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Capabilities Statement


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Morrison Kent offers practical, value-driven solutions through outstanding legal knowledge, experience and savvy thinking.

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


About Morrison Kent Few professional relationships are as intimate as that between client and lawyer. Morrison Kent and its predecessors have been providing a range of specialist legal services to corporate, commercial, public and personal clients for over 80 years, forging a long tradition of integrity and client-centred service. With offices in Wellington and Auckland, the firm is led by highly experienced partners, supported by talented associates and solicitors, in-house accountants, and administrative staff. Morrison Kent offers a full range of services to meet all your personal and business legal requirements. This allows us to handle every challenge that arises and see all matters through to completion. We build long term relationships by providing a single, key contact, backed by specialists who deliver top end service across every area of the law. The result: peace of mind and trouble-free delivery on all legal matters. Here are four strengths you can count on us to demonstrate:

Agility We keep our teams small and procedures simple to reduce turnaround times. Your job will be handled by the team best qualified to perform in the least time with the most up-to-date legal thinking. Our size and agility give us the ability to achieve this while keeping you in the trusted hands of the lawyer you are familiar with.


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Approachability We provide direct dial access to all our lawyers and communicate clearly. We encourage you to visit us, and have car parks and refreshments available when you do. Client seminars, followed by drinks and nibbles, are another opportunity to meet the team while gaining useful insights. We are equally happy to visit you and get to know you in your environment when appropriate.

Savvy thinking The dictionary defines savvy as demonstrating practical understanding, shrewdness, intelligence and common sense. To that we would add “knowledge”. It’s a winning combination.

Value Every client across every piece of work has a different outcome that represents value to them. We take the time to understand your time and budget requirements to ensure we deliver value every time you instruct us. We encourage feedback and incorporate the learning into our practice. Our intention is to continually grow our understanding of what represents value to you.

Practice Areas Property 06 Asset Protection Planning


Personal and Family


Corporate and Commercial


International 16 Litigation & Dispute Resolution


Insurance 20 Maori Legal


Employment 24 Government 26

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Property Whether your property interests are commercial, industrial, residential, rural or forestry, we can advise you on all aspects of sale, purchase, lease and development agreements. We are experts in subdivisions, developments, unit titles, farm parks, residents’ associations and property joint ventures including limited partnerships. We regularly advise owners, purchasers and tenants on earthquake-related property issues. The Morrison Kent Property teams are committed to remaining at the forefront of changes within the property sectors.

Leasing Each area of commercial leasing – retail, industrial, office, farming, ground, medical and food, to name a few – requires a different combination of knowledge, skills and experience. We advise successfully on all leasing issues for both landlords and tenants. Regardless of the size and scale of your leasing project we have the experience and expertise to assist you with getting the best possible outcome.

Commercial Property Commercial property is a complex field in which purchase prices are rarely determined by yield alone. That means every property purchase requires a unique agreement for sale and purchase and a knowledgeable review of documentation, such as leases and covenant of tenants. Other important matters include title review, building and statutory compliance review, understanding of relevant provisions of the District Plan and Regional Plan, valuation advice, financing, and sound legal structuring.


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

A critical aspect of ensuring an acquisition meets your commercial requirements or that a sale proceeds smoothly is to have an expert address each of these areas. When selling a commercial property, expedite the process by having the information purchasers will require ready to view, review your lease documentation and make sure it is executed and up to date, obtain a Land Information Memorandum and ensure there are no outstanding building consents or other regulatory requirements.

Financing Successful property deals are made on the strength of the security available to the lender. Knowing what lenders look for in property customers is therefore fundamental. We identify effective and, where necessary, creative solutions, particularly when projects don’t fit easily into lenders’ usual criteria. Regardless of what your property project is, or its size, we provide the critical link with your lender.

Structuring A good building needs solid foundations, and so does a successful property project. That foundation is structuring – which must be done early, and done right. One reason: because the income tax and GST implications of property transactions are so complex, how they are set up at the outset can be difficult to change, and be the difference between making a profit or a loss. Furthermore, this is a specialist area of taxation law. Our experience in structuring property projects encompasses everything from small one- or two-lot subdivisions to multimillion dollar developments. We aim for a structure that is simple, understandable, and commercially effective and tax efficient.


› Commercial Leasing and Development › Forestry › Commercial and Industrial Development › Finance and Securities › Residential › Rural › Sales and Purchases › Structuring and Taxation › Subdivision › Unit Titles Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement



Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Subdivisions There are countless ways to achieve results with subdivisions and units, but in each case there is almost always a best way. Typically, the best solution is also the quickest, so we look for rearrangements that allow speedy results, using the latest techniques and processes.

