SB Law inc RA Fraser

Christchurch law firm specialising in Employment, Property, Conveyancing, Commercial and Business, Estates, Wills and Education Law. Lawyer and law firm

Operating as usual 17/02/2019

'Hell show': When winning your employment dispute is just the start of the battle

When Daniel Hancock won an employment dispute against his former employer in 2017, he thought he could move on with his life.
But two years later, he is still waiting on the more than $10,000 his abusive boss was ordered to pay for breaching employment law and unjustifiably dismissing the young building apprentice. It was Daniel Hancock's first job. He was threatened and then sacked, and he's still fighting for justice. 24/01/2019

Bullying and harassment at all levels of Fire and Emergency - review

An independent review has found bullying and harassment at all levels of the Fire and Emergency (FENZ) organisation. An independent review has found bullying and harassment at all levels of the Fire and Emergency organisation. 24/01/2019

ERA awards nearly $30,000 for unjustified dismissal and loss of dignity

An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision found Rob Whitehouse of Whitehouse Builders, a Christchurch building firm, unjustifiably dismissed an employee and has to pay compensation of $10,000 for an unjustified disadvantage in reducing his salary, $10,500 for the unjustified dismissal and a further $7,600 for other monies lost as part of the dismissal. Builder's employee awarded $30k after being fired for talking pay rates with a co-worker. 20/01/2019

Here's why no-one wants to plant trees for $400 a day

To make the $400 a day you'd have to plant 83 trees an hour over an eight-our work day, without taking a break, to make this kind of cash.Seasoned tree-planters say this would be nearly impossible as the work is back-breaking, especially in rugged terrain and varying temperatures and weather conditions. Employers complaining of shortage of workers need to look at themselves, advocates say. 15/01/2019

Pub owners fined for treating permanent part-time workers as casuals

Employment Relations Authority member David Appleton found that while the Bennetts had "no intention to actively exploit or disadvantage the employees," they had "recklessly shut their eyes to their obligations under the Holidays Act. Long-standing pub owners stung for 30 breaches of the Holidays Act. 21/12/2018

Minimum wage hike won't cost jobs - employers, advocates

When low-paid workers get money, they spend it in the local economy. What you find is the little businesses in the suburbs and towns of New Zealand suddenly have more money being spent... and that helps the New Zealand economy. But it might make things more expensive. 21/12/2018

Top 10 predictions for housing market in 2019 The factors that will be driving change in the year ahead. 21/12/2018

Boss of Electronic Arts fired over 'bigger d***' remark

The head of one of the world's largest video game makers has been fired after telling a female colleague on a conference call that an internal company discussion shouldn't be a matter of seeing "who has a bigger d***", a High Court heard. A senior director for EA Ireland says his 'bigger d***' comment wasn't meant to be sexual. 20/12/2018

Why extended warranties are a waste of money - and the call for bigger fines

customers are being sold rights they already enjoy under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

There can be reasons to buy an extended warranty. The CGA doesn't apply to business purchases, and some extended warranties will give you a replacement while a good is under repair, for example.

But a retailer can only sell one if they provide a customer with a summary of their rights under the CGA first, plus a summary of how the retailer's extended warranty compares to the CGA. Know your rights. 20/12/2018

Paedophile teacher granted 'clean slate' to work in aged care, despite industry fears

The clean slate law was primarily designed for those who have committed lesser crimes but a High Court judge has concealed the history of a paedophile in a landmark court case.
A former teacher convicted of repeated sexual offending against an 11-year-old boy has been granted a clean slate so he can work in aged care, despite objections by those in the industry and another judge. Exclusive: Judge allows child sex offender's record to be concealed from the public. 20/12/2018

Woman wrongly fired for stealing bag of chips out of pocket after legal fees chew up payout

A woman who was wrongly fired for stealing a $1 bag of chips from her work spent more on her legal costs than what she received in compensation. The woman had sued her former employer after being dismissed for stealing a bag of chips. 19/12/2018

Man wins boundary dispute with council, but has to sell home to cover cost of fight

When Charles Cadwallader decided to subdivide his section along the path of a stream that flowed through it he really didn't think it would be asking much.

That was a year and $50,000 ago and now the place he wanted to call home is going to have to be sold to cover costs. He thought subdividing a section along the line of a stream would be easy. It wasn't, and it's cost him his home. 06/12/2018

Dunedin bus driver sacked for 'inappropriate behaviour' seen driving taxi

The driver became notorious among women who regularly rode the route, to the point where the bus was often almost empty.

It is alleged he refused to open the rear doors of the bus, forcing women to walk past him, where he would make suggestive and lewd comments. In one case he showed a woman pornography on his mobile phone. Complainant said the driver became notorious among women who regularly rode the route. 06/12/2018

Biggest education shake-up in 30 years proposed

A taskforce is proposing the biggest shake-up in the education system for 30 years, removing most of the powers currently held by school boards of trustees.

