Private Client
Helping you achieve your goals
Many of our private clients have been with us for generations. As your trusted advisers, our role is to help you achieve what’s important to you.
We specialise in creating simple solutions tailored to our private clients' personal situations and goals. Whether it's building your wealth, minimising your exposure to risk, or providing for your family's future – we'll work together to achieve your objectives. 

In addition to the above, our other specialist teams can advise you with employment law, insurance law, resource management law and help you with any dispute resolution you may require.


Recent Projects

  • Urban property transactions including looking after red zone homeowners.
  • Checking and advising clients on legislative changes as they impact on them.
  • Assisting individuals, families and businesses impacted by the earthquakes where often widely varied issues have developed.
  • Providing advice on entry into rest home or retirement villages
  • Assisted clients to complete Estate Planning arrangements, wills, enduring powers of attorney and trust arrangements
  • Acted for a land owner to confirm lease arrangements for a supermarket development
  • Advised vineyard companies on land acquisition in Marlborough, completing property due diligence
  • Acting on behalf of all 31 unit holders of the Cranmer Court Body Corporate to achieve unanimous agreement to the sale of all their units and avoid immeditate demolition of the heritage facade. This involved liaising with multiple lawyers representing individual owners, the purchaser's lawyers, and the unit owners directly in various timeframes, and negotiation with CERA for cancellation of the demolition contract. All was required under urgent deadlines.
  • Mortgagee sales and advising a significant Investment Fund on the wind up of its portfolio.
  • Significant property disposal for a large education provider, complying with property disposal requirements of the Education Act.
  • Advising various Body Corporates and property owners on issues arising from Christchurch earthquakes.
  • Acting for vendors in the Christchurch “red zone”, dealing with sale to CERA, and settling insurance issues.



COVID-19: Change in restrictions to assist house buying

The Reserve Bank has now removed the general restrictions previously imposed on banks that impacted on the banks’ ability to lend especially to those in the first home buyer market.

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New Trust Act and the challenges ahead

The Trust Act 2019 comes into effect on 30 January 2021. This involves reasonably significant changes that will generally apply to all trusts.

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COVID-19 and getting your affairs in order

In times of uncertainty it is important to have your personal affairs in order. From a legal standpoint this includes having a will, considering powers of attorney, property matters and how your estate or trusts are administered.

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The powers that can be

Enduring powers of attorney (EPA) are excellent things! So, what exactly are they? They provide authority to someone you absolutely trust to carry out certain functions for you: to pay the monthly bills, to buy or sell property, or to make investment decisions for example.

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Where there’s a Will, there’s a way

Travel often brings about people rushing to either create or amend their Will before a planned trip. Kiwis are more likely to think about Wills when a major event occurs, such as marriage (or its failure), childbirth, buying a home, or international travel. The reality is, the time to plan your estate and make a Will is now because when you really need it, it will be too late.

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Buying residential property in New Zealand – do you need consent?

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) placed greater restrictions on who can buy property in New Zealand on 22 October 2018. Most overseas people are now unable to buy homes in New Zealand (regardless of whether they already own property here), but some can request consent from the OIO.

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Tenants' liability for damage – High Court ruling

The Court of Appeal in Holler v Osaki confirmed that a residential tenant who damages their landlord's property carelessly can not be sued by their landlord in respect of the damage. In November 2017, the High Court released a new judgment on tenants' liability, in Linklater v Dickinson.

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Property ownership – joint tenants or tenants in common?

There are two forms of ownership that can be registered on a Certificate of Title when you are purchasing land. These terms have specific meanings, which is very important in structuring how your property is actually owned.

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Enduring Powers of Attorney - changes coming into force

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) are important documents where a person (donor) appoints representatives (attorney/s) to take care of their affairs if they lose mental capacity. There is a common misconception that only the elderly need to have EPAs but anyone can become mentally incapable at any age. In addition there is the ability for EPAs to take effect while a donor still has mental capacity. There are two types of EPAs: one in relation to property and one in relation to personal care and welfare. The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (the Act) sets out the requirements for EPAs. Amendments to the Act come into force on 16 March 2017. These include a change to plain language forms of EPAs so that they are simpler and easier to follow for donors and attorneys alike. From 16 March 2017, EPAs in the old forms that are not fully executed will need to be re-done on the new forms. Any EPAs in the old form that are fully executed before this date will still be effective.

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The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act: landlords and tenants

If you own or are intending to buy a rental property, it is important you are aware of the recent changes that place obligations on landlords. The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016 came into force on 1 July 2016 for all residential tenancies.

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Changes to KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant from 1 August 2016

If you are looking to purchase a property and have a KiwiSaver investment, you should check to see if you are eligible for a HomeStart Grant from Housing New Zealand. There have been recent changes to the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant criteria that potentially increases the number of property buyers who may now be eligible for the Grant.

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New year, new plan

With 2016 well and truly here and January done and dusted resolutions may have been set, new systems in place and the journey has started to achieve those milestones. With the life plan in place it may also be a good time to consider your 'legal health' and your plan for the New Year in that regard.

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Will you have a tax bill for capital gains on land sales?

