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

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

Winner at the 2020 Client Choice Awards

Buddle Findlay is delighted to have been recognised for the second yea…

March 2020

Paul Farrugia wins at the 2021 Client Choice Awards

Buddle Findlay is delighted to announce that partner Paul Farrugia has…

March 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

Diversity and inclusion

Buddle Findlay recognises that our strength lies in employing and working with talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. We respect the value of different perspectives, individuality, and the importance of giving everyone an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential in a supportive and inclusive work environment.

We are committed to ensuring that everyone at Buddle Findlay is treated fairly, equitably and with respect - just as we would treat our clients. We do not discriminate nor tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender identity, ethnicity, colour, race, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, family status, employment status, faith or political opinion.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives

Our initiatives are aimed at providing equal and fair opportunities for our partners and staff and to facilitate their success with an appropriate level of encouragement and support. 

  • We are a signatory to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which aim to advance equality between men and women in the workplace, marketplace and community

  • We have achieved Rainbow Tick certification, authenticating Buddle Findlay as a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for people of diverse gender identity and sexual orientation
  • We are committed to monitoring and reporting on gender diversity statistics and performance

  • We have a Diversity Steering Committee, which is responsible for ongoing development of Buddle Findlay's approach to diversity and inclusion, with support and oversight from the Board of Management

  • Our internal and external seminar programmes include gender and diversity topics

  • Our senior women are actively encouraged to participate in leadership, mentoring and women's network events, both within Buddle Findlay and externally

  • We recognise the importance of providing flexible work arrangements and accommodate this in a way that also maintains excellent service for our clients.

We are committed to building on our programme and acknowledge that it benefits not only Buddle Findlay but it enables us to better respond to the wider community in which we operate.

A copy of our latest Diversity and inclusion annual report can be found here.


Buddle Findlay is committed to providing an inclusive, healthy and safe working environment where our people and our clients treat each other with dignity, respect and professionalism.  As part of this commitment, Buddle Findlay gives its people the option to display their pronouns in their email signature.  Find out what pronouns are and why we use them in our email signatures here

In the community

At Buddle Findlay, giving back to our community is an important element of the way we do business.

With offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, our corporate and social responsibility is based on building a stronger and 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 assist our pro bono clients
  • Developing close relationships with key charities
  • 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 staff are also involved in community boards, committees and charitable trusts. Some of our pro bono clients are:  

CCS Disability Action - Auckland

CCS is committed to creating inclusive communities.  A large part of its role is supporting people with disabilities to be ‘in the driver’s seat’ of their life and to achieve their own dreams and aspirations - by having the skills, confidence and resources to influence family, friends, colleagues, society and government.

Coastguard Wanaka Lakes

Coastguard Wanaka Lakes is a volunteer emergency response marine search and rescue organisation covering Lakes Wanaka and Hawea.  The unit was formed in 2011 and since then has averaged 20 volunteers, who together have spent thousands of hours to ensure that they meet both operational requirements and a criteria to enable them to respond 24/7.  The average number of people saved, rescued or assisted per annum is 24.  CWL also provides operational support for a considerable number of annual Wanaka water sport events.

College Sport Wellington

College Sport Wellington is a registered charitable entity established to centralise administration of sporting programmes for schools of the greater Wellington region.  College Sport Wellington has a membership of 42 secondary schools, with a student population of 26,500 who have the opportunity to participate in 35 sporting codes at either a competition or tournament level.

Dress for Success

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Gap Filler Trust

Gap Filler is a creative social enterprise that works with communities to design and deliver placemaking strategies and programmes that are the foundation for long-term community outcomes.  Based in Christchurch, they create installations, events and processes to make places more memorable, fun, equitable and sociable and deliver strategies, installations and support services all around New Zealand and the world.

Kaibosh Food Rescue

Kaibosh is a not-for-profit organisation that acts as a link between the food industry and charities that support people in need. Kaibosh aims to stop edible food from being needlessly thrown away and ensure that it reaches those in our community who are struggling or vulnerable.


LandSAR is a national volunteer organisation that provides land search and rescue services to the lost, missing and injured all over New Zealand.  LandSAR has over 3,000 volunteers across the country.

Laura Fergusson Trust

Laura Fergusson Trust provides specialised rehabilitation services, both residential and community based. It has a special focus on the neurological field where it meets the needs of New Zealanders who have congenital or acquired conditions.

Reconnecting Northland

Reconnecting Northland is the first large-scale ecological restoration programme in New Zealand, focusing on the wellbeing of the people and the land.  Reconnecting Northland covers the Northland Peninsula from the Tāmaki/Manukau isthmus to Te Rerenga Wairua at the northern tip of the North Island.

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is a tertiary training establishment for the dramatic arts based in Wellington.  Toi Whakaari's vision is to lead in the training of actors, directors, technicians, costumiers, prop makers and designers in the performing arts both nationally and internationally.

Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation 

Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation is committed to creating an equitable Aotearoa for rangatahi.  20% of young people in Aotearoa are over-burdened and under-resourced.  These young people are being locked out of opportunity by systems and experiences beyond their control, and face ongoing, complex challenges to their health, their education, and their relationships.  Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation blends digital investment, corporate partnerships, operational and communications support, advocacy, and mentoring with philanthropic funding to build fast-paced, sustainable, and measurable change with the goal of halving the number of excluded and disadvantaged young people by 2027.

Women's Centre 

The Women's Centre is a not-for-profit community organisation based in Christchurch that provides support for women through a range of low and no-cost services including counselling, a drop-in centre, low-rent rooms, legal advice, courses, information and support services.

WWF - New Zealand

WWF - New Zealand is part of the world's largest organisation dedicated to protecting nature and looking after the planet.  In New Zealand, the team supports local communities to protect our precious native wildlife, forests and landscapes, and are at the forefront of efforts to save our endangered Hector's and Maui's dolphins.

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.  The firm's staff are provided with volunteer opportunities at the Foundation's key regional fundraising events.

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 $1,364,942 has been donated for urgent medical care for children since the Foundation began.

The Foundation is funded by the partners and staff of Buddle Findlay.

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).


Community brochure

For more information on Buddle Findlay's community work, download a copy of our community brochure.

Download our community brochure