Competition law in New Zealand

Bell Gully

Bell Gully’s ‘exceptional’ competition practice has been kept busy with a number of domestic and multi-jurisdictional mergers involving New Zealand issues, as well as restrictive trade matters, cartel investigations and other behavioural mandates. Practice leader Torrin Crowther handles the full gamut of work, acting for corporate clients to resolve Commerce Commission investigations into alleged cartel and market power conduct, as well as cross-border M&A transactions. Glenn Shewan handles merger controls, cartel matters and misuse of market power claims, while Wellington-based Jenny Stevens has experience in advising on large-scale competition law cases brought by the Commerce Commission. Other key members of the team include senior associates Penny Pasley and Emma Harris, who joined the firm in January 2022 from Linklaters in London. All named practitioners are based in the firm’s Auckland office, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Torrin Crowther

Other key lawyers:

Glenn Shewan; Jenny Stevens; Penny Pasley; Emma Harris


‘Led by Torrin Crowther, this is an exceptional team. Responsive and pragmatic and takes a “whole of organisation approach” when considering a complex problem and providing advice.’

‘Strong technical knowledge and deep capacity of resources to meet requirements.’

‘Glenn Shewan is user friendly and flexible.’

‘The team are fantastic to work with. Highly responsive, practical, and experts in this area of the law. Their advice is commercial, digestible and fit for purpose.’

‘Torrin Crowther is able to identify key issues from complex and rapidly changing situations. He understands our business and balances his strategic advice with our current and future business needs and requirements.’

Key clients

Fletcher Building


Air New Zealand

Todd Corporation


Lineage Logistics New Zealand

Contact Energy

Goodman Fielder


Objective Corporation


Latitude Financial

Work highlights

  • Advised Konecranes PLC on the New Zealand competition law aspects of its proposed global merger with Cargotec.
  • Advised on the New Zealand merger control and overseas investment aspects of the transaction involving Discovery/WarnerMedia.
  • Assisting Fletcher Building in relation to the Commerce Commission’s market study into residential building supplies.

Chapman Tripp

Praised for its ‘impressive depth of expertise’, Chapman Tripp is entrusted by a diverse range of clients – including multinational corporates, financial institutions, primary sector operators, and infrastructure providers and multinational companies – for its capabilities in domestic and multi-jurisdictional merger clearance applications, abuse of market power mandates and cartel issues, as well as contentious matters, such as Commerce Commission investigations. In the firm’s Wellington office, Lucy Cooper ‘has an excellent working knowledge of, and relationship with, the Commerce Commission’, while Simon Peart is noted for his expertise in the utilities sector and advises on merger control issues and other regulatory matters. The Auckland office is home to Matt Sumpter, who is a key contact for contentious competition matters and market behaviour investigations, while Wellington-based senior associate Jessica White joined the team from Buddle Findlay in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Matt Sumpter; Simon Peart; Jessica White


‘The team has an impressive depth of expertise, and at every level, they have excellent lawyers who provide first-class advice.’

‘Lucy Cooper is an absolute legend. She is our go-to for any competition or regulatory issues and has an excellent working knowledge of, and relationship with, the Commerce Commission, which is invaluable when strategising options and dealing with regulatory issues.’

Key clients






Z Energy

Sky Network Limited


Foodstuffs North Island

Pacific Radiology Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Pfizer, on referral from global coordinating counsel, on the New Zealand merger clearance process for the merger of its off-patent pharmaceuticals business Upjohn with Mylan.
  • Advised Aon plc on the New Zealand merger clearance application to acquire Willis Towers Watson.
  • Secured clearance for EBOS’ acquisition of the New Zealand business of LifeHealthcare.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts has demonstrable experience in merger clearance applications and oppositions - often with a distinct cross-border element - and is particularly noted for its capabilities handling anti-dumping and anti-subsidy matters. The Auckland-based team is led by highly regarded Ross Patterson, who represents clients in high-profile merger clearances, authorisations and Commerce Commission investigations, and is especially recognised for his expertise in the telecoms sector. Jennifer Hambleton, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, focuses on Commerce Act and Fair Trading Act (FTA) investigations and enforcement actions, while corporate partner Sarah Salmond handles regulatory work arising out of concerns in the agriculture and fisheries, food and beverage, telecoms and energy sectors. Key clients include Tourism Holdings Limited, Tegel Foods Limited and Life Health Foods NZ, to name a few.

