A tight team with big capability

Who we are

Ford Sumner’s focus on building strong relationships is what makes us special. Our clients trust us to get it right; because we do, many of them have worked with us since we began.

Our team collaborates to provide expert, personal and individualised service. We’re responsive, with a can-do attitude, and we always bring our ‘A’ game.

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Expertise

How can we help you?

OUR PEOPLE

Meet our team

Our team’s big enough to be experts across many fields, and small enough to know and care about each other, and our clients.

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Automated Documents

Automated Documents

What does our legal document suite and automation software mean for our clients? Agreements to You is able to produce high-quality legal documentation in a shorter time – and with greater accuracy and less cost.  

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Latest legal news

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In a groundbreaking move, the Commerce Commission has filed charges against two construction companies and their directors. Upholding Fair Competition: First Prosecution of Criminal Cartel Conduct in New Zealand Link
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Shaking Grounds and Safety Obligations: Navigating Earthquake-Prone Buildings with Legal Insight When considering next steps for addressing earthquake-prone buildings, building owners must be aware of the obligations they have under not only the Building Act 2004 (“the Building Act”), but also as Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (“the Health and Safety at Work Act”), particularly when the building is occupied. Link
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Bulletproof your Business: Tips for Protecting Growth and Success As you develop your business, it's important to protect yourself and your business for successful growth. Tips we discuss in this article include choosing the right business structure, safeguarding business and personal assets, and documenting business plans early. These steps will help lay the right business foundation, safeguard your interests and prepare you for the unexpected. Link
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Retention Money Revolution: New Zealand's Construction Industry Braces for Game-Changing Amendments from 5 October 2023 Members of New Zealand’s construction industry should familiarise themselves with upcoming changes to the retention money regime in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA). Link
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The Importance of Understanding your Privacy Obligations as a Business Owner and Employer If you’re a business owner, of any size, it is more than likely you hold private information on file. This private information may be in relation to client and customer details or held on staff files. This article serves as a friendly reminder for all business owners to ensure they are complying with the Privacy Act 2020 (“the Privacy Act”) and minimising any risk of a privacy breach. Link
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Demystifying Separation - Looking Forward In the final article in our Demystifying Separation series, we explore what you can do to protect your interest in the future, and more.  Link
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Demystifying Separation - Formalising Separation In the fourth article in our demystifying separation series, we explore the formalisation of separation.  Link
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Demystifying Separation - Arrangements For Children And Safety And Financial Needs

In the third article in our demystifying separation series, we explore the arrangements for children, safety, and financial needs when separating.

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The Year ahead: Is 2023 the Year of Restructure? The economic outlook for the remainder of 2023 for New Zealand looks challenging. The Reserve Bank has just raised the Official Cash Rate by 50 basis points to 4.75% which means the main trading banks will shortly follow suit with similar increases, all aimed at tackling the high inflation rates that persist. Link
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Demystifying Separation: Investments, Gifts And Business Interests In the second article in our Demystifying Separation series, discover how investments, gifts and business interests are impacted during separation Link
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Redundancy – Don’t Jump the Gun!

The Employment Relations Authority’s recent decision in Buckingham v St John (“Buckingham”) serves as reminder for employers to ensure their redundancy policies and procedures are sound.

What started with some “minor procedural inadequacies” on behalf of employer St John led to an unfortunate misunderstanding with employee, Ms Buckingham, regarding the redundancy package set out in her employment agreement.

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Guidance for Employers and Employees During the Resignation Process

After watching Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern step down from her role as Prime Minister in January, we considered it an appropriate time to provide some guidance to both employees and employers about the resignation process in New Zealand.

Resignation is a process where an employee voluntarily terminates their employment agreement with their employer. While resignations are a common and relatively straightforward process across New Zealand workplaces, there are some important considerations that both employees and employers should take into account.

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Demystifying Separation: Our Home, And Other Property Who will remain the family home? How will we split our property? Do I need to get a valuation of the family home or other assets? All this and more in the first article in our Demystifying Separation Series.  Link
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Demystifying separation: What Do I Need To Know? Demystifying Separation - A series from Ford Sumner Lawyers Link
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Fair Pay Agreements Bill to Take Effect Very Soon

The widely disputed Fair Pay Agreements Bill (“FPA Bill”) has been passed and will take effect on 1 December 2022. When it takes effect, the Act will provide a framework for collective bargaining for fair pay agreements (“FPA’s”) across all New Zealand industries or occupations, rather than just between unions and particular employers.

 

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Lease Renewals – Not as simple as you might think… A right of renewal provides a commercial tenant with the option to enter into a new lease with a landlord when the current lease expires. If a tenant fails to give notice of intention to renew the lease, the risks can be significant. This was the situation in the recent High Court case of Storageone Kapiti (2012) Ltd v Sharja Ltd. Link
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Practical Ways of Recovering a Debt: Letters of Demand From time to time you may need to take formal steps to recover a debt owed to you in the course of providing your services. Link
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Recent US Court case Zuru v Glassdoor serves as wake up call for New Zealand Employers The California-based website Glassdoor Incorporated (“Glassdoor”) recently lost a case brought against it by New Zealand-based company ZURU Toys New Zealand Limited (“Zuru”). Personal information surrounding anonymous reviews must now be released from Glassdoor to Zuru to allow them to pursue a defamation claim against suspected present and past employees who expressed their resentment of the company online. Link
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Consultation, a ‘must’ for Employers when directing employees to take annual leave The Employment Court’s recent decision in E Tū Incorporated v Carter Holt Harvey LVL Limited (“Carter Holt Harvey”) has confirmed it is essential that employers consult with employees before giving annual leave directions. Link
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Should I Establish a Trust?

Trusts play an important role in New Zealand society and its economy. There are an estimated half million trusts existing in New Zealand – and with good reason as trusts,  when established and managed properly, provide a valuable long-term asset management structure.

 

There are a range of reasons to establish a Trust, including flexibility for your family and business.  A Trust can be an excellent way to protect and preserve assets while benefitting your business and family members during and beyond your lifetime.

 

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Connecting with each other is vital to all of us, and at Ford Sumner our community’s central to who we are.

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If you would like to discuss more, share feedback or ask any questions, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

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