Focus on … South Auckland

February 06, 2020

Some of the issues around practising law in South Auckland are ‘pretty challenging’ but lawyers are also being kept busy with the amount of development and expansion going on.

Manukau and the wider South Auckland area provides plentiful work for criminal barristers. The District Court is the busiest in the country, but the continual expansion due to Auckland’s extraordinary growth means plenty of work for lawyers in other fields.

One Manukau-based firm, Denham Bramwell, does the whole gamut of suburban legal work: family, property, conveyancing and commercial work as well as civil litigation and employment matters.

Amy McCormick, a solicitor on the firm’s family team, says, like many suburban and provincial areas, there’s a diverse range of work to attend to.

“Having a broad firm means that our clients can come along to resolve a few of their matters at the same time. And it’s a diverse, large area. It’s farming areas going all the way through to the city so there’s a range of clients with a broad range of matters.

“It does seem like a whole different place to Auckland; there’s something about the South Auckland legal community that’s nice. We have a really collegial bar: it’s a nice, collegial place to work.

“The issues that some of our clients face are pretty challenging, there’s a huge diversity, huge socio-economic issues so it’s good to be in a place where everyone gets that and works together.”

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Commercial Leases

July 23, 2019

We recommend our commercial clients first negotiate lease terms with the landlord and then recorded those terms in a formal Agreement to Lease. It is important to remember an oral agreement to lease is not enforceable until a contract has been signed by both parties.


The Agreement to Lease allows the landlord and tenant to establish the essential terms, such as duration of the lease and amount of the rental. Then later they can (and should) complete a full Deed of Lease for the premises which includes a comprehensive list of terms.


Agreements to Lease are generally short documents which are used to establish the basic terms of the lease. The terms will include details like the address and description of the premises, car parks, monthly rental, commencement date, rights of renewal and an indication of who is responsible for outgoings. If required, the document can record any other terms or conditions which will need to be confirmed later and which should then be recorded in the full Deed Lease. An Agreement to Lease will usually specify that the landlord and tenant must complete a Deed of Lease prior to the tenant taking possession of the premises.


A full Deed of Lease is a more comprehensive document than the Agreement to Lease. It provides details of the landlord and tenant's obligations during the term of the lease. For example, the tenant is required to pay for rates and other outgoings while the landlord must provide the tenant with quiet enjoyment and maintenance of the landlord's fixtures and fittings.


Is it 0k to only sign an Agreement to Lease?

The landlord and tenant should always complete a full Deed of Lease. But in the event that a full Deed of Lease is not signed after completing an Agreement to Lease (and assuming the parties are using Auckland District Law Society's standard form) the parties can reply  on a clause in the Agreement to Lease which specifies the covenants and provisions of the  on a clause in the Agreement to Lease which specifies the covenants and provisions of the then current Auckland District Law Society published form of Deed of Lease will bind the  landlord and tenant regardless of whether or not they have actually signed a full Deed of  Lease.

The importance of Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney

June 27, 2019

Having enduring powers of attorney (EPAs) and a will in place is important for every adult whatever their age. A will is a legal document that lets you decide how you want your property, care for your dependants (partner, children etc.) and your body to be dealt with after you die. EPAs allow you to appoint a trusted person(s) to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and health when you are unable to do so yourself, during your lifetime. ... Read More

Urgent Property Order more accessible under new Family Violence legislation

May 22, 2019

The current Domestic Violence Act 1995 provides for urgent property orders, but only in limited circumstances. The new Family Violence Act 2018 widens the grounds on which urgent property orders can be made, and better reflects the realities of domestic violence.

Protection orders are the most common application made under the Domestic Violence Act 1995 (“the DVA”). Protection orders are often filed on an urgent, or ‘without notice’ basis. When a without notice application is made the Court has the ability to make a Temporary Protection Order on the basis of the applicant’s evidence alone and a Judge decides whether to make an order or not within hours of the application documents being filed. If an application is made on notice, or if a without notice application is placed on notice by the Court, it can take months for a Judge to make a final decision on whether a protection order should be made.

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Victim Support for Christchurch crisis

March 21, 2019

Denham Bramwell staff and partners raised funds for Victim Support for Christchurch crisis by having a bake sale and grazing table donated by local business.

Mike King’s Gumboot Friday

April 04, 2019

Denham Bramwell supported  Mike King’s Gumboot Friday and raised funds for the charity Friday 5th April 2019

Different way titles are held

March 14, 2019

– Crosslease, fee simple, stratum in freehold, leasehold


A title is a way to record the land and properties information, such as lot numbers, how big the section is, whether there are any covenants, easements or caveats registered against the title etc. There are several ways that titles can be held for land. Please note that the types of titles include, but are not limited to crosslease, fee simple, stratum in freehold, stratum in leasehold, and leasehold.

This article discusses in more depth, the titles that are known as crosslease, fee simple, stratum in freehold and lastly, leasehold.

 ... read more

Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988

February 28, 2019

The purpose of the PPPR is to protect the personal and property rights of people who are not capable of managing their own affairs. This includes, but is not limited to, someone who is mentally ill, has an intellectual disability, or a brain injury that will affect their mental capacity.
There are numerous orders that can be granted under the PPPR, but the most common are an Order for Appointment of Welfare Guardian and an Order to Administer Property....

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Kiwi businesses could be hit by new EU privacy laws

NZ Herald 20 May, 2018

Many Kiwi businesses could be caught out by far-reaching new privacy laws about to take effect in by Europe, a computer science expert fears. In five days, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law comes into force aiming to protect its citizens privacy and prevent data breaches.

It has worldwide effect - meaning New Zealand companies processing personal data of people residing in the union must also comply or face fines of four per cent of annual turnover or 20 million euros.

Court cases suffer delays with judges under strain

RNZ 15 May, 2018

A law change last year which reduced the number of district court judges has resulted in an "avalanche of work" and lengthy delays in the court system. Since the beginning of last year 15 district court judges have retired, one has gone to work for the New Zealand High Court and two have died in office. Meanwhile another 18 judges have indicated they will retire or due to retire by the end of next year (they have to when they turn 70).

The number of district court judges was capped at 160 and a new law brought in last year meant lawyers could no longer be recruited on temporary warrants to fill gaps. Only retired judges under the age of 75 were allowed to do those jobs.

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