The taskforce led by former principal Bali Haque proposes about 20 new regional education boards, or "hubs", to "assume all the legal responsibilities and liabilities currently held by school boards of trustees". School boards could be stripped of power in new proposal. 04/12/2018

Family moving house to get into Cashmere High School zone not alone

With about 2000 students, Cashmere High School is over capacity, and from next year will have a reduced zone in a bid to get the roll down. Cashmere High School shrank its roll to get student numbers down. If people flood the area, it cannot rule out doing it again. 04/12/2018

Ex-wife awarded $400,000 'interim payment' during multimillion-dollar divorce fight

A former Queenstown woman has been awarded a $400,000 interim payment as the battle over one of New Zealand's biggest known divorce settlements continues. Former Queenstown woman awarded $400,000 interim payment as battle over one of NZ's biggest known divorce settlements continues. 09/11/2018

Estranged family in court over multimillion-dollar will

The estranged daughters of a Northland man have won a court case to get a share of his multimillion-dollar estate after he had cut them out of his will.

The case, heard in the High Court in Whangarei in front of Justice Simon Moore, painted a picture of a family severely estranged, with the father showing what the judge called a "chronic sense of bitterness and betrayal". Estranged daughters of Northland man win court case to get a share of his multimillion-dollar estate after he cut them out of his will. 09/11/2018

NBR employment case backfires: woman pays out 10 times what she is rewarded in compensation in legal fees

Employment lawyer, Peter Chemis of law firm Buddle Findlay, said the $96,000 sum incurred seemed "unusually high" and said it was an "exceptional case".

"If you go to the High Court to get an injunction or defend it you might spend $10-$15-$20,000 on a bad day ... I don't know how she spent that much.

"The ERA hearing went for two days and then there was another half day; a case like that you might spend $30,000."

Chemis said it was common for some to spend more in legal fees than what they got awarded in compensation when pursuing employment cases.

"I've never seen a case where someone spends $100,000." Woman unjustifiably dismissed paid more than 10 times what she received - in legal fees. 09/11/2018

Primary teachers confirm nationwide strike after mediation fails

A last-ditch effort to stop next week's primary school teacher strike has failed, with teachers confirming they will walk off the job from Monday.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), which represents about 27,000 primary school staff, announced last month that teachers across the country would go on a week-long rolling strike from November 12-16. Facilitation fails to resolve pay dispute, with primary teachers and principals to go on strike next week. 08/11/2018

Deceased estate do-up lands massive gain

A Dunedin home has fetched almost $500,000 more than when the deceased estate sold five months earlier.

"There is no price to deter, dream big and secure a premium opportunity," the Harcourts real estate blurb said of the brick and tile three bedroom home, which sold by tender for $290,000 in May An extreme makeover increased a Dunedin home's value by nearly $500k in just six months. 01/11/2018

Changes proposed for law dictating how property split in break-up

Big changes to the way relationship property is dealt with when a couple separates have been proposed by the Law Commission.It suggests that the family home should no longer always be shared 50/50. If one partner owned the house before the relationship began, only the increase in value during the relationship should be shared. Family home should no longer always be shared 50/50 in a separation, Law Commission suggests. 01/11/2018

Huge fine for Carter Holt Harvey after worker caught in press machine, seriously injured

Carter Holt Harvey has been fined $371,000 - plus costs and reparations - after a worker was seriously injured by a press machine.

Steven Vincent's chest and shoulder were crushed, and he suffered multiple fractures, cuts and lung injuries after he became trapped in a conveyor belt in October 2016.

The company was ordered to pay $55,000 in reparations to Vincent, in addition to the fine and costs. Carter Holt Harvey was ordered to pay more than $400,000. 31/10/2018

She was 'white and hot' in a racist video - now she's viral and unemployed

She was 'white and hot' in a racist video - now she's viral and unemployed...outburst cost her a job worth $125K a year Criminal charges pending against white woman who harassed and assaulted two black women. 31/10/2018

Australian man awarded empty Sydney home after taking 'adverse possession'

A property developer has won a court battle over a derelict property he discovered in Sydney's west 20 years ago, after he changed the locks, renovated it and began renting it out. After noticing the house was empty, Aussie man changed the locks and started renting it out. 25/10/2018

Cross about cross-lease: Battles from the property combat zone

Interesting article on Cross Lease properties and if they should be turned into fee simple titles Aucklanders reveal their bitter disputes. 11/10/2018

'A kick in the teeth': Teacher Eileen Gilmour stuck on $59,000 after 43 years in classrooms

A teacher who finished her training 43 years ago is still stuck on a salary of $59,621 - about $12,000 less than her son, who trained as a teacher 30 years later - because she doesn't have a degree.

