Papanui Office T (03) 352 2293 F (03) 352 2274 485 Papanui Road, PO Box 5496 Christchurch 8542
The partners of Harmans are delighted to announce that Amy Hyland was made an Associate of the firm with effect from 20 February 2013. Amy, who works in our busy property and commercial law team, joined Harmans in 2006 after practising law in the North Island. She has returned to Harmansin April 2010 after spending two years living and working in London.
This year we are proud to announce that we are celebrating our 125th year in the legal profession. We shall be commemorating this with a series of events later on in the year. We wish to thank all our clients for their loyal support throughout the years.
"The Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today released a consultation document proposing changes to New Zealand's earthquake prone building system. Click on the link to read further details of the proposed changes."Notice-to-members-MBIE-report.pdf (216KB)
Rebuild Christchurch Foundation
Harmans partner Brent Selwyn has been appointed to the board of trustees for The Rebuild Christchurch Foundation, a charitable trust which aims to provide practical help to those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes by putting volunteers and volunteer groups in touch with those in need of assistance.
On 20 and 21 December 2012 as part of its 'project Christmas' initiative the foundation delivered Christmas presents and food packages to over 280 families spreading the goodwill of Christmas. Brent was honoured to be part of the event.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced further government offers to owners of red zoned properties. The offers, announced on 13 September 2012 extend to the owners of 65 parcels of vacant land, 22 insured commercial or industrial buildings and 50 properties which, whilst occupied at the time of the February 2011 earthquake, were uninsured.
The owners of plots of bare land do not carry insurance and therefore, do not have any EQC cover and were not eligible for the initial government offers. Notwithstanding that the government has made a commitment to assist these owners by offering them half of their most recent rateable value.
Likewise, owners of homes which were uninsured did not comply with the government insurance requirements and were not therefore eligible for the initial red zone offers. For 50 owners of properties on flat land in residential red zones that will now change with the government offering them a payment equal to 50% of the rateable value of their land only. Because the government will not be offering any compensation for the improvements, any owner accepting this offer will be free to do what they wish with the buildings on the land.
The 22 commercial or industrial properties affected are not eligible for EQC cover as this only extends to residential property. The choices open to the owners of those properties will be two-fold. Option 1 will involve the owner receiving a payment equivalent to the most recent rateable value of the improvements and half of the most recent rateable value of the land or, for those electing option 2, half the most recent rateable value of the land only. As was the case with red zone residential property owners, this would then leave the owner free to negotiate an insurance settlement on the improvements with the insurer.
The partners of Harmans are delighted to announce that Mary Crimp was made an Associate of the firm effective from 6 August 2012. Mary, who works in our busy dispute resolution team has recently joined the firm after returning from overseas.
The partners of Harmans congratulate our latest staff solicitor Nick Robertson on his admission as a Barrister and Solicitor in the High Court at Christchurch on 27 July 2012. Nick works in our busy Papanui property and asset protection team.
Congratulations to Colin Abernethy
Harmans Associate Colin Abernethy was recently appointed as Secretary of the Canterbury Family Courts Association Committee. The Family Courts Association was established approximately 25 years ago, not long after the specialist Family Court was set up. It is a multidisciplinary association that brings together Family Court Lawyers, Family Court Staff, Psychologists, Counsellors, Social Workers and Academics. It has always been well supported by the Family Court Judges and provides an opportunity for those undertaking Family Court work to meet to discuss family law issues and developments.
The partners and staff of Harmans congratulate Colin on his appointment.
Assistance for CBD business owners
For advice on existing lease rights and obligations contact Alan Prescott on 021 970 237 or Brian Burke on 021 678 208
For new leases contact Alan Prescott on 021 970 237
For answers to your employment questions contact Graeme Riach on 021 240 4890
For help with business interruption insurance contact Graeme Riach on 021 240 4890 or Brian Burke on 021 678 208
Insurance Issues - Update For Red Zone Owners
Offers from the Government for the purchase of red zone properties are now being sent out to those people who completed the registration process prior to the end of July as required. With nearly one third of Kaiapoi properties being rezoned as red recently there will now be in the region of 6,000 properties in the residential red zone.
There will be two options for red zone property owners. The first option will be for the outright sale of your property to the government at its 2007 rateable value. If you accept this offer the government will take an assignment of all of your rights under any insurance claim lodged by you.
The second option will be for the sale of your land only to the government at its 2007 rateable value. If you accept this offer you will be free to continue to negotiate a settlement of the claim for damage to your home with your insurer.
A red zone settlement website has been set up and we are now able to register those who have received their offers from CERA. Two Crown Conveyancers have been appointed to represent the government and settlements will be commencing in mid September. The important thing to note is that these settlements are not going to be straightforward and no two situations will be exactly alike.
The government has also announced a contribution towards legal fees for red zone owners. For those taking option 1 the contribution to fees will be up to $750 plus GST and for those taking option 2 the contribution to fees will be up to a maximum of $500 plus GST.
We strongly recommend that you do not sign any agreement for the sale of your property or settlement of your insurance claim without first having us look over these important contracts for you. We are receiving many enquiries from clients and have achieved some excellent results. For advice on the sale of your property to the Government contact your legal representative at Harmans.
For advice on your insurance claim and options available to you contact Brent Selwyn on 021 222 4546 or Brian Burke on 021 678 208 or alternatively, both can be contacted during office hours on 352-2293. Our team at Harmans are ready to help you with the sale of your property and settlement of your insurance claim and we look forward to hearing from you.
Asset Protection and Estate Planning Seminars
Protecting your assets has always been a topical issue and perhaps never more so as people see how easily hard earned assets can be lost through a business failure brought about by no fault of their own. Such has been the level of inquiry that Harmans are holding a regular series of seminars on estate planning and asset protection.
The seminars cover all aspects of asset protection including the importance of Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, different ownership structures and in particular, the use of discretionary family trusts as a part of an estate plan. The first such seminar was a full house and because of demand we will be running further seminars.
The next seminar is to be held at The George at 7.30 pm on Wednesday the 7th of September, 2011 and in order to reserve your seat you should call Jenny or Carol on 352-2293. Demand is high and places are limited so we recommend that you book your place at this event as soon as possible.
For a full range of Canterbury Earthquake articles click on the following links
Harmans Lawyers is a Christchurch law firm with a long and proud history, offering a full range of legal services.
If you are looking for a Christchurch Solicitor we can provide advice and representation on a range of legal matters including business, company and commercial law; banking and finance including debt recovery; conveyancing, subdivisions and development, and other property related law; dispute resolution; elderly services; employment; family and relationship law; franchising and hospitality; resource management; rural and agricultural law; and trusts, estate planning and administration and asset protection.