Why Bell Gully

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  • Social responsibility
  • Culture
  • Our clients
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Awards and recognition

​​​​Part of our commitment to being the best means using our skills to help the wider community.

Bell Gully takes its role in the community seriously, and we offer our support in a number of ways. Many of us individually volunteer or provide free legal advice to a range of charitable, community and sporting organisations.​

Pro b​ono

Many of New Zealand's non-profit organisations do an amazing job providing essential services at the grassroots level. In 2009, we formalised our pro bono programme and set ourselves some long-term goals, culminating in an annual pro bono budget of $1 million in fee-equivalent time. All our lawyers and staff are encouraged to participate in pro bono work.

Further detail can be found on our community investment page.

Community activities

Bell Gully is committed to contributing in meaningful ways to projects that support the wellbeing of our communities and the positive growth and development of people within them.

One of the ways we do this is with our long-term sponsorship and support of organisations including Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army. Since 2009, our summer clerks have also spent time helping pro bono clients as part of their annual community leadership initiative.

Further detail appears on our community investment page.

Our culture defines us. We intend to remain the best law ​firm in New Zealand. Part of being the best is providing an environment where people feel they can give their best.

Bell Gully is a social firm, offering many events to staff. These range from team lunches, through to the mid-year ball/party, the annual family Christmas party and end of year Christmas function. Friday night drinks are also held each week and all staff are invited to attend.

Each floor has a "breakout room", where snacks and fresh fruit are provided. Daily newspapers and magazines are also provided for the enjoyment of all staff.

We have a clothing policy which allows staff to wear casual business clothes on Fridays and the whole of January.

Our staff newsletter BellConnect is published fortnightly on Friday.

Pick up the business section of your local newspaper and, chances are, we're working on a number of the deals and transactions you see in the headlines.

No other New Zealand law firm can match our client list. 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 clerks get the opportunity to attend client meetings and become involved in transactions. That gives them a unique insight into what's involved in the headline-making deals.

Some examples of work we've done recently:

New Zealand Capital Markets and International Deal of the Year

Advised Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand on its offer of redeemable preference shares by way of rights issue, and the subsequent capital reduction and distribution of approximately NZ$240 million worth of shares in First Sponsor Group by way of Court approved scheme of arrangement. This won the Capital Markets Deal of the Year and the International Deal of the Year at the 2015 New Zealand Law Awards.

Cola bottle litigation for PepsiCo

Successfully defended PepsiCo and Frucor Beverages (manufacturer and distributors of Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP) against claims by Coca-Cola that they had infringed Coca-Cola's intellectual property rights in its contour bottle shape. Trade mark infringement, passing off and breaches of the Fair Trading Act were alleged. The case raised important issues around shape marks.

Britomart precinct redevelopment

This highly complex redevelopment is the largest historic restoration project to be undertaken in New Zealand, and includes the development of major new buildings on Auckland's waterfront.

Danone dispute with Fonterra

Acting for Danone in its dispute with Fonterra following the August 2013 whey protein concentrate botulism scare, including acting and appearing in New Zealand High Court proceedings issued by Danone.

Ross Asset Management (In Liquidation)

Acting for PwC as receivers and then liquidators of the Ross Asset group of companies, New Zealand's largest Ponzi scheme. The most significant aspect of this case in recent times has been successfully leading a test case against a former investor in order to claw back fictitious profits paid to him. Litigation against a number of former investors is now expected to follow.

Class actions

While still a relatively new development in the New Zealand legal market, Bell Gully is at the forefront of class action matters. We act for the defendant directors of Feltex Carpets in the first securities class action to have gone to trial in both New Zealand and Australia (currently on appeal). We are also acting in two other significant class actions currently before the courts: the claim by customers of all of the major trading banks that they have paid too much in fees; and the claim against Southern Response Earthquake Services brought by earthquake affected Canterbury homeowners.

Our people are the foundation for o​ur continuing success. We encourage and value diversity and recognise it as a source of our competitive advantage - seeking out and fostering talent regardless of age, culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political views or physical ability.

To empower all our people 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.

Click here to see the latest on diversity and inclusion at Bell Gully.

Click here to view the latest on Bell Gully's awards.​