FAQs

Our most frequently asked questions are answered below.

FAQs

Our most frequently asked questions are answered below.

Commercial
    • We strongly advise having a shareholders' agreement in place to ensure specific rules and processes to follow are outlined and agreed up front in case any contentious matters arise. 

    • We recommend engaging a lawyer as soon as you consider purchasing a franchise business. 
      Our quick tips:

      • Don't sign the sale and purchase agreement until you have been given advice.
      • Consult your accountant.
      • Conduct thorough due diligence.
      • If there is a lease, make sure you understand your obligations.
      • Investigate the franchisor.
    • Some points to consider include:

      • End dates and flexibility.
      • What maintenance and repairs the landlord and the tenant will be responsible for.
      • Bonds and security arrangements.
      • Renewal options.
      • Parking rights.
      • Signage rights.
Property
    • We recommend speaking to a lawyer as soon as you are thinking of purchasing a property. This will allow us to help guide you through the process with no surprises.

    • We recommend getting a Land Iinformation Memorandum (LIM) if you are buying a property. A LIM provides information the council holds about the property. It will show whether existing works have received council consent and whether the council requires any remedial work. A LIM report will also give you information about any site characteristics (such as contamination, propensity to flooding, etc.) and zoning details.

    • Good conditions to put in initial offers include:

      • Building report.
      • Registered property valuation.
      • Finance.
      • Title review.
      • LIM (Land Information Memorandum).
      • Meth test.
      • Due diligence.
      • Solicitor approval.
Dispute Resolution
    • To make the most of our first meeting with you, we recommend you bring:

      • A written description of the people involved in your legal situation.
      • A written timeline of the facts relating to your situation, recording significant dates and events in chronological order.
      • All important documentation relating to your case e.g. Court documents or correspondence from other parties or lawyers.
    • It's always best to try to resolve disputes directly with the other party. However, if you can’t reach agreement on the outcome, there are other options we can help you explore, including facilitation, mediation, negotiation and arbitration.

Asset Planning
    • An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is someone you appoint who will look after your affairs if you become mentally incapable. We recommend that everyone over 18 should appoint an EPA - to give you peace of mind that your assets will be looked after.

      Changes to enduring powers of attorney

    • Generally, it's good to get in contact with a lawyer straight away in order to familiarise yourself with the will and any burial or cremation wishes the will maker may have had. This article provides more information about your role as an executor. 

    • Here's five main points to consider:

      1. Who would you like to appoint as executor? This person will be in charge of carrying out your wishes.
      2. Do you have any burial or cremation wishes? E.g. this may be that you would like to be cremated and your ashes scattered in a specific place.
      3. If you have minor children, who would you appoint as their testamentary guardian? This article on testamentary guardians provides more information.
      4. Do you have any family heirlooms or special chattels that you would like to leave to a specific person or people?
      5. Who would you like the rest of your assets to go to?
Māori Legal
    • No, the status of Māori land remains the same (i.e. Māori land). A sale (also known as a type of alienation) of Māori land does not change the status of the land in any way.  To have the status of Māori land changed to general land or from general land to one of the Māori land classifications, an application can be made to the Māori Land Court under Part 6 of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.

      You can use the form here or we are happy to assist you with any further questions.

       

    • The Māori Land Court Special Aid Fund is a fund that can assist or cover the costs incurred by a person or any class of person heard or represented in any proceedings before the Court.  An application for special aid can be made under section 98 of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.  You can use the form here or we are happy to assist you with any further questions.

    • The preferred class of alienee (PCA) in relation to any alienation (other than an alienation of shares in a Māori incorporation) includes:

      1. Children and remoter issue of the alienating owner;
      2. Whanaunga of the alienating owner who are associated in accordance with tikanga Māori with the land;
      3. Other beneficial owners of the land who are members of the hapu associated with the land;
      4. Trustees of persons referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (c); and
      5. Descendants of any former owner who is or was a member of the hapu associated with the land.

       

      In relation to any alienation of shares in a Maori incorporation:

      1. Children and remoter issue of the alienating owner;
      2. Whanaunga of the alienating owner who are associated in accordance with tikanga Māori with the land vested in the incorporation;
      3. Other beneficial owners of the land who are members of the hapu associated with the land vested in the incorporation:
      4. Trustees of persons referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (c);
      5. Descendants of any former owner who is or was a member of the hapu associated with the land vested in the incorporation; and
      6. The Māori incorporation, in any case where no person, who is, by virtue of paragraphs (a) to (e), a member of a preferred class of alienees in relation to the alienation, accepts the owner’s offer of an alienation of the shares to that member.

       

    • The overarching principle of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 is found in the Preamble of the Act.  The Act is interpreted or read in light of the preamble. The overarching principle is to promote the retention of land in the hands of its owners, whānau and their Hapū and to protect wāhi tapu. Therefore, the Act prescribes that any sale of land first be offered to the members of the preferred class of alienee’s (“PCA”) as a first right of refusal. This allows for land to be retained by those Māori that whakapapa to that specific land block.

Workplace Law
    • You must have genuine reasons for the restructure relating to the business itself and the restructure must relate to roles and not individuals.  You should also prepare a restructure proposal that sets out a number of key requirements, such as identifying the reasons for the restructure.

      This proposal is given to each affected employee.  The employees should then be provided with time to review the proposal.  After this time, meetings should be set up with each affected employee in order to discuss the proposal and provide them with the opportunity to comment on it.                  

      Depending on the outcome of the meetings, the next steps may be either changing the proposal, setting up interviews for the remaining positions or providing redundancy notice to the affected employees.  We are happy to discuss these next steps with you and to discuss the restructure/redundancy process in further detail.

      In terms of the notice to be provided, you will need to review the individual employment agreement to determine the exact notice period.  A restructure/redundancy process should be carried out with care in order to avoid any sense of unfairness or unlawful dismissal claims. 

    • Yes, all employees should have a written employment agreement.  Every full-time, part-time, casual or fixed-term employee should have their employment details recorded.