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Bell Gully

LEVEL 21, VERO CENTRE, 48 SHORTLAND STREET, PO BOX 4199, AUCKLAND 1140, NEW ZEALAND
Tel:
Work +64 9 916 8800
Fax:
Fax +64 9 916 8801
Email:
Web:
www.bellgully.com
Auckland, Wellington

New Zealand

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has ‘top-quality people who consistently deliver exceptionally commercial legal advice’. The firm’s broad practice encompasses debt issuances, securitisation, public-private partnerships (PPPs), loans and acquisition finance. The team in Auckland, led by derivatives expert and key adviser to international banks David Craig, includes securitisation partner Murray King and ‘brilliant commercial lawyerDavid McPherson. All three advised HNA Group on financing its NZ$660m acquisition of UDC Finance. Also recommended are the ‘smart and experiencedRachel Paris, who ‘can turn her hand to a broad range of finance matters’, the ‘highly respected and pragmatic’ Hugh Kettle, who advised the Treasury on its Social Housing Reform Programme, and special counsel Elizabeth Lim, who ‘consistently delivers strong and clear advice’. Paris acted for First State Investments on the financing of its NZ$335m acquisition of the Maui natural gas pipeline and the NZ$952m acquisition of Vector Gas transmission and distribution businesses.

Leading individuals

David Craig - Bell Gully

David McPherson - Bell Gully

Murray King - Bell Gully

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Competition law
Competition law - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has one of the foremost competition practices in New Zealand and serves a blue-chip client base in high-profile M&A transactions. Team head Torrin Crowther in Auckland worked with corporate partners Haydn Wong and Brynn Gilbertson respectively on Cavalier Wool Holdings’ NZ$40m merger with New Zealand Wool Services, and Fletcher Building’s NZ$303m acquisition of Higgins Group Holdings. Experienced litigator Simon Ladd, who has a strong reputation for cartel proceedings, led the successful defence of merger appeals in the High Court and Court of Appeal for Cavalier Wool Holdings. Among the firm’s prominent clients are Air New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, First State Investments and Frucor Beverages Group.

Leading individuals

Simon Ladd - Bell Gully

Torrin Crowther - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Glenn Shewan - Bell Gully

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Clients praise the ‘breadth of skills and work ethic’ of Bell Gully, which provides ‘knowledgeable, commercial and concise advice’. High-profile deals for the team included advising Vodafone on its proposed NZ$3.4bn merger with Sky Network Television, and acting for resin manufacturer Nuplex Industries in its NZ$1bn acquisition of Allnex Belgium by way of a scheme of arrangement. Recommended are Auckland-based Anna Buchly and James Gibson, who ‘always go above and beyond to assist’ and who led on the Vodafone deal; Brynn Gilbertson, who advised Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation on major acquisitions; corporate law specialist Glenn Joblin; ‘canny corporate practitionerToby Sharpe; newly promoted Chris Goddard, who ‘understands the commercial context of a deal’; Wellington-based public law expert Simon Watt and the ‘simply outstanding’ Amon Nunns. The firm counts Blackstone, HNA Group, First State Investments and Hewlett Packard among its clients.

Leading individuals

Anna Buchly - Bell Gully

Brynn Gilbertson - Bell Gully

James Gibson - Bell Gully

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

At Bell Gully, ‘the overall level of service is excellent and the team is prompt and clear in its advice’. ‘Strategically brilliant’ Auckland-based deputy team head Simon Ladd and ‘exceptionally hardworking’ senior associate Rebecca Rose ‘plan and execute arguments beautifully’. Also recommended are experienced partners Ian Gault and Alan Ringwood, and newly promoted Tim Fitzgerald. Highly respected team head Jenny Stevens in Wellington defended ANZ Bank New Zealand in a case brought by plaintiffs representing 17,000 customers seeking to recover exception fees paid on credit cards and deposit accounts. The firm also successfully represented Southern Response in opposing an application by a group of insureds seeking High Court approval for a class action relating to the Christchurch earthquakes. Another highlight saw the team represent Kawarau Village Holdings Limited in breach of contract disputes relating to the Kawarau Falls Station development in Queenstown. The firm’s clients also include Air New Zealand, Danone and PwC.

