Articles


 

Over the fence

Anti-money laundering compliance A reminder that since 1 July 2018 all lawyers have been required to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

Due diligence is your friend

In legal matters, doing your homework is the safest way to protect you from an unpleasant surprise. Here are three briefs proving the point.

Increasing compensation payments for emotional harm

People who have suffered emotional harm in the workplace have traditionally received small compensation payments from employers.

Budget, budget, read all about it!

The budget announcement is an annual event that generally affects every New Zealander in one way or another.

Four more changes to business law for 2018...

In these briefs, we’re looking at moves to stop multinationals from avoiding paying tax, website privacy and why you need to make sure you’re compliant, another hefty fine issued under...

How to buy a business without getting burned

Buying a business can be a significant commitment of time and money, so you won’t want to find out there are issues after settlement, especially ones that come at a...

Improved working conditions for employees

The Labour led coalition government has make swift amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000. These changes took effect on 1 February this year and will impact all businesses, so...

Four more hazards to note...

In these briefs, we have four updates on topics which also present potential risks and hazards for the unwary: new health and safety legislation coming into effect, claims against rural...

Is your agreement to lease working for your business?

People sometimes hurry into an agreement to lease commercial property. Time is money and delays to setting up a business can mean delays to generating income.

The good, the bad and the ugly changes to business law

There are three changes to business law on the horizon. If you’re a small to medium business owner, we recommend you read this article so you’re armed with the right...

Shareholder Relationships: What happens if you need to break up?

Shareholders’ agreements are often compared to a marriage. In many ways this comparison is true, so what happens if you need to break up? In business, breakups happen for many reasons.

Streamlining overseas investment and consenting processes

Five new class exemptions recently announced by the Overseas Investment Office are changing the way it goes about its business.

More Crunch for Credit

Changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 have tightened the rules and regulations for lenders.

The key to business survival on shaky ground

The Kaikoura earthquake late last year was a timely reminder for Hawke’s Bay businesses that we too operate on volatile and unpredictable land.

Are you making the best decisions for your company as Director?

The Court of Appeal recently revisited the critical subject of how far directors must go to ‘take all reasonable and proper steps’ when making decisions on behalf of their company.

When attention to detail goes bad, in corporate law…

Dot your I’s and cross your T’s! In business, we know we should do this but we sometimes don’t.

Commercial property rent reviews could be hurting you in the pocket.

Commercial property owners are often attracted to an annual CPI rent review. Standard agreements and deeds of lease make it very easy to agree to what seems like an annual...

A property lawyer can help ensure you don’t get caught out when making connections.

A property lawyer can help you ensure you are signing an appropriate agreement. If you’re thinking about purchasing a section, be aware of the time and cost involved to get...

Paid parental leave changes ahead

The government has made some changes to paid parental leave, with others to follow. It’s important you know how this will affect your staff and business.

Digital Assets – What happens to them?

Previously, when a person died the executors or administrators of their estate have waded through the paperwork that can be located to find details of bank accounts, investments and organisations...

Incorporated societies reform ahead

There are more than 23,500 incorporated societies in New Zealand that are currently governed by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

Update on financial markets overhaul

The Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 is in the process of completely overhauling New Zealand’s financial markets laws.

Employment law changes: are you up-to-date?

As noted in a previous post, the government has introduced the Employment Standards Legislation Bill to Parliament.

New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

We have previously posted an article on the proposed reform of New Zealand’s health and safety law. The new law will come into force on Monday, 4 April this year.

Creditors of Insolvent Companies

As we approach the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in what is known as the Fences & Kerbs case¹where three appeals were heard and ruled on together by...

Health and Safety Legislation: update

The Health and Safety at Work Act was passed on 27 August 2015 and will come into force on 4 April 2016.

Look before you leap into a contract

In a bustling real estate market, significant pressure is often placed on purchasers to make an offer in a short timeframe, often with few conditions (if any).

IRD numbers required for trusts to buy and sell residential property from 1 October 2015

This could cause a problem for any trust if the sale or purchase is due to settle after that date.

Changes to Health and Safety Law are on their way

The long-awaited Health and Safety Reform Bill passed into law on 27 August and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 will come into force in April next year.

Business Interruption Insurance

When considering your next business insurance policy the most important part is the fine print. Many people, particularly business owners, have recently learnt harsh (and expensive) lessons on their business insurance.

Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill

Introduced to Parliament in June as a private members’ bill, the purpose of this Bill is to amend the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to extend its provisions to apply to...

Zero hours contracts - new legislation introduced

In mid-August, the Employment Standards Bill was introduced into Parliament and, amongst other things, deals with the controversial issue of zero hours contracts.

Cheaper capital raising ahead for small code companies

The Takeovers Panel has granted a class exemption allowing small code companies to issue new shares, without needing to first obtain shareholder approval, in circumstances where the issue would otherwise...