Eileen Gilmour says her three years of training at what was then called the Hamilton Teachers' College in 1973-75 covered exactly the same ground as what is now called a Bachelor of Teaching.

"Same courses and papers, same practicums, same everything," she said.

But "the kick in the teeth" was that primary teachers who graduated after the mid-1990s, when the three-year teacher training became a degree, can earn up to $71,891 - about $12,000 more than those who trained earlier. Primary teachers who trained after 1996 earn $12,000 more than those who trained earlier. 11/10/2018

Russell McVeagh partner resigns after complaints about inappropriate comments

A partner at a top law firm has resigned following an investigation into complaints about inappropriate comments made while drunk. Complaints were made after the partner made inappropriate comments while drunk. 10/10/2018

Stratford woman's identity stolen, used to rack up thousands in debt

Nicole believes it was her decision to purchase a car through a Facebook buy and sell page that gave the fraudster the opportunity to steal her identity. A Stratford woman has fallen victim to identity theft, costing her thousands. 10/10/2018

Woman wins compo after being fired for stealing bag of chips

Firing an employee after she wrongfully took a $1 bag of chips will cost a Mosgiel rest home nearly $19,000 in compensation, plus thousands more in back pay and legal costs, after the employee successfully sued for wrongful dismissal. Firing an employee after she wrongfully took a $1 bag of chips will cost a rest home $19k. 10/10/2018

Court rules 'frugal' millionaire's postcard will valid

A Taranaki woman who lived a frugal lifestyle and amassed millions in the process jotted a will on the back of a postcard which a court has declared valid. Despite having millions she drove a car worth only about $1000. 10/10/2018

Travelling overseas? What to do if a customs officer demands access to your digital device

Both Australian and New Zealand customs officers are legally allowed to search not only your personal baggage, but also the contents of your smartphone, tablet or laptop. It doesn’t matter whether you are a citizen or visitor, or whether you’re crossing a border by air, land or sea.

New laws that came into effect in New Zealand on October 1 2018 give border agents:

…the power to make a full search of a stored value instrument (including power to require a user of the instrument to provide access information and other information or assistance that is reasonable and necessary to allow a person to access the instrument). Here's what to do if you're asked to hand over your devices and passwords. 07/10/2018

Air NZ ordered to pay former pilot $20,000 in compensation

Air New Zealand has been ordered to pay a former experienced pilot $20,000 by the Employment Relations Authority for not acting in good faith. Airline told it has to pay a former employee of 30 years compensation for not acting in good faith. 11/09/2018

Landlord group embarks on alternative to rental WOF

Wellington Property Investors Association president Richard Bacon said his members were starting a landlord accreditation scheme. "It'll take us a year to get it going."

He was against a rental warrant of fitness because it was "a pass-fail situation and that's not helpful". Ultimately he preferred the idea of a grading system on rental properties, to guide tenants. Although it lacked the compulsory element of a rental WOF, Bacon said few landlords wanted the shame of having a really low-grade property. Wellington landlords who don't want a rental WOF are developing a system of their own. 11/09/2018

Property owners' rights are at risk under proposed changes to building law, surveyors warn

Property owners may lose property rights during emergencies under changes proposed in the Building Amendment Bill, warns the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors.

Institute vice president Rory Crosbie said the proposed changes could cause issues for property owners and they should understand what the bill proposed.

"Potentially a property owner's rights may no longer be in place because of the new powers that are being proposed," Crosbie said.

The bill, amending the Building Act, was introduced last month into Parliament and has had its first reading. Surveyors sound the alarm over proposed new emergency powers for councils.

Our story

Lawyers and law firm - We have the ability to offer a broad range of related services, so you don’t need to go elsewhere to get well-rounded legal advice and expertise. We provide support to our clients as their legal requirements change over the years.

Amy Hutton -Amy has been practicing law since 2002 and became a Partner in 2008.Amy has experience in a range of land and business conveyancing transactions, Trust and Estate planning and administration, leasing, relationship and separation matters and High Court insolvency work. As a mother of two young boys Amy can appreciate clients’ needs for flexibility in time and location of appointments

David Beck - David Beck has been practising law for over 30 years and leads SB Law's Employment Law team. David has a wealth of experience from all sides of the spectrum and regularly acts for employees and employers. David has a particular emphasis and expertise in the field of Education Law and Not for Profit organisations and he regularly acts for School Boards of Trustees, Teachers and Parents around New Zealand. This includes advising on issues relating to compliance with education related legislation, school governance issues, teacher performance and Teachers Council matters



Unit 5a 166 Moorhouse Avenue

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