Leading individuals

Ian Gault - Bell Gully

Jenny Stevens - Bell Gully

Simon Ladd - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Jesse Wilson - Bell Gully

Rebecca Rose - Bell Gully

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gully’s insurance claims practice is driven by numerous High Court matters for Southern Response, as well as representation of leading insurers such as Vero, AMP Life and Aon. The team also advises insurers and insureds on product issues and policy wording. In Auckland, David Friarstands out for his confident approach to litigation and is strong on strategy and expert witness cross-examination’, and fellow team co-head Simon Ladd is ‘brilliant, both strategically and analytically’. Glenn Joblin is also recommended. Highlights included successfully opposing a class action alleging that client Southern Response misrepresented insurance policy obligations, unreasonably delayed the processing and settling of claims, and understated the true costs of rebuilds and repairs. The firm also represented AMP Services (NZ) in a High Court action against reinsurer RGA Reinsurance Company that raised issues about the scope of coverage for life insurance policies.

Leading individuals

David Friar - Bell Gully

Simon Ladd - Bell Gully

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has a multidisciplinary team that is involved in high-profile disputes and commercial transactions involving substantial IP assets. Alan Ringwood in Auckland, who is the firm’s longest-serving partner, leads the IP team. He advised Unilever PLC and related entities in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands on matters including the clearance of brands for use, trade mark infringement and Fair Trading Act issues. Newly promoted litigation partner Tania Goatley specialises in media and advertising, food and beverage, and intellectual property law. Senior associate Sooyun Lee plays a major part in the practice’s most significant matters and advised First State Investments on the IP aspects of its NZ$952m acquisition of Vector Gas, which has assets including a high-pressure gas transmission business in the North Island and the non-Auckland gas distribution business. She also advised Downer New Zealand on IP matters arising from its agreement to acquire the construction, infrastructure and project management businesses of Hawkins.

Leading individuals

Alan Ringwood - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Sooyun Lee - Bell Gully

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

Bell Gully

Bell Gully is known for its ‘excellent communication and turnaround times, as well as great industry knowledge and good value’. The firm advises many of the largest and most active participants in the market and handles the full range of fund formation and sponsor-side representation, transactional and advisory work. Rachel Paris and Haydn Wong stand out for ‘commercial and pragmatic advice, technical excellence, accessibility and affability’. Clients ‘highly rate’ special counsels Sarah McQueen, who is a superannuation expert, and Liz Lim, as well as senior associate Katie Dow, all of whom ‘offer excellent advice and assistance’. The firm advised two First State Investments funds on the acquisition of Vector Gas. For the New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited, the team advised on the transition of 15 AMP schemes to the new regulatory regime, which included the appointment of its client as supervisor.

Leading individuals

Haydn Wong - Bell Gully

Rachel Paris - Bell Gully

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gully is ‘highly responsive and always carefully tailors its advice to the business context, proactively recommending solutions to the issues’. The firm’s broad client base includes Air New Zealand, Apple, AT&T, PwC and Federal Express. Rob Towner in Auckland leads the team and his highlights from 2016 included defending Rank Group in two Holidays Act matters. Tim Clarkeapplies a litigator’s perspective to health and safety matters’. Clarke, senior associate Liz Coats and ‘calm and practical’ Wellington-based partner Rachael Brown regularly advise clients on changes in health and safety legislation. Clarke and Brown’s recent health and safety work includes defending clients such as Rentokil in prosecutions, and advising New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and the Department of Corrections on general matters. The firm has also been heavily involved in Holidays Act reviews and non-compliance issues for clients such as Rank Group, which it advised on matters arising from the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp, paper and packaging group to Oji.

Leading individuals

Rob Towner - Bell Gully

Tim Clarke - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Liz Coats - Bell Gully

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Projects and resource management (including environment)
Projects and resource management (including environment) - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

At Bell Gully, ‘the service is exceptional’. For environmental law and resource management, the ‘efficient, on-point and persuasive’ Andrew Beatson in Wellington ‘has complete understanding of his clients’ business and his advice mirrors their goals’. He assisted Nova Energy with the development of its planned 360MW gas-turbine generator at Tihiroa. On the same matter, he also acted for Transpower New Zealand, which is seeking designation of a transmission line to connect the plant to the National Grid. Also recommended are energy partners David Coull, who advised AWE Limited on the sale of its interest in the Tui oilfield, and Chris Gordon; public law expert Simon Watt; and projects specialists Hugh Kettle and David Chisnall. In Auckland, energy partner Garry Downs, projects partner Tom Bennett and ‘friendly and accommodating’ senior associate Natasha Garvan are highly regarded. Anadarko Petroleum and Contact Energy are also clients of the firm.

