Bell Gully's TMT practice has an impressive track record advising governments and public bodies on nationally significant technology deals. Recent examples include working with the Department of Corrections on its cutting-edge Managed Cellular Communications agreements with Spark (and TeCore of the US) for the jamming of mobile phone communications in prisons. It also demonstrates skill in corporate matters, virtual reality and new technologies and advising on procurement and contractual arrangements. In Wellington, head of IT Dean Oppenhuis and special counsel Susannah Shaw advised New Zealand-based global mobile app vendor Plexure Group on its agreement with US burger chain White Castle to use Plexure’s platform for mobile engagement with loyalty programmes. Auckland based litigator Tania Goatley is growing the media practice. Alan Rigwood retired from partnership.
TMT in New Zealand
‘Key strength is breadth of experience at the intersection of commercial and technology. Generally consistent high quality across the team.’
‘Dean Oppenhuis great on strategic perspective. ‘
Crown Fibre Holdings (now Crown Infrastructure Partners)
Department of Internal Affairs
Department of Corrections
New Zealand Customs Service
Air New Zealand
New Zealand Lotteries Commission
The Network for Learning
APN News & Media
Netflix Luxembourg S.à.r.l.
- Advises NZME., the media entity in New Zealand, on all aspects of media law, including vetting stories and articles, complaints; defending defamation and other claims, opposing court suppression orders, and copyright and other intellectual property issues.
- Advising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on its preparations, including procurement of virtual meeting software, privacy aspects and sponsorship arrangements, for New Zealand’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in 2021.
- Advised Lightspeed POS, the leading NYSE-listed provider of cloud-based, omnichannel commerce platforms, on its proposed acquisition of Vend Limited, for US$350 million. Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software provider headquartered in Auckland.
Buddle Findlay’s market leading TMT practice is recognised for its involvement in IT procurement and implementation, alongside demonstrable skills in cybersecurity and data privacy risk, compliance and matters involving media and entertainment. Amy Ryburn’s team in Wellington, which include Renee Stiles and special counsel Damien Steel-Baker, has a good track record in government sector IT contracting, having advised Department of Internal Affairs on negotiation of its framework agreement with Microsoft, and on-going contracting support for all government agencies. In Auckland, Philip Wood’s media practice is 'second to none' in relation to transactional, contractual and contentious issues, with commercial partner Allan Yeoman specialising in the early stage and high-growth technology space. Senior associate Keri Johansson is also of note for media law.
‘They have an ability to work seamlessly with the business and provide pragmatic commercial advice.’
‘For TMT we mainly use Amy Ryburn and Damien Steel-Baker. Amy is very experienced commercial practitioner. She is very well-organised and a good, responsive relationship partner. She provides valuable strategic advice and guidance on a range of commercial and contractual issues Damien is extremely strong in technology areas, including in understanding and explaining complex issues and also has extensive experience in broader commercial/corporate areas.’
‘Philip Wood who is senior partner works on all our legal requirements and has and continue to provide excellent top class service second to none.’
‘Buddle Findlay are exceptionally responsive to our needs and focus on building strong relationships. We are confident and feel reassured knowing that we are working with the most experienced legal team for TMT in the country.’
‘Philip Wood is a stand out performer for us with Buddle Findlay. He has served us well in all contract negotiations and best practice on legal matters. Philip is strategic in his approach when advising or putting together agreements that are relevant for our different stakeholders, taking into account their public sector and/or private sector status. ‘
Bank of New Zealand
Vodafone New Zealand
The New Zealand Customs Service
Department of Internal Affairs
- Advised Sky Television on customer-facing and content matters in relation to the merger of its Neon video-on-demand service, with the Lightbox video-on-demand service, which it acquired from Spark.
- Advised Sinead Boucher (CEO of Stuff Limited) and her investment vehicle on the management buyout of the Stuff business, the largest media platform and information provider in New Zealand.
- Advised New Zealand Post in relation to its procurement of new parcel sortation equipment and related software. This procurement is expected to operationalise the most significant postal network change in a generation in New Zealand.
