Peter Fernando


As a Partner in Duncan Cotterill’s corporate and commercial team, I have broad commercial experience in information technology, consumer, and intellectual property law, supporting clients on a range of commercial and contracting matters.

I assist public and private sector clients by helping them with technology procurement, implementing software, commercialising technology and other products, or to simply get business done. My technology law experience includes matters such as privacy and data protection, software licensing as well as the legal requirements associated with the ever-changing digital environment, including assisting clients respond to cyber events.

Clients benefit from my extensive knowledge and experience in the IT industry, and my enthusiasm for truly understanding the outcomes required to develop solutions that are a great fit.

In addition to this work, I assist clients with M&A transactions in a wide range of sectors, acting for both vendors and purchasers. I also have particular interest and experience in relation to software-as-a-service and other technology businesses.

I prioritise providing clear, pragmatic, and timely advice and enjoy the variety of clients I work with. I’m delighted to have been recognised as a NZ Lawyer "Rising Star" in 2022, and I have been listed as a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory for technology law.

Examples of my recent experience include advising:

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment — on all legal aspects of the emergency called location information (ECLI) service, which enables emergency service providers to locate 111 callers.
  • — the founders of this SaaS technology business on their sale to ASX listed hipages Group.
  • Various government departments — on a wide range of commercial contracts, including negotiations and engagements with New Zealand businesses, along with international and multi-national suppliers.
  • Massey University — on its procurement of several new digital platforms and systems, including student management system, library management, and multi-campus network equipment.
  • Cedra International — on the sale of its time-critical medical express division to Marken New Zealand Limited, a division of UPS.
  • Cin7 Limited — in relation to its $100 million+ sale of business and assets to Rubicon Technology Partners.

Client testimonials

How clients describe working together:

“Peter’s assistance is always “Top Notch”. I appreciate the advice Peter gives which stretches to mentoring me on the content and structure of our internal contract documentation. Within the greater business, including IT, there is a justified confidence, when they know Peter Fernando is involved in the review.”A longstanding Public sector client.

"What stood out for me about Peter is how quickly he got to grips with the complex document automation we were developing together for Peter’s client. Peter was responsible for the legal drafting, while our company was doing the automation. Peter’s sharp intellect and inquiring mind meant he quickly understood how his drafting needed to fit with the technology." — Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021.

"Peter Fernando was at the forefront of his previous firm’s use of artificial intelligence for contract review, and had clearly made a significant effort to understand how it worked, and how it could benefit him and his clients. Peter is one of the few ICT lawyers I’ve come across who actually likes to use technology himself. As well as having an excellent legal mind and a great personal manner, he makes an effort to understand how the technology works, and how it can help him and his clients." — Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021.