Restructuring and insolvency

We have been involved in the largest, most complex and significant cases in New Zealand. We bring this expertise and experience to every matter we act on.

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​​​​Bell Gully has a wealth of expertise and experience in insolvency, corporate restructuring, receiverships and liquidations. Our team is recognised as a leader among New Zealand's restructuring and insolvency legal practices. The practice is built around the multi-disciplinary expertise of experienced and highly regarded finance, litigation and corporate specialists. Our approach is focused on delivering technical expertise with the pragmatism to achieve our clients' commercial objectives.

Our specialist team is regularly engaged to assist on major cross-border insolvency issues.  We advise receivers, liquidators and other insolvency practitioners across the whole range of insolvency and restructuring matters including:

  • corporate reconstruction and workouts,
  • receiverships,
  • liquidations,
  • voluntary administrations,
  • cross-border insolvency,
  • statutory management, and
  • debt restructuring.

Our team continues to act on the majority of major restructurings in New Zealand including Yellow Pages and MediaWorks. We successfully achieved large recoveries from directors, auditors and insurers of finance  companies including Bridgecorp, Nathans Finance and OPI. We have acted in relation to many fraudulent investment schemes including Ross Asset Management and International Investment Unit Trust and CH Finance.

Bell Gully has acted on most of New Zealand's largest distressed debt restructures arising from the global financial crisis. We act for the major participants in the insolvency and restructuring market, including receivers PwC, McGrathNicol and KordaMentha, as well as major banks and financial institutions.

Recognition of our restructuring and insolvency expertise

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 - Tier 1

"Always top shelf legal advice with quick turn around."
IFLR1000 2016 - Tier 1

"It is a very strong practice, definitely top tier."​
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 - Tier 1

"It is a very good firm that has good operators."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 - Tier 1

A pace-setting firm that acts on high profile mandates for a range of leading banks and auditors. Well respected as a quality restructuring and insolvency practice with a strong litigation capability.

"A top class firm that provides excellent legal advice with a strong focus on the commercial imperatives for the client," one client says.
IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate 2015 

First Tier restructuring and insolvency law firm.
Doyles Guide 2016

Dick Smith Electronics (In Receivership)
Acting for Ferrier Hodgson (Australia) as receivers of Dick Smith Electronics (NZ) Limited (In Receivership and In Liquidation).

Takapuna Procurement (In Liquidation)
Acting for PwC as the liquidators of a property development company, Takapuna Procurement Limited (In Liquidation).

Panama Road Developments (In Receivership)
Acting for Grant Thornton as the receivers of Panama Road Developments Limited (In Receivership and In Liquidation)​, which owned and intended to develop Springpark in Mt Wellington, Auckland. This was a large scale development that offered affordable housing for first home buyers in Panama Road. ​​​

MediaWorks restructure
Advising Ironbridge on MediaWorks' 2012 capital restructure (ongoing). This is the second time MediaWorks had been restructured. Bell Gully also worked on the 2009 restructuring.

Yellow Pages Group restructure
Advised New Zealand's largest directories business, Yellow Pages Group, on a major debt and corporate restructuring after the group breached banking covenants. This significant transaction spanned a 16-month period and was the biggest New Zealand restructuring arising as a result of the global financial crisis. Our role included negotiating with a senior bank syndicate of more than 40 financiers, a syndicate size previously unseen in this jurisdiction.

PwC - Bridgecorp Limited (In Receivership)
Acting for the receivers of Bridgecorp on a number of litigation matters including proceedings issued against directors, insurance claims and realisation of property.

PwC - Nathans Finance NZ Limited (In Receivership)
Acting for the receivers in bringing claims against directors and auditors of collapsed New Zealand finance company Nathans Finance.

McGrath Nicol – Geon Group
Advising McGrath Nicol as receivers of Geon Group, a commercial printer operating in Australia and New Zealand. This was a high profile receivership which raises issues about the interrelationships between separate regimes governing voluntary administration and receiverships in New Zealand.

KPMG – Starplus Homes
Advising KPMG and Northside Insolvency as liquidators of building company Starplus Homes. Starplus ceased trading in April 2013 owing more than 200 creditors approximately NZ$20 million. Bell Gully is providing ongoing advice to the liquidators on a range of matters including potential claims under the Companies Act 1993 and Property Law Act 2007.

ANZ – Sheahan/Cedenco
Advised ANZ and Korda Mentha as receivers of Cedenco on a successful claim in the High Court regarding the examination of bank officers about the company. This case is currently on appeal.

ASB - South Canterbury Finance
Acted for ASB in a significant priority dispute with South Canterbury Finance. We were successful in overturning the High Court decision in the Court of Appeal.

PwC - Steigrad v BFSL Limited 2007
Acted for the receiver of Bridgecorp in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court litigation in what has been described as "potentially the most important case affecting Australian liability insurance ever" – whether a charge prevents directors from accessing defence costs.

Corporate Finance - Cash Handling Systems
Acted for the liquidators of Cash Handling Systems in defending a claim in the High Court by an aggrieved shareholder against the liquidators. The claim settled before trial.

McGrath Nicol - Allied Nationwide Finance
Acted for the receivers of Allied Nationwide Finance in a High Court claim against a bank alleging an improper hive-down and commercial conspiracy. The claim settled before trial.

Korda Mentha - Cedenco Foods
Advised KordaMentha on the trading receivership of Cedenco Foods, one of New Zealand's biggest fruit and vegetable processors. The company was sold as a going concern to CDC Foods, owned by Japanese food group Imanaka.

PwC - National Finance 2000 Limited (In Receivership) and Payless Cars group
Acted for the receivers, PwC, of a finance company appointed under a debenture trust deed and for a related car sales group in this NZ$30 million receivership.

PwC - Pike River Coal receivership
Advised PwC (as receivers) of Pike River Coal, the owner and operator of the Pike River Coal Mine on the receivership and sale to Solid Energy. 

PwC - Ross Asset Management Limited (In Liquidation)
Acting for PwC as receivers and then liquidators of the Ross Asset group of companies, which appears to be New Zealand's largest Ponzi scheme. The most significant aspect 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.

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  • David McPherson

    Partner Auckland
  • Tim Fitzgerald

    Partner Auckland
  • Amon Nunns

    Partner Wellington
  • David Friar

    Partner Auckland