Corporate and commercial
The firm's industry-leading corporate and commercial teams assist Māori clients with a variety of commercial matters. Our specialists provide a full suite of commercial services that increasingly involve a Māori element, including advising on contracts and specialist advice on post-settlement governance and trust law.
Environment and resource management
Our lawyers advise individuals, hapū, iwi, organisations and large corporates on issues relating to the Resource Management Act 1991, the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Act 2012, aquaculture management and climate change. We provide strategic advice on major projects from the planning stage through to securing consents, including engagement with tangata whenua.
Our team is also well-versed in dealing with sensitive issues such as wāhi tapu and historic heritage, and the development of natural resources including freshwater, coastal space, geothermal systems, minerals, forests and other taonga in a sustainable manner.
Complex trust structures used by iwi play a significant role in the life and economy of Aotearoa. We advise clients in te ao Māori on the establishment, management and administration of a wide variety of trusts and on contentious trust matters, including litigation, alternative dispute resolution and pre-litigation advice.
Our expert, cross-practice team can assist iwi clients with legal issues in the business integrity space, both in proactively designing governance and compliance frameworks and in responding to crises and challenges.
Māori-owned businesses are unique in that they are driven not only by financial outcomes but by principles of manaakitanga (mutual respect), whanaungatanga (relationships), kaitiakitanga (responsibility and protection), and taonga tuku iho mō ngā uri whakatipu (guardianship of resources for future generations). Our team recognises that in Māori organisations, the board will take these principles into account, adopting a long-term, more holistic view of the impact of decisions.
Our specialists offer a unique perspective on Māori related tax issues, providing advice on tax issues affecting Māori organisations and on corporate structuring to align with tax requirements. Our clients also receive strategic advice on new tax regimes and management of taxation issues in the post-settlement world (including registration of charities to achieve the social aims of iwi and hapū alike).
Settlements under Te Tiriti o Waitangi often lead to significant judgments where we can assist clients with the management of their taxes post settlement.
Digital and technology
Our digital and technology specialists advise Māori organisations on technology contracts and projects, including the licensing, development and supply of technology solutions. Our specialists also advise clients on the development and commercialisation of technology, and compliance issues relating to the introduction of new technology solutions and services.
Whether our clients are seeking to engage with central or local government, or pursuing public law litigation, including declaratory proceedings and judicial reviews of administrative action, we bring a unique perspective on Māori public law issues which benefits from the expertise from our Public, Regulatory and Competition team both in Auckland and in the heart of government in Wellington.
Our litigators are leaders in their field, with a broad range of experience in resolving complex disputes. Our focus is always on achieving the objectives of our clients – working with them to minimise risk at the outset through to litigation.
Our advocates have extensive experience in appearing before the courts, appearing in arbitrations and mediations, assisting with negotiation and consulting with Parliament. We are known for our technical expertise and are respected as top commercial litigators in New Zealand.