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Troy Pilkington

Partner

Competition/Antitrust & Consumer

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Profile

Troy is one of New Zealand's best regarded competition (antitrust), consumer, and regulatory lawyers – including being recognised as the exclusive 2019 International Law Office Client Choice Award winner for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand. Clients particularly acknowledged:

  • "His knowledge and expertise are exceptional; he can communicate complex concepts clearly to lawyers and commercial colleagues alike."
  • "Troy is a highly-valued advisor and is like an extension of the business; he is always willing to take steps to add additional value."
  • "He is a responsive, diligent and pragmatic lawyer; he provides top-notch legal advice."
  • "He can get to the heart of an issue and touch on all the key aspects."

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 timely 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, and product recall matters), internal competition and consumer law compliance programmes, and other regulatory issues (including tobacco/nicotine and marketing regulations).

Troy draws on his extensive specialist expertise and experience to achieve quality outcomes for his clients.

Troy has worked on a number of significant Commerce Commission investigations and merger approval processes, including the proposed merger of NZME and Stuff, and the successful application of Random House and Penguin Publishing for clearance to combine their book publishing businesses in New Zealand.

Experience

Troy has represented a number of major corporate organisations including Spark, Glaxo Smith Kline (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 industry participants on both the Commerce Commission's 2019 market study into the retail fuel industry, and the Commission's 2020/21 market study into the grocery industry.
  • 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.
  • Advising GSK on their successful application for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire Novartis’s consumer healthcare pharmaceuticals business in New Zealand.
  • 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 Fonterra on competition and regulatory law issues of its capital restructuring, input into legislative frameworks and supporting Fonterra in submissions to the Commerce Commission.
  • Acting in a number of Fair Trading Act matters, including Commerce Commission investigations and interviews, and voluntary product recalls and re-labelling 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.
  • 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 the online dairy products trading platforms, GDT Events and GDT Marketplace, which are trusted multi-seller platforms 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.

Credentials

LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Auckland.

Professional

Troy joined Russell McVeagh as a solicitor in 2007 after working as an accountant at an international professional services firm.

Troy has recently contributed to the Practical Law Competition Global Guide 2018's Merger control in New Zealand: overview. He is a regular contributor to the Global Competition Review – Getting the Deal Through Merger Control and Cartel Regulation publications; as well as the American Bar Association Antitrust Year in Review publication.

He has written for the New Zealand Law Journal, and is on the advisory board of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand. Troy co-wrote the New Zealand Consumer Law Update: Key Developments to Keep on Your Radar paper which was presented at the 4th Annual In-House Counsel Summit 2019. He also co-wrote a paper presented at the 29th annual workshop for the Competition Law and Policy Institute of NZ last year, on 'Consumer Analytica: New Zealand Consumer Law Application to International Developments in Privacy and Use of Data'. In 2020 he co-authored The Legal 500 Cartels country comparative guide, 2nd Edition, with Sarah Keene and Bradley Aburn.

Troy has recently been named New Zealand Competition/Antitrust Lawyer of the Year at the 2019 ILO Client Choice Awards and been recognised as a Leading Practitioner for Competition Law by Who's Who Legal. Troy is on the team which won 'International Deal of the Year' at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards.

He has also been listed by Chambers and Partners as one of the top competition/antitrust lawyers in New Zealand, as well as a leading lawyer in New Zealand for Competition and Consumer Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Litigation by Best Lawyers® New Zealand 2022 guide. He has been nominated by in-house counsel and his peers as a 'Rising Star' for the 2018 Euromoney Expert Guide. Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2020 Edition has recognised him as a Distinguished Practitioner in Competition and Antitrust.

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