Residential Buying or selling a home or a residential investment property is one of the biggest financial transactions many people make. While it’s easy to think such transactions are straightforward, the reality is that – as with commercial property – how you structure the deal can make a big difference in the long term.

“We are problem-solvers, adding value at all stages of the transaction.” If you are purchasing, the best ownership options will be determined by your age, stage of life (dependent children or not, for example), financial situation and personal considerations. Title, building compliance, finance and insurance should all be addressed before you commit. If selling, you must understand the warranties you are giving and be clear you can honour them. It pays to get sound advice throughout this process.

“We are able to be the most help if you call us before you sign a contract.”

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement



› Inheritance and Succession Planning › Trusts and Estates


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Asset Protection Planning Inheritance and succession planning give clients peace of mind from knowing that arrangements during their own lifetime, and for their successors, are well organised and robust. Trusts, Estates and Wills Morrison Kent is fully aware of the many complicating factors that can affect your relationship dynamics whether business or personal. With this knowledge we work with you to put in place appropriate structures to best keep your current and potential assets safe into the future.

Morrison Kent are specialists in trusts, wills and estates. We advise trustees, executors and beneficiaries on the duties and rights of involved parties and their legal claims. We have particular experience in relationship property claims and disputes (whether on separation or death), Testamentary Promises Act claims, Family Protection Act claims, fiduciary relationships and disputes under the Trustee Act. Asset planning mechanisms must protect the inheritance from future claims to ensure intended outcomes. Whether a small personal estate or a large trust, we are able to assist and advise you in relation to the management and administration of your affairs.

Foreign Trusts

“Your reasons for requiring protection of your assets are unique to you, necessitating a strategy tailored to your needs.”

Please see the International page for information on foreign trusts.

The transfer and control of wealth from one generation to the next is a significant issue for benefactors and beneficiaries alike. The handover of control can be years in the planning and requires careful consideration of complex issues. We recognise the personal, often sensitive, issues faced by clients, and provide pragmatic advice based on your unique circumstances.

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement



› Relationship Property,

Contracting Out, Pre Nuptial, Property Sharing and Asset Division

› Wills and Powers of Attorney


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Personal and Family It is important to have your affairs in order to ensure that you and future generations will benefit as you have planned. This requires well thought out, documented, and administered wills, powers of attorney, trusts and matrimonial or relationship property agreements that protect spousal, sibling and other family relationships. It also calls for the ability to anticipate the future impact of decisions made now, and the expertise and sensitivity to manage every situation. This is where Morrison Kent excels. Clients trust us to manage estates and assist with the smooth division of assets on the breakdown of personal relationships. Relationship property law is complex and subject to frequent change. It requires a deep understanding of trusts, companies and partnerships and can involve restructuring and taxation issues. Morrison Kent’s commercial practice and experience in advising on these areas enable our team to provide a comprehensive and high quality service across the gamut of legal issues.

Relationship property Matrimonial Property issues are covered by the Property Relationships Act. When entering relationships covered by the Act, you may become subject to duties or obligations against your wishes. We help couples to ‘contract out’ of the Act and put in place agreements that will apply should the relationship end. Agreements can apply to the division of property as well as claims relating to maintenance, support and what the Act calls ‘economic disparity’.

Trusts Trusts continue to play a significant role in Estate and Asset planning. They help preserve wealth from one generation to the next, protect assets from business risks or in a relationship breakdown, and protect inheritances. Our Trust and Asset Planning lawyers draw on their extensive domestic and international experience to design and implement an Asset Protection Plan tailored to your circumstances.

Wills and Powers of Attorney Although many clients now have Trust structures, Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney remain as important as ever. A Will ensures your estate is administered in accordance with your wishes. Enduring Powers of Attorney make sure that if you lose capacity during your lifetime, somebody of your choice can look after your affairs on your behalf and with your best interests in mind. In some cases, we also see requests for Living Wills, or advanced directives, to cover situations involving incapacity. We not only recommend that all clients have Wills and Powers of Attorney but that those documents are reviewed regularly to ensure their continued suitability.

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Corporate and Commercial Morrison Kent’s commercial and corporate lawyers advise businesses at all stages and of all sizes, from start-ups to listed entities. The wealth of experience and knowledge in the wider Morrison Kent commercial department spans a range of industries and specialisations and we work closely to share this knowledge to the client’s best advantage. Teams within the department are kept deliberately small, and partners directly accessible, to enable fast turnaround times based on a consistent key point of contact and a simplified decision making and communication process. Our focus is always on enhancing our relationship with our clients, providing advice which is industry specific, meeting their value drivers and the client’s long term strategies. We aim to ensure your underlying business structures are sound and your interests protected at all stages of business transactions. The corporate and commercial team factor in your wider commercial perspectives when providing legal solutions and take a pragmatic, “can do” attitude to all challenges.


