Bell Gully's Corporate team was recognised as New Zealand's top deal team, following a strong 2019/2020 period where the team advised on close to $10billion worth of transactions. This was underpinned by the Vodafone New Zealand acquisition which won no fewer than three awards itself - M&A Deal of the Year, Debt Market Deal of the Year and overall New Zealand Deal of the Year. Led by partners James Gibson and Anna Buchly, this NZ$3.4 billion transaction was one of the largest New Zealand M&A transactions on record and involved Bell Gully's full range of specialist teams.
Bell Gully's Corporate team also won Equity Market Deal of the Year for the Napier Port IPO, led by partners Amon Nunns and Chris Goddard. The IPO was the largest in New Zealand since 2016 and involved significant input from the firm's corporate, local government, construction, property and regulatory teams.
Bell Gully's Projects and Real Estate team, led by partner Andrew Petersen, received an excellence award for Deal Team of the Year, an acknowledgment of its ongoing work around New Zealand's most complex, transformative and cutting-edge infrastructure, resource management, development and real estate projects.
There were also several individual awards to celebrate. For the second year in a row, chair Anna Buchly was named Managing Partner of the Year. Anna was recognised across several key areas including leading Bell Gully's various diversity and inclusion initiatives, her work across multiple multi-billion-dollar international transactions and her ongoing contribution to the firm's pro bono clients, including the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.
Wellington Corporate partner Angela Harford won Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (35 or under), with Resource Management partner Natasha Garvan receiving an excellence award in the same category. Angela was recognised for advising a range of public-sector entities on major procurement and tendering processes, including PPP procurement and significant and high-profile projects. Angela was also acknowledged for her work on Kōrero Tahi, Bell Gully's programme designed to provide young lawyers with an opportunity to practice their presentation skills with their peers and receive direct partner feedback.
We would like to congratulate all other finalists and winners, including: BNZ, winners of the Financial Services In-House Team of the Year.