Bell Gully

Our firm has a significant history of involvement with climate change issues in New Zealand and has advised clients on matters ranging from carbon asset trading to renewable energy projects.  We combine leading climate change legal expertise with advice in all areas of law impacted by the regulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: tax, capital markets, corporate, property, finance, environmental, trade, commercial, marketing and sales, and litigation.

With changes to the regulatory environment gathering pace, we assist clients to monitor policy changes and have their say on proposals relevant to their business.  We have a deep understanding of the legislation already in place, and were involved in drafting parts of the Climate Change Response Act, New Zealand's core climate change legislation.

As new carbon markets spring up our understanding of the emerging framework for carbon trading offers our clients an advantage. In 2000, the Ministry of Economic Development commissioned Bell Gully to design the legal framework for an emissions trading market. Our clients include pioneers in the emissions trading market and we have advised on transactions on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

We have significant experience with renewable energy projects such as wind farms and have advised clients on the rights to carbon credits allocated by the Crown for projects, and the trading of those credits. We have also advised a range of clients in other industries, including manufacturing, forestry, wine, electricity, gas, mining, financial services, transport and construction, on the implications of the Government's climate change policies on their options for obtaining carbon tax exemptions or rights to carbon credits.

Climate change has become a material issue in many transactions and investments.  We have expertise in drafting commercial contracts that identify and quantify carbon-related risk and correctly allocate liability for carbon tax or confer entitlement to carbon credits under future climate change policies.

Our practice recognises our clients' need to remain at the leading edge of legal developments as they develop both competitive and regulatory responses to the challenge of climate change.

Simon Watt

Simon specialises in climate change law and in providing commercial and public law advice to public sector entities.

He advises government departments, State-Owned Enterprises, Crown entities and statutory corporations on the regulatory frameworks that apply to them. He is also experienced in corporate governance and restructuring, including organisational design options for future corporate structures. Simon advises on consultation and decision-making processes aimed at fulfilling public law obligations and managing judicial review risks. He also drafts legislation.

Simon has provided substantial advice on the commercial activities of public sector entities, including RFP and tender processes and other forms of procurement. He has extensive experience in contracting in the health sector, advising on contracts with hospitals and other health providers, including pharmaceutical companies, primary care organisations, laboratories, and a broad range of other health service providers.

Chambers Global 2008 also describes Simon as a "knowledgeable, responsive and pragmatic" head of the Wellington public law team.

Simon also specialises in climate change work and leads Bell Gully's climate change practice. He has advised on the development of a legal framework for trading in greenhouse gas emissions and on climate change legislation. He also advises businesses both domestically and internationally, on carbon trading and on the implications of the Kyoto Protocol and New Zealand's emissions trading scheme.

Chambers Global 2008 ranks Bell Gully as one of only 12 leading law firms globally in the climate change area and names Simon as one of just 10 partners world-wide identified as international legal experts in climate change.

Chambers describes Simon as "an intelligent and considered adviser who has credibility in both the private and public sector" for his climate change expertise.


Contact Bell Gully

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Contact Bell Gully

Simon Watt
171 Featherston Street
PO Box 1291
Phone: +64 4 915 6854
Fax: +64 4 915 6810