New Zealand

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New Zealand3
New Zealand

Legal Industry in New Zealand

2021 has been all about recovery for the New Zealand economy, following the quarter-on-quarter drop seen in mid-2020 at the height of the national disruption caused by COVID-19, which greatly affected the retail trade, tourism, transport, logistics and construction sectors. New Zealand has rebounded strongly from a recession in 2020, largely due to its success in eliminating the coronavirus within its borders, government support and reopening its domestic economy well before other advanced nations. During the latter part of 2021, the path to recovery is starting to manifest for key parts of the economy, for example in M&A and private equity, there is demand from overseas buyers snapping up local companies, particularly those operating in the technology, digital healthcare and agri-tech sectors, for example the sale of Christchurch-based software developer Seequent to US firm Bentley Systems for US$1.4bn. The 2020 Rebuilding Together Budget’s significant allocation to infrastructure spending is also expected to give a huge boost to investment activity. In current development, it is planned to develop a mass transit link between Wellington city to Newtown along the waterfront quays, in addition to other strategic transport expansions in North Island, such as the Takitimu North Link project and Auckland Light Rail. Elsewhere, Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are becoming a key feature in New Zealand deal making, particularly in private equity where, rather than seeing this as an area of risk, investors are seeing the value in ESG-led investment strategies such as the ‘buy dirty-sell clean’ sector. Other key reforms include the introduction of the Privacy Act 2020, which strengthens privacy protections. The Trusts Act 2019 (take effect from 30 January 2021) which will introduce updates and improvement to the law governing trusts for the first time in more than 60 years. There are further discussions on proposals to amend current laws around incitement of hatred and discrimination. The New Zealand Department for International Trade has reported that as part of the Free Trade Agreement with the UK, it wishes to improve business travel arrangements and allow professionals such as lawyers and architects to work abroad more easily. The agreement in principle states that the final deal will contain provisions aimed at driving collaboration between legal regulators to address current barriers to local practice. Authorities will be encouraged to operate ‘efficient and transparent’ routes to the recognition of professional qualifications.
New Zealand2

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    Most common legal demands in New Zealand

    Legal Market Overview in New Zealand

    New Zealand is a wealthy Pacific nation dominated by two cultural groups: New Zealanders of European descent; and the Maori, the descendants of Polynesian settlers.

    It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

    Agriculture is the economic mainstay, but manufacturing and tourism are important and there is a world-class film industry.

    New Zealand has diversified its export markets and has developed strong trade links with Australia, the US, and Japan. In April 2008 it became the first Western country to sign a free trade deal with China.

    The precise date of early Maori settlement remains a matter of debate, but current research suggests that the first arrivals came from East Polynesia sometime in the 13th century. It was not until 1642 that Europeans became aware of the existence of the islands.

    British sovereignty was established under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi – a pact between Maori chiefs and the British government over land rights.

    Auckland is the largest legal centre in New Zealand and is home to the major domestic law firms, as well as some international firms. As the economy continues to perform strongly there is an increasing demand for legal services.

    Essentially a lawyer and a solicitor mean the same thing. A lawyer is a term used to describe anyone who is licensed and can give legal advice to a business, organisation, or individual.


    In 2021, there were 15,554 lawyers with a current practicing certificate, 14,799 were in New Zealand and 755 were overseas.
    Auckland is the largest legal center in New Zealand and is home to major domestic law firms, as well as some international firms. As the economy continues to perform strongly there is an increasing demand for legal services.

    Ethnicity of New Zealand lawyers, 30 June 2018

    Ethnicity

    Female

    Male

    Total

    % NZ Total

    % Female

    African

    14

    27

    41

    0.3%

    34.1%

    Chinese

    247

    182

    429

    3.2%

    57.6%

    Cook Island Māori

    23

    12

    35

    0.3%

    65.7%

    Fijian

    39

    34

    73

    0.5%

    53.4%

    Indian

    175

    128

    303

    2.3%

    57.8%

    Māori

    489

    331

    820

    6.1%

    59.6%

    Middle Eastern

    29

    18

    47

    0.4%

    61.7%

    NZ European

    5178

    5223

    10401

    77.9%

    49.8%

    Not Stated

    269

    353

    622

    4.7%

    43.2%

    Other Asian

    137

    95

    232

    1.7%

    59.1%

    Other

    93

    85

    178

    1.3%

    52.2%

    Other European

    409

    369

    778

    5.8%

    52.6%

    Other Pacific Peoples

    21

    25

    46

    0.3%

    45.7%

    Samoan

    117

    65

    182

    1.4%

    64.3%

    SE Asian

    75

    56

    131

    1.0%

    57.3%

    Tongan

    20

    21

    41

    0.3%

    48.8%

    Blank

    25

    22

    47

    0.4%

    53.2%

    All New Zealand

    6739

    6613

    13352

     

    50.5%

    Proportion who work in Auckland Council area

    Ethnicity

    % of NZ Total in Auckland

    % of Auckland lawyers

    Asian

    68.7%

    12.5%

    European

    39.9%

    77.0%

    Māori

    34.3%

    4.9%

    Middle Eastern/Latin American/African

    54.3%

    0.9%

    Pacific

    67.2%

    4.0%

    All lawyers

    43.0%

    100.0%

     

     

     

    Chinese

    70.9%

    5.3%

    Indian

    66.3%

    3.5%

    NZ European

    39.4%

    71.4%

    Samoan

    72.5%

    2.3%

    New Zealand’s general rule of law score increased by less than 1% in 2022’s Index. At 7th place out of 140 countries and jurisdictions worldwide, New Zealand’s rank increased by 1 in the global rank in comparison to 2019 (8).

    According to World Justice Project Approximately 63%  of people surveyed experienced at least one legal problem in the last two years. 32%  Were able to access help and 46%  Experienced hardship in resolving their legal issue. 

    While the prevalence and severity of problems vary in New Zealand, the most common problems relate to the consumer, housing and money and debt. Also, Less than %32 of people in New Zealand who experienced a legal problem sought any form of advice to help them better understand or resolve their problem, and those who did seek assistance preferred to turn to family members or friends (%39). 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    No child support payments if 50/50 care

    “Shared care is the ideal situation for parents and children allowing them to benefit from growing up under the nurture and care of both parents

    How to Immigrate to New Zealand

    Immigrate as a “skilled immigrant”.

    Obtain a work visa or work permit.

    Invest in New Zealand.

    Obtain a long-term business visa.

    Request residence based on family status.

    Retire in New Zealand.

    Purchase a franchise in your current country.

    Plan your move to New Zealand.

    The right to possession and care of the child (unless there is a court order giving custody to someone else). The right of control over the upbringing of the child. This includes the right to make (jointly with any other guardian of the child)[46] important decisions about the child’s life

    It’s a crime if someone tries to take a child out of New Zealand if: it goes against a Parenting Order. a case involving the child is about to go to court. another person is about to apply for a Court Order.

    Comply with consumer laws, eg Consumer Guarantees Act, Fair Trading Act, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financial Terrorism Act and fair dealing standards in the Financial Markets Conduct Act

    Companies Act 1993. Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Financial Reporting Act 2013. Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982

    This tells consumers that the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act apply. The CGA applies to consumer products and services supplied by businesses, including if they’re: received as a gift, free sample, or gift from a business. bought on credit