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Changes affecting landlords and tenants

Did you know there are a few significant changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986? Changes have already come into place with more to take effect on 11 February 2021.

Free Legal Advice

Covid – How We Can Help You Legally

Mark, Casey, and Rachael share some insights into the past, present, and future legal aspects of how Covid 19 has affected us all.

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COVID-19: Commercial leases in Alert Level 2

As New Zealand moved into COVID-19 Alert Level 2 this week, commercial landlords and tenants need to consider what this means for the rent and outgoings payable under their commercial lease arrangements.

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Employment Law and Covid-19

The Government enforced lockdown of businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown up a number of employment issues and challenges for both employers and employees.

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Working As A Graduate At Willis Legal

If you are looking for future places to work after graduating, Willis Legal is the best place to start…

Sale and Purchase of a Business
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Agreement for the Sale and Purchase of a Business

If you are thinking about selling or purchasing a business, an agreement for the sale and purchase of the business assets and goodwill will generally be required…

First Home
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First Home Buyer’s Guide

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, great news, you’re already a step ahead of the rest by taking the time to contact us! Now that you’re here, let…

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Upgrade your SuperGold Card to a Photo ID Now

Increased regulation means that a current Government-issued photo identification is essential. We often encounter the situation where clients who no longer drive and no longer travel and consequently do not…

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Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Legislation

Why we need to ask you for information New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT Act” for short)….

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10 Key Points to Consider When Purchasing your First Home

1. What you can really afford. · Use your head not your heart.   2. Get Mortgage Pre Approval · Providing you meet the criteria, your bank should be able…

Recomendation Video

Good words from Fraser Harrison

We realise most people choose a lawyer because of recommendation from friends or family members. Here’s what people like you are saying about Willis Legal.

Recomendation Video

Good words from Judi Hopkinson

We realise most people choose a lawyer because of recommendation from friends or family members. Here’s what people like you are saying about Willis Legal.

Quote from happy client

I changed legal firms to Willis because I was sick of being mucked around I wanted to talk to someone who I felt I could relate too.

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Starting a Business

Emma discusses the various options available to you when it comes to starting up a business.

Free Legal Advice

Qualifying for Family Legal Aid

Not sure whether you can afford legal advice? Nicola has some helpful tips that could be just what you need.

Free Legal Advice

Getting the best out of KiwiSaver

This video from Nicola is helpful for anyone who wants to maximise the benefits of KiwiSaver.

Free Legal Advice

The conditions of buying and selling a house

In this short video, Robyn discusses the complexities of conveyancing.

Recomendation Video

Good words about Willis Legal

We realise most people choose a lawyer because of recommendation from friends or family members. Here’s what people like you are saying about Willis Legal.

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Who is Will?

For a start it’s a great name for a legal firm you can relate to!

Quote from happy client

We find that the team at Willis work together to make things happen quickly and effectively.

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Going to help me buy my first home

Are you thinking about buying a house? Watch our video, you’re in good company.

Quote from happy client

We were so confused but after 10 minutes with the nice lawyer from Willis everything became so much clearer.

Willis Legal Wall Art

Think Big

What happens when a Hawke’s Bay Legal Firm thinks BIG? Our Partners decided it was time to spruce up our side wall so this is what we came up with.

By Kevin Callinicos

Attorneys’ duties under Enduring Powers of Attorney

A recent judgment issued by the Court of Appeal has clarified the duties of an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”) in relation to Property, particularly in circumstances…

Free Legal Advice

Setting up a family trust

A useful video from Sarah for anyone considering the many benefits of setting up a family trust.

by Michael Wenley

Dry Stream or Riverbed Claims

Some Land Transfer Certificates of Title will record the edge of a stream as the legal boundary.  Generally, this will not be a straight line, and there will be situations…

by Michael Wenley

New District Court Rules

The District Court Rules 2014 came into force on 1 July 2014 and replaced the District Court Rules 2009.  The 2009 Rules were introduced with the apparent objective of enabling…

By Kevin Callinicos

Residential Tenancies – Smoke Alarms and Insulation

Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016 http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0128/latest/ come into force on 1 July 2016, although some parts are deferred.  This article will discuss, in general terms the regulatory…

by Erin Gibson

Retirement Villages

The growth of the Retirement Village industry in New Zealand is increasing every year. There are currently well over 330 registered retirement villages in New Zealand. 10 Key Questions Intending…

By Kevin Callinicos

Trustees Duty of Disclosure to Beneficiaries

The issue of what duty trustees hold to beneficiaries to disclose information relating to the Trust is a topical issue. In 2013 the Law Commission included as one of its…

By Kevin Callinicos

What is a Limitation As To Parcels?

