Simpson Grierson

Public Law Department

New Zealand
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What the team is known for Expansive local government practice that represents all three of Auckland's major local government entities, with a broad knowledge base on the full range of issues faced by public bodies. National presence as advisers to city and regional councils across New Zealand, with offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The team has substantial expertise in Resource Management Act and funding mechanisms matters for key areas such as housing, health and utilities. Highly proficient in legislation, infrastructure and governance matters.

Strengths"We use them when things are complex and we can rely on their legal knowledge," says one client, explaining that "their experience in the local government sector is well known and well proven."

Another source also highlights the team's strong reputation in the space, reporting: "We needed a firm with a strong public law practice, experience in legal reform and local government experience, and they were the top one."

Work highlights Represented Auckland Council in judicial review proceedings brought by several commercial accommodation operators concerning the council's accommodation provider targeted rate.

Notable practitioners

Bill Loutit has a strong reputation for advising local government on environmental issues, particularly for infrastructure and urban renewal projects. He provides a skilful handling of contentious mandates concerning administrative law and resource management matters.

Sources single out Jonathan Salter as a "nationally recognised expert on local government work." He assists local councils with a wide range of matters spanning constitutional, probity and funding issues. A client appreciates that "he has a truck load of experience but can also be pragmatic," adding: "When dealing with government agencies, his experience and knowledge shows through."

Padraig McNamara acts for local and regional councils and government organisations on a wide range of regulatory issues, including compliance, legislative drafting and policy development. He has particular expertise within the environmental, infrastructure and utility sectors. "He's clearly a very experienced senior partner. He has a calm demeanour and keeps his head, even when the situation is aggressive," observes an impressed interviewee.