Bell Gully has New Zealand's only specialist derivatives practice.

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​​​​Bell Gully's specialist derivatives practice, is headed by David Craig, who is New Zealand counsel to both the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (IDSA) and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

Our team has partners and solicitors in both the Auckland and Wellington offices who specialise in derivatives law.

Our understanding of, and track record in, this rapidly-evolving industry is unrivalled in New Zealand. We are New Zealand counsel to most of the major industry associations and most of the global investment banks. We are continually in touch with developments in products, policy and regulation in the derivatives markets, and our partners are regularly invited to speak at international derivatives conferences and contribute to global derivatives publications. Bell Gully is an ISDA member and acts as New Zealand counsel to ISDA - providing the New Zealand law netting opinion on the ISDA master agreements and the New Zealand law collateral opinion on the ISDA credit support documents.

ISDA documentation is the preferred method for documenting derivatives transactions in New Zealand. Our team acted for the New Zealand Bankers' Association (NZBA) in preparing standard form documents widely used in the New Zealand derivatives market.

Our clients include banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and other financial institutions, as well as state-owned corporations. We have also advised the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, New Zealand's central bank, and the New Zealand Treasury on derivatives-related issues.

In addition to ISDA, we provide the New Zealand law netting opinions to a number of other international industry and sponsor organisations such as:

  • The Futures and Options Association (UK), on their master netting agreement,

  • ICMA, on the global master repurchase agreement,

  • the British Bankers' Association, the Members of the Foreign Exchange Committee (US) and the Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee, on the IFEMA, ICOM and FEOMA master agreements, and 

  • the Securities Lending and Repo Committee (UK), on the overseas securities lenders agreement.

International Swaps and Derivatives Association
Acting as the New Zealand counsel for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and providing the local law netting and collateral opinions.

Other global industry associations
Acting as the New Zealand counsel for ICMA, the International Securities Lending Association, the British Bankers' Association and the Futures and Options Association.

New Zealand Bankers' Association derivatives documentation
Advised the New Zealand Bankers' Association on derivatives documentation for the New Zealand banking sector, which developed into the market standard documentation for corporate entities and financial institutions in New Zealand.

NZX derivatives market
Advised NZX on the establishment of its derivatives market.

Global investment banks carbon credits trading and futures contracts
Advised Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays Bank on the regulatory regime for carrying on the business of dealing in carbon credits and carbon credit derivatives in New Zealand.

CLS Bank settlement service
Advised CLS Bank on its proposal to extend its settlement service to include the New Zealand dollar. This involved the introduction of new legislation, prepared in conjunction with New Zealand's central bank, to provide legal certainty to settlements made in accordance with the rules of "designated settlement systems".

Regulators law reform
Advised the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on the introduction of netting legislation. We also advised a Government ministry on the introduction of new client funds laws for derivatives issuers.

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  • David Craig

    Partner Wellington