Simpson Grierson

Energy & Natural Resources Department

New Zealand
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What the team is known for Full-service Auckland-based offering with an established reputation in the energy market including regulatory regimes. Acts on many of the major water and wastewater projects in Auckland, and has a broad range of expertise across all aspects of environmental law. The team is noted for its strength in the area of upstream oil and gas, as well as negotiating supply agreements and advising on offshore consent applications. Dedicated energy and environment expertise, with a reputation for excellent government work as well as handling projects on behalf of significant private sector clients. Also able to represent clients in environmental appeals before the Environment Court.

Strengths"They know our business and understand our needs," reports a client, who goes on: "They have people with the right expertise across the firm and offer exceptionally timely, focused and business-oriented advice."

Another client appreciates the team members' approach to mandates, noting: "They are prepared to work with difficult cultural practices and timeframes. They provide strong technical advice but also ensure that those without a legislative background can understand the legal impact a particular process will have."

Work highlights Acted for OMV on its acquisition from Shell Investments of Shell's upstream production assets in New Zealand.

Notable practitioners

Bill Loutit moves up in the rankings after winning recognition for his role in contentious environmental law mandates. Sources single him out as a "great leader, creative thinker and a good team player" who "structures an argument well" and has "a real reputation for handling local government work."

Sources describe James Winchester as "a good operator" who "has exceptional knowledge and offers excellent strategic advice." He often assists public entities and private sector clients with consenting strategy and environmental approvals in the context of infrastructure projects in the water and energy sectors.

New entry to the rankings Sarah Scott frequently advises local authorities and regional councils on the strategic planning and policy aspects of utilities and infrastructure projects. Interviewees endorse her as a "very capable and effective operator," with one adding: "I rate her highly in terms of technical advice and expertise. She works above and beyond what is anticipated."