About Us

July Client E-Newsletter

Posted by on 18 July 2017 | Comments

Welcome to our third newsletter for 2017 focusing on:




Time is ticking on Outstanding Earthquake Claims

Legal Capacity


Family Trusts and the IRD


July 2017

If you would rather not receive these regular updates please unsubscribe at the bottom of this newsletter.

Time is ticking on Outstanding Earthquake Insurance Claims

Canterbury homeowners with outstanding earthquake insurance claims running out of time. 

Canterbury homeowners may lose the right to bring unresolved earthquake insurance claims to court if they do not file proceedings before 4 September 2017.  

As the sixth-year anniversary of the Canterbury Earthquake sequence approached last year there was concern that insurers would rely on a defence under the Limitation Acts that prevents court proceedings relating to events that occurred more than six years before. To assuage these concerns, a number of insurers publically agreed to hold off from relying on the defence until 4 September 2017.

The 3 September 2017 deadline for filing claims in court is now fast approaching. Some insurers have made recent announcements indicating that they will again extend this deadline. Others have yet to make such announcements.  This may affect any homeowner with an outstanding earthquake claim with their insurer or with EQC (particularly those that may go "over cap").  To be sure, your insurer's position must be clarified.

If you would like us to advance negotiations with your insurer, file proceedings, or seek to obtain an extension to the limitation date, please let us know as soon as possible.

If you are unsure about your position, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team to discuss.

By Edward Sharpe-Davidson

Legal Capacity

By Fleur McDonald

As lawyers, we are required to meet with our clients and take their instructions in order to help them complete the particular legal  task(s) they are planning.  Sometimes when we do this, we need to take a little extra time to consider our client’s legal or mental capacity to make decisions.

Legal capacity is a client’s capacity to make a decision in relation to legal rights and obligations.  Decision making requires that a client:

  • understands the decision they are having to make;
  • can discuss with us the possible options available to them in a way that shows they appreciate the risk and or benefit of that decision;
  • understands the impact that a decision, or the lack of a decision, may have on them or their loved ones;
  • is able to articulate and discuss all of these issues with us.

To read more of Fleur's article click here


By Michael Brennan

How to deal with unconditional contracts for the purchase of land where an earthquake or other disaster has damaged the property and shaken things up?

This is the second in a series of articles on insurance issues that property owners must contend with.

In my previous article on insurance I discussed the importance of a purchaser of residential property obtaining insurance prior to the contract for the purchase of the property becoming unconditional. However, the policy they take out will only have effect from the date of settlement. The next question then is what happens if there is a natural disaster or other event that results in the property being damaged while the contract is unconditional, but before the purchaser takes possession on the settlement date and their own insurance policy starts to run? The answer largely revolves around when the purchaser takes possession of the property, which is usually the date of settlement (where the purchase itself is completed) but can be earlier by agreement. 

To read more click here

Family Trusts and the IRD

By Eloise Toner

Your Family Trust may require an IRD number

The Land Transfer Amendment Act 2015 which came into force on 1 October 2015 requires lawyers and conveyancers to collect certain tax information from both Vendors and Purchasers prior to the transfer of land. The new rules require Vendors and Purchasers to provide their IRD numbers, except in certain circumstances.  There are currently no exceptions to this rule for trusts, and therefore a trust will require an IRD number to complete a transfer of land.

This means that even if your trust only owns your family home, it will now be required to register for an IRD number prior to transferring that property.

To read more click here


We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

The team at Harmans

LinkedIn Facebook YouTube  
© Copyright Harmans Lawyers 2018