Legal articles & publications

Personal liability of building inspectors

By: Richard Hargreaves

There is currently a trend amongst plaintiffs to commence proceedings against building inspectors personally in defective building cases. This is only appropriate in very specific circumstances.

When is a lawyer not a lawyer?

By: Sarah Harris

The recent case of Burcher v Auckland Standards Committee No 5 [2020] NZHC 43 raises again the question: when is a lawyer not a lawyer?

Defective EQC Repairs? Time’s running out…

By: Emily Walton

If you bought an EQC repaired house after the Canterbury Earthquakes and before 15 August 2019 and you have concerns about the quality of the repairs, the clock is ticking. You only have until 14 August 2020 to register your interest in an EQC ex gratia payment for repair costs.

Extended Subsidy or Restructuring – What are your options at the expiry of the Wage Subsidy?

By: Amanda Douglas

On 14 March 2020, as part of its budget announcement, the Government outlined that the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy would be extended.

COVID-19 Trusts and Charities: What you should know

By: Jeremy Johnson, Jordan Halligan

In the context of a global pandemic affecting lives and livelihoods the world over, the focus of most of us has been on those legal matters which are front and center in our lives. What has perhaps gone under the radar is the impact COVID-19 may have for our trusts and charities, many of whom hold investments that are likely to be significantly affected by the ensuing economic fallout.

COVID-19: OIO to screen all overseas investments

By: Stephen Lowe, Phoebe Davies

The Government has announced that it will amend the Overseas Investment Act in mid-June. From then, the proposal is that all foreign investment that results in a more than 25% ownership interest, an increase in existing interests to, or greater than, 50%, 75%, 100%, or effectively a change of control in the underlying business, must be notified.

Pivoting in procurement – suppliers and purchasers forced to urgently review contracts and procurement processes

By: Penny Birch, Katrina Hammon

Supply chain has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and New Zealand is swiftly moving through the lockdown levels.

Crisis cartels or COVID collusion: Supreme Court Judgement a timely reminder against cartel arrangements

By: Stephen Lowe, Penny Birch, Katrina Hammon

A Supreme Court judgement handed down last month related to the Commerce Commission’s cases against real estate agencies in Hamilton in connection with TradeMe fees for properties listed for sale. The Commerce Commission has to date secured $19m in penalties and the High Court will now determine the penalties for the remaining two agencies and two individuals. This time next year it will be a criminal offence to enter into a cartel arrangement in New Zealand. This aligning New Zealand competition law with that of Australia and other trading partners.

COVID-19: Change in restrictions to assist house buying

By: Annabel Sheppard

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.

Our Freshwater 2020: Government issues report examining pressing issues for freshwater

By: Kate Woods, Tegan Wadworth

The Ministry for the Environment along with Stats NZ have released Our Freshwater 2020, summarising updates and reporting on progress on four priority freshwater issues. Our Freshwater 2020 is the latest report on the state of the environment required under the Environmental Reporting Act 2015 and builds on Our Freshwater 2017.

Does the Property (Relationships) Act apply to polyamorous relationships?

By: Andrew Watkins, Hannah Lindo

A recent case from the Auckland High Court has raised a novel new issue: whether the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“PRA”) applies to a “polyamorous relationship”? A polyamorous relationship is where a relationship exists between more than two people, which is consented to by the parties involved.

New Trust Act and the challenges ahead

By: Annabel Sheppard

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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