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Small and Medium Sized Businesses Small and medium-sized enterprises – with up to 20 employees – account for over 97% of all New Zealand businesses and around 30% of all employees. They are where many of our most agile, innovative and approachable companies are found, which is one reason they play such an essential role in the economy. As a medium-sized law firm, Morrison Kent has a great deal of empathy with SMEs. Whatever your legal requirements – service contracts, employment matters, company structuring, legal compliance, finance, sales or purchases – count on us to deliver cost-effective, practical and value-driven solutions.


› Banking and Finance › Business Sale and Purchase › Business Structuring and Finance › Capital Markets, Securities and NZX Listing Rules › Commercial Contracts › Construction › Contracts, Procurements and Tendering › Corporate Governance › Creditor Protection › Education Law › Financial Services › Health and Medical › Incorporated Societies and Charitable Trusts › Intellectual Property › Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers › Private Equity and Venture Capital › Receiverships, Insolvencies and Liquidations › Retirement Villages › Small and Medium Sized Businesses › Taxation

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


International Morrison Kent offers a range of services to New Zealand clients going offshore and to offshore clients setting up in New Zealand.

Reviewing international business structuring options and strategy

Establishing offshore joint ventures, subsidiaries and branches

Offshore contract manufacturing arrangements

International licensing, distribution and agency agreements

International trade terms and payment options

International dispute resolution methods and forums

Investing in overseas companies and businesses

Establishing offshore joint ventures, subsidiaries and branches

Setting up in New Zealand We advise companies, individuals and trusts on all aspects of doing business in New Zealand, including: •

Business structuring, tax and regulatory issues

Setting up subsidiaries, branches and joint ventures

Employing staff

All forms of domestic and commercial property, forestry, share market, private equity and other investment in New Zealand assets

All aspects of property and corporate financing

Licensing, distribution, agency and manufacturing agreements

New Zealand clients going offshore In collaboration with overseas colleagues, we advise New Zealand companies in a variety of sectors on international trade issues and investments such as:


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Foreign Trusts Thanks to its stable market and strong reputation within the OECD, New Zealand is fast becoming the jurisdiction of choice for non-New Zealanders’ international asset planning structures. Morrison Kent’s Trust and Asset Planning team is available to discuss the benefits of a New Zealand Foreign Trust and assist with implementation and on-going management and administration.


› International Trade › Overseas Investment in NZ (OIO) › Overseas Investment Outside New Zealand › Foreign Trusts Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Litigation & Dispute Resolution Litigation is generally a last resort. As such, it demands that you have the most powerful and thorough team possible representing you. The Morrison Kent litigation team analyses and weighs up all circumstances of each dispute, including your expectations and needs, to ensure we deliver appropriate advice for either litigation or dispute resolution. We also recommend actions and processes to minimise the risk of a dispute arising in the first place, particularly in employment and mediarelated matters, where disputes can be damaging or costly.


› Competition and Consumer Law › Media and Entertainment › Mediation and Arbitration › Privacy › Weather Tight Dispute Resolution 18

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Litigation Our lawyers are experienced as counsel in specialist tribunals such as the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. We deliver excellent advice and costeffective results in civil and commercial proceedings, whether they involve property, company, construction, estate or weather tight issues. We have the expertise to guide and assist you through to a successful resolution.



Our dispute resolution and litigation lawyers are trained in alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is frequently effective in resolving disputes and can be significantly cheaper than litigation or Court hearings, which is one reason that legislation increasingly requires parties to attempt mediation first. Judicial mediation or settlement conferences are now common in the Family, District and High Courts. We have mediated disputes from “sensitive claims�, such as institutional abuse, to substantial commercial and property disputes.

Like dispute resolution, arbitration can help bring disputes to a quick end. We can advise you on when arbitration may be appropriate and represent you should it go ahead. Our experience in this area is broad, and includes specialised sectors such as construction and building.

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Insurance Morrison Kent has an enviable reputation in the insurance sector based on longstanding relationships with major insurers and brokers. Our insurance lawyers are recognised for their proactive advice and depth of industry knowledge. We handle both contentious and noncontentious insurance issues. Noncontentious work involves advice on policy wording, regulatory aspects of the insurance industry, and risk management. Professional indemnity matters are a particular specialty; on behalf of insurers, we have acted as defence counsel for legal professionals, health professionals, professional associations and people working in the property and construction industries. Our team also boast considerable experience in fire and general matters and liability claims. Areas of expertise:


Professional Indemnity

Public Liability

Statutory Liability

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Business Interruption

Material Damage

Fire and General

Motor Vehicle

Life and Disability

Any person operating in the business community owes obligations to others as set by legislation. We provide advice on liability arising from a breach of business and professional obligations, particularly allegations of professional negligence. Our expertise in Statutory Liability encompasses the following legislation: •

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Fair Trading Act 1986

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993

Commerce Act 1986

As well as acting for national and international insurers, Morrison Kent advises individuals and businesses on their insurance needs and helps clients resolve disputed claims with insurers.


