Exciting new partnership for Cavell Leitch

At Cavell Leitch we partner with and protect people to enhance their lives.  That’s why we are thrilled to be able to strategically partner with Cure Kids to contribute to the research, outcomes and achievements that this very special charity is able to deliver to the lives of children throughout New Zealand. 

As a law firm and a well-known brand, we are in a privileged position and supporting charities like Cure Kids is in our DNA.  Our team intrinsically value the support that we can provide Cure Kids and the values and ethos of Cure Kids has enabled us to create a wonderful, natural relationship that supports Big Research for Little Lives.  Our community impact with Cure Kids reaches far beyond donations and we look forward to a long term relationship and the connections we will make with all those affected by childhood illness in New Zealand.

We look forward to sharing updates on our relationship and we are already underway with plans for their annual Red Nose day appeal.  It is with the generous help and support of New Zealand that they are able to achieve the outcomes they do and we are proud to be involved with this wonderful organisation.

To find out more about Cure Kids or to donate visit their website here.

Litigation partner - Kirsten Graham

Cavell Leitch is proud and delighted to announce that Kirsten Graham is now a Partner of the firm.

Kirsten is a tenacious advocate who cuts through complex legal issues and provides solution-focused, pragmatic advice for clients. She has a keen eye for innovation and efficiency and recently acted in Christchurch’s first High Court electronic civil trial. Kirsten is compassionate and calm under pressure and has built significant litigation expertise in her 10 years with our firm.

We are thrilled to have Kirsten join our leadership team and welcome her to the partnership.

Changes to the Property (Relationships) Act

Written by Penny Henderson - Partner (Relationships)

The Law Commission has made 140 recommendations to the Government after a three year review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. The Government will now consider these recommendations.One of the recommendations concerns how the family home is shared on the breakdown of the relationship. Currently the home is shared equally regardless of when it was acquired, or whose name it is in.

The recommendation is that if the family home was owned by one partner before the relationship began, or was received as a gift or inheritance, only the increase in value of the home during the relationship should be shared.

This change will stick on the throats of those who have had their rights determined under the current Act for the last 17 years, and those who will continue to be affected by it until a new Act comes into force.

Read more here.

Protecting against a building company’s collapse – what you can do to minimise your risk if your builder goes bust.

Written by Jeroen Vink - Senior Associate (Property)

As an owner (or principal) one of the biggest risks on a building project is the builder/ main contractor ‘going under’ during construction. There have been a number of recent high profile building company collapses and this is not an uncommon reality across the building industry. Whether you are engaging builders for a large commercial project or for your first home there are security protections that you can employ in order to help mitigate some of the risk.

This article explores some of the more common mechanisms and practical tips that owners can use to help give them some piece of mind.

Read more here.

New Trusts Act

Written by Rebecca Harris - Senior Associate (Trusts and Estates)

The Trusts Act 2019 received its final reading in Parliament on 24 July 2019 and Royal assent was given to it on 30 July 2019.  The Trusts Act 2019 will replace the Trustee Act 1956 with the intention of bringing trust law into the 21st century.  The new Act aims to make trust law more accessible by clarifying and simplifying core trust principles.  It will also stipulate mandatory obligations that trustees must follow.

The new Act will come into effect in 18 months which gives you time to review your trust deed and your trust practices to ensure that they will meet the requirements of the new Trusts Act.

Read more here.

Employees behaving badly outside of work - what employers can learn from Rugby Australia and Israel Folau

Written by Ashley-Jayne Lodge - Partner (Employment)

If employers take only one thing out of the sacking of one of Australia’s best rugby players it should be this – in certain circumstances, an employer does have an interest, and the right to be interested, in an employee’s behaviour outside of the workplace.

This is not new, but increasingly relevant in ever changing workplaces where the line between work life and personal life is blurred. This is due to rapidly changing technology, and the demand of the younger workforce to have the ability to work flexibly.

Read more here.

Disputes tribunal jurisdiction increase – how can it help me?

Written by Madison Prattley - Solicitor (Litigation)

The Disputes Tribunal plays an important role as a less formal, less expensive, and faster alternative to the Courts for resolving small-scale disputes. Currently the jurisdiction of the Disputes Tribunal is limited to hearing claims of up to $15,000 in value, or $20,000 if both parties agree.

A recent law change is set to increase the general threshold to claims of up to $30,000 in value, with no option to increase the threshold by agreement.

Doubling the jurisdiction of the Disputes Tribunal will make it a much more viable, attractive, and more commonly used option to resolve many disputes. It is, therefore, useful to be aware of the key advantages and disadvantages with bringing a claim in the Disputes Tribunal.

Read more here.

"Horseplay which got out of hand" - South Australian site supervisor prosecuted for workplace bullying

Written by Ari Barrow - Law Clerk (Relationships and Employment)

Tad-Mar Electrical supervisor Jeffrey Rowe has been prosecuted by SafeWork SA and fined $12,000 over an incident at a worksite in Adelaide in March 2017.

A fellow employee, Luke Chenoweth squirted flammable liquid on to the boot and shirt of 19-year-old apprentice Austin Courtney and ignited it. Rowe had taken no steps to stop the actions of Chenoweth, and himself squirted more flammable liquid onto Courtney.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal found that the acts and omissions of Rowe were serious and that it is fortuitous that Courtney did not suffer serious injury or worse. At one point, Chenoweth pinned Courtney to a wall and attempted to light his shirt which had been doused in the flammable liquid by the two senior employees.

Read more here.

Illuminate Series Seminar

We have developed presentations covering the legal topics you are interested in. This series will include presentations from a range of our specialist teams and cover both professional and personal areas.

There will be no charge for these events and drinks and nibbles will be provided. These presentations will offer you with the opportunity to learn and ask questions in a relaxed and social atmosphere.

To register for one of our Illuminate events or for more information please contact rebecca.connaughton@cavell.co.nz


As a full-service law firm, we have experts in nearly every area of the law.

For more legal articles written by Cavell Leitch experts click here.

If there is a topic you would like to have more information on or an article that you think needs to be covered by one of our experts, please email rebecca.connaughton@cavell.co.nz