Motion Picture Association of America
MediaWorks Holdings Limited
Mercury NZ Limited
Chorus New Zealand Limited
Sky Network Television Limited
Hudson Gavin Martin
Hudson Gavin Martin is a leading full-service Auckland based TMT focused practice boasting an extensive portfolio of local and multinational corporations, SMEs and startups. Simon Martin works across the entire TMT spectrum, with a particular distinction in corporate transactions, commercialisation and protection of technology, media and data. 'Leading TMT and IT lawyer' Edwin Lim has over 20 years’ experience handling technology transactions on behalf of start-ups, established companies and in the emerging technology space. He assisted Legend Story Studios, the creator of the fantasy themed card games on all aspects of its business from start-up through to commercialisation of its product and distribution arrangements with Cartamundi (the worldwide leader in card and board games). Anchali Anandanayagam is recognised for her expertise in subsea and terrestrial telecommunications cable infrastructure. Fintech and data protection expert Andrew Dentice is of note, as is litigator Tim Mahood.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Dentice is a standout commercial and technology lawyer with expectational market knowledge. Tim Mahood is able to provide IP advice (including patent advice) better than anyone else I’ve encountered in the market.’
‘Simon Martin is and Anchali are both good lawyers but perhaps more importantly a safe and reliable pair of hands, always quick to respond and practical when there are timing or financial pressures’
‘HGM are strong in their telecom industry expertise. More importantly, HGM is unique in their enthusiasm for serving and educating the client. The firm assisted this client with legal compliance in expanding its communications network to Auckland, New Zealand. Work included analysis of the proposed business in the telecommunications sector with respect to regulatory compliance, including taxation considerations, as well as some general corporate matters (subsidiary maintenance and compliance).’
‘Anchali Anandanayagam, partner, has been remarkably responsive and is always available to answer questions. Her delegation of work to juniors always hits the right tone. Junior solicitors are introduced to the team and are provided learning opportunities on client matters in a way that is refreshingly inclusive and collaborative. Even the junior solicitors are now proactive in reaching out to the client for compliance and maintenance reminders. The whole operation is first class.’
‘Firm has a great knowledge of the TMT sector internationally and in New Zealand and are great in combining that with a very sound multi-disciplinary legal approach.’
‘Edwin Lim as a leading TMT and IT lawyer in New Zealand has great sector knowledge and very sound judgement on matters involving complex business and legal issues. Andrew Dentice is at the forefront of developments in IT, and well across cutting edge initiatives in New Zealand and internationally. He is a go-to person for advice on structuring new products and changes to law to meet new needs.’
Vector New Zealand
Foodstuffs North Island Limited
Bank of New Zealand
Ports of Auckland
Government Superannuation Fund
The Walt Disney Company
- Advised Cogent on the telecommunications regulatory landscape in New Zealand, and on the other operational requirements.
- Assisted the Access Group (through instructing law firm Harmos Horton Lusk), with its acquisition of all of the shares in Unleashed Software, a New Zealand headquartered organisation offering best practice inventory management software.
- Assisted Didi Mobility with the establishment of their New Zealand business.
MinterEllisonRuddWatts operates across the full spectrum of TMT, with market sector expertise in media, energy and utilities, public sector, healthcare and financial services. Tom Maasland spearheads the team and is a key figure for major technology procurement and transformation mandates. His recent work includes assisting Soul Machines, a world-leader in AI innovation on all aspects of establishing a relationship with the World Health Organisation, and in particular the creation and ‘go-live’ of Florence, an AI ‘digital health worker’. Also of note are Jane Parker and Sonya Forbes for contractual and procurement arrangements, cloud-based services and licensing, John McCay for his expertise in media and entertainment, and senior associate Kate Cruickshank, a 'very capable and pragmatic lawyer'.
‘The TMT practice is the last “real” TMT practice in N.Z – there is not other law firm we would trust for advice.’
‘Jane Parker and her team are exceptional. They know what they are doing, and are true experts in a continually changing environment. Many other law firms say they do IT, but they do not really understand the industry and how it is dynamically changing.’
‘Extremely client focused – very approachable, avoids legalese, pitches information at the right level for commercial teams. Jane Parker is keen to understand the full nature of the transaction at the start, which then helps avoid commercial misunderstandings between the parties later down the track. Jane is also able to see the transaction from both sides, and aims to create solutions that work for both parties (and ultimately the project as a whole).’
‘On the whole, Minters does a good job of leveraging previous work in order to help assist with an expedient pathway forward. The quality of advice is generally very high and in our experience, Minters provides advice that represents good value for money.’
