Our multi-disciplinary team advises principals, contractors, consultants, suppliers and funders on transactional and contentious matters. We are acutely aware of the broader dynamics and cycles of the New Zealand construction and infrastructure industries, and have a reputation for delivering pragmatic, “best for project” advice which protects the interests of our clients and also facilitates project delivery.
Our dedicated front-end national team advise on the most high-profile and complex construction and infrastructure projects in New Zealand, drawing on the firm’s complementary expertise in financing, resource management and real estate. We focus on project structuring, procurement, risk identification and mitigation, preparing and negotiating documentation, as well as the implementation of projects. We have advised on all models of procurement used in New Zealand, including alliancing and public private partnerships, as well as all forms of construction contracts. Our team has a deep understanding of market conditions, conditions of contract and procurement and commercial strategy. Clients choose us, and trust us, precisely for this reason: access to genuine transactional construction lawyers who deliver fit for purpose solutions.
Similarly, our back-end construction team are routinely engaged to act on the most complex and difficult construction disputes because of their standing as leading advocates in New Zealand and ability to successfully resolve construction disputes. This reputation is borne out of the simple fact that the team is made up of out-and-out litigators: each partner regularly appears in all New Zealand Courts and acts on the full range of dispute proceedings. This expert skillset is complemented by their ability to readily identify and resolve the full spectrum of issues that arise in construction projects, from insolvency to defective works to insurance. Again, our clients know they are getting a genuine construction litigator, and that is why they come to us.
Non-contentious construction advice
Tainui Group Holdings Ruakura inland port
Providing strategic and consenting advice on the proposed 300 ha inland port and commercial hub, valued at NZ$3 billion, to serve Auckland, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato.
Private sector projects
Advising a range of private sector clients on construction contract arrangements for various construction projects, including Founders Group (Wilshire), St Kentigern College, Invesco Real Estate, Toyota New Zealand, Vital Healthcare, Metlifecare, Genesis Energy, Mainfreight, Frucor Suntory and Arena Living.
KiwiRail and Port Marlborough Limited
Advising Port Marlborough and KiwiRail on the nationally-significant project to fully redevelop Port Picton to accommodate New Zealand’s future interisland freight and passenger services between the North and South Islands.
Tauranga City Council
Advising on the Cameron Road Multi Modal Project, the largest capital project undertaken by TCC to date. The project upgrades Cameron Road to make it safer, more attractive and more useable for different modes of Transport. The project adopted a similar hybrid-Alliance Main Works Contract to that used on DIDP.
Advising TCC on its Heart of the City programme – a comprehensive project to redevelop the centre of Tauranga. The overall project involves a number of mini-projects, including a planned new Civic Administration Building and public open spaces.
Advising on the construction contract arrangements for Wharf 6 in the context of its NZ$234 million IPO and NZX listing.
Advising on the Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme (DIDP) a transformational project along the waterfront of Auckland’s CBD. DIDP involved a multi-stage contract procurement involving an ECI Agreement, Enabling Works Agreement and an innovative hybrid-Alliance Main Works Contract.
Advising on the procurement of the AMETI Eastern Busway Alliance, including preparation and negotiation of the IPAA and PAA, for the delivery of the AMETI Eastern Busway Programme. This comprises EB2, EB3 and potentially EB4, with an expected aggregate capital value of approximately NZ$600 million, which will see it overtake DIDP as the largest value capital works procurement undertaken by AT.
Wellington City Council
Advising Wellington City Council on a number of construction contracts relating to the ongoing transformation of Wellington, including the new Convention and Exhibition Centre and the redevelopment and seismic strengthening of the Wellington Town Hall.
Government Accommodation Project (WAP2)
Advising Precinct Properties on all of the construction contracts for the WAP2 project, a series of office redevelopment projects in the Central Government precinct in Wellington. WAP2 has been reported as the largest commercial office development project in New Zealand to date.
Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
Advising the New Zealand Government (Waka Kotahi on roading PPPs, Department of Corrections on prison PPPs, and the Ministry of Education on schools PPPs) on all New Zealand’s PPPs, as well as advising The Treasury on the model PPP contract.
Department of Corrections
Advised on the procurement of facilities and asset management services for the Department of Corrections and Ministry of Justice's national property and asset portfolios throughout New Zealand, reported as having NZ$500 million value.
Advising on the construction contract for a new 245 prisoner accommodation block within the operational Mt Eden Corrections Facility.
Contentious construction advice
Downer High Court construction disputes
Acting for Downer in multi party construction litigation in the High Court, including acting on the resolution of the Sylvia Park shopping centre proceedings.
Delay, disruption and variation claims – arbitration
Acting for the main contractor defending an arbitration brought by a sub-contractor concerning claims for delay and disruption, and variations for a major Auckland development.
Insurance claim regarding structural damage
Represented Vero Insurance and a panel of insurers, defending proceedings brought by Lincoln University arising from earthquake claims about structural damage to 12 major buildings on campus.
Insurance and regulatory issues arising out of NZICC fire
Advising Fletcher Construction following the fire during construction works on the New Zealand International Convention Centre, including on insurance and regulatory issues.
Power plants dispute
Acted for a major electricity supplier and for a head contractor on disputes arising out of the construction of three new power stations and generation facilities, including variation, delay and prolongation, breach of warranty and defect claims.
Acted for owners, developers, builders, subcontractors, suppliers and guarantors on leaky building and other building defect claims (e.g. structural issues, subsidence) for a variety of buildings, including tower blocks, office developments, a stadium, university buildings, large residential apartment and townhouse developments, and standalone residential homes.
"The team is able to not only identify the issues and possible solutions to a problem, but to go further to help us find a pathway through that issue in a way that mitigates risk and achieves our organisation’s objectives. The team has been working with our in-house team for less than two years and in my experience it is really rare to have a team so quickly understand our complex organisation’s objectives, risks and drivers in the way that Bell Gully has done."IFLR1000 2022 - Tier 1
"Bell Gully are active in communication during projects and provide ongoing, targeted, helpful insight and commentary of relevance, even when not directly engaged."Chambers Asia Pacific 2022 - Band 2
"Excellent depth and breadth of commercial experience."The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 - Tier 1
"The team is an exceptionally strong group, who are commercial, pragmatic, efficient, very responsive and great to deal with."The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 - Tier 1
"We have been working them for seven years. I think they are very professional and reliable lawyers. I have several good memories in which we had overcome situations. Apart from their skill and knowledge, they are good people. They understand what we need and what is our ultimate goal. I am pretty sure that I can introduce them to my friends as the best lawyers in NZ."The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021 - Tier 1