Commercial and Contract Disputes

Electronic Signing of Contracts

Part 4 of the Contracts and Commercial Law Act 2017 ("CCLA") provides that, with some few exceptions, where a signature is required by law (including to conclude a contract) you can sign that document electronically provided certain conditions are met. An electronic signature is defined in the CCLA as a method used to identify a person and to indicate that person's approval of that information.
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Construction Contracts: Contractual Framework for Navigating Through Covid-19 Alert Level 4 (NZS 3910:2013, NZS 3915:2013, NZS 3916:2013 & NZS 3902:2004)

Parties to construction contracts, especially those contractors (and subcontractors) who are engaged to carry out particular contract works by an agreed due date for completion, may be exposed to penalties or "liquidated damages" if unable to carry on or complete those works during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
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Frustration, Force Majeure and Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic and the announcement of the Level 4 Covid-19 threat level in New Zealand has meant that many businesses may be forced to default on their commercial obligations, especially as non-essential businesses are told to close. However if their contracts contain a "force majeure" provision, this may provide them with a way out.
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Mainzeal: Reckless Trading

In Mainzeal1 the former directors were held liable for a breach of section 135 of the Act. Richard Yan, (who was the founder and main shareholder of Mainzeal's parent company, Richina Pacific) was ordered to pay compensation of $36M. Each of the other directors (Shipley, Tilby and Gomm) were held liable to contribute $6M each towards that $36M.
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