Practice head(s):

Ross Patterson

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Hambleton; Sarah Salmond


‘This team are easy to deal with and provide commercially-focused advice.’

‘Both Ross Patterson and Jennifer Hambleton are exceptional lawyers.’

Key clients

Tourism Holdings Group

Roof Tile Group

ASB Bank

Television New Zealand

UK Department of International Trade

Tegel Foods Limited

Life Health Foods NZ Limited

Concrete Group companies

Camplify Group company

viagogo AG

Work highlights

  • Acting for THL Group (Australia) Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Tourism Holdings Limited (thl), on its application to the New Zealand Commerce Commission for clearance to acquire 100% of the shares in Apollo Tourism & Leisure Ltd (Apollo).
  • Advising Tegel on its opposition to the New Zealand Tegel Growers Association’s application for provisional authorisation to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions of its members’ supply of chicken growing services to Tegel for a ten-year period.
  • Acted for Assa Abloy on its successful application to the New Zealand Commerce Commission for clearance to acquire the shares of New Zealand Fire Doors Limited.

Buddle Findlay

Noted for its capability in handling merger clearance applications, Buddle Findlay houses a team of ‘problem solvers’ who advise both regulatory authorities and participants across the consumer goods, dairy, energy, financial services and health sectors on a range of competition matters. In the firm’s Wellington office, Tony Dellow specialises in competition law and regulatory processes, particularly in the infrastructure sectors, and has experience in merger and cartel investigations. The Wellington office is also home to Susie Kilty, who handles regulatory compliance mandates, as well as cartel and fair-trading investigations, while Auckland-based special counsel Anna Parker is lauded by clients for her ability ‘to explain the complex simply’ – engaging with regulators, including domestic corporates and government entities.

Practice head(s):

Tony Dellow; Susie Kilty

Other key lawyers:

Anna Parker


‘Very commercial, proactive and great relationships with regulators.’

‘Tony Dellow’s experience gives him unique insights, which he is able to translate into extremely commercial advice, understanding both the risks and the commercial drivers.’

‘Anna Parker is astute and detail-focused, and able to explain the complex simply.’

‘Real customer focus and problem solvers.’

Key clients

Bluescope New Zealand/New Zealand Steel

Christchurch City Council

Contact Energy

CRV Limited

Electricity Authority

Infratil / Morrison & Co

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Ministry of Health and various District Health Boards

Ministry for Primary Industries

New Zealand Financial Markets Association

Payments New Zealand


Tertiary Education Commission

Toyota New Zealand

Verifone/EFTPOS New Zealand

Zoetis New Zealand

Work highlights

  • Advised Zoetis on the competition law aspects of its proposed acquisition of Betrola Pty Limited.
  • Advised Payments NZ on competition law issues relating to the development and implementation of standardised APIs or ‘Application Programming Interfaces’ for payment-related services.
  • Advised the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on competition issues relating to major reforms to the health sector in New Zealand that were announced in 2021.

DLA Piper New Zealand

On account of the firm’s global footprint, DLA Piper New Zealand is well-placed to advise both local and multi-jurisdictional clients on merger clearances, cartel investigations and market regulation, as demonstrated by its ongoing advice to Foodstuffs North Island Limited in relation to the Commerce Commission’s market study into the New Zealand grocery industry. Commercial litigator Alicia Murray, who leads the Auckland-based team, has demonstrable experience in representing clients before the Commerce Commission, principally in relation to alleged breaches of competition and consumer law. Mark Williamson handles non-contentious work, including regulatory compliance matters, and continues to participate in the Commerce Commission’s enquiry into retail fuel.

Practice head(s):

Alicia Murray

Other key lawyers:

Mark Williamson


‘DLA Piper have a strong competition law practice. They also have a very good understanding of our business and the sector, which enables them to provide tailored, commercial advice.’

‘Mark Williamson is a leading competition partner in New Zealand.’

‘DLA Piper have a deep knowledge of our business, the industry and unique issues, such as supplier relationships.’

