Dispute resolution updates

Avoiding close relationships: force majeure
3 Apr 20

The escalation of the COVID-19 crisis around the world has forced many to review their contractual relationships. In particular, the term 'force majeure' has become the focus of close scrutiny. It is likely to be a concept which is tested and developed further as the ...

How essential is justice? An overview of the availability of courts and tribunals during Alert Level 4
31 Mar 20

Courts and tribunals are responding to the Alert Level 4 in different ways. This article explains which services are considered "essential" and the latest measures in place to ensure our justice system adapts and complies with new requirements. Following the Government's decision to place New ...

Government proposes major changes to building laws
13 May 19

On 14 April 2019 the Government announced its proposal to make the biggest changes to New Zealand's building laws in over a decade. The changes aim to address long-standing challenges in the building sector and tackle a number of concerns, with the key issues being: ...

Conducting a fair employment investigation
15 Sep 16

The Court of Appeal has provided some helpful guidance for employers when conducting an employment investigation in the recent decision of A Limited v H [2016] NZCA 419. The justification test Employers are required to undertake a fair process before taking any adverse action against ...

Earthquake-prone Buildings New Law Passed
20 May 16

The Building Act has included provisions to manage earthquake-prone buildings for some time. After the Canterbury earthquakes the Government instigated a Royal Commission that recommended changes to these provisions. The changes initially promoted by Government were contentious and have been significantly amended via the Select ...

Are Canterbury earthquake claimants running out of time?
2 Feb 16

The sixth anniversary of the Canterbury September earthquake is fast approaching. With it, comes another worry to add to the anxiety and uncertainty facing those who have not yet resolved insurance issues arising from that earthquake and those that followed. Under limitation law, there is ...

Supreme Court dismisses Southern Response Appeal
31 Jul 15

The Supreme Court has released its decision in Southern Response v Avonside Holdings Limited and dismissed the appeal by Southern Response.  This decision clarifies what must be included when an insurer is calculating the notional cost of rebuilding an insured property. Background A residential property ...

Fictitious Profits – Recovering Money from Ponzi Scheme Investors
17 Jul 15

On 22 June 2015, the High Court released a decision in respect of an investor in the Ross Asset Management Limited ("RAM") Ponzi scheme.  Fisk v McIntosh [2015] NZHC 1403 has implications for all investors in RAM and similar Ponzi schemes.  The decision will be ...

Supreme Court Clarifies Position for Creditors and Liquidators
20 Feb 15

In overturning the Court of Appeal in the Fences and Kerbs case[1] the Supreme Court has issued an important decision which affects both liquidators and anyone who supplies goods and services on credit terms. The decision relates to voidable transaction claims brought by liquidators of ...

Flood Prone Properties – Who is liable? High Court Releases Decision on EQC Policy
12 Feb 15

As a result of the Canterbury Earthquakes, many areas of the province suffered damage resulting in "Increased Flooding Vulnerability," ("IFV") a phenomenon where as a consequence of the earth movements land levels changed  becoming more prone to flooding and liquefaction. The Earthquake Commission ("the Commission"), ...

Another victory for homeowners – the Supreme Court clarifies how cash payments are to be calculated
3 Feb 15

The Supreme Court decision, Tower Insurance Limited v Skyward Aviation 2008 Limited [2014] NZSC 185, released late last year, provides some clarity about how cash payments by insurers are to be calculated where the insured holds a full reinstatement insurance policy. Skyward Aviation 2008 Limited ...

Changes to drink-driving limits from 1 December 2014
28 Nov 14

With Christmas just around the corner, drivers need to be aware of the changes to drink-driving limits that will apply from 1 December 2014. These changes include a significant reduction of the current drink-driving limits and the creation of infringement offences for driving in excess ...

Court of Appeal clarifies Notional Rebuild Costs
17 Oct 14

Many insurance policies allow either the insurer or the insured whether to elect to rebuild damaged premises on the same site, or purchase a new house elsewhere provided that the cost of the new house does not exceed the cost of rebuilding on the insured's ...

District Court Process Simplified
30 Jun 14

In a welcome change, from 1 July 2014, new District Court Rules come into force. These will drastically change the way District Court civil proceedings are to be managed. The change will align the District Court process more closely to the High Court Rules, but ...

Weathertight Homes: Longer Eligibility Period But No Change To Limitation
13 Jun 14

The Supreme Court has just released a judgment (Osborne v Auckland Council [2014] NZSC 67) which extends the time available to home owners to bring a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 (WHRSA) to 10 years from the date on which the ...

ChristChurch Cathedral can be Deconstructed
3 Jun 14

Panckhurst J in the High Court has lifted the stay on the deconstruction of the ChristChurch Cathedral. Unless there is an appeal, the Church Property Trustees (CPT) can proceed with their plan to demolish the Cathedral and erect a contemporary cathedral on the site. However, ...

Health and Safety Reform Bill Introduced
13 Mar 14

The Government has recently introduced the Health and Safety Reform Bill as part of a suite of major health and safety reforms which has already seen the establishment of WorkSafe New Zealand. The reforms are an outcome of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and ...

ChristChurch Cathedral Demolition Allowed by Supreme Court
3 Dec 13

The way has been cleared for the ChristChurch Cathedral to be demolished. The Court of Appeal in July issued a decision allowing demolition of the Cathedral (see http://www.al.nz/christchurch-must-have-a-cathedral/). The Supreme Court has just declined to grant to The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust ("TGCBT") leave to ...

Developments in Trans-Tasman Proceedings
16 Oct 13

Dealing with civil proceedings with a trans-Tasman element should be easier after the operative provisions of the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 ("TTPA") came into force on Friday, 11 October 2013. The TTPA aims to simplify the process for resolving civil proceedings between New Zealand and ...

For more information contact:

Richard Greenaway

richard.greenaway@al.nz