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Court costs in disputes as to who should be trustee

Court costs in disputes as to who should be trustee

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Guest v Guest [2019] NZCA 64 stands as a reminder to trustees that if they do not act reasonably, then they may be exposing themselves to a significant costs liability.

By Terri Gough - 10 Nov 2019

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Changes to the Disputes Tribunal - threshold increased to $30,000

Changes to the Disputes Tribunal - threshold increased to $30,000

The Disputes Tribunal has just increased the financial threshold for submitting a claim to $30,000. Until 29 October 2019, a party could only file a claim up to a maximum of $15,000 (or $20,000 with both parties' agreement). At this low sum it meant that parties who wanted to pursue claims slightly over $15,000 faced the prospect of either writing off a portion of the debt to pursue their claim in the Tribunal, or abandoning it all together.

By Pierce Bedogni - 1 Nov 2019

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Want to drug test your employees? What you need to know first

Want to drug test your employees? What you need to know first

Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the risk that drug-taking poses to a workplace. However, employers should tread carefully when deciding to drug test employees. The employers in the recent case A v N learned this lesson the hard way.

By Claire Mansell - 10 Oct 2019

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Modern families and changing laws

Modern families and changing laws

Family demographics have changed significantly over the past 60 years.  To keep up, the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA) was amended in 2002 to extend the property sharing to heterosexual and homosexual de facto and civil union partners.

By Dharsh Nanayakkara - 26 Sep 2019

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Changes to employment laws widening the scope for personal grievances

Changes to employment laws widening the scope for personal grievances

The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill has passed its third reading in parliament and will come into force by at least 27 June 2020. The Bill allows for a "controlling third party" to be joined to a personal grievance claim in the Employment Relations Authority. This means that an individual employee can bring a claim against both their 'official' employer and any other controlling third party.

By Claire Mansell - 4 Sep 2019

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Tenancy reforms: Who pays if the tenant damages your property?

Tenancy reforms: Who pays if the tenant damages your property?

In 2015 the Court of Appeal told landlords they could not recover the cost of damage caused by their residential tenants unless it was done intentionally. This was because the Property Law Act 2007 said that a landlord could not require a tenant to meet the cost of damage which can be insured against. From 27 August 2019 the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 dictates the law on this issue.

By Mathew Martin - 28 Aug 2019

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We're separating and our assets are all in trust. Does that mean I get nothing?

We're separating and our assets are all in trust. Does that mean I get nothing?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 determines what is and is not "relationship property" and which assets should be divided equally between de facto partners and spouses on separation. It also defines "separate property" as assets owned by one partner alone and not to be shared equally. But in a country with the highest number of trusts per capita in the world, what happens if your assets are held in trust?

By Telise Kelly - 18 Aug 2019

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Issues to be considered when work is suspended on a building project

Issues to be considered when work is suspended on a building project

Not all building projects run smoothly and for one reason or another, there may be a point where building work is suspended. Should the building project end up in that position, both parties to the building contract have obligations and there are a number of matters to consider.

By Pierce Bedogni - 7 Aug 2019

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Banks and Disclaimers and the Little Guy

Banks and Disclaimers and the Little Guy

Do you feel that the law always seems to favour the Banks (the big guys) against the little guy? In Court, the Banks are always well funded and have technical arguments readily available to them. All, however, is not lost. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Bushline Trustees struck a blow for the little guy.

By Tony Johnson - 9 Jul 2019

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Employee? Contractor? Why does it matter?

Employee? Contractor? Why does it matter?

Sometimes the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is unclear. In the eyes of the law however, the difference is profound.

By Terri Gough - 21 Jun 2019

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