Need a Will? (Yes You Do!)

Brandon Cullen

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It is the old adage, nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. Death, however, often comes as a shock, not so much to the person who actually dies but to the family left behind to try and sort out the “estate” and what the deceased really wanted to happen with her antique dolls-house collection …  Read more

The Health and Safety Reform Bill

James Turner

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The enactment of the Health and Safety Reform Bill is expected to occur in April 2015. Significant changes to the workplace health and safety framework will require preparation now to ensure compliance.  Read more

What is a Statutory Demand and When Should I Use It?

Friday, September 05, 2014
  1. What do you do when you are chasing a company for a debt and despite your requests, pleas, calls and curses, the company is failing or refusing to pay?  The statutory demand process may be suitable in such circumstances.

  2. A statutory demand is a Court document and is used to initiate Court proceedings to forcibly "wind up" an insolvent company where a debt is due for the sum of $1,000.00 or more.  Statutory demands are not issued against individuals (the bankruptcy process is used instead).

  3. The service of a statutory demand requires the debtor company to take prompt action to pay or face liquidation.  The High Court has commented that a statutory demand should be issued by a solicitor to ensure that the process is only used in appropriate circumstances.  Where a statutory demand is used inappropriately, the High Court is likely to impose costs against the party issuing the demand, which can be significant.

  4. The statutory demand should not be used to place undue pressure on a debtor, and should only be issued where the debt is not subject to a genuine dispute by the debtor company.  Where it is apparent that there is a genuine dispute or potential dispute by the debtor company, the ordinary District Court or High Court claim procedure should be used to obtain judgment against the debtor company.

  5. Once served, the debtor company is required to take action within a short time frame.  If the debtor company fails to respond (pay or dispute) to the statutory demand within 15 working days after it is served, the debtor company is presumed to be unable to pay its debts (insolvent).  The creditor is then entitled to apply to the High Court to have the debtor company wound up (liquidated). The end result of the process is that a liquidator is appointed by the Court and tasked to collect the pool of assets owned by the debtor company and disburse them to all creditors.

  6. The statutory demand can be an effective and strong tool to prompt a tardy debtor company.  In some circumstances, however, it is preferable to consider alternative methods to recover the debt, for example, where it is better to compromise with the debtor to allow it to continue to trade and pay the full amount of the debt back.

  7.  Read more

Unit Titles Act 2010 : Is Your Licence Legal?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do you have an informal licence over a portion of common property located in a unit title development?  Have you ever wondered if that licence is compliant with the requirements of the Unit Titles Act 2010 ("the Act")?  Read more

Effective Trust Management and Asset Protection

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Trust busting" is the term given to an attempt made to penetrate a Trust structure and have assets held by the Trust declared by the Courts to be owned personally by an individual. The implication of Trust assets being found to be owned personally is that these assets then become part of an individual's net worth and are an available "property pool" to former spouses/partners or creditors with valid claims against the individual.  Read more

Know Your Business - Things You Should Think About Before the Sale

Thursday, November 07, 2013

When it comes to a business sale you need to "know your business".  It is far too easy for assumptions to be made that are not incorporated in the sale agreement itself.  In this article, we comment briefly on some of the things you should think about before seeing an agent or putting pen to paper.  Read more

Defective Cross Lease Titles

Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking at buying or selling a cross lease property? One of the most common issues plaguing cross lease properties throughout New Zealand is the likelihood the flats plan (which is meant to show the boundary lines of the house, garage etc) is out-of-date and has not been updated following structural additions or improvements. The reason: it's not, strictly speaking, necessary from Council's perspective, and building consent may be granted without any reference or requirement to update the property's flats plan. The flow-on effect from this is the flats plan (which is attached to the certificate of title) is "defective", arguably giving a purchaser the right to pull out of an otherwise unconditional sale and purchase agreement.  Read more

Doing Business in New Zealand - A Guide

Thursday, April 18, 2013
CONTENTS Read more

KiwiSaver Employer Contributions Rate Change

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The minimum contribution rate for employers and employees has increased from 2% to 3% of gross salary or wages from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 April 2013.  Read more

KiwiSaver for Generation Y - First Home Buyer Support

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

KiwiSaver has almost two million members. As at 1 May 2012, approximately 340,000 of those members were aged between 25 and 34. One of the advantages of KiwiSaver for this age group and others who are in the first home market is the schemes to assist first home buyers. Members can apply for a first-home deposit subsidy of up to $5,000.00 and can withdraw all or part of their savings to put towards their deposit.  Read more

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