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Troy Pilkington


Competition/Antitrust & Consumer

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Troy is one of New Zealand's best regarded competition (antitrust), consumer, and regulatory lawyers, and is the Practice Group Chair for Russell McVeagh's Government, Competition and Regulatory practice. He has been recognised three-times as the winner of the exclusive Client Choice Award for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand in 2022, 2021 and 2019. Clients have particularly acknowledged that:

"Troy is a highly-valued advisor and is like an extension of the business; he is always willing to take steps add additional value."

"Troy’s professional skill and judgment is second to none and we hugely enjoy working with him." 

"Troy is thorough, pragmatic and commercially aware - he communicates complex topics clearly and in a form that's understood and used by all." 

"Troy has a wonderful manner and the way in which he advises clients is both down to earth and clear, as well as powerful and convincing whenever it needs to be.

Troy is ranked "Band 1" by Chambers for Competition/Antirust in New Zealand, and Who's Who Legal rates Troy as a "leading" competition lawyer in the Asia-Pacific region, identifying him as "one of the top competition practitioners of his generation in New Zealand, with sources calling him "very responsive, thorough, and a pleasure to work with."

Troy delivers quality and commercially-astute advice in matters relating to mergers/acquisitions (M&A), competition law investigations, Commerce Commission market studies, joint ventures and collaborative activities, online and B2B trading platforms, competitor collaborations and partnering arrangements, franchise networks, exclusive supply arrangements, Commerce Commission M&A approvals, Fair Trading Act issues (including advertising, labelling and marketing advice, product recall, unfair contract terms, and unconscionable conduct matters), internal competition and consumer law compliance programmes, and other regulatory issues (including tobacco/nicotine and marketing regulations).


Troy has represented a number of major corporate organisations including Woolworths, Spark, Mobil Oil, GSK, Fonterra, Trade Me, NZME, Stuff, Pact Group, Lion, electricity gentailers, and a number of leading banks, insurance providers, and private equity firms.

Troy has advised on a number of recent matters, including:

  • Advising Woolworths on the Commerce Commission's 2020 to 2022 grocery market study.
  • Advising Carter Holt Harvey on the Commerce Commission's 2022 building products market study.
  • Advising the NZ News Publishers Association in its successful 2021/22 application for authorisation for New Zealand news media to engage in collective negotiations with Google and Meta.
  • Advising Spark on its 2022 content partnering arrangement with TVNZ for TVNZ to become the broadcaster of Spark Sport content.
  • Advising Microsoft on its 2022 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Activision Blizzard.
  • Advising MBCC Group on Sika AG's 2022 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire the MBCC Group.
  • Advising the Culligan Group on its successful 2022 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Waterlogic Group (a competing provider of water treatment services).
  • Advising Spark on Connexa's 2023 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire the passive mobile infrastructure of Two Degrees.
  • Advising Trustpower on Mercury's successful 2021 clearance application to acquire Trustpower's retail energy business.
  • Advising Pact Group on its successful 2020 clearance application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Flight Plastics.
  • Advising Smartpay on the successful 2020 clearance application for it to be acquired by Verifone New Zealand.
  • Advising Lion on the successful 2018 clearance application for its New Zealand yoghurt business to be acquired by Goodman Fielder.
  • Representing Telecom (now Spark) in its successful application for clearance for its $149m acquisition of 700 MHz digital spectrum from the Government for 4G mobile phone services.
  • Acting for a major international freight forwarder in relation to the Commission’s proceedings against an alleged freight-forwarding cartel.
  • Advising industry participants on the Commerce Commission's 2019 market study into the retail fuel industry.
  • Acting in a number of Fair Trading Act matters, including Commerce Commission investigations and interviews, and voluntary product recalls, re-labelling, and unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct advice.

Further experience on mergers and acquisitions:

  • Advising Dell on the Commerce Act implications of its acquisition of EMC, which was the world’s largest ever technology acquisition in 2015/16.
  • Advising Staples on its successful 2015 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Office Depot/OfficeMax in New Zealand.
  • Advising GSK on its successful 2014 application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Novartis’s consumer healthcare pharmaceuticals business in New Zealand.
  • Representing Wesfarmers in the successful clearance process for the sale of Lumley to IAG in 2014.
  • Advising Daiken on its successful 2018 clearance application to acquire a competing MDF manufacturing plant from Dongwha.
  • Acting for Coca-Cola Amatil in its successful application for clearance to acquire Baker Hall Cordial in 2009.

Further experience on Commerce Commission investigations include:

  • Commerce Commission’s high-profile 2014 Commerce Act and Fair Trading Act investigation into the grocery industry, which was successfully resolved with no action taken against Progressive Enterprises.
  • Advising Visy Industries in relation to an alleged cartel in the New Zealand cardboard box market.
  • Acting for leniency applicants and parties under investigation by the Commission in global antitrust investigations.

Further experience on joint ventures and other advice:

  • Advising Fonterra on the formation of online dairy product trading platform, GDT Events, which is a trusted multi-seller platform for the international trading of dairy products.
  • Acting for Mediaworks, TVNZ, Fairfax (now Stuff), and APN (now NZME) on the 2015 formation of the Kiwi Premium Advertising Exchange (KPEX) – a programmatic ad exchange for digital advertising.
  • Acting for MediaWorks, TVNZ and Māori Television in relation to the joint acquisition of the free-to-air broadcast rights for Rugby World Cup 2011 and the joint sale of sponsorship advertising packages.
  • Parallel importing and counterfeit products: advising parties on the Commerce Act and Fair Trading Act implications of parallel imported and counterfeit products.


LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Auckland.


Troy has specialised in competition (antitrust), consumer, and regulatory law at Russell McVeagh since 2007, and has led the firm's Competition Law / Antitrust Practice since 2021.
Troy has presented seminars for the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS), including the NZLS's 2020 "M&A Masterclass" and its 2022 seminar on "Significant Changes to the Fair Trading Act". He has also written for the New Zealand Law Journal, and is on the advisory board of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand. He is a co-author of The Legal 500 Cartels country comparative guide, 2nd Edition and Lexology's GTDT Merger Control Guide.

Troy is recognised with the exclusive 'Client Choice Award' for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand in 2022, 2021 and 2019. He is ranked "Band 1" by Chambers and Partners 2023 Guide for Competition and Antitrust and is ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 for Competition law; a Distinguished Practitioner by Asia Law Profiles; and a Leading Lawyer by Who's Who Legal. Russell McVeagh's Competition Law / Antitrust Practice has been short-listed twice, in 2022 and 2023, as "Regional Firm of the Year – the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa" at the Global Competition Review Awards. Troy is recognised by Best Lawyers® 2024 New Zealand Guide for Competition and Consumer Law, M&A Law and Litigation.

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