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Bell Gully

Work +64 9 916 8800
Fax +64 9 916 8801
Auckland, Wellington

Alan Ringwood

Work +64 9 916 8925
Bell Gully

Work Department



Intellectual property, Media, Litigation and dispute resolution, Information, communications and technology, Consumer law, Food, beverage and hospitality, Privacy and data protection, Arbitration, Commissions and inquiries


Alan advises clients on a variety of intellectual property matters including infringement of copyright, trade marks and patents, passing off and breach of the Fair Trading Act, and misuse of confidential information.

Alan provides regular media law advice to a range of publishers (including newspapers, magazines, television, web-based publishers) and other parties. He has particular expertise in pre-publication story vetting, publication complaints, defamation and breach of privacy claims, and other media law disputes and litigation.

Alongside his expertise in intellectual property and media law, Alan has particular experience in large contract and commercial disputes, information technology litigation, Fair Trading Act, consumer law and advertising issues. He has experience in litigation involving computer software and other information technology issues, including disputes around ownership of software, performance of software, domain name disputes, and email and internet defamation. He provides expert advice on contentious sales and marketing issues including Commerce Commission investigations and Fair Trading Act issues and disputes.

Alan has successfully acted on many complex and high profile cases. ​He has a reputation for understanding his clients' business and providing practical advice to achieve positive resolutions on a diverse range of commercial disputes.

Admitted - 1984 New Zealand.


Member of the International Trade Marks Association (INTA)
Member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ)


LLB, University of Auckland.

New Zealand

Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

Bell Gully has a large dispute resolution team that is 'easy to deal with and provides both timely advice and good value for money'. The firm handles a range of disputes work, including commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation, class actions, commissions of inquiry, corporate and competition regulatory investigations and much more. Practice head Jenny Stevens in Wellington represented Danone Group in all issues arising from the Fonterra whey protein concentrate contamination crisis in August 2013, which included a private commercial arbitration. Highlights for key partners included Auckland-based David Friar's work for Southern Response Earthquake Services in a class action brought by the claims management company's customers, and Sophie East's defence of former directors of insolvent company Feltex against claims alleging misleading statements. Also recommended are the 'level-headed, measured' Simon Ladd; veteran partners Ian Gault and Alan Ringwood; Tim Fitzgerald, who advised Bryanston Pte. on a large property dispute; newly promoted partner Jesse Wilson; senior associate Rebecca Rose; and Wellington-based Tim Smith.

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Intellectual property

Within: Leading individuals

Alan Ringwood - Bell Gully

Within: Intellectual property

Bell Gully is 'top notch', according to one client, who adds: 'I would not recommend another law firm'. The firm handles high-profile disputes and commercial transactions, which last year included advising Downer New Zealand on the IP aspects of its agreement to acquire the construction, infrastructure and project management businesses of Hawkins, and acting for HNA Group on the IP aspects of its acquisition of UDC Finance from ANZ Bank. Senior associate Sooyun Lee in Auckland, who provides 'very high-quality trade mark advice and is commercially strong', handled those matters. Litigation partner Tania Goatley specialises in media, advertising, privacy law and IP matters. Ian Gault also handles IP disputes as part of a broad litigation practice and frequently acts for Reckitt Benckiser in trade mark opposition and infringement cases. Alan Ringwood in Wellington leads the practice and frequently handles brand registration, infringement matters, trade mark oppositions and trade mark maintenance for Unilever plc.

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Within: TMT

Bell Gully has a broad practice that has experts in technology and media matters, including emerging technologies such as blockchain. The firm acted for Centrality Investments, which supports app developers, in the world’s first token generating event - the blockchain equivalent of an IPO - which raised the Ethereum equivalent of $80m in just six minutes. Practice head Dean Oppenhuis in Wellington led that deal and focuses on technology procurement and implementation in both the private and public sectors. The firm also advised virtual and augmented reality company 8i on commercial contracts. Auckland-based media lawyer and litigation partner Alan Ringwood assisted NZME Publishing and Mediaworks with a test case concerning the use of sports video clips by the news media. Newly promoted partner Laura Littlewood handles M&A transactions involving significant IP and technology assets, though her work also encompasses advice on data and strategic IT platforms. IP litigation partner Tania Goatley is also strong in media, advertising and privacy law.

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Legal Developments by:
Bell Gully

Legal Developments in New Zealand

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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