Technology “rising star” Peter Fernando named Duncan Cotterill Partner


New Zealand law firm Duncan Cotterill has announced the promotion of Peter Fernando to its partnership, continuing a period of significant expansion in the firm’s leadership team and presence in New Zealand.

Based in Duncan Cotterill’s Christchurch corporate and commercial team, Peter is a specialist in the technology sector, supporting public and private sector clients with procurement and complex contracts with technology partners as well as advising major tech firms and start-ups. He also acts for both vendors and purchasers in mergers and acquisitions, with a particular interest in software as a service (SaaS).

“This is a period when many organisations are increasingly cloud-based, recognising the need to integrate various existing systems with new platforms, often using multiple suppliers under several licences and agreements. This can be extremely complex to arrange. I really enjoy helping clients on both sides, vendors and customers, negotiate and implement contracts to make the most of modern technologies and create the best outcomes for their organisation,” Peter said.

Peter is also an expert on privacy law and cyber risk, helping clients manage privacy and cyber incidents and threats and to understand their obligations under the Privacy Act 2020 and related codes.

He was recognised in the NZ Lawyer’s 2022 “Rising Star” list and is also a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory for technology law.

Richard Lang, Chair of Duncan Cotterill, said technology law was an area of strategic growth for the firm, reflecting the needs of our clients as they tackle complex technical requirements as well as echoing the growth of the New Zealand technology sector to challenge our traditional reliance on agriculture and tourism.

“For many years, we’ve sponsored the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards, recognising the importance of digital innovation and adoption to the success of our national economy. The appointment of Peter to our partnership reaffirms Duncan Cotterill’s investment in the technology sector, and our commitment to growing our senior technology capabilities across the country even further,” he said.

Peter’s appointment will increase Duncan Cotterill’s partnership to 49 partners, making the firm the second largest New Zealand law firm by partner number. Consistent growth over the past three years has seen the firm expand to more than 310 people, operating from offices in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown.

“It’s no surprise that Peter has been recognised by the industry for his outstanding achievements – even as we grow, he has proved to be a standout member of the team for his in-depth knowledge of technology issues, supporting many large public sector clients through unprecedented digital transformation. We know he’ll be equally capable as a mentor to junior members of our team, and we congratulate him on his success,” said Richard.

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