Twelve new senior appointments for Bell Gully

19 January 2022

Bell Gully is delighted to announce the appointment of two new partners, two special counsel, and nine senior associates. The new partners are experienced corporate lawyer Chris Hodges and litigation lawyer Brad Ward.

“We are pleased to welcome Chris and Brad to the partnership. Both have contributed significantly to the firm over a long period of time, working on some of the largest matters in New Zealand with local and international clients. They both have outstanding reputations internally, with our clients in their respective fields and will add to the depth of the partnership," Bell Gully chair Andrew Petersen said.

Chris is a well-respected corporate lawyer, having performed important roles on a number of significant transactions including recently advising Tricor on its acquisition of the Guardian Trust business; Bentley Systems on its acquisition of Seequent; and Mataura Valley Milk on its investment by The a2 Milk Company.

Brad has an impressive track record of advising on a wide range of matters including acting for Downer New Zealand and Fletcher Construction on a number of complex construction disputes and on corporate and shareholder disputes, including for the previous owner of Huka Lodge in a series of disputes in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

The firm has also promoted two new special counsel – experienced litigation lawyers Andrea Pazin and Nick Moffatt.

“As part of our growing employment practice, Andrea is a trusted advisor to several of Bell Gully's key clients in the public and private sector and Nick is vastly experienced and has a reputation as a talented and well respected litigation lawyer.”

Andrea recently acted on high profile matters relating to a range of COVID-19 issues including introducing vaccine mandates, health and safety issues and potential termination situations. She has also advised on complex Holidays Act issues for public and private sector clients, and acted as an investigator into serious allegations made against a senior staff member in the public sector.

Nick’s most recent work includes acting for one of the Big Four accounting firms in defending High Court litigation relating to tax advice given over a 20 year period and acting for a listed property company in an insurance claim in the High Court arising out of damage caused by the Kaikoura earthquake.


Chris Hodges – Corporate

Chris has extensive experience advising on a broad range of corporate transactions, with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets. Chris takes a pragmatic and client focussed approach to his work, drawing on his breadth of experience in New Zealand as well as his years spent working overseas. Chris’ recent work includes advising Bentley Systems - the leading NASDAQ-listed infrastructure engineering software company, on the acquisition of Seequent - a world leader in developing 3D geological modelling software, headquartered in Christchurch, for US$1.05 billion. Chris also advised Mataura Valley Milk on its NZ$268.5 million investment by The a2 Milk Company.

Brad Ward – Litigation

Brad is a commercial litigator with experience in complex commercial disputes across a range of sectors. Brad regularly acts on large-scale construction disputes, including for Downer New Zealand on a number of complex leaky building proceedings and for principals and contractors in adjudications, arbitrations and court proceedings. Brad also advises on corporate and shareholder disputes, including for the previous owner of Huka Lodge in a series of disputes in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Brad has successfully represented clients in the District Court, High Court, and Court of Appeal and at arbitrations and mediations.

Special Counsel

Andrea Pazin – Litigation and employment

Andrea is an employment law specialist.  She also has significant experience in alcohol licensing.  In employment, she is a trusted advisor, providing pragmatic advice across the full range of employment issues including discipline and dismissal, holidays and leave, privacy, change management and redundancy. She is adept at managing complex issues and resolving contentious employment disputes.  In alcohol licensing she provides advisory work as well as advocacy services. 


Nick Moffatt – Litigation

Nick is a specialist commercial litigator with expertise in insolvency and insurance. Nick provides clear, practical and timely advice to meet his clients’ commercial needs. ​​Nick has experience advising banks, liquidators, receivers and creditors on matters relating to insolvency and enforcement including the validity, priority and enforcement of security and taking recovery action in liquidations and receiverships.  Nick’s recent work includes acting for one of the Big Four accounting firms in defending High Court litigation relating to tax advice given over a 20 year period and acting for a listed property company in an insurance claim in the High Court arising out of damage caused by the Kaikoura earthquake. 

Senior Associates

Bell Gully’s new senior associates represent some of the best talent in New Zealand. There is a mix of internal promotions, new lateral hires and a returning alumnus. The promotions of Hugh Magee, Justin Maloney, Laura Hardcastle, Laura Lincoln, Nicola Yong, and Ruairi O'Donovan continue the firm’s long standing tradition of nurturing and developing internal talent. The addition of Scott Lochhead and Emma Harris - a Bell Gully alumnus - reinforce the theme of great talent returning to New Zealand and Bell Gully to join the team, and the firm is delighted to have them both on board.

Hugh Magee – Tax

Hugh is a tax specialist with broad experience across a range of industries and transactions. Hugh’s areas of focus include the taxation of corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border investment arrangements and joint venture structures. He has expertise in the taxation of financing arrangements, in particular securitisation structures and cross-border lending and debt acquisitions.


Justin Maloney – Projects and real estate

Justin Maloney is a commercial property and real estate lawyer with broad experience leading contract negotiation with international clients, large scale project management, operational management and business development.



Laura Hardcastle – Litigation

Laura is a litigator specialising in providing advice to a range of public sector clients on the regulatory frameworks applicable to them, as well as on other administrative and contractual matters.



Laura Lincoln – Environment and planning

Laura is a senior associate specialising in resource management, environmental and public law issues. She advises on a range of resource management, environmental, planning and public law issues. Her expertise includes providing strategic and legal advice on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and related legislation, helping her clients to obtain resource consents and designations.



Nicola Yong – Projects and real estate

Nicola is a senior associate in the projects and real estate team, with specialist expertise across development, leasing and property portfolio management. She recently returned to Bell Gully following a period working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a Legal Adviser in the General International Law Unit and the Trade Law Unit (Legal Division, Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group), which gives her an excellent understanding of the public sector.



Ruairi O'Donovan – Corporate

Ruairi is a corporate transactions lawyer who specialises in private and public M&A. Ruairi started his career at Slaughter and May in London, where he practised for five years before joining Bell Gully in 2019.



Emma Harris – Corporate / Competition and antitrust 

Emma re-joins the firm end of January 2022. She is an experienced competition lawyer who advises clients on a wide range of competition matters including mergers, cartel investigations and misuse of market power claims. She has a reputation as a solutions-focussed lawyer who develops close working relationships with clients to facilitate successful outcomes. Emma has returned to Bell Gully, having been at Linklaters since 2017 where she was promoted to Managing Associate in May 2020.

Scott Lochhead – Projects and real estate / Construction

Scott is an internationally experienced and trusted construction and infrastructure lawyer in Bell Gully’s projects and real estate team, with experience in a broad range of major energy and infrastructure projects throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He joins Bell Gully from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Dubai. Scott was seconded from Freshfields to the Legal Department at Marubeni Corporation in Japan where he advised on a variety of energy and infrastructure projects.