‘Kate Cruickshank is a very capable and pragmatic lawyer, her assistance was extremely valuable to our business. Kate was a strong legal resource during the negotiation and drafting process, but also provided a strong commercial voice/sounding board during this process. ‘
Spark New Zealand Limited
Datacom Group Limited
Westpac New Zealand Limited
New Zealand Film Commission
New Zealand Cricket
Television New Zealand
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- Advising Project NEXT on the procurement of a national ticketing solution to enable and process payments for journeys on public transport in New Zealand.
- Advised MediaWorks Holdings Limited, New Zealand’s largest independent commercial broadcaster, on the sale of MediaWorks TV Limited to Discovery, Inc.
- Advised the New Zealand Government on funding screen productions being filmed in New Zealand, including Amazon Studios Lord of the Rings television series.
Russell McVeagh’s has deep bench strength in all aspects of the legal and regulatory framework relevant to TMT matters, including in the growing areas of privacy and data protection and cyber security. Specific areas of expertise include public sector, financial services, media and emerging technology. Mei Fern Johnson and Liz Blythe co-head the group from Wellington and Auckland, respectively, where they advise on development, manufacturing, procurement, outsourcing and commercialisation issues. Standout mandates include advising digital will platform provider, Footprint, on its landmark partnership with Aon (a leading insurance broker) in relation to a first-of-its-kind subscription-based digital will service, and assisting Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment in the establishment and on-going implementation of the Business Connect platform, which will streamline the process for businesses to apply for permits, licences and other permissions. Special counsel Louise Taylor specialises in technology contracts and projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Russell McVeagh is a top tier full service NZ law firm with expertise across all practice areas and with very experienced and capable lawyers. The Technology team has expertise across the broad range of areas that we have sought their advice on, including cloud services, intellectual property rights, software implementation, privacy, and cyber security. Their fees are very reasonable considering their depth of knowledge, the quality of their advice and their focus on minimising risk to their client while still getting the deal done in a commercial and pragmatic manner. ‘
‘Liz Blythe has expertise across the Technology practice area. She is a confident and effective negotiator and can clearly and persuasively articulate her client’s requirements. Liz demonstrates an excellent understanding of the technology and how it operates, she knows the commercial drivers and the risks that need to be mitigated. She is always able to draw on her experience to offer reasonable and practical solutions to resolve outstanding points during contract negotiations.‘
‘This team is extremely experienced and have supported key TMT clients for many years. They are relied upon very heavily by one of NZ’s largest TMT businesses, and play a key role in its success.’
Fonterra Cooperative Group Limited
Westpac New Zealand Limited
Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited
Auckland International Airport Limited
Spark New Zealand Limited
New Zealand Police
Land Information NZ
Counties Power Limited and technology-focussed group company, ECL Group Limited
- Advised on all aspects of Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd’s IT infrastructure outsourcing to HCL across more than 27 countries globally.
- Assisting the New Zealand Government on the establishment and roll out of satellite technology that will be able to pinpoint a location on Earth to within 10 cm, unlocking more than $7.5 billion in benefits, including advising on procurement considerations, reviewing the contract and advising on the government-to-government arrangements.
- Advised on all IT aspects in connection with National Australia Bank’s sale of Bank of New Zealand’s life insurance business to Partners Life for $290 million.
Anderson Lloyd’s Derek Roth-Biester has over 20 years’ expertise in IT procurement, outsourcing and the delivery of complex IT projects. He also works with early stage technology companies on raising capital and on the development, protection and commercialisation of their technology. Senior associate Megan Pierce advices on licensing, implementation, supply and acquisition of various technology offerings. To assists its Māori clients, the firm has partnered with Ngāi Tahu (one of the main Māori tribes) to deliver a cultural and linguistic development programme focused on Māori culture.
Other key lawyers:
‘Have good experience around technology companies, start ups and the associated capital raising and legals associated with them.’
‘I have used Anderson Lloyd for New Zealand based matters and have found their team to be responsive to my requests. The advice I’ve received can be relied upon and does not require additional oversight from myself.’
‘They have a solid team here in Queenstown with a wide range of expertise. They have also used other branches to assist in specific areas of work that was needed. AL has also been happy to answer any brief questions I may have had, with Derek particular being happy for me to call him at any given time, always followed by advice/recommendations I can only describe as perfect so far.’