› Private Insurance Issues › Public and Professional Liability

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement



› Advocacy and Parliamentary Relations › Contemporary Treaty Claims › Iwi & Hapu Governance › Legal Historical Issues › Maori Land › Policy and Legislative Development › Taonga Tuturu › Treaty Negotiations and Settlements › Waitangi Tribunal Historical Claims


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Maori Legal Our Maori Legal team has a deep understanding of matters affecting Maori, such as the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori Land Law and associated policy and historico-legal issues. Remaining sensitive to tikanga Maori and te Ao Maori, we bring a unique expertise to the researching, writing and presenting of historical and historico-legal evidence before the Waitangi Tribunal, Maori Land Court, Environment Court and other forums. We provide representation within the Waitangi Tribunal, for the hearing of Treaty of Waitangi claims, including the preparation of urgency proceedings. We are active in Te Paparahi o te Raki, Te Rohe Potae, Porirua ki Manawatu, Taihape regional and others. We also assist with the drafting of settlement documentation including relevant terms and conditions, and provide legal support and advice for the negotiations themselves.

The team is supported by the Corporate and Commercial team, enabling us to provide a comprehensive service. In collaboration with this team, we advise on post-settlement Iwi and Hapu governance entities during settlement negotiations. Following settlement, our advice covers governance structures and practices as well as a full range of other corporate matters, whether they relate to social or commercial initiatives. Representation in the Maori Land Court encompasses all aspects of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 and other relevant legislation and regulations. Clients range from individuals and whanau to large trusts and incorporations, and their interests encompass the full range of issues relating to Maori Land and Maori trusts and incorporations, as well as other unique matters such as taonga tuturu. Law reform is another important issue for Maori, and we can advise you on how best to navigate the parliamentary process, make submissions and work with Ministers, Crown entities and Government departments. We assist in the development of regulatory and policy frameworks from inception through to the preparation and passing of legislation.

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Employment Morrison Kent’s employment law team advises employers and employees across all areas of relevant law. Our expertise covers employment relationship problems and workplace dysfunction, performance management, personal grievances, business restructuring, redundancy, employment agreements (writing and interpreting) and the Official Information and Privacy Acts. We regularly represent clients before the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and High Court and have taken a number of successful appeals to the Court of Appeal. We are skilled in mediation and other dispute resolution methods to bring about pragmatic, timely and costeffective solutions.


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Health and Safety Workplace accidents can have far reaching consequences for victims, their families, and the business. Our primary focus is providing assessments of health and safety policies and practices to minimise the risk of liability should accidents occur. We also advise on drug and alcohol policies such as workplace drug testing. When accidents do happen, we advise on appropriate actions to be taken immediately following the accident and assist with Department of Labour investigations, including the response to and defence of any prosecutions. Our past work includes defence of Department of Labour Health and Safety prosecutions, preparing general and strategic responses to coroner inquests, and advising on and preparing customised drug and alcohol testing policies.


› Health and Safety

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


All of Government Legal Panel In 2011 Morrison Kent was appointed to the MBIE “All of Government” panel providing legal services to participating Government agencies. In undertaking this tender, MBIE sought assurances from law firms that they would deliver a consistently high level of quality service at a time of increasingly stringent budgetary requirements. Morrison Kent won selection based on an independent assessment of the firm’s quality of advice and relative “value for money” rating. In particular, Morrison Kent was chosen as a preferred supplier of Property legal services. This selection was a pleasing recognition of the high standard of services and value the firm has provided for many years. Both of Morrison Kent’s offices are able to provide relevant services to any participating agencies of the “All of Government” scheme.


Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement

Morrison Kent / Capabilities Statement


Morrison Kent Lawyers Wellington Morrison Kent House Level 19 105-109 The Terrace Wellington 6011 Box 10035, The Terrace, Wellington 6143, New Zealand Tel: (04) 472 0020 Fax: (04) 472 7017

Morrison Kent Lawyers Auckland Level 11 51-53 Shortland Street Auckland 1010 Box 222, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand Tel: (09) 303 2164 Fax: (09) 309 3797

Morrison Kent Capabilities Statement  

Morrison Kent offers practical, value-driven solutions through outstanding legal knowledge, experience and savvy thinking.

Morrison Kent Capabilities Statement  

Morrison Kent offers practical, value-driven solutions through outstanding legal knowledge, experience and savvy thinking.