We pride ourselves on being a team of specialists and innovators, who work with New Zealand's leading companies and government organisations.
As a summer clerk or graduate at Simpson Grierson you'll hit the ground running, getting involved in real client work and tackling major projects alongside some of the most respected lawyers in New Zealand. You'll be part of a culture that delivers excellent service and best outcomes for our clients, while also valuing and developing the diverse individuals who make up our team. We'll empower you to shape the way you work and take advantage of fantastic opportunities to succeed and grow.
"The work I received from the outset was engaging and exciting. I was exposed to a range of meaningful tasks that were often sent out to clients or used by partners to advise on!"
“It’s not often that you can practice real legal skills in a meaningful way while still at law school. Summer clerking at Simpson Grierson was a great opportunity for me to do just that while being challenged to grow and succeed.”
“The highlight for me at Simpson Grierson is that I felt safe and comfortable in bringing my whole self to work. It was an environment where no part of me needed to be left at the door. The level of training and support provided gave me the confidence to contribute my ideas and insights.”
“Working at Simpson Grierson, you feel part of one big team. There’s a strong culture of collaboration and teamwork, and everyone is really supportive of your growth and development.”
You'll experience two rotations as a summer clerk and potentially two 6-month rotations as a graduate, depending on where the work needs are. That's up to four rotations in total to help find the best spot for you in the business.
Structured around four different departments, our specialist teams range across many areas of law:
Our banking and finance practice is a leader in its field. We’ve advised on some of the market’s most complex and significant financing transactions, and pride ourselves on driving successful outcomes for our clients. We regularly act for major financial institutions, investment banks, leading listed and unlisted companies, sponsors, private equity houses, fund managers, mezzanine lenders, trustee companies, and local government bodies.
Recent work has included advising the Government on its flagship Infrastructure Funding & Finance programme, advising on Shinsei Bank’s NZ$762m acquisition of UDC Finance from ANZ, and advising on the financing of the $854m purchase of Ultrafast Fibre Limited.
Our large corporate and commercial group has an extensive track record, ranging from everyday deals to many of the landmark transactions in New Zealand’s corporate history. Our expertise also includes leading teams in areas such as Intellectual Property, Technology, and Sports, Entertainment & Events Law.
We acted on over approximately NZ$22 billion of transactions in 2020, including advising a2 Milk on the $385m acquisition of a75% interest in Mataura Valley Milk, advising the shareholders of Mighty Ape in their $130m sale to Kogan.com, and advising Matariki Forests in the establishment of the AVA Timber log export JV (with over $1b exports annually).
We have the leading commercial litigation practice in New Zealand. Our commercial litigation department regularly conducts significant and large-scale cases in all New Zealand courts, and has a reputation for adopting a pragmatic approach to litigation.
Recent work has included advising the FMA on its investigation into potential misconduct by CBL and its directors, acting for Harmoney in a test case brought by the Commerce Commission, and acting for Auckland Council in its successful defence of judicial review proceedings challenging their decision to introduce a targeted rate assessed on commercial accommodation providers.
We have the largest infrastructure group in New Zealand, covering the full spectrum of property and infrastructure activities. Our work includes planning, property acquisition and development, financing, procurement, construction, and dispute resolution. We also have the largest public law practice of any law firm in New Zealand, and are the market leader in environmental law and resource management.
Recent work includes advising on the delivery of the 36th America’s Cup, advising Watercare on the construction of the Central Interceptor, advising on Microsoft's new data centres in NZ, as well as advising the Ministry for the Environment on the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.
To deliver great client service you need to have the best support and opportunities to succeed and grow. That's something we strive to give to all our people.
That includes everything from comprehensive wellness and support policies to 'dressing for your day', community support activities, flexible working, and our exceptional professional development programme.
It starts with our values: always putting people first, striving to be at our best and being energetic for change. It's that simple.
Professional development programme
Join lawyers from across the firm in our wide range of masterclasses, seminars and workshops on topical and tricky legal issues. These sessions allow you to deep dive into new areas of law and hear how our experts navigate those areas. As well as the technical legal training, our summer clerk and graduate programmes also involves a ton of training in technology, personal brand, business writing, file management, and other useful skills you need to be successful in your career.
Our wellbeing programme has been in place for 13 years and has a strong emphasis on mental health. The programme focuses on reducing stigma, raising awareness and creating a mentally healthy workplace. We also have EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) where staff and their immediate family can access free and confidential counselling 24/7.
Anti-bullying and harassment
The safety, comfort and wellbeing of our people is an absolute priority for Simpson Grierson. Bullying and harassment is never acceptable in any form, and everyone is encouraged to speak up and confidently bring forward their concerns, through any of our internal or third party avenues, knowing that we will support them and take the matter seriously.
We encourage you to bring your whole-self to work as we believe that diversity enhances our business. We were the very first business in New Zealand to be awarded the Rainbow Tick, and in 2017 we won the White Camellia Award for gender equality.
For us, diversity is not just about differences you can see, but all the things that make us individuals - such as social backgrounds, values, religion, thinking styles, life experiences, family backgrounds and talents. That's what makes people interesting.
It doesn't matter to us what school you went to or who your parents are. To us, there's no right or wrong side of town. Your sexual orientation doesn't matter. And if you're a mature worker, we'll welcome you the same as we would our younger starters.
We take our responsibility to the communities we participate in seriously, and our summer clerks and grads have the opportunity to play a key role in this.
Our particular focus for community engagement is to work with youth, helping them develop their full potential. We are proud to partner with the following organisations: Youthline, Ōrākei School and TupuToa.
Through our dedicated pro bono practice (led by pro bono partner Shan Wilson) we help disadvantaged and low-income members of the community gain access to legal services, by working with non-profits such as the Auckland and Wellington Community Legal Centres. In 2020 our pro bono practice delivered:
For more details, take a look at our pro bono page.
Simpson Grierson is a net zero carbon organisation certified in line with international best practice. We received our Toitū carbonzero (CertTM) certification in September 2020, demonstrating that our carbon footprint, emission reductions and offsets have been independently verified in line with ISO 14064-1 and the GHG Protocol. We have a long term strategy to reduce emissions intensity by a minimum of 5% per year on average over the next 5 years.
In addition to applying sustainability principles to our day-to-day activities, we also provide commercially-sound legal advice on climate change matters, and the business impacts of transitioning towards a low carbon future, through our leading climate change practice.
To achieve our long-term sustainability goals, we are continually looking for practical ways to reduce our environmental impact. In the past 12 months we have:
For more details, take a look at our environment page
We offer summer clerkships and graduate programmes in each of our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices. When you apply, please select the option that is most applicable to you.
If you’re in your penultimate year of Law School, you are eligible to apply for a summer clerkship at Simpson Grierson. As a summer clerk you will rotate through two different teams, one before Christmas and one after. We're usually able to place our clerks in the teams that they’re most interested in, which means you get to explore practice areas you’re curious about.
When you join us, or return as a Simpson Grierson graduate you may have the opportunity to rotate through multiple teams to get a better idea of the different types of legal practice within the firm. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy an area of law you’d never thought about before! We’ll work hard to ultimately find the best fit for both the firm and for you as a new lawyer.
We know that you take your career seriously so we have a wide network of people to support you at the start of your career. We have a comprehensive two-year training programme that has been described externally as 'leaps ahead' of our competition.