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The impact of the new cartel laws on commercial arrangements

The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has finally passed. After six years before Parliament, the bill received Royal Assent on 14 August 2017. It came into force immediately, although there is a nine-month transitional period for existing contracts (and two-year transitional period for shipping arrangements). The bill significantly amends…

Censured for lengthy delay in issuing arbitral award

A barrister who took five years to issue an arbitral award has been censured and fined $500. The barrister, Fabian, was appointed as an arbitrator by two companies to determine a dispute between them. The arbitration agreement provided for the award to be issued within 40 days of the arbitration hearing,…

Continuing to act after potential conflict arose

A lawyer who continued acting for a client after a potential conflict arose, and who did not keep the client informed, has been found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct. The lawyers standards committee ordered the lawyer, Mr Rutland, to apologise in writing to the client and to pay $1,000 costs. Mr Rutland was…

Breach of undertaking ‘never acceptable’

A legal executive who breached an undertaking has been fined $5,000 by a lawyers standards committee. The legal executive, Catesby, acted for the vendor in a conveyancing transaction. She provided an undertaking to the purchaser’s solicitors including ‘not to disburse any of the settlement funds until the release has been effected…

The Kiwi protecting Scotland’s children

Bruce AdamsonIt was the lure of “whisky, kilts and castles” that enticed Bruce Adamson to Scotland, but it’s ensuring vulnerable children are safe and healthy that’s keeping the New Zealand lawyer in Edinburgh. Mr Adamson, who is originally from Palmerston North and studied and worked in Wellington, was appointed Scotland’s third…
The legal profession in Wanaka

The legal profession in Wanaka

A lot has changed since Chris Steven decided to hang out a shingle for Wanaka Law in 1986. Although other lawyers made regular trips to Wanaka at the time, Mr Steven says he was the first to set up a full-time law office there. He said he made the permanent move…

Fined for debiting fees in breach of rules

A lawyer who debited money for fees from his trust account eight working days before issuing an invoice has been fined $1,500 by a lawyers standards committee. The lawyer, Mr Mountjoy, acted for a couple who bought a section. He deducted his fee of $2,200 plus GST and disbursements from funds…

SPCA calls for tougher penalties for recidivist offenders

In a recent Auckland SPCA prosecution, (SPCA Auckland v Pamela Mary De Vere [2017 NZDC 2729]), the court issued a three-year prohibition against an animal welfare offender from owning or exercising authority over animals. This article reviews the District Court decision in De Vere and highlights the particular challenges animal welfare…

Gender diversity, succession planning and connecting some (important) dots

Two of the biggest “hot button” issues for law firms in New Zealand today are gender diversity and succession planning. What is the connection between the two? Gender diversity is an issue because, although about 70% of law graduates are now women, many leave the practice early, so women are often…

Lawyers and the bequest business

New Zealanders give around $2.8 billion annually to charitable and community causes. Over half of that is from individuals, according to the Giving New Zealand report published at the end of 2015. We’re among the most generous in the world. The English-based Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index 2016 ranked New…
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