Litigation, Societies and Charities Team

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The Team

Consultant: Mark von Dadelszen

Legal Executive: Lesley Hames

Litigation, Societies and Charities Team

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

Societies and Charitable Trusts

  • Formation and amendment of constitutions
  • Incorporation of societies and trusts
  • Registration of charities with the Charities Commission
  • Constitutional problems and disputes
  • Meeting procedure
  • Independent Chairmanship of meetings


  • 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
  • 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
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation, arbitration, negotiation

Want to know more about the Societies and Charities service?

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Latest News

The Principles of Natural Justice – why they are important

Why the principles of natural justice are important “That’s not fair!” is common complaint of children. When children say that they are usually referring to what they consider to be unfair about a process they have been involved in (such as a decision on a disciplinary issue) or how other children have been treated in […]

Are Rules Binding?

2010 article, updated October 2017   In 2010 I was redrafting the rules of a community organisation and I was startled to be asked some questions by its chairman that made me realise how uninformed the general public are about society Rules.  The questioner was well-educated and experienced in business and community organisations, so being asked […]

Good Governance of a Society

There are clear differences between governance and management, and if that distinction is understood by societies and their members potential disagreements can be avoided or handled better…

Reforming the Incorporated Societies Act – Why are we still waiting?

New Zealand was among the first countries to legislate for the incorporation of many types of community organisations. However, we now lag behind other jurisdictions; notably the Australian States and Canadian Provinces. The archaic nature of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and other statutes governing not-for-profit organisations has been discussed […]