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:

Strengths

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.

Offering

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.

History

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:


Governance

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

Mark Odlin

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

Joel Pearce

Joel Pearce

Business and Systems Improvement Manager

John Nisbet

John Nisbet

Policy and Services Manager

Paul Kay

Paul Kay

National Manager - Trust Account


Awards and recognition

Buddle Findlay announced an excellence awardee for the 2022 New Zealand Law Awards

The New Zealand Law Awards brings together industry leaders to celebra…

August 2022

A win at the New Zealand Law Awards 2021

Buddle Findlay is delighted to have worked alongside Susan Lucking, Sa…

November 2021

Buddle Findlay announced an excellence awardee for the 2021 New Zealand Law Awards

The New Zealand Law Awards brings together industry leaders to celebra…

August 2021

See all awards

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).  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 - exceptional outcomes through collaboration.  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.


Diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • A key D&I focus this year has been understanding the motherhood penalty and exploring an innovative and progressive approach to support all our people to thrive before, during and after becoming parents.  A working group of partners have met regularly throughout the year to challenge, understand and propose a new approach.  The approach will be launched in December 2022.  The following initiatives came into effect earlier this year:
    • 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)
  • Development of D&I metrics and regular reporting of these to the Board
  • Analysis of our gender pay gap along with a commitment to publish our gap in 2023 and a review of initiatives to improve our gap
  • Our people participated in Sweat with Pride, raising $10,255 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
  • Engaging with other legal organisations to discover ways in which we can better support our LGBTQI+ communities
  • Re-certification of our Rainbow Tick
  • Introduction of pronouns to our email signatures
  • Global Women membership and participation
  • Introduction of new policies – family violence, close personal relationships with co-workers and clients, a flexible working policy and review of all policies with a D&I lens
  • Celebrating and raising awareness about Matariki, Pacific languages, pride, Chinese/lunar New Year and Ramadan.
Cultural capabilities

As part of our national D&I strategy, we have embedded a cultural capabilities framework within te ao Māori.  This framework outlines our Kaupapa - our guiding principles:

  • 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)

and our goals: to offer respect and reciprocity, developing our culture, understanding of tikanga Māori and our Māori law practice.

Cultural capability initiatives
  • Supporting our people to improve individual Te Reo Māori and tikanga skills, integrating these
    into day-to-day life and work
  • Building relationships with Māori organisations, such as student associations and local marae
  • Extended Te Reo Māori courses focused on introductory language skills
  • 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
  • Regular waiata practice sessions held in Auckland and Wellington, with waiata now regularly performed at in-person events
  • Supporting Pātaka Kai
  • Partnering with Māori Law Review
  • Increasing engagement with Māori student associations
  • A graduate recruitment programme with Ngāi Tahu provides a preferential place to a Ngāi Tahu law student in our summer clerk programme each year
  • We pay membership fees for individuals who wish to join Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (The Māori Law Society).

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.

 

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 $1.4m 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 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 comprising of representatives from across the firm and is complimented by a local subcommittee 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.

Environment
  • Reducing the environmental impact of our business activities and decisions
  • Buddle Findlay has set targets for reducing our environmental impact, including aiming to reduce our overall emissions footprint by at least 5% on average each year
  • Working with our people and suppliers to encourage the efficient use of resources including training our people in technologies which facilitate sustainable practices.
Materials and waste
  • In mid-2021 all three of our offices conducted a waste measurement exercise, measuring the volume of office waste sent to landfill each day for a five to ten-day period.  The aim is to repeat this exercise annually to measure the impact of waste-reduction and recycling initiatives
  • Reducing the quantities of materials we consume and the amount of waste or recyclable materials we create including active measures to reduce usage of paper and single use 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 and furniture, and used batteries
  • All offices have separate schemes for recycling and disposing of organic/green waste separate to general waste, including an in-house worm farm in Auckland
  • Our Wellington and Christchurch offices also separately recycle soft plastics
  • Influencing our suppliers, including caterers, cleaners and couriers, to offer sustainable choices and taking advantage of those choices.
Energy
  • Promoting responsible energy use and the avoidance of energy wastage
  • Making energy efficient decisions in relation to our premises including the use of sensor lighting
  • Buddle Findlay has set a target of reducing electricity emissions by 3% by 31 December 2023.
Transport
  • Avoiding unnecessary business travel
  • Making provision for bicycle parking
  • Buddle Findlay has set a target of reducing flight emissions by 15% before 31 December 2023.
Communication
  • Making sure our people and our suppliers are aware of this policy
  • New starters will be made aware of our environmental goals as part of induction training
  • Inviting our people to provide input to this policy
  • Taking opportunities to educate our people about relevant sustainability practices including signage in our offices, email/newsletter communications and organising external speakers/presentations
  • Taking opportunities to communicate our sustainability goal, achievements and challenges to our clients in particular and to the wider community
  • Gathering information about environmentally sustainable business practices.
Buddle Findlay certified as carbon neutral

Buddle Findlay holds Toitū carbonzero service certification in line with PAS 2050 for our service offerings.  We are proud to take science based action to sustain the life of this place, our people and our future and have been certified as net carbonzero for 2021, the third year in a row.

A Toitū carbonzero certified service is a net zero carbon service certified in line with international best practice. 

Recent environmental achievements