Changes proposed to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986

Most staff employed on farms are also supplied with accommodation on the farm. With that comes rights and obligations as a landlord and employer.

Employment Standards Bill – minimum employment standards

In March 2015, the government announced a package of measures designed to strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards.

Terms of Trade

Despite a post-quake construction boom in Christchurch, an unprecedented number of building firms are going bust.

Budget 2015: Introduction of the 'Bright Line' Test for Property Investors

This year’s Budget, delivered on 21 May, contained few surprises and, generally speaking, little of significance for business.

New avenue for capital raising - small offers exclusion

The recently introduced Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 has completely overhauled New Zealand’s capital markets and financial services laws.

Cooking up a storm: the zero hours contracts debate

April saw a number of protests across the country concerning the use of zero hours contracts.

Parent company liable for debt of subsidiary company in liquidation

If you are a director of a company in a corporate group, a recent High Court decision¹ should serve as a timely reminder of the need to preserve each company’s...

Minimum wage review 2015

The government reviews the minimum wage each year. On 1 April 2015 the adult minimum wage is to rise from $14.25/hour to $14.75/hour.

New employment law provisions in force

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 came into effect on 6 March 2015 and makes some important changes to New Zealand’s employment law. Key changes include:

'Mondayising' public holidays

The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Act 2013 came into force on 1 January 2014.

New Legislation for Builders

On 1 January 2015 the Building Amendment Act 2013 came into force. As well as strengthening the consumer protection provisions currently in the Building Act 2004, it also implements new...

Guarantees: Assuming the Risk

Guarantees are a common form of credit enhancement often required by banks and other lenders before they will provide finance, including loan advances.

Financial markets overhaul complete

On 1 December 2014 the second phase of the implementation of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 came into force.

Important employment law changes come into force on 6 March

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 (which amends the Employment Relations Act 2000 and comes into force on 6 March 2015) makes significant changes to New Zealand employment law.

Construction Contracts Act 2002

Making sure you get paid, and on time, is critical if you’re running any business. If you’re involved in commercial or residential builds, the Construction Contracts Act 2002 outlines a...

Buying Into an Existing Business

Buying an existing business is sometimes preferable to establishing one from scratch. This article gives some pointers (but not an exhaustive list) to prospective purchasers to help ensure you get...

Unfair contract terms

New rules regarding ‘unfair contract terms’ will come into effect on 17 March 2015. The rules will apply to ‘standard form consumer contracts’ – that is contracts between a supplier...

Three fundamentals for a successful joint venture

So you’ve been looking at doing with a joint venture with a business partner you know you can trust.

Health and safety reform - increased obligations for directors and managers

The Health and Safety Reform Bill 2014 (which will replace the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and is expected to come into force sometime in 2015) will place...

Key Considerations for Employee Share Schemes

Employee share schemes can be a great way to attract, retain and incentivise staff. They haven’t been widely used in New Zealand, with a big part of the problem being...

Director’s Drawings

“If you are a company director it’s tempting, particularly in a closely held company, to withdraw funds for expenses and to pay yourself as and when you decide that you...

Business sales and earnouts: Five cautionary tips for sellers

So you’ve been negotiating the sale of your business and while you’re confident that it’s going to continue to grow as you’re projecting, the buyer just isn’t sure and you’re...

Supreme Court limits access to insured defence costs

Directors of two collapsed finance companies, Bridgecorp and Feltex, have looked to their directors’ and officers’ insurance policy for their defence costs in responding to claims by investors and receivers,...

Social media in employment

Social media is the new business lunch, promotional pamphlet, business card, word of mouth – the new ‘normal’.

Public holidays: Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day

Special public holiday arrangements are now going to apply for Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day. From 1 January 2014, ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day are now ‘Mondayised’.

Minimum wage review 2014

The government reviews the minimum wage each year. It has recently been announced that the adult minimum wage is to rise from $13.75 per hour to $14.25 per hour, coming...

Voidable Transactions

When an insolvent company goes into liquidation it’s accepted that not all creditors will get paid 100 cents in the dollar.

A Boost to Employee Share Offers and Capital Raising

The overhaul of the laws that govern New Zealand’s financial markets took another big step last September with the passing into law of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013.

New Zealand company business numbers

All companies currently registered in New Zealand have now been assigned a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).

Director residency requirements

An important part of the government’s companies and limited partnership reforms package is undergoing its final legislative steps.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye! Getting staff resignations right

It’s said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. For business owners, the list also includes resignations.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone (the attorney) to look after your affairs.

Limitation Act 2010

Limitation laws prevent certain legal claims being brought against a person or company after a defined period of time.

Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies

If you have an investment making losses and you want to pay less income tax, an LAQC may be a useful investment vehicle for you.

Disputes Between Co-Owners of Land and the Property Law Act 2007

If there is no formal agreement co-owners of real estate sometimes find themselves in dispute on a variety of issues relating to their joint venture property.