  • CPTPP Agreement sparks further legislative change

    The Government has introduced further amendments to the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 (the Regulations ) to ensure New Zealand complies with its obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (the CPTPP Agreement ) and various other international agreements New Zealand is a party to.
  • What is the latest in privacy law reform?

    The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (the Bill) was passed yesterday after its third and final reading. It is likely to receive Royal assent this month. Once that occurs, the provisions of the Bill that limit the ability of overseas persons to purchase residential property in New Zealand and the changes in the regime governing overseas investments in forestry will officially become part of the Overseas Investment Act (the Act).
  • Residential land amendments mark new era in New Zealand’s overseas investment regime

    ​​​​​​The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (the Bill) was passed yesterday after its third and final reading. It is likely to receive Royal assent this month. Once that occurs, the provisions of the Bill that limit the ability of overseas persons to purchase residential property in New Zealand and the changes in the regime governing overseas investments in forestry will officially become part of the Overseas Investment Act (the Act).
  • A fresh look at the recoverability of takeover expenses

    The High Court has revisited the recoverability of a target company's expenses for the first time in more than 45 years. The case has important implications for future reimbursement disputes.
  • Insurance contract law reform back on the agenda for 2018

    The Government announced on 6 March that it is undertaking a review of New Zealand's insurance contract law, and has released a terms of reference for the review here ​​.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to