Nine new senior appointments for Bell Gully in 2021

10 February 2021

Bell Gully is delighted to ​announce the appointment of three new partners, five senior associates and a special counsel for 2021. The new partners are specialist banking and finance lawyer Jennifer Gunser and two experienced litigators Blair Keown and Kirsty Dobbs.

Bell Gully’s three new partners

“The firm’s market leading litigation and financial services teams continue to be very busy and these appointments reflect the firm’s strength in these areas. We are excited to welcome Jennifer, Blair and Kirsty, all of whom have exceptional skills, passion and leadership which will benefit our clients and the partnership,” Bell Gully chair Andrew Petersen said.

Managing partner Haydn Wong acknowledged each of our new senior appointments noting their strong commitments both to clients, but also to their colleagues at Bell Gully over an extended period.

“Jennifer has extensive experience across financial services matters, representing private equity clients, financial institutions and corporates on debt financing transactions, securitisations and financial services regulation. Jennifer recently advised one of New Zealand’s largest restaurant businesses on new global multi-currency facilities across multiple jurisdictions.”

“Blair is a well-respected litigator and has recently represented a number of New Zealand’s largest companies in contentious matters in court proceedings. He has also taken on a leading role in the firm’s growing regulatory practice, including in relation to the financial conduct and AML regimes.”​

“Kirsty has particular expertise in oil and gas, contract and construction disputes and health. She is involved in leading significant commercial disputes and public and health law matters, including judicial reviews,” Haydn said.

Andrew Petersen – new Bell Gully chair

Andrew Petersen, the firm’s projects and real estate department leader, has been appointed as the firm’s new chair. Andrew has more than 20 years’ legal experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and is recognised as one of the top real estate lawyers in the country. Following almost three years in the role, Anna Buchly has stepped down to resume full time practice. Bell Gully would like to acknowledge Anna’s significant contribution to the firm and our people in her time as Chair – particularly guiding the firm through a challenging 2020.

Katie Dow promoted to special counsel

The firm is also very pleased to announce the appointment of Katie Dow to special counsel.

“Katie has an outstanding track record advising on managed funds products, superannuation schemes and financial services law, including in relation to financial advice. She is a senior and well respected adviser to the industry and we are delighted that Katie has the opportunity to further the firm’s reputation in the financial services space,” Haydn said.

Five senior associate promotions

We are also pleased to announce senior solicitors Jasmine Cunard​, Jan Chen, Mathew Brown​, Toa Vulangi​ and Sarah McFetridge​ have been promoted to senior associate.​

“As part of our corporate team, Jasmine has acted on many of the firm’s most recent significant transactions. This includes Apax Partners LLP on its NZ$2.56 billion takeover of Trade Me - the largest takeover undertaken to date in New Zealand via scheme of arrangement.​ She also has experience on commercial contracting, technology and privacy related matters,” Haydn said.

“Jan works closely with Andrew Petersen, the firm’s real estate and projects department leader and chair, on the full range of property matters including acquisitions and disposals and leasing. She has particularly strong track record in relation to applications for consent under the Overseas Investment Act for offshore acquirers of land interests.

“Based in our Wellington office, Mathew Brown has successfully advised a number of the firm’s key clients on their important construction, property and leasing matters. This has included Crown Infrastructure Partners, Wellington City Council, Tauranga City Council and Precinct Properties.

“Toa advises the firm’s private clients on tax and related matters, including immigration, property and real estate and overseas investment rules. Toa was shortlisted in the 'Tax - Rising Stars' category at the Women in Business Law Awards Asia-Pacific 2020.

“Sarah is an employment specialist, with international experience after working for five years Slaughter and May and Reed Smith in London. Sarah supports clients on the full range of employment matters, including contracts, HR documentation and disciplinary processes.”

Bell Gull​​y’s senior appointments for 2021


Jennifer Gunser is a special​​ist banking and finance lawyer with a focus on complex corporate finance transactions.

Blair Keown is an experienced litigator. He has particular expertise in handling contentious issues relating to the financial markets and complex commercial disputes.

Kirsty Dobbs has extensive litigation experience with particular expertise in oil and gas, contract and construction disputes, as well as judicial reviews.

Special Counsel

Katie Dow is a corporate lawyer specialising in managed funds, superannuation and financial services law including on securities offerings and financial advice regulation under the Financia​l Markets Conduct Act.

Senior Associates

Jasmine Cunard is an experienced corporate lawyer, with a focus on leading transactions for New Zealand and overseas clients.​

Jan Chen is a senior adviser on all matters relating to real estate, including Overseas Investment Act consents.

Mathew Brown has market-leading experience on construction, property and leasing matters.

Toa Vulangi is a key part of Bell Gully’s tax team advising the firm’s private clients on tax and related matters.

Sarah McFetridge is a trusted employment specialist, with both global and local experience.​​