The judgment of Justice Gendall issued on 18 February 2016, in Forde v Li discusses, among other issues, the legal nature of a “limitation as to parcels” on a title…

by Michael Wenley

Terms of Trade

Any business providing goods or services on a credit payment basis should have appropriate Terms of Trade recorded in writing and agreed before goods or services are provided on credit….

by Lawrie Willis

Meetings – Essential Elements

Introduction Meetings are part of everyday life, whether in Government, Company Board Rooms, Local Authorities, Community Organisations , the Sports Club, and so on. In New Zealand, we have generally…

by Bruce Gilmour

Beware of Time Limits in Relationship Property Legislation

A High Court Decision in May of this year highlights the importance of understanding time limits in Relationship Property Claims.  The increasingly common facts of the case were that the…

by Mark Goodson Property

The Bright-Line Test – an update

On 17 May 2015 the Government announced a new bright-line test with the purpose of taxing gains made from residential property sold within 2 years of purchase.   The test will…

By Kevin Callinicos

Conditional Contracts for Sale of Land (Revisited)

In May 2010 we reported on the Court of Appeal decision in Mana v Fleming which restated the well understood legal principle that “a person who has the benefit of…

by Nicola Yarrall

First Home Buyers & KiwiSaver

Savings Withdrawal If you’ve been a member of Kiwisaver for 3 years you may be able to withdraw some of your Kiwisaver funds to put towards purchasing your first home….

by Lawrie Willis

Blended Families – Wills

The difficulties of making a Will when a person is in a “blended family” are clearly evident in the recent High Court case of Fry v Fry. THE FACTS The…

by Lawrie Willis

Discharge without Conviction

As humans we all make mistakes.  Most mistakes carry little consequence.  More serious mistakes may cost us money or may result in a criminal conviction. The consequence of some criminal…

by Sarah Beckett

Building or Renovating the year? There are some important changes you need to be aware of.

The Building (Residential Consumer Rights and Remedies) Regulations 2014 came into force on 1 January 2015. These new consumer protection measures introduce new obligations for contractors completing residential building work….

by Emma Roberts

Introduction to Company Law

Part 1: Choosing the right business structure If you are thinking about starting a new business, one important consideration will be how that business is to be structured. This decision…

by John Orton

Buying or selling a farm

Either buying or selling a farm is a major matter.  Normally, the price is significant and often the farm has been in the family for generations such that the sale…

by Michael Wenley

Limited Licences

If you are disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence, there may be scope for applying to the District Court for a limited licence (sometimes referred to as a…

by Nicola Booth

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

A dissolution of marriage (more commonly known as divorce) is an order obtained through the Family Court which brings a marriage to an end. In New Zealand, there is only…

by Mark Goodson

Buying a Franchise

You can now own everything from a café to a building company as a franchise.  While there are benefits to being part of a franchise group there are also significant…

by Erin Gibson

What does it mean to be an executor of someone’s Will?

Nothing is required of you until the person dies. Then your duties as an executor commence. The main duty is to carry out the terms of the deceased’s Will. The…

by Sonya Vallance

What is conveyancing?

To put it simply, conveyancing is the legal aspect of transferring property from one party to another. A typical conveyancing transaction contains two stages: the entering into an agreement and…

by Robyn Matthews

Reverse Mortgages: Characteristics & Considerations

A reverse mortgage is a financial product that is most commonly used by senior citizens over the age of 65 who wish to create a passive cash flow to supplement…

by Robyn Matthews

Don’t let your next property purchase be a Meth Lab!

