About us

Buddle Findlay’s experienced partnership brings energy and enthusiasm to New Zealand’s legal market. We are known for our strong focus on collaboration and building strategic and enduring relationships. A practical approach allows us to provide balanced advice within a broader commercial context and bring strategic thinking to legal problems.

Our approach

Buddle Findlay is one of New Zealand’s leading commercial and public law firms, with offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and a global reach of contacts and experience.

Our key point of difference as a firm is our reputation as New Zealand's collaborative law firm.  Our central value proposition is 'exceptional outcomes through collaboration'.

Our team is focused on our clients and their businesses and is dedicated to providing expert advice with a strategic and commercial approach.  We are acknowledged as a market leader in collaborative working relationships with our clients and their other advisers.  We also take pride in our reputation as pragmatic, solution focused and approachable legal advisers.

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Working with us

We are committed to helping clients achieve their strategic objectives, by providing tailored, strategic and commercially focused legal advice.  We are dedicated to promoting best practice, technical excellence and commercial insight across every aspect of our business.

We have exceptionally strong relationships with our clients based on the following working principles:


We place great importance on team work, initiative and integrity and have a track record of maintaining strong client relationships. We operate in a highly competitive environment and have built relationships with some of New Zealand's most significant organisations. Our clients include national and multi-national corporations, private equity and venture capital funds, banks and financial institutions, state-owned enterprises, government departments, and local and other statutory authorities. We have strong links with law firms in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Asia.


A comprehensive commercial legal service advising both public and private companies on a full range of corporate and commercial issues and transactions:

  • Specialist industry knowledge and the ability to contribute strategic advice in key industries

  • Commercial solutions based on a pragmatic approach to problem solving

  • "Can do" flexible approach to client service

  • Seamless national service - providing a fully integrated service from New Zealand's three major commercial centres - Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

  • Commitment, integrity and solutions that anticipate the real problems - these are the things that sum up our approach to doing business.


Buddle Findlay has been providing legal services for 125 years. Buddle Findlay represents the merger in 1982 of Wellington firms Buddle Anderson Kent & Co (with a heritage dating back to 1895 with the founding of Buller & Anderson) and Findlay Hoggard Richmond & Co (dating back to 1899 with the founding of Findlay Dalziell & Co).  An Auckland office was established in 1986 and strengthened through mergers with the Auckland firm of Malloy Moody & Greville and with the commercial department of Holmden Horrocks & Co.  A Christchurch office was added by merging with Brookman Stock in 1989.

Information for clients

We are committed to helping clients achieve their goals, by providing tailored, commercially focused legal advice in a transparent way.

These links contain the information we are required to provide to clients under the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers issued by the New Zealand Law Society:


Buddle Findlay's Board of Management is made up of six representatives elected annually by partners.  The Board of Management comprises a National Chair and partner representatives from each of our three offices.

The role of the Board of Management is to develop strategies and goals for the firm's business and monitor achievement against those goals.

The Board of Management is as follows:


Jennifer Caldwell

National Chair

Paul Farrugia

Auckland Chair

Charlotte von Dadelszen

Wellington Chair

Jan Etwell

Christchurch Chair

Sherridan Cook

Auckland Board Member

Amy Ryburn

Wellington Board Member

Management team

Philip Maitland, Chief Executive, is responsible to the Board of Management for all aspects of the firm's business management and operations.

A high level of professionalism is demonstrated across the senior management team which consists of:

Philip Maitland

Philip Maitland

Chief Executive, senior leadership team

Adam Gower

Adam Gower

Chief Digital Technology Officer, senior leadership team

Lucy Ryan

Lucy Ryan

Director, People and Culture, senior leadership team

Melanie Christie

Melanie Christie

Director of Operations, senior leadership team

Olwin Kleve

Olwin Kleve

National Marketing Director, senior leadership team

Ali Tie

Ali Tie

Services Manager

Esther Song

Esther Song

National Finance Manager

Paul Kay

Paul Kay

National Manager - Trust Account

Tō Tātou Tiakitanga

Ours to care for all

Tō Tātou Tiakitanga brings together the key initiatives Buddle Findlay is doing within the areas of diversity and inclusion (D&I), Te Hapori (community) and Te Taiao (environment and sustainability).  To find out more about these initiatives, download our Tō Tātou Tiakitanga report.

