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Major Law Firms Merge

on Tuesday, 12 September 2017. Posted in Latest Articles

Palmerston North law firm Fitzherbert Rowe and Feilding law firm Barltrop Graham are merging.

Fitzherbert Rowe dates its history back to 1881 and Barltrop Graham to 1900. “Both firms have helped generations of families organise their legal affairs, buy and sell property and operate their businesses” said Geoff Baker, partner in Barltrop Graham. The merger is expected to be fully effective in several months’ time and will allow both firms to share their resources and experience for the benefit of their larger client base.

Fitzherbert Rowe Chairman John Freebairn said that Fitzherbert Rowe already had a number of clients in Feilding, the wider Manawatu and Rangitikei, and having offices in both major towns of the region would allow the newly merged firm to provide the widest possible range of legal services to their clients.

Barltrop Graham will join Fitzherbert Rowe as a member of Lawlink- an association of 17 law firms throughout New Zealand who work together to share knowledge and expertise. “Lawlink has been a major factor in driving new technology and best practice in Fitzherbert Rowe and the merger ensures that Manawatu clients will always receive the very best of advice in today’s rapidly changing environment” says Fitzherbert Rowe Partner Sam Rowe, who has been nominated for Lawlink’s board election next month.

Collectively both firms employ 50 people and the merger will enable a sharing of staff and expertise to meet the growing demand. Both firms already provide a comprehensive legal service, being strong in Commercial and other Business work, Rural, Property and Trust advice, and Palmerston North’s Fitzherbert Rowe office will add an experienced Resource Management, Employment and Litigation team to the mix. Fitzherbert Rowe also operates The Law Shop which focuses on residential property transactions.

Mr Baker recognises that being part of a larger and growing firm helps attract, train and retain new lawyers for the future. A larger firm can meet the demand brought about by growth in the market.

Fitzherbert Rowe, Baltrop Graham and The Law Shop will remain as three separate brands in the market.

 

Do Your Homework Before Signing Your Residential Building Contract

on Wednesday, 12 July 2017. Posted in Latest Articles

For a lot of New Zealanders the family home is the family’s single most valuable asset, so when building new, the building contract is likely to be the biggest contract they will enter in their lives. Despite this, many choose to sign their building contract without having it reviewed by a lawyer, and surprisingly in some cases, without reading it fully themselves.

Sometimes this will not cause any problems. The build will be completed and the money paid to the satisfaction of both parties. However, more often than not, issues will arise as to what each party believed they had agreed to under the contract. Further to that, building contracts are largely weighted in favour of the builder despite them being labelled as “standard” building contracts. Such building contracts commonly include details that would surprise most home owners.

Below is a brief summary of the four main areas where we see the most complications arise.

Read more here.

FIRST HOME BUYER? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KIWISAVER

on Monday, 29 August 2016. Posted in Latest Articles

After three years of contributing to KiwiSaver, you may be able to withdraw part of your savings to purchase your first home.

You may also be eligible for a government grant of up to $5,000 to assist with the purchase of an existing home, or $10,000 to assist in the construction of a new one (Home-Start Grant).

In certain circumstances, this scheme is open to those who have already owned a home.

A strict procedure needs to be followed in order to be able to access these funds, so we recommend talking with your lawyer, at the outset of the process.

ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY – A BRIEF RUNDOWN

on Monday, 16 February 2015. Posted in Latest Articles

A power of attorney is a written authorisation for  someone to manage your affairs on your behalf. The person you authorise is called an “attorney”.

Traditional powers of attorney have been around a long time, but are subject to some important limitations. First, there is a longstanding rule that if you lose mental capacity the power of attorney is automatically revoked. Secondly, the power of the attorney only extends to dealing with your property (and not personal matters such as your health). 

An Enduring Power of Attorney (or “EPA”) is a special form of power of attorney that the New Zealand government has instituted to address these limitations. Because of this, EPAs have become one of the cornerstones of putting your legal affairs in order.

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