Methamphetamine Laboratories or ‘meth labs’ are a growing problem in New Zealand.  The Police are finding an increasing number each year.  The potential of meth contamination is therefore also increasing….

by Robyn Matthews Property

Going Guarantor

Being a guarantor will negatively impact on your own finances.  Before agreeing to become a guarantor for a loan, it is vitally important to understand what you are committing yourself…

by Nicola Yarrall

Changes to House Insurance

Following the Christchurch Earthquakes many homeowners have been affected by increasing insurance premiums. What many may not be aware of are the changes to what your house insurance policy will…

by Robyn Matthews

Fair Trading Act v Consumer Guarantees Act

The Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act are designed to protect consumers in New Zealand. Many New Zealanders are aware of the existence of these Acts but are…

by Nicola Yarrall Property

Mortgagee Sale – Good investment or too good to be true?

With the number of mortgagee sales increasing in 2012 we take a look at some of the risks involved with purchasing a property through a Mortgagee sale. A number of…

by Nicola Booth Family Law

Legal Aid

What is Legal Aid? Legal Aid is a system where the government assists individuals to pay for legal advice in certain cases where the individual cannot afford to fund their…

by Richard Cross Property

Who’s Taking your Land?

From time to time State and Local Body agencies need to acquire privately owned land.  The process for doing this is set out in the Public Works Act 1981 and…

Asset Protection/Family Trusts By Kevin Callinicos

Long Term Residential Care Subsidies – Gifting

You may have read that the Government abolished gift duty from 1 October 2011. This has led to the common perception that an individual may now make a gift exceeding…

by Erin Gibson Estate Planning

What is a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an authority you give to another person to look after your affairs. There are two types of power of attorney: An ordinary power of attorney;…

by Erin Gibson Estate Planning

Administering an Estate

Before an estate can be administered and distributed to the beneficiaries the High Court must grant approval. The two most common forms of approval are: If there is a Will…

Asset Protection/Family Trusts By Kevin Callinicos

Removal of Trustee

The High Court decision Wallace v Naknok highlighted some difficulties that can arise when circumstances change following the formation of a Trust. The essential facts of this case are as…

by Nicola Booth


Who is a guardian?  A guardian of a child is a person who has the duties, powers, rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the upbringing of a…

By Kevin Callinicos Property

The importance of obtaining a Land Information Memorandum

The importance of obtaining a LIM when purchasing a property has been reinforced by the Supreme Court judgment Marlborough District Council v Altimarloch Joint Venture Limited  issued on 5 March…

by Mark Goodson Company/Commercial

9 Potential Legal Issues When Buying a Franchise

It is important to see your lawyer, along with other professionals (such as your accountant), before purchasing any type of business.  However, the importance of obtaining legal advice becomes even…

by Nicola Booth

Protection Orders

What is a protection order? A protection order can be granted by a Family Court or District Court under the Domestic Violence Act 1995 to protect a person who is…

Asset Protection/Family Trusts by Erin Gibson

Gift Duty

You will undoubtedly be aware that the Government is to abolish gift duty from the 1 October 2011.  For those who still have a gifting programme to complete, there is an…

by Sarah Beckett

Are my Business Affairs in Order …?

1. Have I reviewed the ownership of my business in the last 5 years? 2. Does our company have a constitution and have I reviewed it in the last 5 years? 3. Do…

by Erin Gibson Family Law

Police Safety Orders

On the 1 July 2010 new laws came into effect which allow the Police to issue on the spot Police Safety Orders. The Police Safety Order (PSO) is issued in…

by Nicola Yarrall Property

Fee Simple, Cross Lease & Leasehold titles – what does it all mean?

When buying a house it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.  A fee simple title (or freehold estate) gives you the greatest group of rights in…

by Michael Wenley Litigation/Dispute Resolution

Disputes Tribunal

The Disputes Tribunal provides a forum to decide disputes where the amount of the claim does not exceed $15,000, however the jurisdiction of the Tribunal can be extended to $20,000…

by Michael Wenley Estate Planning

Mutual Wills

Two will-makers make “mutual wills” when they make wills that dispose of property in a way that they have agreed and each promises the other that they will not revoke…

By Kevin Callinicos Estate Planning

The importance of having a Will

The recent Judgment of the High Court is a timely reminder of the need to regularly review your Will, or if you have a Will, to update it. The background…