Download report

Diversity and inclusion

Buddle Findlay's culture is the foundation of who we are as a firm and is integral to delivering our promise: New Zealand's collaborative law firm – helping our clients to be part of a more successful Aotearoa.  We respect, value and support our people; our priorities are diversity, inclusion, safety and wellbeing.

We are committed to being market leaders in attracting a diverse workforce and creating the best environment for our people to belong, thrive, and grow their careers.  Diversity and inclusion are fundamental elements of Buddle Findlay's strategic priorities and are a lens we place over all our decision making.  We know that a diverse workforce will increase our creativity, innovation and profitability, and provide our clients with better experiences.

Gender and equity

We have undertaken an analysis of our gender pay gap and have published our gap on Mind the Gap.  We are committed to reviewing our initiatives to improve our gap.

Our firm wide gender pay equity gap is 2.10%.  Gender pay equity is paying people in the same roles the same pay, irrespective of their gender.

Our firm wide gender pay gap is 12.28%*.  The gender pay gap is the gap between the average earnings of women compared with men (regardless of what role they are in).

*Our gender pay gap is a percentage measure of the difference between the average full time equivalent earnings of all women and the average full time equivalent earnings of all men.  The data is employees of Buddle Findlay and does not include partners or the CE.

Closing our gender pay gap

Buddle Findlay is committed to closing gaps in equity and proactively seeking ways to eliminate (and not create) barriers to success.  We want to support all of our people to succeed, and this includes promoting equal pay and eliminating our gender pay gaps. 

  • The board and partnership have made their commitment to closing the gender pay gap
  • We will continue to enhance our policies with our D&I lens to ensure equity for everyone
  • We have launched our new parental leave policy which we believe will have a direct impact on reducing the motherhood penalty and improving our pay gap
  • We consider gender (where possible) for lateral hire appointments into our business at senior level roles
  • Our graduate recruitment programme is designed to increase diversity of graduates we recruit
  • We will continue to report annually on our gender pay gap.
Parental leave – reducing the motherhood penalty and improving our pay gap

A key firmwide focus has been understanding the motherhood penalty and exploring an innovative and progressive approach to support all of our people to thrive before, during and after becoming parents.

We recently launched our new market leading parental leave policy which includes:

  • Providing both parents with 26 weeks of paid Buddle Findlay parental leave for a person who assumes the primary care of the child to be taken within the first 24 months of the baby being born
  • A comprehensive and bespoke coaching package for both leaders and our employees
  • Four weeks' paid partner's leave to be taken within the first 24 months of the baby being born
  • Flexible working
  • Budget relief for our parents in legal roles returning from parental leave
  • Setting up parent networks at Buddle Findlay
  • KiwiSaver employer contributions – 3% employer contributions for the duration of parental leave
  • Annual leave rate on return from parental leave will be at its full value (not the average of the previous 12 months).

Full details of our parental leave policy can be found on the New Zealand parental leave register, created by Crayon.

We have also recently launched our new career coaching platform, Grace Papers.  Grace Papers are workplace gender equity experts, helping people navigate managing their career and care responsibilities.  The Grace Papers platform is an integral part of our new Buddle Findlay paid parental leave policy.  The platform is aimed at empowering all of our people – individuals, parents, carers and leaders.

Cultural capabilities

As part of our national diversity and inclusion strategy, we have embedded a cultural capabilities framework within Te Ao Māori.  The kaupapa behind the cultural capabilities framework is designed to achieve our goals of fostering respect and reciprocity, upskilling staff capability and confidence in Te Reo and Tikanga Māori, ensuring cultural safety for our people and clients, and developing our Māori law practice.  Our principles include:

