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Bell Gully

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

Simon Watt

Work +64 4 915 6854
Bell Gully

Work Department



Public law, Climate change, Health, International, International trade - customs and excise, Infrastructure and projects, Forestry, Energy, Environment and planning, Intellectual property, Privacy and data protection, Transport, Water, waste and contamination, Agribusiness, Commercial, Corporate governance and advisory


​​​​​​​​​​​​Simon has provided substantial advice on the commercial activities of public sector entities, including RFP and tender processes and associated probity issues. He advises on consultation and decision-making processes aimed at fulfilling public law obligations and managing judicial review risks. He works with public sector boards, advising on governance issues and has been involved in the establishment of government bodies, as well as in drafting and implementing legislation.

Simon is the country’s leading probity advisor for public sector procurement and is advising on all of the Government’s public private partnership (PPP) projects. His expertise has ensured that public sector procurement processes have been successfully implemented without legal challenge and have been conducted fairly and under strict legal requirements.

Climate change law is another area where Simon is recognised as New Zealand’s leading lawyer. He is unique in the market for combining commercial, banking and finance (traded products) expertise with environmental expertise. This combination ensures clients receive workable solutions to climate change issues. He has significant involvement in major climate change issues both internationally and domestically with cross-border expertise unmatched by any other New Zealand lawyer and is internationally recognised for his work advising a number of g​overnment and parliamentary groups. He is regularly asked to comment on climate change issues in national media, and has had leading roles in regional climate change conferences. He led the climate change presentation to the 15 Pacific Island states Attorneys-General and Solicitors-General and also chaired panel sessions on carbon trading at the leading Australasian climate change and business conference and New Zealand’s first carbon forestry conference.

Admitted - 1989 New Zealand. International Career: Citibank, London 1993-1996.




Trustee of Asia New Zealand Foundation
Trustee of Compass Health Wellington Trust


BA, LLB(Hons), Victoria University of Wellington, LLM University of London.

New Zealand

Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

Clients praise the β€˜breadth of skills and work ethic’ of Bell Gully, which provides β€˜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 β€˜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; β€˜canny corporate practitioner’ Toby Sharpe; newly promoted Chris Goddard, who β€˜understands the commercial context of a deal’; Wellington-based public law expert Simon Watt and the β€˜simply outstanding’ Amon Nunns. The firm counts Blackstone, HNA Group, First State Investments and Hewlett Packard among its clients.

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Projects and resource management (including environment)

Within: Leading individuals

Simon Watt - Bell Gully

Within: Projects and resource management (including environment)

At Bell Gully, β€˜the service is exceptional’. For environmental law and resource management, the β€˜efficient, on-point and persuasive’ Andrew Beatson in Wellington β€˜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 β€˜friendly and accommodating’ senior associate Natasha Garvan are highly regarded. Anadarko Petroleum and Contact Energy are also clients of the firm.

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