Bell Gully is delighted to have won the top New Zealand award, Deal Firm of the Year, at the 2018 Australasian Law Awards.
The Australasian Law Awards gather over 650 leading legal professionals from across Australia and New Zealand. The independent annual awards recognise and celebrate the achievements and successes of dealmakers and firms across a comprehensive range of categories over the past twelve months.
"This is fantastic recognition from our peers across Australasia of the excellent work that we've done for a wide range of clients on a large number of deals across the firm," said Bell Gully Chair Anna Buchly.
Bell Gully partner David Coull was a finalist for the New Zealand Dealmaker of the Year award.
M&A activity in New Zealand remains strong and Bell Gully had a significant share of that over the past year, including advising AIA on its A$3.8 billion acquisition of the New Zealand (Sovereign) and Australian life insurance businesses from CBA, Bapcor Finance on its NZ$351 million takeover of Hellaby Holdings, and the on-sale of the footwear and contract resources divisions it inherited.
The construction, mining and energy were among the sectors in which the firm saw plenty of activity. Bell Gully advised Downer EDI on its acquisition of the construction, infrastructure and project management businesses of Hawkins; Contact Energy on the sale of its Ahuroa underground gas storage facility to Colonial First State funds and O.G. Oil & Gas and the Ofer Global Group on its NZ$80 million partial takeover of NZ Oil & Gas.
The Deal Firm of the Year award underscores a strong start to the year for Bell Gully, which led mergers and acquisitions rankings released by respected international legal tables Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters in January.