Publications

Legal publications and resources from our team on a wide range of legal subjects and hot topics critical to our clients' needs.

Publications

Legal publications and resources from our team on a wide range of legal subjects and hot topics critical to our clients' needs.

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
I was promised something under a Will but received nothing. What can I do?

The Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 allows you to claim against the estate of a deceased person if they promised to leave you something under their Will, but they don’t. The promise must be in exchange for services. The “promise” can be express, usually orally or in writing, or implied.  The value can be explicit in dollar terms, but if not, the Court needs to assess the amount that should be awarded.

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
Emma Toseland
Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022

In response to the need for more houses in New Zealand and as a result of newly introduced legislation which will allow for the faster creation of high-density housing, we are likely to see a greater number of people living in unit title developments. While this will undoubtably change the landscape we are used to living in, it also places a spotlight on how people buy into apartment blocks, get the right information, interact with their fellow unit title owners, make decisions, and live together. 

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
Left Out of a Will?

A spouse, child, grandchild, stepchild or parent of the Will maker can bring a claim if they consider they did not receive enough under the Will.  A Court will determine whether the deceased breached their moral duty by failing to provide proper maintenance and support and, if so, what is required to remedy the breach.

Published
Published by Kaylee Bird
Incorporated Societies Act 2022

The Incorporated Societies Bill received Royal Assent on 5 April 2022, passing the Bill into law as the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (“the Act”).  The Act intends to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, modernising the requirements of incorporated societies and providing a clear framework for high quality governance.  There are a number of key elements to be aware of – importantly, over the next few years, current incorporated societies will need to re-register as a society under the Act accompanied by a constitution that is compliant with the new requirements. Incorporated societies should embrace this opportunity to review their constitutions and create a governing framework that is fit for purpose to serve them well into the future.

Published
Published by Chantelle Tyler
Tova O’Brien v Discovery – Restraints of Trade and Learnings from a High-Profile Decision

Many employment agreements contain restraints of trade.  Some restraints may be enforceable, and some completely unreasonable.  This article explores the recent high-profile decision of the Employment Relations Authority in O’Brien v Discovery NZ Limited (owner of TV3) and the general position regarding restraints of trade.

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
Can I Enforce a Contract with Someone Who Has Died?

A contract can be enforced against a deceased’s estate.  It is still a valid agreement even if the other party has died, provided they did not need to be alive to perform the contract (for example, an employment agreement).

Published
Published by Zane Mora
Have You Set Up a Trust During Your Marriage/Civil Union?

Trusts in New Zealand are incredibly common, particularly family trusts.  When relationships breakdown the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 has some limited provisions to address dispositions to trusts. However, if you have been married or in a civil union, there is a much more powerful tool that may apply – Section 182 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980.

Published
Published by Chantelle Tyler
Recent Updates in the Employment Law Space

Following a raft of updates in the employment law space, and the changes to our workplaces due to COVID-19, we encourage employers to ensure their employment agreements are fit for purpose and in line with recent updates. 

Published
Published by Amy Bird
Emma Toseland
Land and Property Development - Legislative changes on the way

The introduction of the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill will change the way that New Zealanders develop land, making it easier and faster to create higher-density housing. Our first article in this series provides an overview of these changes and explores how they may impact the development landscape.

Published
Published by Kaylee Bird
Hospice and the End of Life Choice Act 2019

The End of Life Choice Act 2019 has been the subject of significant debate. With 65.1% of New Zealander’s voting in support of the Act in the 2020 referendum, it came into force on 6 November 2021. Healthcare providers have many questions around the extent of their rights and obligations – in particular, their ability to refuse to provide end of life services. The issue was taken to the High Court in a recent case. 

Published
Published by Andrew Hong
Name Your Discount - What is a “Fair Abatement” of Rent?

On 28 August 2021, the COVID-19 Response (Management Measures) Legislation Bill (“the Bill”) was passed, and the Bill will be rubber stamped into the law shortly. Somewhat surprisingly, the Bill introduces a new “rent reduction in an emergency” clause which will function as the default “rent reduction” clause for leases that do not already have one. This article discusses what the Bill means for landlords and tenants in the commercial space.

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
Relationship Property v Entitlement Under a Will

When a spouse dies, it can be a challenging time for the one left behind. After the grieving, organising the funeral and saying goodbye, a surviving spouse or partner will normally turn to the will. Few people know the surviving spouse has a choice between taking their entitlement under the will or applying to the court for a division of the relationship property.

Published
Published by Renika Siciliano
Tikanga and Good Faith in the Workplace

Our people and our workplaces will grow and prosper when our systems reflect those within it. While our legislation doesn’t expressly reflect our Māori workplaces or those who embody tikanga and/or Māori values, it doesn’t mean your employment space has to be void of tikanga.  In this article we share some tips to ensure that tikanga is present in your organisation’s employment rules, just as much as it is in the everyday mahi. 

Published
Published by Zane Mora
“Put Up or Shut Up” – A Valuable Trustee Tool

Being a trustee is an onerous duty, particularly when someone is alleging they have a claim against you personally as a trustee or that they have a claim against the property of the trust/estate you are administering.  Section 135 of the Trusts Act 2019, formerly section 75 of the Trustee Act 1956, provides an effective, but not often utilised, solution – it enables you to require the person making the allegation to “put up or shut up”.

Published
Published by Ewen Macpherson
How to Manage Your Role as an Executor and Beneficiary in a Civil Dispute

If you are appointed as an executor under a Will, a large amount of trust is placed in you. An executor has duties towards the beneficiaries, and beneficiaries have their own rights.  But what about when an executor is also a beneficiary under a Will? How do you balance those two roles?