PUBLICATIONS

Publications

Our lawyers keep up with the latest trends and issues in New Zealand law and business, and regularly publish articles and reports on current topics.

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Pass the Parcel: Employment Court decision delivers warning for owner drivers

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on May 28th, 2020.    

Courier drivers have long been categorised by the Courts as contractors and not employees, largely due to industry practice. The Employment Court recently reconsidered how owner drivers in the courier sector were to be classified in the case of Leota v Parcel Express Limited. Mr Leota was a driver who provided courier services to Parcel Express Limited under an agreement which identified the arrangement as a contract for services. Although the Court said the decision related to the specific facts of Mr Leota’s relationship with Parcel Express Limited, the decision to declare him an employee may set precedent for other owner drivers, especially those operating under a similar model and contract to that used by Parcel Express.

Topics: Employment
 

Responding to COVID-19: Commercial Leases

Written by Kelly Seabourne, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER; Paul Jennings, ASSOCIATE on March 31st, 2020.    

The impact of COVID-19 is already widespread and having a massive impact on businesses around the world.  Every day New Zealand is seeing further disruption due to COVID-19. Clearly, the increasing disruption caused by COVID-19 and the implementation of Alert Level 4 is causing significant concern for commercial tenants and landlords. Click the link to read more about some of the key issues for landlords and tenants to consider....
 

Responding to COVID-19: A Business Guide

Written by Darryl King PARTNER; David Alizade PARTNER; Claire Godber SENIOR ASSOCIATE; Glenn Finnigan PARTNER; Mark Sullivan PARTNER; Caroline Harris PARTNER; Kelly Seabourne PARTNER on March 24th, 2020.    

As COVID-19 spreads and the number of cases around the world climbs, businesses need to take definitive action now to address what is shaping up to be the most significant challenge for some time.
 

Coronavirus and Employment

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on March 23rd, 2020.    

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated world headlines in 2020 and is likely to do so for some time to come. New Zealand is not immune from the effects of the virus and just this week the Government announced a $12.1 billion stimulus package to assist employers and the wider economy in coping with the impact of the virus. COVID-19 brings with it a range of employment law issues that employers should turn their mind to as soon as possible.

Topics: Employment
 

Jackson Russell COVID-19 update

Written by Jackson Russell on March 23rd, 2020.    

An update on Jackson Russell's COVID-19 response. 

Topics: Coronavirus
 

Legal update: Trusts Act 2019 Part 2

Written by Israel Vaealiki, PARTNER; Lana Dixon, LAWYER on February 25th, 2020.    

In our previous article, we introduced the Trusts Act 2019 (Act), which received Royal Assent on 20 July 2019. We outlined some of the key changes under the Act and identified a number of issues for trustees to consider. In this article we provide more detail on the issues arising under the Act relating to record keeping and disclosure of information. Click the link to find out more about the Act...

Topics: Trusts
 

Fair Trading Amendment Bill - Enhanced protection for small businesses & consumers

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER; Claire Godber, SENIOR ASSOCIATE on February 18th, 2020.    

The Fair Trading Amendment Bill aims to provide more protection for small businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices. It introduces a new prohibition against unconscionable conduct in trade, extends the unfair contract terms provisions to small trade contracts (currently they only apply to consumer contracts), and gives stronger consumer rights to get rid of ‘door knockers’.

 

Brexit finally happened....what happens now for New Zealand?

Written by David Alizade, PARTNER on February 18th, 2020.    

After a protracted political process, the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period is now in place until 31 December 2020, where the current trade rules, tariffs and tariff rate quotas will remain in place for NZ businesses. The current NZ/UK trading relationship will continue as it currently stands, while the countries negotiate their future trading relationship and hopefully finalise a free trade agreement by the end of the transition period.

Topics: Business
 

Takeovers Code changes for widely held unlisted companies

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER; Claire Godber, SENIOR ASSOCIATE on February 18th, 2020.    

Following changes to the Takeovers Code in January 2020, the Code no longer applies to widely held unlisted companies unless they are at least "medium sized". As a result of the changes, most SMEs will not be subject to the Code – regardless of how many shareholders they have. Click the link for a summary of the new test and the implications for you and your company...
Topics: Business
 

Protect yourself in 2020 - don't abbreviate

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER; Claire Godber, SENIOR ASSOCIATE on February 18th, 2020.    

Moving into the “twenty-twenties” has provided scammers with a unique opportunity to forge documents and potentially defraud businesses. Click the link to read more...

Topics: Business, Contract
 

Legal update: Privacy Bill's slow progress

Written by David Alizade, PARTNER; Claire Godber, SENIOR ASSOCIATE on February 18th, 2020.    

The Privacy Bill is in the final stages of the legislative process, but we do not know yet when it will be in force.  Reform of the current Privacy Act 1993 is long overdue, and the changes proposed will affect all organisations doing business in NZ that collect, use or hold information on individuals in NZ.  The key changes are…

Topics: Business, Privacy
 

Legal update: Government foreshadows changes to contractors' rights

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on February 17th, 2020.    

The Government has released a consultation document which tries to address the long-standing issue of “misclassifying” employees as contractors. This sometimes occurs because employers are ignorant of what constitutes a true principal/contractor relationship under the law.  However sometimes it occurs as a deliberate attempt to deprive workers of key employment rights.

Topics: Employment
 

Navigating online reviews

Written by Darryl King PARTNER; Claire Godber SENIOR ASSOCIATE; Isabel Jenner SENIOR LAWYER on September 14th, 2019.    

Online reviews have become an increasingly useful way for consumers to do their due diligence on a product or service before they buy. However, businesses need to be careful in their handling of user reviews to avoid a possible breach of consumer protection legislation. Set out below is a summary of what the law says and some guidance on how businesses can take steps to avoid breaching it.
 

Trusts Act 2019: It's here! What you need to do for you and your trusts

Written by Israel Vaealiki, PARTNER; Lana Dixon, LAWYER; Soo Jin Lee, LAWYER on August 12th, 2019.    

The Trusts Act 2019 (Act) received Royal Assent on 30 July 2019. The Act will come into force from 30 January 2021 and is the most extensive revision and modernisation of New Zealand’s law relating to trusts and trust administration in over 60 years. The Act will replace the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964. If you have a family trust or are a trustee of a family trust, you should be aware of these key changes to the law and seek legal advice where appropriate. 

Topics: Trusts
 

When is "full and final" actually final?

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on August 12th, 2019.    

Until recently, the finality of section 149 settlement agreements has been left largely untouched by the Employment Relations Authority, and Courts have been reluctant to set aside settlement agreements unless one of the parties was considered to lack the legal capacity to enter into an agreement.

The recent case of Bagley v Deloitte Limited [2019] has broadened the circumstances in which the validity of these agreements can be challenged. It sets a potentially concerning precedent that employers should be wary of.
Topics: Employment
 
 

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