Bell Gully is New Zealand's most successful law firm.
Being the best firm requires commitment, continuous improvement and conviction. Being the best requires that our people are connected and committed to the communities in which we work and live. We work continuously to create an office environment where our people not only feel challenged, supported and encouraged, but where they enjoy work and have fun at the same time.
We know that to achieve all this we need to continue to find the very best summer interns and graduates. Our summer internship programme is a key part of our drive to remain New Zealand's best.
Bell Gully is committed to using our skills to help the wider community – a key part of our aim to be the best law firm possible.
We take this role in the community seriously, and we offer our support in a number of ways. Many of our people individually volunteer or provide free legal advice to a range of charitable, community and sporting organisations.
Bell Gully's sustainability committee, known as 'Be Green', focuses on how we can use natural resources in a sustainable way, and minimise the environmental impact of our operations. Its objectives include:
- Acknowledging Bell Gully's role in sustainability.
- Educating staff about what they can do.
- Developing relationships with clients with common aspirations.
- Understanding the role of Bell Gully in a zero carbon New Zealand.
To find out more about how we achieve these objectives as a firm visit our sustainability page.
Our community support comes in the form of donations, fundraising efforts and volunteering our time and skills to provide practical and appropriate help.
We have long-standing relationships with local and national charities (including Plunket, Auckland City Mission, KidsCan, Shine and the Breast Cancer Foundation), and we actively encourage and support our people to get involved in them, for a good cause. It is a spirit that is expressed at every level of the firm – from our summer interns, lawyers and business support staff through to partnership.
Click here to read more about our pro bono and community programme.
Our culture defines us and remains a core part of the firm's identity. In order to remain the best law firm in New Zealand, we must constantly invest in our culture and create an environment where our people feel comfortable and can give their best.
Bell Gully's culture starts with our people. We host many events throughout the year that allow staff to get to know their colleagues and develop stronger connections. These range from team lunches, through to the mid-year ball, the annual family Christmas party and end of year Christmas function. Staff are invited to Friday night drinks each week, with food catered.
Health and wellbeing are core elements of Bell Gully's culture. As such, staff are welcome to attend various seminars throughout the year on everything from healthy cooking and responsible alcohol consumption to skincare. The firm's dedicated sports committee also runs a range of activities for staff to participate in. This includes lunchtime yoga, inter-firm sporting competitions and corporate running events.
Each floor has a "breakout room", where coffee machines, snacks and fresh fruit are provided.
We have a 'dress for your day' clothing policy which allows staff to manage their own professional dress code based on their schedule.
Our staff newsletter BellConnect is published fortnightly on Friday which highlights what's happening in and around the firm.
No matter the size of a client, Bell Gully aims to build a strong relationship that enables deals and transactions to progress as smoothly as possible.
As a result of our successes over the years, we've built a formidable client list that continues to grow. It includes iconic New Zealand companies such as Air New Zealand, ANZ, ASB, Fletcher Building, Ngāi Tahu, Vodafone, Xero, public sector bodies, the New Zealand Treasury, the Ministry of Education and Vector Gas. We are very proud of our clients and the contribution we have been able to make to their success.
We're equally as proud working with emerging and innovative companies, helping them grow their businesses and New Zealand's economic future.
Our summer interns get the opportunity to attend client meetings and become involved in transactions. This gives them a unique insight into what's involved in deals of all sizes and scopes.
Some examples of recent work across our departments include:
Z Energy acquisition
We advised Ampol Limited, Australia’s ASX-listed leader in transport fuels, on its NZ$2 billion acquisition (by scheme of arrangement) of New Zealand fuel distributor, NZX and ASX-listed Z Energy. This transaction was led by corporate partners James Gibson, Jennifer Coote and Haydn Wong.
New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
We advised New Zealand's Ministry for the Environment on commercial legal issues associated with the development of the ETS. This built on the firm's previous advice to the Ministry of Economic Development on the design of the legal framework for emissions trading. This was led by climate change consultant, Simon Watt.
Cola bottle litigation for PepsiCo
We defended PepsiCo and Frucor Beverages (as the manufacturer and distributors of Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP in New Zealand) against claims by Coca-Cola that they had infringed Coca-Cola's intellectual property rights in its contour bottle shape. The IP team was led by IP partner, Tania Goatley.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
We are advising Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on the issues relating to the relativity mechanism contained in the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement.
Air New Zealand’s recapitalisation package
We advised Air New Zealand on its comprehensive NZ$2.2 billion recapitalisation package to help position the airline for recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. This included a NZ$1.2 billion "traditional" pro rata renounceable rights offer and a revised redeemable share facility from the Crown. This transaction was led by corporate partners James Gibson and Chris Goddard.
Inclusion and diversity
Our people are the foundation for our continuing success. We continuously work hard to ensure our workplace is inclusive, and trust that different experiences, perspectives, and values work together to achieve a better outcome.
Bell Gully are proud to have been certified with the Rainbow Tick and are signatories of the New Zealand Law Society's Gender Equality Charter.
To empower everyone to reach their full potential we embrace diversity. In line with our values, we strive to build an inclusive, productive culture that respects and appreciates the individual and promotes the value they bring to the team.
Read more about our inclusion and diversity values here.
Awards and recognition
We like to recognise and celebrate the achievements of both the firm and our people.
Over many years, the world's most reputable and respected legal directories have ranked the firm and our people at the top of their expertise areas.
We also have an unparalleled track record of winning major legal awards from around the world. These recognise a combination of strong client relationships, the high calibre of our people, the scale and breath of our work and the innovation of the firm as a whole.
Read more here about Bell Gully's awards and global recognition.