Leading individuals

Andrew Beatson - Bell Gully

Chris Gordon - Bell Gully

Hugh Kettle - Bell Gully

Simon Watt - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Claire Harmsworth - Bell Gully

Leigh Kissick - Bell Gully

Natasha Garvan - Bell Gully

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gully is ‘highly responsive and provides excellent service with in-depth knowledge and excellent commercial understanding’. Clients have ‘total confidence in the team’s advice’. In Auckland, the ‘highly respectedAndrew Petersen is ‘commercially astute with the ability to translate knowledge into solutions. Also recommended are ‘excellent team leaderJane Holland; construction, infrastructure and local government specialist Tom Bennett; Karl Anderson for his ‘excellent attention to detail’; and, in Wellington, Hugh Kettle and commercial property partner David Chisnall, who ‘get to the point quickly and have excellent experience’. Chisnall advised Precinct Properties on developments under its NZ$500m government contract, including the largest-ever office development project in New Zealand, which secures 68,000 sqm of office space across five buildings. Another highlight saw Holland act for Stride Property Limited in its NZ$545m acquisition of the Westfield Queensgate shopping centre in Lower Hutt and the Westfield Chartwell shopping centre in Hamilton.

Leading individuals

Andrew Peterson - Bell Gully

David Chisnall - Bell Gully

Jane Holland - Bell Gully

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

Bell Gully

At Bell Gully, David McPhersondelivers sound, reasoned advice without trying to score points’ and leads the practice from Auckland following the retirement of leading light Murray Tingey. Newly promoted Tim Fitzgerald is an experienced practitioner and is currently advising Ferrier Hodgson (Australia) as receivers of Dick Smith Electronics, which includes advice on its rights to employees and landlords, and on PPSA claims by creditors. McPherson and Fitzgerald also acted for partners of BDO as receivers of Kawaru Falls Station in a NZ$46m dispute. A further highlight saw the firm advise PwC as liquidators of the Ross Asset Management group of companies, which is alleged to be the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of New Zealand and which left investors with a potential NZ$400m shortfall. The firm also counts ANZ National Bank and KordaMentha among its clients.

Leading individuals

David McPherson - Bell Gully

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Bell Gully

Bell Gully has a strong track record of corporate and commercial work for technology and telecoms companies and is also recommended for its expertise in data privacy and cybersecurity matters. Dean Oppenhuis in Wellington is ‘a key practitioner in the market’ and his public sector work included advising the Department of Internal Affairs on Common Capability ICT Agreements for the All-of-Government supply of cloud-based services. Corporate matters included advising Vodafone Group on its proposed merger with Sky Network Television. Auckland-based litigator and media team head Alan Ringwood is also recommended. The firm regularly acts for Crown Fibre Holdings and its recent work includes advising on the second, NZ$300m phase of the government’s Ultra-Fast-Broadband Initiative, and assisting the client with the extension of the state’s Rural Broadband Initiative and the Mobile Black Spot Fund.

Leading individuals

Dean Oppenhuis - Bell Gully

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gullyprovides excellent service to consistently high standards and has a very practical approach. ‘Absolutely brilliant’, said one client, who praises the team’s ‘steadfast dedication to working for the best outcomes’. In Auckland, team head Mathew McKay advises domestic and offshore clients on corporate tax law, particularly in the context of M&A transactions. Willy Sussman is New Zealand’s only specialist indirect tax lawyer, focusing on GST, VAT and customs and excise duty. Graham Murray and Jarrod Walker are also recommended. The team is advising Vodafone on tax aspects of its proposed merger with Sky Network Television.

Leading individuals

Mathew McKay - Bell Gully

Willy Sussman - Bell Gully

Next generation lawyers

Campbell Pentney - Bell Gully

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Transport (rail, road, air and sea)
Transport (rail, road, air and sea) - ranked: tier 1

Bell Gully

Bell Gullyapproaches everything in a professional manner and the lawyers are always available to discuss matters’. The firm has a long track record in aviation, roading, rail and maritime matters, and is hailed by one client as ‘a good bunch of people who are easy to get along with and provide extremely good value for money’. Auckland-based competition partner Torrin Crowther advised Air New Zealand on its strategic alliance with Air China for a new daily direct service between Auckland and Beijing. Tom Bennett and Wellington-based Andrew Beatson act for Auckland Transport, with one recent matter involving consents and appeals work for the NZ$400m Mill Road project. PPP specialist Hugh Kettle advises New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on major roading projects, including the recent NZ$850m procurement of a new road of national significance as part of the Transmission Gully PPP.

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