Kay Keam



DDI:+64 9 300 7609

MOB:+64 21 624 887


LinkedIn:View my LinkedIn profile

Download VCard:vCard


Real Estate, Property Development and Resource Management
Body Corporate Matters

Kay Keam is one of Auckland's leading commercial property lawyers and has specialised in commercial  property law for over 20 years. In addition to a BCom/LLB, Kay has recently graduated with a LLM (Distinction). Kay's experienced team advise on the legal and practical aspects of property transactions.

Property Law

Kay has extensive experience in the following areas of property law:

  • Commercial, industrial, office, retail and residential property sales and purchases
  • Property development including subdivisions and boundary adjustments
  • Negotiating and preparing leases (including green leases) for retail, office and industrial properties including shopping centres and childcare centres
  • Drafting land covenants and encumbrances and advice in relation to them
  • Contract negotiation and preparation
  • Due diligence
  • Financing of property transactions
  • Advice on complex property proposals and solving complex problems
  • Marina berth and boat sales as well as advice in relation to marinas
  • General advice to property managers
Examples of work
  • Proposed redevelopment in Gisborne of hotel and conference facilities and commercial and retail units, negotiation with hotel managers, sale hotel and retail units
  • Purchase of golf course and establishment of structure for ongoing operations
  • Joint venture with hotel and casino development
  • Staged 250 residential unit development of leasehold property in the central city
  • Acquisition of site and unit titling of luxury apartments in the central city
  • Two tower residential apartment development in Auckland CBD - 61 apartments over 10 stories
  • Large staged fee simple subdivision of approximately 1165 sections at Omaha. Involvement in establishment of owners' association and extensive land covenants
  • Initial strata freehold subdivision of the Chancery site into four lots; subsequent unit titling, leasing and sale of retail and office units and carparks. Subsequently involved in proposed hotel and residential complex which did not proceed.
  • Large fee simple subdivision on Waiheke. Involvement included structuring of the development and arrangements in relation to private water company
  • Unit title developments with combination of retail and office through out all of Auckland. Involved in acquisition of properties and subsequent unit titling, leasing and sale of units
  • Boutique heritage commercial development in Auckland CBD
  • Property related assistance in relation to litigation and assistance with structuring and contracts for new power station in Taupo
  • 61 lot freehold subdivision in Dannemora - acquisition of site, fee simple subdivision and sale of houses (settlement being following construction)
  • Acquisition of sites, project management agreements and leasing for owner of nationwide properties leased to childcare centre operator

With a focus on providing calm, pragmatic and commercial legal advice, Kay's aim is to do all she can to make a transaction work and to provide a quality and speed of service to ensure that it does. She adds value to transactions. Her experience and straight forward approach has seen her develop a strong reputation. This has led to involvement in some of New Zealand's most complicated commercial property transactions.

Body Corporate Law

  • Unit title developments including body corporate rules
  • Governance issues
  • Cost allocation
  • Maintenance issues

Kay acts for a broad spectrum of clients, ranging from personal clients requiring residential conveyancing services through to property developers, banks and financial institutions. She is the professional trustee of a number of family trusts as well as the secretary for the Orakei Marina Management Trust.

Kay is very involved in the Auckland District Law Society Incorporated's activities. She is a past convenor of the property and business law committee and the current convenor of the documents and precedents committee. This committee is responsible for the standard agreement for sale and purchase, deed of lease, auction agreement and many other documents which are used throughout New Zealand.


We engaged Kay to provide evidence as an expert in a High Court matter. She was able to respond and identify the key issues she was required to address in a timely manner. The QC involved in the case was very impressed with Kay's delivery and presentation of her evidence and the way she responded to the issues in cross examination. Kate Dillon, Heaney & Partners

Kay's publications


Encumbrances have been used for a long time as a device to secure land covenants in gross. Examples include conditions of consent, waivers of fire rating requirements and obligation to join an owners' association. As part of her study for a master of laws, Kay has looked at this history, the problems with encumbrances and the Law Commission proposal for their replacement - a statutory land covenant in gross.

Assignment of weather tightness and insurance claims to a purchaser under an agreement for sale and purchase

Where a property has been damaged prior to settlement, it is important to consider what rights should also be assigned on settlement. As part of her study for a master of laws, Kay has looked at what claims are assignable.

Current issues with Unit Titles

Kay was asked by Legalwise to give a presentation on disclosure under the Unit Titles Act. There are four types of disclosure - pre-contract, pre-settlement, additional and turnover. Her paper looks at each type of disclosure and the consequences if disclosure is not made. Also included are links to the seminar attachments and Powerpoint presentation.

Recent articles

Recent Building Act changes have far reaching effects for developers and investors

Let us help you add value to your property

The Unitary Plan - your place in Auckland's future

Are the rules the rules?