About us

Our sole collective

Richard Best and Genevieve Hancock are experienced lawyers with a focus on and passion for technology, commercial and public law as well as public sector procurement. Both have worked in large law firms and in-house. They both have a sound grasp of technology and enjoy helping clients meet their goals while providing high quality advice. Richard was admitted to the High Court in 1996, Genevieve in 1994.

Richard and Genevieve are both sole practitioners in their own right (Best + Hancock is not a firm) but have joined forces to leverage each other’s strengths and better serve clients.

Richard Best

Richard specialises in technology, commercial and public law as well as public sector procurement. His expertise covers a wide range of areas, from complex technology contracting to authentication to social media and the law to judicial review and complex procurement. He is also a member of the Creative Commons New Zealand legal panel.

Genevieve Hancock

Genevieve specialises in commercial, technology and public law. She has in-depth experience in commercial contracting and technology law, including leading the drafting of complex technology contracts and advising on issues such as cloud computing. Genevieve enjoys assisting clients to find solutions that best meet their needs.

Click on a tab for a quick overview of how we can help

We can help you with your contractual or other technology-related legal needs. Our collective experience in technology and commercial law includes drafting and negotiating large numbers of technology and other commercial contracts, advising on virtually every kind of technology contract (from shrink-wrap agreements to syndicated telecommunication services contracts to large infrastructure agreements), advising on a wide spectrum of issues regarding authentication, identity verification, the internet, websites, open source and social media, and advising on and resolving IT and other commercial disputes. Take a look at a sample of our legal engagements.
We’ll gladly assist with any public law issues with which you may be grappling. We’ve both spent substantial portions of our careers working in the public sector and, when in the private sector, on public law issues. Richard undertook large volumes of public law work when in private practice (in both New Zealand and London, for public sector and private sector clients respectively) and has subsequently worked for the Commerce Commission, State Services Commission and Department of Internal Affairs. Genevieve likewise did large volumes of public law work when in private practice (including on secondment to then Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit) and has since worked for Transpower, the State Services Commission and Department of Internal Affairs. Genevieve also dealt with numerous public law issues, from a supplier’s perspective, when General Counsel for Unisys New Zealand. Take a look at a sample of our legal engagements.
We can help with the regulation, protection and disclosure of your and others’ personal and organisational information. With the ever-increasing march of technology, its deployment by organisations and agencies in new and exciting ways and the exponential rise in the use of social media, the regulation of information flows has become all the more important. From protecting individual privacy, to safeguarding trade secrets, to ensuring compliance with laws such as the Official Information Act 1982, the Public Records Act 2005 and the Unsolicitied Electronic Messages Act 2007, information law has become a discipline in its own right. We have broad and in some cases highly specific and technical experience across a diverse array of information law issues. Take a look at a sample of our legal engagements.
Complex procurements are seldom entirely risk free. We can advise you on the issues that do or may arise and help you with your drafting needs. We know New Zealand’s procurement frameworks and apply them in a manner that both mitigates risk and enables agencies to meet their objectives. We have a thorough understanding of the issues inherent in complex, syndicated and all-of-government procurement and the channels through which procurement-related challenges can be made. We’ve provided the majority of the legal and quasi-legal procurement and probity advice to the All-of-government Authentication Programme (as it was once called) since December 2006 as well as to Government Technology Services and then both the Department of Internal Affairs’ Knowledge, Information, Research and Technology Branch and the igovt-related operations of Service Delivery and Operations. We’ve drafted a large number of tender documents across the full gamut of single purchase, panel supply and syndicated procurements. Take a look at a sample of our legal engagements.
We have considerable experience with open data and licensing and would welcome the opportunity to assist you with any issues you may face in this area. Richard played a central role in the development, consultation on and finalisation of the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL) and has led all NZGOAL agency training. He has also provided much of the legal input into data.govt.nz, is a member of the legal panel for Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand and he built www.nzgoal.info and Open Data Stories.
If we can help you with a judicial review risk or challenge, let us know. Through our time in both private practice and the public sector, in New Zealand and (in Richard’s case) overseas, we have considerable experience and expertise in administrative law, in-depth knowledge of public sector mechanisms and constraints and invaluable experience in how to mitigate risk. We have undertaken legal research, analysis, preparation of pleadings and submissions, and in some cases have appeared as junior counsel, for government agencies in high profile and high value judicial review proceedings. Take a look at a sample of our legal engagements.
If you need a lawyer to supplement your team on a short-term (and preferably part-time) basis, we’d be happy to help and would hit the ground running. Collectively, we have been in-house counsel for over 16 years across a mix of public and (in Genevieve’s case) private sector organisations. Richard has served as in-house counsel at the Commerce Commission, State Services Commission and Department of Internal Affairs, Genevieve at Transpower, Unisys New Zealand, the State Services Commission and Department of Internal Affairs. We have both served as members of the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (in Genevieve’s case, as CLANZ President) and are intimately familiar with the dynamics of in-house practice in contrast with those of private practice.

If you'd like to get to know us or discuss something over coffee, drop us a line.