Simpson Grierson

Competition/Antitrust Department

New Zealand
Current View:

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What the team is known for Advises on the full range of antitrust and regulatory issues, including M&A and joint venture clearances for blue-chip clients, the preparation of submissions to sector-specific bodies and assistance with compliance programmes. Also offers specialist competition litigators, ready to advise on both investigations and court proceedings, and expertise across a broad range of sectors, including banking, healthcare, retail, technology and tourism. Regularly partners with leading Australian and other overseas firms in support of cross-border mandates.

Strengths The "business-focused nature" of the team's approach is emphasised by a client who reports: "Their standout strength is their ability to translate their absolute expertise in competition law in New Zealand - and good understanding of the position in other relevant Asia-Pacific jurisdictions - into practical, effective advice that can be easily understood and implemented by non-lawyers."

Commerciality is also stressed by a client who speaks of "a very professional but not over-lawyerly team which is able to pass on advice to a business in a way the business can understand."

Work highlights Advised Danish cooperative DLF Seeds on its NZD421 million acquisition of New Zealand-headquartered agricultural supply business PGG Wrightson's seed and grain business, helping to secure a divestment-free Commerce Commission clearance.

Notable practitioners

Anne Callinan
is a highly experienced litigator in the practice area, being particularly well known for her handling of cartel cases. One client, who calls her both "one of the leading authorities in the competition space" and "our go-to person for antitrust advice," notes that she is "fabulous to deal with and picks up the nuances of an industry very quickly to give pragmatic advice." Another reports: "It feels as though she's just working for us; we never feel put to one side and she really jumps when things are urgent, to turn work round in the time required."

Clients value
James Craig
, not only as "a very experienced partner who takes a strategic and commercially focused view" and "knows his material exceptionally well,"but also as one who can "give an initial view over the phone, then follow up promptly with formal advice that is invariably consistent with that initial view." He acts prominently on merger clearance mandates and restrictive trade-related issues.