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James Mellsop applies expert economic analysis to legal issues in the areas of competition, regulation, price setting, contractual disputes, damages, fair trading, tax, and resource management. His experience includes analyzing the economic implications of mergers and acquisitions, as well as joint ventures and other contracts. Mr. Mellsop has also evaluated market behavior and regulatory interventions in a variety of sectors and industries, including media, telecommunications, utilities, mining, healthcare, retailing, transport, manufacturing, agriculture, software, building products, banking and finance, and insurance.


Mr. Mellsop has analyzed and quantified the appropriate price to be paid for access to infrastructure (e.g., airports, ports, pipelines, and databases) and for property leases; the economic and environmental effects of resource management decisions; and damages as a result of breach of contract, collusion, and misrepresentation.

He has provided expert evidence before the Australian Competition Tribunal, the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the New Zealand High Court, the Competition Appeal Board of Singapore, the New Zealand Environment Court, the New Zealand Commerce Commission, arbitrators, Resource Management Act Commissioners, and the Waitangi Tribunal. He has worked on projects in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia, and has been engaged by both the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission.

Prior to joining NERA in 2008, Mr. Mellsop directed the New Zealand competition practice of another international economics consultancy. In addition, he worked for the New Zealand Treasury on microeconomic policy issues, particularly competition, regulatory, and telecommunications policy. From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Mellsop worked as a lawyer for Bell Gully, with a focus on competition, corporate, and oil and gas law.


  • MCA (with Distinction) in economics, Victoria University of Wellington
  • BCA (with Honours) in economics (1st Class), Victoria University of Wellington
  • LLB degree, Victoria University of Wellington
  • BCA in accountancy, Victoria University of Wellington