‘Derek Roth – Biester (Partner) has been my main POC throughout my time working with AL. From what I have found, his strengths are his broad knowledge of work needed when developing a start-up business, particularly Saas businesses. A quality that has not only been impressive but integral in the development of my business. He is also very personable and has made us feel welcome, and well looked after throughout. At this point, I wouldn’t say I have identified/experienced any weaknesses to date and from my dealing with him so far, I doubt I will in the near future.’
Christchurch City Council
Queenstown Airport Corporation Limited
Fuji Xerox New Zealand Limited
ReGen Cellular Limited
Planit Bnb Limited
Lonely Dog GP Limited
Brittain Wynyard & Co. Limited
Jasper Property Limited
First Table Limited
EverEdge Capital Limited
Deja Pet Food Limited
- Advised Silver Fern Farms in respect of its multivendor vendor procurement of a cloud based human capital management solution.
- Advised Christchurch City Council in respect of the reinstatement and replacement of its existing master services agreement with Spark New Zealand.
- Advising Silverlight Studios on the corporate, IP, property and fast-track resource consent aspects of its proposed multi-million dollar film production facility to be established in Wanaka, Otago.
Dentons Kensington Swan utilises its global network to assist foreign clients in their technology operations in New Zealand, and is also a good choice for IT companies and start-ups for corporate mandates, public and private sector procurement and e-commerce matters. It also regularly acts for mobile app companies, gaming developers, banks and multinational internet service providers. Hayley Miller leads the team in Auckland where she is an expert on software development and the launch of SaaS offerings, commercialisation of new technology and telecoms regulations. Wellington based Charlotte Henley's practice maintains an IP angle and on legal issues relating to bringing product to market. Senior associate Campbell Featherstone is 'one to watch' and works with Henley on data protection issues and procurement, with emphasis on the health sector.
‘Responsive and knowledgeable.’
‘Campbell Featherstone is one to watch’
Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited (previously Crown Fibre Holdings Limited) (CFH)
Tourism New Zealand
nib NZ limited
ANZ Bank Limited
HSBC – The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
ASB Bank Limited
Unison Networks Limited
Socialites Group Limited
Share a Camper GmbH
Kern Mobile Limited
Lime Technology Limited
- Acting for the Order of St John, provider of emergency ambulance services to over 90% of New Zealanders, in relation to its purchase and deployment of over 2,000 Honeywell RT10A tablet devices and the provision of managed support services through Honeywell’s lead in-country partner, Lexel Systems Limited.
- Acted for Wellington City Council in connection with its outsourcing of a digital archiving solution arrangement to Fuji Xerox, under which Fuji Xerox will deliver archiving and digitisation services in respect of the Wellington City archives.
- Acting for the New Zealand subsidiary of multinational electric scooter and e-bike company, Lime Technology, on the New Zealand aspects of Lime’s purchase of Uber’s “Jump” business globally.
Simpson Grierson 'delivers excellent, commercially sound advice with profound sector knowledge'. The firm is a key advisor on major IT and telecoms projects, including outsourcing, procurement and network development. Regulatory work and assistance in technology aspects of national transport and infrastructure projects are also key areas of work. 'Superb' Karen Ngan is an authority in privacy, data protection and procurement, while Michael Sage and Simon Vannini specialise in commercial transactions, major customer contracts, fibre leasing/IRU contracts and broadband network establishment. All figures are based in Auckland.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is responsive, commercial and clear in communication. They are my go to firm in New Zealand as I can always trust them to look after clients. They operate as an extension of our team which is pretty impressive as they are not an affiliated firm. They always meet deadlines and have frequently been accessible for urgent requests. They also keep to budgets.’
‘Karen Ngan is superb. She ensures her team provides quality advice delivered in the way the client wants.’
‘The firm delivers excellent, commercially sound advice. They have profound sector knowledge.’
‘Karen Ngan is an expert in telecommunications law with a high degree of expertise.’
Alliance Group Limited
Alpine Energy Ltd
Amazon Web Services
Christchurch City Council
Dense Air New Zealand Limited
Fiji National Provident Fund
HFC Bank (Fiji)
Land Information New Zealand
Livestock Improvement Corporation
Mercury NZ Ltd
New Zealand Rugby
Sky Network Television
Te Wananga o Aotearoa
Watercare Services Limited
- Advised Fiji National Provident Fund on an IT Infrastructure Revamp project, comprising a network and security solution; a data centre, storage and security solution; and a backup and recovery solution.
