NZ partner best in the world

by Hannah Norton29 Jul 2015
A lawyer in a top tier New Zealand firm has been rated as one of the top energy specialists in the world.

Bell Gully partner David Coull has been named by Who’s Who Legal as one of 24 energy lawyers who are the most highly regarded individuals internationally, alongside lawyers from Allen & Overy, Dentons and Baker Botts.

Coull humbly downplayed his success when asked by NZLawyer about how he felt receiving the accolade.

“I think it reflects the fact that a number of our clients have been quite active in the last 18 months.

“Also, as a firm, Bell Gully has been fortunate to be involved with a number of significant and interesting matters in the energy and infrastructure sector in recent years.”

The list was published with the release of the Who’s Who Legal: Energy 2015 guide this month, which highlighted 729 lawyers from 306 firms across the globe.

Coull was one of seven lawyers listed as the most highly regarded from outside North America and Europe.

“There has been a lot of international interest in the New Zealand energy sector, across the full breadth of activity,” Coull said.    

“We have seen interest in the Mixed Ownership Model transactions, several significant international upstream exploration and production companies establishing operations in New Zealand, and the emerging potential to export New Zealand’s expertise in geothermal development and other renewable energy sources.”

But perhaps the biggest opportunity in the short to medium term is the potential for Electric Vehicles (EVs) to change New Zealand’s overall energy mix, Coull said.

“The Government has been very vocal in its support for EVs, and there is scope for New Zealand to make a significant contribution to the development and adoption of this new technology on a commercial scale.

“This also has the benefit of exploiting the strength that New Zealand has in renewable electricity generation.”

Last month, Bell Gully was named in the top tier of energy and infrastructure firms in New Zealand by the IFLR1000 Energy & Infrastructure 2015, which acknowledged partners Garry Downs, Chris Gordon and David Coull and highlighted the firm’s strength in oil and gas, as well as public private partnerships (PPPs).