Why Bell Gully

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

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.

Pro bono

New Zealand's non-profit organisations do an amazing job providing essential community services at the grassroots level. In order to boost the potential of our country's non-profits, Bell Gully are committed to a diverse and inclusive pro bono programme.

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.

Read more about our pro bono programme 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. For over a decade our summer clerks have also spent time helping pro bono clients as part of their annual community leadership initiative.

Learn more about our community activities on our community investment page.​

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 clerks 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 work we've done recently:

Contact Energy on Rockgas sale

Bell Gully advised Contact Energy (Contact) on the sale of its LPG business, Rockgas, to Gas Services NZ Midco​​​ (GSNZ) for NZ$260 million. Rockgas is New Zealand's largest LPG retailer – holding a market share of approximately 41%. The business serves close to 90,000 customers across six branches, three satellite branches and a network of 27 franchises.

Centrality's token generating event

Bell Gully advised blockchain technology company Centrality on its token generating event which raised the ethereum equivalent of US$80 million in just six minutes. This was New Zealand's first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and the world's first Token Generating Event (TGE).

AIA's acquisition of the Sovereign life insurance businesses

Advised AIA on the acquisition of the Sovereign life insurance businesses as part of AIA’s acquisition of CBA’s Australian and New Zealand life insurance businesses for A$3.8 billion.

Ross Asset Management (in liquidation)​

Acted 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 acted for the defendant directors of Feltex Carpets in the first securities class action to have gone to trial in both New Zealand and Australia. We are also acting in two other significant class actions currently before the courts including the claim against Southern Response Earthquake Services brought by earthquake affected Canterbury homeowners.​

Our people are the foundation for our 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.

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 diversity and inclusion values here.​

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.

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