Key clients

PB Technologies

Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Discovery Inc


Busy Bees Early Learning Australia Pty Ltd

Auckland Council

Accel KKR/Seequent

Nelson City Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for Foodstuffs North Island Limited (FSNI) in respect of the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s market study into the New Zealand grocery industry.
  • Advising Discovery in respect of an application made by the News Publishers Association (NPA) for authorisation to collectively bargain with digital platforms Meta and Google.
  • Representing one of New Zealand’s supermarket chains in proceedings seeking the right to establish a new supermarket between two existing supermarkets owned by the country’s other supermarket chain.

Matthews Law

Truly specialist competition boutiqueMatthews Law is noted for its capability in multi-jurisdictional mandates, pertaining to merger control and cartel investigations, in addition to regulatory compliance, M&A transactions and consumer issues. The Auckland-based team has demonstrable experience across the medical, telecoms, technology, construction and property sectors, counting local and international entities among its key roster of clients. ‘Enormously experiencedAndrew Matthews advises on all aspects of competition and regulatory law, and has a long-established relationship with the New Zealand Commerce Commission. According to one client, Matthews has an ‘impressive knowledge of competition law, combined with a commercial nous, which ensures he is always offering solution-orientated advice to his clients’. Gus Stewart left the firm in March 2021 to join telecoms service provider Vocus New Zealand.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Matthews


‘A truly specialist competition boutique. Experienced, pragmatic and responsive.’

‘Andrew Matthews is exceptional. He impressive knowledge of competition law, combined with a commercial nous, which ensures he is always offering solution-orientated advice to his clients.’

‘What makes the Matthews Law team unique is that they have the experience and know-how to immediately identify the competition law issues arising from prospective transactions, and to offer clients practical and actionable advice to navigate those.’

‘Andy Matthews is enormously experienced and has great commercial acumen.’

‘The team is highly skilled and very pragmatic.’

‘Andy Matthews is great to work. No nonsense, commercial and pragmatic.’

Key clients

New Zealand Food and Grocery Council

Two Degrees/Trilogy International New Zealand LLC


Seeka Limited

Steel & Tube


Briscoe Group

Fulton Hogan Limited


Gravity Media

Lyttleton Port Company

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research


Todd Corporation

Teva Pharma



Abano Healthcare (Lumino)


Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc

The Quick Dollar Limited

Auckland Orthopaedics Limited

Ockham Group

IRT NZ Partnership

Medical Technology Association of New Zealand

Tetra Pak

Avient Switzerland GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Two Degrees and its shareholder Trilogy International on Two Degrees’ proposed merger with Vocus.
  • Advised NZFGC on the Commerce Commission retail grocery market study and subsequent government law reform processes to implement the Commission’s recommendations.
  • Advised Seeka on the competition law aspects of two acquisitions.

Russell McVeagh

The ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team at Russell McVeagh has been kept busy with multi-jurisdictional merger clearances, investigations and prosecutions with the New Zealand Commerce Commission, as well as commercial advisory work, litigation and matters concerning law reforms. A key port of call for various media companies, major supermarkets, electricity and telecommunications businesses and private equity firms, practice leader Troy Pilkington has demonstrable experience in cartel investigations and consumer law cases, in addition to large-scale merger clearances.The firm ‘has built a strong competition team’, further underscored by the promotions of Bradley Aburn and Petra Carey in June 2022. Both Pilkington and Aburn are praised as ‘extremely experienced and invaluable advisors’, while Carey is commended as a ‘capable and diligent operator’. All named partners are based in the firm’s Auckland office.

Practice head(s):

Troy Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

Bradley Aburn; Petra Carey


‘Great reputation and excellent client service’

‘Troy Pilkington is an exceptional advisor. Great strategist, who has excellent regulatory connections.’

‘Brad Aburn and Troy Pilkington are extremely experienced and invaluable advisors.’

‘Russell McVeagh has built a strong competition team. They are knowledgeable and pragmatic. We value their input.’

‘Troy Pilkington is super approachable and very responsive. He has taken the time to get to know our business. He is very pragmatic and listens very carefully to figure out what we need.’

‘Troy Pilkington’s team is exceptional in terms of expertise, the clarity of the advice they give, the relationship management skills they have and the clarity of their billing practices.’

