Cyber security

Cyber security is fast becoming one of the most significant risks facing businesses, government and individuals. Legal support is an essential part of managing and responding to cyber risks.

  • Summary
  • Work highlights
  • People
  • Publications

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Cyber attacks are growing in scale and sophistication just as many businesses are increasingly providing and using products and services online. Concern is fuelled by well-resourced and high profile businesses publicly falling prey to cyber attacks. As a result, in addition to commercial concerns, more and more businesses and boards of directors are questioning: what are our legal obligations and tools relevant to cyber security?

Like many businesses, Bell Gully recognises that cyber security is much more than a technology issue. We have a cross-practice team experienced in cyber security issues.

Our cyber security team brings together expertise in privacy and data protection, employment, governance, commercial, consumer, technology and e-commerce, intellectual property, insurance and risk, financial services, crisis management and litigation. Our team helps clients to understand their cyber risks, to manage and transfer those risks through insurance and contractual means, and to understand and satisfy governance, contractual and regulatory obligations. We also assist our clients to prepare cyber incident response plans and to manage cyber security incidents and breaches when they occur.

Click here to download our cyber security checklist.

Click here​ to download our full detailed guide.​​

View Bell Gully partner Ian Gault​​​ and senior associate Laura Littlewood's interview on cyber security below.​

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​​​Cyber security related issues
Advising New Zealand and international clients on cyber security issues in the context of:

  • directors’ duties,
  • customer and supplier contracts,
  • business due diligence and sale and purchase agreements,
  • initial public offerings (IPOs) and listing rule compliance,
  • employment agreements,
  • privacy obligations and policies,
  • managing cyber breaches,
  • communicating with the Privacy Commissioner and other regulators, and
  • cyber related litigation.

Privacy Act reform
Privacy is a rapidly developing area of the law and cyber issues are the focus of upcoming Privacy Act reform. Bell Gully is closely monitoring developments to keep our clients up to date with developments that will affect their business.

Cyber security experience
A selection of our work includes advising:

  • an international retailer on one of the first major consumer information hacking incidents globally, which remains one of the world's largest cyber security breaches.
  • a client operating in the telecommunications sector as to how to deal with a breach that involved the public disclosure of phone numbers that were designated as ‘unlisted’.
  • the receivers of a New Zealand retailer that went into liquidation on how to deal with, use and protect databases containing customer information.
  •  multinational media company about its privacy and cyber security practices, including assisting to manage data security incidents and corresponding with official agencies to mitigate any fallout.
  • a multinational provider of health-care equipment regarding a privacy breach that resulted from extraneous data being collected by the equipment without the knowledge of the client and potentially being improperly disclosed.
  • a Dutch-based multi-national client to whom we provided comprehensive cyber security advice in relation to their global implementation of an integrated cyber-security plan, including a thorough review of cyber security laws and practices in New Zealand​.

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  • Tim Clarke

    Partner Auckland
  • Ian Gault

    Partner and Deputy Chair Auckland
  • Laura Littlewood

    Senior Associate Auckland