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Bell Gully

Work +64 4 473 7777
Fax +64 4 473 3845
SX 11164
Auckland, Wellington

David Chisnall

Work +64 4 915 6966
Bell Gully

Work Department



Property and real estate, Construction, Infrastructure and projects, Overseas investment, Forestry, Transport, Māori


David has a wealth of negotiating experience, including in the highly political Treaty of Waitangi settlement area, and is also the trusted direct New Zealand negotiator for international clients such as Host Hotels & Resorts, the largest hotel accommodation company in the US.

David's strength is to contribute his negotiating and legal experience in a straight forward way to facilitate transactions and obtain commercially valuable outcomes for clients. This is recognised by Asia Law Business who has described him as "client-focused, outcome focused and having vast experience in projects."

David has led external legal teams advising public and private sector clients on many nationally significant projects and joint ventures across various industries, including infrastructure (roading, rail, ports and hydro-schemes), tourism and hospitality, forestry and large-scale development and construction projects.

He is also an expert in Treaty of Waitangi issues, having acted for Ngāi Tahu on its historic Treaty Settlement and as legal advisor to the Government on the "Treelords" Central North Island Forests Settlement.


LLB, University of Otago, admitted 1987 New Zealand

New Zealand

Projects and resource management (including environment)

Within: Projects and resource management (including environment)

Bell Gully provides 'excellent service and thoughtful advice and understands the commercial imperatives'. 'The advice mirrors clients' strategic objectives and delivers the outcomes they seek'. Its work encompasses complex projects in the private and public sectors, energy and natural resources matters, and environmental law for clients including Auckland Transport and Crown Infrastructure Partners. In Wellington, projects specialists Hugh Kettle and David Chisnall lead the practice, and key partner Andrew Beatson has 'excellent legal knowledge coupled with commercial acumen; he is strong at finding solutions to unique situations'. Energy partners David Coull and Chris Gordon (who 'quickly identifies the key issues and is always calm and solution-focused'), and public law expert Simon Watt are standout practitioners. Senior associates Claire Harmsworth, the 'helpful, commercial' Toni Forrest and the 'thorough, lovely-to-deal-with' Angela Harford are also recommended. In Auckland, infrastructure partner Tom Bennett stands out for his work regarding Auckland’s transport infrastructure. 'Her advice is both concise and exact, and she turns work around very quickly and efficiently', say clients of senior associate Natasha Garvan.

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Real estate and construction

Within: Leading individuals

David Chisnall - Bell Gully

Within: Real estate and construction

Bell Gully¬†'provides high levels of service, its responsiveness is consistently excellent and the firm has real depth and breadth of property law expertise coupled with sound commercial acumen'. In Auckland, real estate practice head¬†Andrew Petersen¬†is 'highly responsive and displays excellent commercial judgement'. He advised TńĀmaki Redevelopment on the development of a mixed tenure housing project that was converted from social housing.¬†Karl Anderson¬†and Wellington-based¬†Hugh¬† Kettle¬†also played key roles. Among the firm's standout practitioners are¬†Jane Holland,¬†who handled an acquisition for Vital Healthcare Property Trust,¬†Simon Ladd¬†and construction, infrastructure and local government specialist Tom Bennett,¬†who is 'a star - his expertise in the construction area makes him a top lawyer, and he is pragmatic, effective and conscientious'.¬†David Chisnall¬†is among the most experienced¬†commercial property partners in the country. 'Thorough-yet-pragmatic' special counsel Sally Whincop¬†and senior associates¬†Ian Becke¬†and¬†Paula Ormandy¬†are also recommended.

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Legal Developments by:
Bell Gully

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    - Bell Gully

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