Bella Ieremia
Bell Gully
Bella Ieremia

Graduate, Bell Gully

“I felt very fortunate to be able to observe and learn from some of the brightest legal minds in Aotearoa and I left that summer feeling as if I was a part of the team.”

What kind of work have you been involved in at your firm?

When I summer clerked with Bell Gully I rotated through the Corporate, Litigation and Resource Management departments. In each of the teams I was assigned to I was lucky to be involved in real and varied work, ranging from research to client meetings to drafting various documents. My time with the firm gave me invaluable insight into the wide range of work that Bell Gully undertakes and what it’s like to be a commercial lawyer at one of Aotearoa’s top law firms.

What do you enjoy most about working at Bell Gully?

Whilst it’s hard to pick one thing, it would definitely be the people. From the juniors right through to the senior partners, everybody I worked with was always willing to share their time and wealth of knowledge. I felt very fortunate to be able to observe and learn from some of the brightest legal minds in Aotearoa and I left that summer feeling as if I was a part of the team – and very excited to return!

What has been the most challenging part of working at Bell Gully?

The biggest challenge of the Summer was the adjustment from being a law student doing theoretical work, to a summer clerk being involved in real work. It’s quite a shift in terms of how you approach and complete tasks, especially in terms of legal writing, but I was able to adjust fairly quickly with the help of my buddies and responsible partners.

What sets Bell Gully apart from other firms?

Again, I return to the people and the culture. Bell Gully is a place that values work ethic and where you are a part of a team that is always striving to deliver the best advice and outcomes for their clients. As a people person, who thoroughly enjoys working with others, the Bell Gully environment is one where I felt supported to learn, grow and thrive.

What are the social opportunities like at Bell Gully?

The social opportunities are plentiful! Despite summer clerking through Covid, I was lucky to attend many events including a couple of Christmas celebrations with my respective teams. I also built strong relationships with my summer clerk cohort and we would often organise activities and socialise outside of work hours.

What has surprised you about working at Bell Gully?

Just how down to earth everyone was! Despite working on some of the biggest deals, and for the most significant and established companies both domestically and internationally, everyone kept a cool head and remained extremely personable.

What has been your favourite experience at Bell Gully so far?

My favourite experience from the summer was getting to work on client matters under the guidance of my buddies, responsible partners and wider teams. The mentoring I received through each of my rotations was invaluable and meant that I was always learning and gaining invaluable insight into how to approach and tackle complex legal issues.

What would your advice to students be who are wishing to apply to Bell Gully?

Chuck your hat in the ring and remember that you are your best asset! Bell Gully cares about who you are as a person as much as your academic performance, so be your authentic self right from your application through to the interviewing stages. Good luck!

The Bell Gully Summer Intern Programme

Bell Gully

“We constantly invest in our culture and create an environment where our people feel comfortable and can give their best. The firm implements work-life policies to provide greater flexibility and to assist staff to achieve balance and manage their responsibilities at home and at work.“

About the firm

The team at Bell Gully work with a number of leading New Zealand and international companies, including Air New Zealand, ANZ, ASB, Auckland Transport, Contact Energy, Crown Infrastructure Partners, Downer EDI, First Sentier Investors, Fletcher Building, Frucor Beverages, Genesis Energy, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, PwC, SkyCity, Stride Property, Waikato-Tainui, Vodafone and Xero.

The firm has been recognised for its commitment to our people, and for having an inclusive and supportive environment. Recognition includes:

  • Being voted among the top 30 New Zealand graduate employers in GradNewZealand’s 2020 student survey.
  • Obtaining and sustaining the Rainbow Tick since 2016, for demonstration of our strong commitment to ensuring inclusion and support of the LGBT community.
  • Receiving an excellence awardee for “Employer of Choice” at the 2021 and 2022 New Zealand Law Awards.
  • Receiving an award at the 2019 NZ UN Women’s Empowerment Principles White Camellia Awards for our work to promote education, training and professional development opportunities for women.

Opportunities for Students

The Bell Gully Summer Intern Programme is run each summer from mid-November through to mid-February at both Bell Gully’s Auckland and Wellington offices. Students can apply to summer intern at the end of their third or fourth year. The programme provides students with:

  • the opportunity to do real work with clients in three of Bell Gully’s legal departments, matched with one of our partners or senior associates for each.
  • support from your buddies, your teams and HR throughout the programme as well as regular formal feedback to help you get the most of your summer.
  • work with our pro bono clients through the programme’s Community Days.
  • access to Bell Gully’s learning resources and inclusion in the Bell Gully Leadership programme.
  • the opportunity to work with amazing people and forge friendships that will last through your career.

Thies Vaihu 

Location: Auckland, Wellington
Areas of Specialisation: Full service law firm consistently recognised as a leading New Zealand legal adviser in a number of independent international legal directories. Bell Gully has market-leading expertise in a wide array of areas including corporate, commercial, litigation, financial services, tax, real estate and projects.
Staff: 48 partners and 170+ other legal staff
Auckland – Jayden Hira (HR Advisor),
Wellington – Selena Glen (HR Advisor),

Intellectual Property, RMA, and Insolvency Finance & Asia Business (IFAB) teams

Vipasha Mehta