- Advised Porirua City Council in relation to its procurement of Datascape, Datacom’s new cloud-based suite of council and community applications. The council is Datacom’s first customer of Datascape in New Zealand.
- Advised on the New Zealand aspects of the telecommunications regulatory due diligence review for Bandwidth’s acquisition of Voxbone S.A.
Nick Valentine leads DLA Piper New Zealand’s TMT practice which supports public and private sector entities on large-scale business process and IT outsourcing, M&A and commercial agreements, telecoms and infrastructure rollouts. Senior associate Edward Eisdell-Moore joined from Simpson Grierson in May 2021, further expanding the teams’ expertise in IP commercialisation, licencing and data protection. He also regulars advises start up and growth companies on commercial arrangements, as well as assisting foreign corporations with their plans to expand to New Zealand. The firm has an extensive portfolio of clients in the sports, media and fintech sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The DLA TMT team/offering is led by Nick Valentine who is an up and coming / Next Generation TMT lawyer in NZ. He has strong experience from Australia and has a deep understanding of current law and the latest innovations and trends in the Legal space in this area. He is easy to deal with, responsive, commercial and keen to understand a client’s needs. Nick is also developing a strong team of capable Associates under him.’
‘Great team to work with, outcome focused partners. Amazing collaboration and take the time to really understand our needs before providing solutions.’
Foodstuffs North Island
New Zealand Green Building Council
Tend Health Limited
- Advised Accel-KKR on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems, Incorporated for approx. NZD 1.46 billion (USD 1.05 billion).
- Advised Partners Life on the procurement and implementation of a new cloud-based claims management system from Irish insurance SaaS provider FINEOS Corporation.
- Advised Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) on its acquisition of all of the shares in MediaWorks TV Limited from MediaWorks Holdings Limited.
Duncan Cotterill primarily works with technology customers in negotiating commercial agreements and contracts, privacy, procurement, and regulatory compliance. Michael Moyes' diverse practice spans a range of industries, with notable strengths in software development, tech procurement and large project. He is advising The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research on legal aspects of its joint programme to create a loss modelling platform that predicts economic loss resulting from natural and man-made hazard events. Christchurch based senior associate Peter Fernando assisted Massey University with the rollout of an innovative network infrastructure and cybersecurity protection.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised Ōkupu Ki Tua Limited on the revolutionary software-as-a-service translation service, offering translation from English language to New Zealand’s native language, Māori, helping to preserve and enhance indigenous language and promote greater mainstream accessibility and awareness.
- Support Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment on all aspects of its continuous enhancement to the Emergency Caller Location Information service that enables emergency service providers to automatically locate mobile callers to New Zealand’s emergency response number.
- Advised US based games developer, Blind Squirrel Entertainment, Inc to establish a New Zealand subsidiary, to undertake game development and provide services to the US parent company.
Newly promoted partner Jordan Cox is the lead figure in Webb Henderson’s Auckland office. Working alongside colleagues in the primary Sydney office, telecoms specialist Cox assists with development and supply of wholesale broadband services, commercial and regulatory matters.
Other key lawyers:
Chorus, the builder of New Zealand’s Ultra Fast Broadband network
nbn, entity building the National Broadband Network in Australia
Avaroa Cable Limited
- Acted for nbn, the entity building out Australia’s national broadband network, in relation to the negotiation of the fourth iteration of nbn’s Wholesale Broadband Agreement with retail service providers.
- Advised Spark New Zealand on its acquisition of international cricket rights and its production agreements for sports broadcasting.
- Advised Starlink on the launch of its supply of next generation satellite broadband services to users in New Zealand and Australia.
Though primarily known as a litigation specialist, Wilson Harle is developing a good commercial and regulatory TMT practice, which is led by Allison Ferguson and Felicity Monteiro. Vodafone New Zealand is a key client, generating the bulk of contentious mandates for the firm.
‘Wilson Harle are a leading litigation firm who are in the same rank or better as the litigation departments in the top-5 major National law firms. Their experience and expertise includes years of TMT practice and I have worked with them as a barrister in this field. They are top performers in TMT law, advocacy and industry practice.’
‘Allison Ferguson is a top TMT litigation partner. She is efficient, smart and has exceptional knowledge of the law and industry practice, and has a strong network.’
Vodafone New Zealand Limited
Mr John Sorensen
- Representing Vodafone New Zealand in relation to a prosecution by the Commerce Commission relating to the advertising of certain broadband products.