Bell Gully's work on leading deals and the in-house legal team of a major client have been recognised at the ALB Australasian Law Awards 2007.
The Waste Management-Transpacific Industries Group merger, on which Bell Gully acted for Waste Management, was awarded NZ Deal of the Year at the awards held in Sydney on 15 May.
This transaction is the only cash amalgamation of a listed company that has been conducted in the New Zealand market. The merger provoked widespread debate about the structure employed and its merits compared with a takeover. It has also led to some proposals for law reform.
Bell Gully also played a part in the Telstra 3 deal which was awarded Equity Deal of the Year and Australian Deal of the Year. Partner James Gibson acted as New Zealand counsel to the Commonwealth of Australia and to Telstra Corporation on the sale of the third tranche of the Australian Government's stake in Telstra for A$15.5 billion.
The award for New Zealand In-house Legal Team of the Year went to Bell Gully's longstanding client Carter Holt Harvey. Partner David Boswell, who has worked closely with the company and its legal team, says 2006 "was another huge year of change for Carter Holt Harvey".
Rank Group made a successful takeover offer for the company in March. As a result Rank delisted Carter Holt Harvey, which was, at the time, one of New Zealand's largest listed companies.
It also sold its forestry business of approximately 260,000 hectares to US-based Hancock Natural Resources Group.
"This was not only one of the biggest property sales in New Zealand's history, but one that involved a variety of complex structures, issues and long-term log supply agreements and was undertaken in the context of new legislation and hugely demanding timeframes. The in-house team, led by Nicolas Short, deserve this award," says David Boswell.