‘We were ably supported by Petra Carey. She is a smart, capable and diligent operator.’

‘Troy Pilkington is NZ’s foremost competition law practitioner for good reason. He is incredibly smart, has deep knowledge of the law and the regulatory practices, and can communicate both the legal advice and the practical ramifications for our business clearly and succinctly.’

Key clients

Woolworths New Zealand Limited

Pacific Equity Partners

LifeHealthcare (owned by Pacific Health Group)

MBCC Group

BDT Partners

Trustpower Limited

Willis North America Inc.

News Publishers Association of New Zealand

Lowe Corporation Limited

Meridian Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Woolworths New Zealand on responding to the Commerce Commission’s high-profile 2020 to 2022 market study into the retail grocery sector in New Zealand.
  • Advising MBCC Group on its New Zealand clearance application in relation to the global acquisition by Sika AG.
  • Advised Trustpower Limited on the proposed sale of its retail electricity, gas and telecommunications business to Mercury NZ Limited.

Simpson Grierson

Simpson Grierson regularly assists clients in obtaining Commerce Commission clearances and authorisations for acquisitions, in addition to regulatory compliance matters and investigations relating to alleged restrictive trade practices and other anti-competitive behaviour. Anne Callinan ‘is a safe pair of hands’ when representing clients in cartel litigation and has demonstrable experience in High Court cases and investigations in New Zealand. The firm’s Auckland office is also home to James Craig, who focuses on the competition law aspects of M&A transactions and restrictive trade practices, and Nina Blomfield, who ‘grasps complex issues quickly and works to practically resolve issues’, especially when advising on merger clearances. All named partners collectively lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Anne Callinan; James Craig; Nina Blomfield


‘Anne Callinan is excellent. She is a safe pair of hands and understands our business.’

‘Nina Blomfield is also highly skilled, a good communicator and very proactive.’

‘Well-versed in dealing with competition regulators.’

‘Nina Blomfield grasps complex issues quickly and works to practically resolve issues.’

‘Simpson Grierson stands out for the practicality of its advice. Competition law is highly technical, and Simpson Grierson translates this into clear, practical implications for our business, as well as identifying solutions (where possible) if the proposed course of action raises competition issues.’

‘James Craig is always available and able to give advice quickly and concisely.’

Key clients

Voyage Digital (NZ) Limited/Orcon Holdings Limited (Orcon)

Are Media Limited (Are Media)

Drymix N.Z. Limited (in receivership and liquidation) (Drymix)

Wesfarmers Ltd (Kmart)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Orcon in its application for clearance to acquire Two Degrees Group Limited (2 Degrees).
  • Acted for Are Media on its application for clearance to acquire Ovato Retail Distribution NZ Limited.
  • Acted for Drymix on Concrete Group Limited’s application for clearance to acquire Drymix.

Wilson Harle

Specialist litigation firm Wilson Harle counts anti-competitive conduct litigation, fair trading prosecution, as well as cartel investigation and enforcement proceedings in its caseload, with demonstrable experience across the consumer goods, electronics, telecoms and transport sectors. ‘Client-focusedIan Denton frequently acts in proceedings and investigations before the New Zealand Commerce Commission and has advised clients on merger clearances. Other key members of the team include Allison Ferguson and Felicity Monteiro, who continue to represent Vodafone New Zealand Limited in fair trading prosecutions brought by the Commerce Commission. Based in Auckland, all named partners collectively lead the ‘thorough and methodical’ team.

Practice head(s):

Ian Denton; Allison Ferguson; Felicity Monteiro


‘Wilson Harle has a very good competition practice. The team are experienced, have good technical knowledge and are approachable.’

‘Ian Denton is client-focused and always available to discuss matters at any time. His work is always of exceptional quality and has developed a good understanding of our business.’

‘Thorough and methodical. Provide detailed work.’

‘Ian Denton has good technical knowledge and is excellent with clients.’

Key clients

Vodafone New Zealand Limited

Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Vodafone in its appeal against conviction and sentence of 18 criminal charges pursued by the Commerce Commission, arising from the marketing of Vodafone’s services provided over Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable network as “FibreX” and representations on its website about the availability of fibre services to certain areas.