Schedule 2019

Thursday 7 March 2019



Registration opens



Opening remarks from the Chairperson


 Helen Rice, Managing Partner, Rice Speir

9:00am   International contract law update

This session will discuss the intersection between New Zealand contract law with laws from other jurisdictions, as we become increasingly trade focused. 

  • GDPR and its flow on effect for NZ multi-nationals
  • Case law trends in Australian and UK courts

 Gretchen Fraser, Senior Associate, Kensington Swan

9:30am   Enforceability of verbal contracts - lessons from the UK

Two recent cases in the UK provide guidance on the legal standing of non-oral modification clauses in written agreements in New Zealand.

  • When can a written agreement with a non-oral modification (NOM) clause be varied verbally?
  • Implications of Blue v Ashley [2017] and Rock Advertising v MWB Business Exchange Centres for New Zealand contracts
  • Dealing with allegations of oral variations or oral collateral contracts
  • How to draft an enforceable no oral modification (NOM) clause

 Rachel Sussock, Partner, Lowndes Jordan

10:15am   Enforceability of click-wrap and browse-wrap agreements

Online contract have become the norm, forcing the courts to re-consider the application of age-old principles of contract law. How are the courts treating online contracts?

  • The risk of click-wrap, sign-in wrap and browse-wrap agreements
  • Meeting the expectations of customers and regulators
  • Implications of the Uber case (Meyer v Kalanick & Uber Technologies) for New Zealand
  • What counts as reasonably conspicuous notice of terms and conditions?
  • Lessons from Australian case: Surfstone Pty Ltd v Morgan Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd [2016]
  • How to ensure that you’re bringing incorporated terms to the contracting party’s attention
  • What does the future hold for online contracts?

 Richard Massey, Senior Associate, Bell Gully



Morning tea

11:30am   Panel: Risks and opportunities of blockchain and smart contracts

Blockchain is still a work in progress from a legal and operational perspective.  This thought-provoking panel will discuss the enforceability and risks of smart contracts.

  • Know your customer checks and blockchain: complying with anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws
  • What are the risks of blockchain repeating and compounding errors or fraud?
  • Does blockchain have mechanisms to detect infiltrators?
  • How powerful is private key cryptography as an ownership tool?
  • How easy is it to detect and modify errors in blockchain?
  • Problems with legal enforceability with a “permissionless” distributed ledger
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms relating to distributed ledger technology

Chris Linton, Consultant, Duncan Cotterill
Jeremy Muir, Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Michael Taylor, Senior Associate, Russell McVeagh

12:30pm   Contract interpretation by the courts - what evidence will be considered?

What material relating to contractual terms and meaning can be admitted as evidence to help courts to interpret contracts?     

  • Parol and oral evidence of the parties' negotiations
  • Post-contractual dealings or other evidence relating to the parties’ subjective interpretation
  • Lessons from the courts – trends in admission of evidence  

Chris Browne, Partner, Wilson Harle



Networking Lunch

2:00pm   High Court guidance on the penalty doctrine - the Honey Bees case

The recent Honey Bees case provides clarity on the way that penalties are being interpreted by the New Zealand courts.

  • Overview of Honey Bees Preschool Limited v 127 Hobson Street Limited
  • How are the New Zealand courts deciding whether a clause is really a penalty?
  • How does the court determine the bargaining power of the parties?
  • Lessons for the drafting of enforceable clauses: deterrence versus punishment
  • Comparing the likely loss and the stipulated sum of damages clause
  • What constitutes a legitimate interest which a payment obligation on breach is seeking to protect?
  • What does a proportionate sum look like?

 Nick Gillies, Partner, Hesketh Henry

2:45pm   Warranties, indemnities and insurance contracts

This session will discuss the interplay between warranties, indemnities, insurance and limitations of liability, along with commentary on the future of insurance contracts.

  • Effective contractual devices to minimise or avoid liability
  • The legal difference between an indemnity and a guarantee
  • Timeline and future of the insurance contract law review in New Zealand
  • Third party access to liability insurance moneys under the Law Reform Act 1936
  • Allocating post completion risks between the seller and the buyer
  • How does warranty insurance impact the negotiation of warranties?
  • Warranties for the purpose of contractual provisions or disciplinary provisions
  • Case law overview– how enforceable are broad indemnity clauses?

 Kim Burkhart, Partner, Kennedys
Geoff Beresford, Senior Associate, Kennedys



Afternoon tea

4:00pm   Successful contract negotiations strategies

This practical workshop will help you to hone your negotiation skills so that you can adapt your negotiation style and strategies to your circumstances.

  • Selecting the negotiation style that suits the context and commercial circumstances
  • Taking control of the timing and pace of a contractual negotiation
  • Agreeing on settlement parameters and walk-away positions
  • Managing difficult clients with unrealistic expectations

Kiri Tahana, Partner, Kahui Legal



Conference concludes



Submit an enquiry


Contact Us

Val Baluyot

P: +64 9 889 0072


We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…