Sundaresh Thangavelu
DLA Piper

Sundaresh Thangavelu

Real Estate Solicitor, DLA Piper

“DLA Piper is the first truly global law firm in New Zealand. We work with international clients and colleagues from our international offices. I enjoy the friendly, close-knit culture of the firm and flexible working arrangements available to all our people. The firm makes it easy to bring your best self to work.“

What kind of work have you been involved with at DLA Piper?

I work in the Real Estate practice group and my day-to-day work revolves around acquisitions and disposals of land, property development, commercial leasing and large-scale subdivisions. I also do a lot of real estate due diligence work for domestic and international M&A deals.

However, what makes real estate work at DLA Piper unique and exciting is the type of clients we work with. Our clients are both local and international and are from various sectors like fast-moving consumer goods, renewable energy, broadcasting and entertainment, social and affordable housing, high-end retail, banking and finance, iwi clients and local government. No two days are the same at DLA Piper!

What do you enjoy about working at DLA Piper?

Apart from the wide variety of clients and type of work we do, I also enjoy the friendly, close-knit culture of the firm and flexible working arrangements available to all our people. The firm makes it easy to bring your best self to work.

What has been the most challenging part of working at DLA Piper?

We do a lot of work with international clients and colleagues in DLA Piper’s other jurisdictions. Sometimes it can be a challenge scheduling calls and working across different time zones. However, the flexible working arrangement definitely help make this easier.

What sets DLA Piper apart from other firms?

DLA Piper is the first truly global law firm in New Zealand. It has offices all over the world that are seamlessly integrated. This enables us to draw on expertise and insights from our colleagues across the various jurisdictions and provide our clients with that extra level of service and insight that other firms will struggle to offer.

What has been the most challenging part of working at DLA Piper?

We do a lot of work with international clients and colleagues in DLA Piper’s other jurisdictions. Sometimes it can be a challenge scheduling calls and working across different time zones. However, the flexible working arrangement definitely help make this easier.

What sets DLA Piper apart from other firms?

DLA Piper is the first truly global law firm in New Zealand. It has offices all over the world that are seamlessly integrated. This enables us to draw on expertise and insights from our colleagues across the various jurisdictions and provide our clients with that extra level of service and insight that other firms will struggle to offer.

What are the social opportunities like at DLA Piper?

There are plenty of social opportunities at DLA Piper. We have a number of Diversity & Inclusion committees at the firm which are very active. Examples of recent events include learning more about financial wellbeing, a panel discussion on managing bias as well as active allyship training hosted by Rainbow Tick. There are also fortnightly morning teas and fortnightly drinks at the office to catch up with colleagues as well as a number of other social initiatives at the firm.

What has surprised you about working at DLA Piper?

I was surprised by the close-knit culture of the entire firm. Despite being a relatively large firm, everyone is very friendly, approachable and works in a collaborative way. Another factor that surprised me was the amount of resources available to us. Having access to different sectors, jurisdictions and teams as well as all of the resources that goes with it really helps us to produce timely, high-quality work for our clients.

What has been your favourite experience at DLA Piper so far?

I have made some very close friends at DLA Piper, so my favourite experience is being able to hang out with them almost every day at work and after work.

What would your advice to students be who are wishing to apply to DLA Piper?

Be genuine and be yourself. Diversity is celebrated at DLA Piper.

DLA Piper logo

“Our young lawyers are involved in stimulating, high profile projects that require bespoke legal solutions and advice. Our specialist practice allows us to provide our lawyers with a quality of experience and a level of remuneration which is unsurpassed in the market.”

About the firm

DLA Piper is a global business law firm located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world.  We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients and contributing to the communities we operate in.

DLA Piper is a global powerhouse, consistently ranked in the top five most powerful law firm brands in the world. As the first global business law firm in New Zealand, we offer clients a unique competitive edge on local and international stages. Our clients range from some of the world’s most renowned global brands to the most influential businesses in New Zealand that are defining the future.

One of our key differentiators is the ability to apply international thinking and experience to the work we do for all our clients, wherever they do business. Across every major sector and specialist practice, the firm provides pragmatic, commercially astute advice.

ce to the work we do for all our clients, wherever they do business. Across every major sector and specialist practice, the firm provides pragmatic, commercially astute advice.

Working at the firm

We are a values driven business, and everything we do is connected with our People, our Clients and our Communities, we live by these values:

Be Supportive – we care about others, value diversity and act thoughtfully
Be Collaborative – we give, we share and we join in
Be Bold – we stand tall and challenge ourselves to think big
Be Exceptional – we exceed standards and expectations
Diversity and inclusion underpins how we live our values and everything we do. We believe that everyone has a voice, and that everyone’s voice counts. We are committed to providing an inclusive working environment and culture across our firm where everyone can bring their authentic self to work. We welcome the unique contribution that each person brings to our firm which is why over a third of our people are active in one of our five D&I committees. Our people own our D&I journey.

Our commitment to pro bono is unparalleled and engrained in our culture. Our approach to pro bono is consistent with our vision to be “truly local, truly global” and we have a strong pro bono practice that is appropriate to the local circumstances and cultures in which we work. We work with individuals and organisations that could not otherwise afford counsel, providing advice across a wide range of specialisms and geographies.

DLA Piper strives to also be a leader in environmental sustainability. We undertake initiatives to reduce our own operational environmental impact and we believe that our greatest contribution to a sustainable environment is the advice and support we provide to our clients – both in managing their own environmental impacts and assessing and responding to climate – related risks and opportunities.

Opportunities for Students

The whole legal industry is changing. The old establishment is gone, and there’s a new establishment in town. It’s an exciting and dynamic future, which we at DLA Piper are leading. It’s a new business world, with new client needs. Clients want more than legal advice, they want strategic business advisers that cross borders and geographies. They want global insights with local savvy. And so do we.

DLA Piper is a firm built for this rapidly globalising world, and we’re looking for people to join us on this mission. We’re looking for people who see the world differently, who listen to clients, and who solve their problems, not just give advice. Being well read is good, but being able to read the room is great. We’re looking for people to help make business better for our clients.

We offer a handful of sought-after summer clerk and law clerk openings in New Zealand. This means you will experience a first-class journey, with full participation in real work. Partners and senior lawyers will support you with genuine help and encouragement. Applications are open to students in their penultimate or final year at University. We do not look for any specific subjects when recruiting, but seek commercially minded students, who have gained a broad platform of understanding from their studies.

The clerkship programme generally starts in November. You will be busy and experience a variety of work. You will be truly contributing, spending your summer rotating between two teams before going into a permanent team.

For more information visit: dlapiper.com/nzgrads

Location: Auckland, Wellington
Areas of Expertise: Global business law firm providing full services in corporate, employment, finance, intellectual property, technology, international trade, regulatory, government affairs, litigation, arbitration, investigations, projects, infrastructure, real estate, restructuring and tax. DLA Piper are sector experts in financial services, government, hospitality and leisure, insurance, life sciences, media, sport, entertainment, real estate, retail, and technology.
Staff: 22 partners, 72 lawyers
Contact: Kirsty Katzin, Talent Acquisition/HR Consultant, kirsty.katzin@dlapiper.com

Various practice areas

Hannah Atkinson