  • Manaakitanga (to show to others hospitality, kindness, generosity and support)
  • Whanaungatanga (is a relationship created through shared experiences and collaboration in a way that provides people with a sense of belonging)
  • Kotahitanga (represents unity, togetherness, solidarity and collaborative action)
  • Mōhiotanga/maramatanga (is about sharing knowledge, understanding and comprehension).
Cultural capability initiatives
  • Supporting our people to improve individual Te Reo Māori and tikanga skills, integrating these into day to day life and work, including welcoming new starters with mihimihi
  • Holding regular waiata practice sessions held in Auckland and Wellington, with waiata now regularly performed at in-person events
  • Building relationships with Māori organisations, such as student associations and local marae
  • Extending Te Reo Māori courses focused on introductory language skills
  • Providing Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori for advocates - a seven part course for litigation teams to support in using Te Reo Māori in the Court, as well as better understand how and when to apply tikanga to legal problems
  • Partnering with Māori Law Review
  • Supporting Kōkiri Marae in fundraising to assist with construction of a mārakai (food garden) and commercial kitchen
  • Increasing engagement with Māori student associations
  • Continuing our graduate recruitment programme with Ngāi Tahu which provides a preferential place to a Ngāi Tahu law student in our summer clerk programme each year
  • Attending the Māori Law Careers evening organised by Ngā Rangahautira, the Māori Law Students Association at Victoria University of Wellington.  This event provided Māori students with a one-on-one, face-to-face opportunity speak to Māori in the legal profession about their work and career opportunities
  • Paying membership fees for our people who wish to join Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (The Māori Law Society).
Inclusion for all
  • Our people participated in Sweat with Pride, raising $23,670 in support of the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (formerly the New Zealand AIDS foundation) to make a difference to improve the mental and physical health of Aotearoa's rainbow communities.  Buddle Findlay was placed first in the workplaces category for 2023
  • Achieving a finalist place for the Inclusive Workplace Award in the Diversity Works Awards 2023
  • Engaging with other legal organisations and student associations to discover ways in which we can better support our LGBTQI+ communities
  • Rainbow Tick certified since 2017
  • Global Women membership and participation
  • Supporting New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) week by holding a deaf awareness and NZSL workshop that included an information session and the opportunity to learn some words in sign language
  • Encouraging the participation of activities held during Unity Week.  Unity Week was established to remember and honour the lives lost during the Christchurch mosque attacks, while promoting a socially cohesive society 
  • Celebrating and raising awareness about Matariki, Lunar New Year, Ramadan and pacific languages and pride celebrations.

Te Hapori

Our community

Our community strategy is based on involving our people and we are committed to building a stronger and more sustainable community in New Zealand by:

  • Supporting the Halberg Foundation to help it achieve its goal of sport and recreation for all
  • Assisting hospitals in caring for children through our Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation
  • Encouraging our lawyers to dedicate their time and expertise to assisting our pro bono clients
  • Developing close relationships with key charities
  • Partnering with Community Law to provide free legal advice to members of the public, who otherwise may not be able to afford it or who are vulnerable
  • Partnering with Māori Law Review including by supporting the review and as a contributing author on legal developments affecting Māori.

We recently launched Āwhinatia Rā, the Buddle Findlay community day.  Āwhinatia Rā is an extra day’s paid special leave for an activity that represents a positive contribution to the community.

Pro bono

Buddle Findlay recognises the difficulty some community organisations have in accessing legal services and that money saved on legal fees can be channelled towards making a real difference. We have a comprehensive pro bono policy in place, encouraging our lawyers to dedicate their time and expertise to helping those in need.

Over the years, we have voluntarily assisted a number of individuals, charities and community projects. Many of our partners and our people are also involved in community boards, committees and charitable trusts. Some of our pro bono clients are:

The Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation

The Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation (the Foundation) is a charitable trust that was set up in 2005 and supports tamariki in need of medical care in New Zealand.  If hospitals face an urgent need for equipment or other vital resources, the Foundation will quickly consider applications for funding to help meet the need and provide an immediate and direct benefit to the children.

Supporting child healthcare is a natural fit for Buddle Findlay with partners and staff having a genuine desire to make a difference.  The Foundation is firmly committed to improving the experience for kids in hospital care in a direct and tangible way.

More than $1.51m has been donated for urgent medical care for children since the Foundation began.

The Foundation is funded by Buddle Findlay partners and our people. 

In August 2018, Buddle Findlay became a founding supporter of the Māia Health Foundation (Māia).  In September 2021, we renewed the agreement between the Foundation and Māia for a further three years.  Māia, which is the charitable arm of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, Waitaha Canterbury, has been set up to fundraise for items that are not budgeted for.  This is a wonderful opportunity for Buddle Findlay to continue supporting child health in Christchurch which expands on the firm's existing relationships with the equivalent organisations for Wellington and Middlemore Hospitals.


