Litigation, Societies and Charities Team

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The Team

Partner: Mark von Dadelszen
Legal Assistant: Lesley Hames

Litigation, Societies and Charities Team

The following legal services are primarily provided by our Litigation, Resource Management, Societies and Charities Team:

Civil and Commercial Litigation

  • Advice and representation in all fields including debt recovery, contractual disputes, societies and charities, negligence, defamation, insolvency, liquor licences, leases, nuisance, trespass, companies, partnerships, neighbours, and insurance
  • Commercial Lease Disputes
  • Earthquake strengthening, insurance, fixtures and fittings, and rental issues

Resource Management

  • Advising and representing applicants, submitters and Councils on resource consent applications, subdivisions and development control, plans, enforcement, hearings and appeals, and as Commissioners for hearings

Societies and Charitable Trusts

  • Formation and amendment of constitutions
  • Registration with the Charities Commission
  • Constitutional problems and disputes
  • Meeting procedure

Building Construction

  • Advising and representing owners and contractors involved in leaky buildings claims
  • Advising and representing owners and contractors in relation to the requirements of the Construction Contracts Act and disputes about payments under that Act


  • Advice and representation relating to personal bankruptcy, the winding up of companies and societies, and directors’ liability
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation, arbitration, negotiation
  • We have qualified mediators/arbitrators available to deal with disputes in most areas of law

Want to know more about the Societies and Charities service?

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Latest News

Risks for those in Not-for-Profit Governance in 2016

Several items of legislative reform, some already enacted, and one proposed, have created real concerns for those governing not-for-profits. This article discusses some of those issues, and seeks to provide some reassurance to those governing not-for-profits.


Who cares?
Those governing societies and charities are, generally, not too worried about what’s in the organisation’s constitution. However, they should be, as the proceedings of meetings called without adequate notice to members can be declared to be invalid.

Business Numbers – What they Mean for Not-for-Profits

 The New Zealand Business Number Act 2016 provides that incorporated societies registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, charitable trusts incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, friendly societies and credit unions registered under the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982, and industrial and provident societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908 are eligible to obtain a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).