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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. He has twice been recognised as the winner of the exclusive International Law Office Client Choice Award for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand in 2021 and 2019, where clients particularly acknowledged that Troy:

  • "is without a doubt the most amazing external counsel I have ever used."
  • "is thorough, pragmatic and commercially aware - he communicates complex topics clearly and in a form that's understood and used by all." 
  • "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."

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.


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.


LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Auckland.


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'. 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 'International Law Office Client Choice Award' for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand in both 2021 and 2019. He is recognised 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; a Leading Lawyer by Who's Who Legal; and a "Star Lawyer" in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 by Thomson Reuters / Acritas. 

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