Privately-held and family-owned businesses


Clients tell us that we have been a key factor in their business success and that we care for their business almost as much as they do.

Our clients value using us as a sounding board and appreciate the depth of experience and guidance we provide through sometimes challenging situations. 
We can help you with your commercial decisions and opportunities, and to minimise legal risks. We provide tailored solutions which may include advising you on contract negotiations through to leading negotiations on your behalf, and advising on implementation and operational issues. We also act as a virtual in-house counsel for some of our privately-held business clients. 

Our clients include manufacturers and processors, importers and exporters, agents and distributors, retailers, franchisors, and investors. Our core client base consists of medium to large privately-held and family-owned companies, and high-growth businesses in the food and beverage, retail, FMCG, manufacturing, technology, self-storage and business services industries.  For most of these clients we are proud to be the exclusive legal advisers to the business and its owners.

Privately-held and family-owned businesses present a unique range of legal and commercial issues, and we have a long history of working with successful families and business owners, supporting and advising them on a wide range of business and personal issues. Our Private Client team works with our Business Law Team to support and guide business owners with their personal, family and business legal needs. We are proud to be a National Silver Partner of Family Business New Zealand (FBNZ).

Our expertise
  • Establishing new businesses
  • Structuring investments, including joint ventures and shareholder agreements
  • Debt and equity funding
  • Purchase, leasing and development of property
  • Acquisition and leasing of plant and machinery
  • Protecting and commercialising brands and intellectual property
  • Customer and supplier contracts
  • Contract and toll manufacturing agreements
  • IT and service provider agreements
  • International manufacturing, supply and distribution agreements
  • Exporting and importing
  • Franchising, licensing and agency agreements
  • Buying and selling of businesses and companies
  • Consumer laws
  • Sales and marketing laws, including review of labelling, advertising campaigns and marketing promotions
  • Debt recovery and creditor remedies
  • Liquidator claims for voidable payments
  • Resolution of disputes and commercial litigation
  • Employment law issues
  • Structuring and restructuring
  • Corporate governance and strategy
  • Succession and exit through share and business sales
Recent work for privately-held and family-owned businesses
  • Assisting two investors with structuring and establishing a franchise business, and the growth of the business through to the subsequent sale with over 50 franchisees.
  • Guiding the owner of a privately-held retailer on the sale and (as promoter) “back-door” listing of its business on the NZX main board.
  • Guiding an investor through his acquisition of a majority shareholding in a premium grocery retailer, and advising the retailer on a range of day-to-day legal issues.
  • Helping a privately-held manufacturer and exporter to negotiate its supply and distribution agreements for England and Asia.
  • Advising a family-owned distributor on its distribution agreement with an Australian food company.
  • Advising a family-owned winemaker on its joint venture with an Australian brewer for the ownership and operation of a New Zealand wine processing facility.
  • Guiding the management of a privately-held food manufacturer, and leading negotiations for several strategic business and brand acquisitions and a proposed joint venture with a vendor.
  • Acting as a 'virtual in-house lawyer' for the New Zealand members of an Australasian trade association and providing assistance on issues with customers.
  • Helping the owners of a successful family business to navigate their way through a range of personal legal issues, including trust restructuring, complex wills and estate planning, and family succession and shareholder restructuring.
Key contacts
Darryl Key Contact
Darryl King
Business Law
David Key Contact
David Alizade

Business Law

Level 13, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

PO Box 3451, Auckland 1140, New Zealand

+64 9 303 3849

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