How to apply for funding

Any New Zealand medical institution, with a dedicated children’s residential care facility, may apply for the Foundation’s rapid response funding. Potential applicants should be aware that the Foundation’s priority is facilities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, where Buddle Findlay’s offices are located and a rapid response, which may involve face-to-face meetings or a site visit, can be effectively delivered.

To be eligible for funding consideration applications must:

  • Be from a medical institution in New Zealand providing residential medical care for children

  • Have been approved by the governing body or chief executive of that medical institution

  • Certify that the funding requested has arisen as a short notice need, and that funding is not available from normal sources, giving reasons for such unavailability. 

Contact the Foundation

Email: child.health@buddlefindlay.com

Post: Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation, PO Box 2694, Wellington 6140

Foundation charter

A copy of the Foundation charter can be downloaded here.

The Foundation is administered by three trustees - Charlotte von Dadelszen, Lisette Hood and Julia Gabrielle (partners at Buddle Findlay).


Halberg Foundation

Buddle Findlay prides itself on being involved within the community and is pleased to be a key sponsor of the Halberg Foundation (the Foundation).  The Foundation works with talented young sportspeople and their families to ensure that they receive the support they need to pursue their sporting dreams, and to reap the benefits that sport and recreation provide.  They also collaborate with schools, sports clubs and organisations to provide training and support with the aim of ensuring that physical activities are available to everyone.

The Foundation was founded by the late Sir Murray Halberg on the belief that all people, regardless of their ability, should have equal opportunity to enhance their lives through sport.  Since 1963, the Foundation has worked hard to make Sir Murray's vision a reality for physically disabled New Zealanders.  From humble beginnings, the Foundation now stands as the lead agency in its field.

Buddle Findlay provide the Foundation with financial assistance and legal support to help it achieve its goal of sport and recreation for all.  Our people are provided with volunteer opportunities at the Foundation's key regional fundraising events.

Te Taiao

Environmental and sustainability initiatives

Buddle Findlay has established an Environment committee (Te Taiao) comprising of representatives from across the firm and is complemented by local subcommittees in each office.  Participants are volunteers across all levels at Buddle Findlay - people who are passionate about the environment and its interaction with our workplace.

Environmental action is everyone’s business.  We have an ambitious goal to become leaders in our approach to reduce our environmental impact.  To work towards this goal, we are committed to:

  • Maintaining carbon-neutral certification and setting ambitious emissions reduction targets
  • Engaging with our people on emissions reduction and broader environmental issues
  • Integrating environmental considerations into all aspects of our business.

  • Working with our people and suppliers to encourage the efficient use of resources including training our people in processes and technologies which facilitate sustainable practices.
Materials and waste
  • Continuing to measure and manage waste with the aim to reduce the quantities of materials we consume, including paper, single use and soft plastics
  • Using and encouraging recycling where possible including implementing select TerraCycle recycling schemes across our offices, encouraging the recycling of paper products generally and participating in schemes to recycle redundant electronic equipment, furniture, and used batteries
  • Continuing schemes for recycling and disposing of organic/green waste separate to general waste, including an in-house worm farm in Auckland
    Influencing our suppliers, including caterers, cleaners and couriers, to offer sustainable choice.
  • Promoting responsible energy use
  • Making energy efficient decisions in relation to our premises including the use of sensor lighting and the replacement of non-efficient lighting
  • Continuing procurement for any replacement equipment to meet energy efficient standards.
  • Making sure our people and our suppliers are aware of our strategy
  • Providing an overview of our environmental activities in induction training
  • Educating our people about relevant sustainability practices including recycling signage in our offices, email/newsletter communications and organising external speakers/presentations
  • Including our environmental goals, achievements and challenges in client communications
  • Gathering information about environmentally sustainable business practices.
Buddle Findlay certified as net carbon zero

Buddle Findlay holds Toitū net carbonzero certification in line with PAS 2050 for our service offerings.  We are proud to take a science-based approach to guide how we better sustain our people and our future on this planet. We have been certified as net carbonzero since 2019.

A Toitū net zero carbon certification is in line with international best practice. 

Recent environmental achievements