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Petra Carey


Competition/Public Law and Regulation


Petra advises on complex competition and regulatory matters and has over ten years' experience practicing in New Zealand, the UK and Europe across a range of industries.

She advises on the full range of matters arising under New Zealand's primary competition law legislation, the Commerce Act 1986, including advising clients on the clearance process for domestic and global M&A transactions, cartel investigations, competition market studies as well as the economic regulation under Part 4 of the Commerce Act. Petra regularly advises clients which operate in highly-regulated environments, including in the financial, electricity, airport, retail payment and telecommunications sectors, as well as technology and private equity firms.
She has been recognised by Best Lawyers® 2024 New Zealand Guide for Regulatory Practice, as a future leading lawyer by Who's Who Legal and has been recommended by Legal 500. Clients describe her as "a highly dedicated lawyer" who is commended for providing "clear and practical 'real world advice'."
Prior to re-joining Russell McVeagh in 2021, Petra spent over six years working at Clifford Chance, London and then as competition counsel at a leading technology private equity firm.


Notable examples of Petra's recent work in New Zealand includes:

Competition law and regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including advising:

  • Microsoft on the New Zealand competition law aspects of its proposed USD 67 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

  • ​Trustpower on its sale of its retail electricity, gas and telecommunications business to electricity and gas retailer, Mercury.

  • Pacific Equity Partners on the acquisition of Healthe Care's surgical business operating in Australia and New Zealand (which resulted in the Commission accepting an undertaking to divest the Boulcott hospital business).

  • On the sale of LifeHealthcare's medical devices business to EBOS Group.

  • On the sale of MBCC Group to Sika AG.

  • BDT Partners on the acquisition of Waterlogic.

  • Sinch on its acquisition of MessageMedia.

Complex competition investigations and market studies, including advising:

  • Woolworths NZ in relation to the Commission's 2020 to 2022 market study into the grocery industry.

  • News Publishers Association in its application to the Commerce Commission seeking authorisation and provisional authorisation of a restrictive trade practice.

  • Mastercard on the European Commission's investigation into inter-regional interchange fees and cross-border acquiring rules.

  • Clients in the pharmaceutical sector in relation to the UK CMA’s investigations into pay for delay arrangements and excessive pricing allegations.

  • Morgan Stanley on the European Commission's investigation into credit default swaps (Global Competition Review, Behavioural Matter of the Year (2016)).

  • AXA on the UK CMA's motor insurance market study.

  • Various banks on competition law issues arising in the provision of syndicated loans.

  • Clients on leniency procedures and audits of competition law policies and protocols.

Regulatory and public law issues, including advising:

  • Financial lenders on UK water, electricity and airports regulation in relation to the issuance of bonds by various regulated UK issuers, as well as in relation to specific issues, such as breaches of licences, the risk of special administration orders, price controls, appeals of interim determinations and periodic price reviews.

  • Auckland International Airport and NZ Airports Association on regulatory matters under Part 4 of the Commerce Act 1986 and the Airport Authorities Act 1966 and various other legal and strategic matters arising in relation to the setting of its aeronautical charges.

  • Electricity market participants on various regulatory issues arising under the Commerce Act, Electricity Industry Act, including investigations by the Electricity Authority.


LLB (Hons) / BA, University of Auckland.
Post-Graduate Diploma in EU Competition Law, King's College London.


Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2008.

Admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2018.

Petra is a co-author of the New Zealand chapter for Lexology's GTDT Merger Control Guide.

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