Bell Gully has announced a new chair to replace Anna Buchly after three years in the role, by appointing projects and real estate chief Andrew Petersen.
Petersen has been at Bell Gully for almost two decades, having joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2003.
His clients include Cooper and Company (the company redeveloping Auckland’s Britomart precinct), along with Fletcher Building, Kiwi Property, Rank Group, Carter Holt Harvey, Goodman Group and Goodman Property Trust and others.
The firm also has made three partner promotions – banking and finance lawyer Jennifer Gunser and experienced litigators Blair Keown and Kirsty Dobbs.
Petersen said: “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.”
Gunser has been in her second spell at Bell Gully for more than five years, having rejoined from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, where she spent roughly two years as an associate in New York. Prior to that she had stints at Shearman & Sterling in both New York and London, having started her career as a solicitor at Bell Gully back in 2006.
Haydn Wong, the firm’s managing partner, said: “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.”
Keown joined Bell Gully in 2019 as a senior associate, having previously been at Allen & Overy in London, specialising in white collar crime issues.
Wong said: “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.”
Dobbs, meantime, has been at Bell Gully for 14 years, working her way up the ranks from solicitor. She has expertise in oil and gas, contract and construction disputes and health, Wong said. She will take up the role in April, subject to Law Society requirements.
In addition to the new partner appointments, the firm also promoted Katie Dow to special counsel and five others to senior associate, including Jasmine Cunard, Jan Chen, Mathew Brown, Toa Vulgani and Sarah McFetridge.