Articles

Commercial and Contract Disputes

Debt Recovery and Enforcement

This article serves to inform the procedural and legal methods and issues related to debt recovery.
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Recovering Money During Lockdown in the Construction Industry

Many in the construction industry will be feeling frustrated at the latest lockdown slowing down projects and progress. Fortunately, not everything has to be put on pause. The Construction Contracts Act 2002 ("CCA") provides ways to recover money during lockdown.
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New Duty of Due Diligence on Directors and Senior Managers of Lenders

Significant amendments to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003 ("CCCFA"), come into force on 1 October 2021 which sees among other things the imposition of a new duty of due diligence on directors and senior managers of a "lender" (including some mobile traders).
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The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill - Open for Public Submission

The Government is once again looking to impose further statutory controls over how contractors are to handle and protect retention moneys owed to its sub-contractors - this time with civil monetary penalties facing the construction companies and their directors for non-compliance.
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Brougham v Regan - The Requirements for a Valid Contract of Guarantee

On 30 October 2020 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in the context of contracts of guarantee in the case of Brougham v Regan [2020] NZSC 118. A summary of the key facts of the matter and important points in the Court's decision follow.
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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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Section 131: Duty of Directors to Act in Good Faith and in Best Interests of Company

In accordance with Section 131 of the Companies Act 1993 ("Act"), directors have a duty to act in good faith and in what they genuinely believe to be the best interests of the company. While it may be expected that directors should always behave in such a manner, and not place their personal interests ahead of the company's, various judgments have explored the extent of this duty and provided more information about the considerations director should take account of when exercising their powers.
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