A new tax test on the sale of residential properties is coming – the bright line test. If you buy and then sell a residential property within two years new taxation rules may apply to the gain (or loss) that you make.

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Arcadia Homes Ltd (In Liq) v More To This Life

For the first time in New Zealand, the issue of "subject to director's approval" clauses has come before the Courts. This raised the question of how such clauses would be interpreted. In particular, would the Courts approach the clauses as "conditions precedent" or "conditions subsequent"?

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Payment of Sum Insured Over and Above EQC Cover

On 15 May the High Court delivered a judgment in respect of a body corporate's earthquake claim against its insurer Zurich: Body Corporate 398983 v Zurich Australian Insurance Limited [2013] NZHC 1109. The issue for determination was whether the amount Zurich was to pay was in addition to the sums paid by the Earthquake Commission.

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Buyers Beware - The Risk of Damage to Purchased Property

A recent decision of the High Court in Christchurch shows that difficulties for vendors and purchasers remain where the property suffers damage before the property changes hands.

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Hutt City Council v The Lower Hutt District Court [2013] NZHC 706

Section 181(2) of the Local Government Act 2002 empowers territorial authorities to construct sewage and stormwater drainage works "on or under private land". This case was the first occasion the High Court has been required to interpret section 181(2) of the Act.

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Behind the media coverage: the impact of O'Loughlin v Tower Insurance

The impact of the Christchurch Residential Red Zone on insurance claims was clarified on Friday (5 April 2013) by Justice Asher of the High Court in O’Loughlin v Tower Insurance.

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Trusts as Vehicles for Wealth Management

Trusts can be a useful mechanism to manage and distribute wealth.  They can be used in this way both during your lifetime and after you have died.

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Johnson v Auckland Council [2013] NZHC 165

On 11 February 2013 the High Court found that the purchasers of a leaky building had not taken reasonable steps to protect themselves against the risk that the house had weathertightness issues.  Because of this, the loss they suffered was substantially their own fault, and the Court reduced the damages which would otherwise be recoverable by 70%.

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Directors' Duties and Specialisation

Recent litigation surrounding collapsed finance companies has brought into question the legal standard of the care, diligence, and skill expected of company directors.  In particular the cases have grappled is the extent to which specialisation within a board of directors is permitted. 

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Home Owners' Success Against Insurance Broker

Earthquake damage has thrown into question the adequacy of many home and business owners' insurance cover.  Some property owners have placed cover through an insurance broker.  If the cover has proved to be inadequate, these owners may well be looking for an answer from their broker.

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Councils' Duty of Care to Purchasers of Subdivided Land

The High Court at Greymouth has recently found that a council does have a case to answer where it incorrectly certifies conditions of subdivision have been met and a subsequent purchaser of the land relies on those certifications.

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The Insurance and Savings Ombudsman: Challenging your Insurer following the Canterbury Earthquakes

When choosing house insurance, you place your trust in the insurance company.  So when an earthquake damages your home, and the carefully-selected insurer does not respond in the way you expect, the financial loss, disappointment and frustration can be devastating.

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Drastic Change to the Leaky Building Landscape

In Spencer on Byron the Supreme Court held that local authorities owe a duty of care in their inspection role to all building owners. This is a huge development, as previously such a duty only recognised residential building owners.

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Opting-Out of EQC Managed Repairs

"Opting-out" of the Fletcher / EQC managed earthquake damage home repairs may seem like the relief that some anxious earthquake damaged homeowners are desperately seeking.  However, while it certainly serves as a useful alternative, there are risks that a homeowner must carefully consider before "leaping up to opt-out" and it may not necessarily be suitable for all.

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The Christchurch Earthquakes and Residential Tenancies

Mr Watkin was a tenant in a property which was damaged by the 22 February 2011 earthquake.  The property was left without electricity for 5 days, water or sewerage for 10 days or a usable toilet for 3 weeks.  The garage was also damaged. Mr Watkin was also concerned the chimney might also collapse into the house.  He sought compensation (an abatement of rent) from the Tenancy Tribunal under the Residential Tenancies Act.  The question to be decided was whether his house was 'uninhabitable'.

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The Evidence Act 2006 and the Admissibility of the Identification Evidence

Lana Paul, an Associate at Wynn Williams, discusses how the Evidence Act 2006 (the "Act”) has brought about major changes as to what evidence is able to be presented in Court and how that evidence is to be presented. 

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The No Asset Procedure - Easy Bankruptcy?

Emily Walton, associate, and Edward Burrell, former solicitor, with Wynn Williams & Co, look at this from the points of view of both a creditor and a debtor.

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Protecting Our Best Friends - The Dog Control Act 1996

Lana Paul is an associate of Wynn Williams.  In this article, Lana looks at penalties that can be imposed if dog owners are not absolutely vigilant when it comes to the control of their animals.

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The Deposit

The vendor wants it, the agent wants it more and the buyer cannot find it. Is it important? Jonathan Gillard, partner with the Christchurch Lawlink firm of Wynn Williams, looks at the issues and tells us why collecting a deposit is so important to the vendor.

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Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 25, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609

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