The Power Law Firms - New Zealand

The Power Law Firms: New Zealand 1

The New Zealand law market has remained strong in 2018/19 with a continued dominance from the major Power Law players and a continuation of innovation and competition from in-house legal departments, which now account for around one quarter of all practising lawyers, and the boutique law firms.

The larger firms and a significant number of small firms too, provide clerkships and internship programmes, which applicants should research and apply for across multiple firms.

The Top Tier Power Firms

The national firm that was commenced in Dunedin 150 years ago has focused on growth as it has continued to expand, including its increasing Auckland base, having developed  a strong reputation among lawyers for both its work and work atmosphere.

Anthony Harper

Regarded as the fastest-growing law firm in the country, the 31-partner firm has expanded aggressively in key practice areas. A regular ’employer of choice’ nominee at the Law Awards the firm offers clerkships and internship programmes.
One of the Country’s largest firms with a reputation for top-level corporate work and a  hard work culture, the firm has significantly improved its diversity and ‘male’ culture to create a firm with attractive career oportunities.
One of the country’s largest commercial and public law firms, Buddle Findlay have grown strongly with offices across the three main centres and offer equally strong benefits.
Long regarded as one of the country’s powerhouse firms, Chapman Tripp is one of the triumvirate with Bell Gully and Russell McVeagh who handle some of the biggest deals and offer significant career opportunities.
Part of the global group, the first of the kiwi firms to link up in a global network linked by name, the firm has enjoyed solid growth and an equally solid reputation for its inclusive culture.
With over 100 lawyers and working across four offices nationally, Duncan Cotterill continues to grow its presence and the opportunities it offers those who join the firm.
Dentons Kensington Swan is part of the global Dentons law firm, the largest firm by lawyer numbers in the world, and has developed a strong, inclusive culture that has seen favourable reports from graduates and staff.   With Wellington and Auckland offices and a strong property and commercial practice it has continued to cement its position as a favoured workplace.  

Lane Neave

The Christchurch based firm now has offices in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown and increasingly challenges the other major law firms for major commercial work and as a top place for a quality legal career.
Meredith Connell has become a major, full service firm providing high level commercial, property, public law and related legal services combined with the litigation work developed from its long-term Auckland Crown prosecution work.
A strong firm with Australasian affiliations and a strong focus on technological innovation, the firm offers a variety of opportunities and programmes for candidates.
Long regarded as one of the heavyweights in New Zealand law, Russell McVeagh has slimmed its partner numbers over recent years but continues to play a dominant role on the New Zealand legal landscape.
Simpson Grierson is one of the largest law firms in New Zealand with over 330 lawyers across three offices.  As well as having a pre-eminent practice the firm has a strong reputation for its inclusiveness and innovation.
Tompkins Wake is one of the top tier contenders with its continued Auckland expansion, yet the Hamilton-based firm remains proud of its small firm culture.

Government Legal Opportunities

The Government Legal Network

The Government Legal Network (GLN) Summer Clerk Programme provides law students with an opportunity to experience government legal work. The Summer Clerks are placed in various government agencies.
Over a three month period (from 16 November 2020 to 12 February 2021), interns are immersed in various legal issues including visits to Parliament and courts, meetings with Judges and panel discussions with the Crown’s most senior lawyers.