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Best-Ever Year For Bell Gully: $100Mil Mark Passed

Best-Ever Year For Bell Gully - $100 Million Mark Eclipsed - The Law Jobs and Legal NewsWire

Bell Gully’s best-ever year in 2007 saw the law firm comfortably pass the $100 million barrier with financial performance measures “all double digit,”according to an interview in with Bell Gully CEO Stephen MacIiver.

Mr MacIiver, CEO of the law firm since August 2005 after being appointed from Australia, said Bell Gully had worked on “iconic” deals last year. And notwithstanding the economic downturn, Mr MacIiver sees more good times ahead for the firm with its strong commercial and litigation practices continuing to perform well.

Bell Gully rode the wave with many of them over the past couple of years, including deals like the Waste Management-Transpacific merger, deals involving Carter Holt, Goodman Fielder, Woolworths, Fletcher’s acquisition of Formica and the Telstra 3 deal when Bell Gully played a role in the A$15.5 billion third tranche sale of the Australian Government’s stake in Telstra.

He sees strong growth in regulatory work, particularly as the Commerce Commission steps up its prosecution work, and also in major government infrastructure projects, public private partnerships and other work.

He’s focused on international best practice, benchmarking the firm off both local and international practices. He firmly believes the high-growth period experienced by New Zealand in recent years has set the three major firms, including Chapman Tripp and Russell McVeagh, significantly ahead of their other rivals. There is, he says, now a very evident ‘top Three’.

“In a good year when you might think the gap would close, it actually opened. The clients want a top firm for the acquisition or to act for the vendor in a deal. They need a multidisciplinary skill set – regulatory, tax, property, finance. Only a few firms can provide that depth.”

He also comments on work/life balance issues, the difference between Australian and New Zealand firms and the desire for kiwi lawyers to gain offshore experience.

“These lawyers become very marketable and there’s always a push to develop careers and become exposed to new work.” But he also sees the nature of law work today lessening the traditional need to move overseas for greater experience and challenge.

See for the full interview with Stephen MacIiver.


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