Business Law and Governance Support

Photo by Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock / Getty Images

I provide not just business support but also governance support

Business support

You can expect that I have the legal knowledge and experience of someone who was a partner in the Commercial Law Department of Simpson Grierson for 26 years.  But I also bring the following skills:

Commercial awareness and strategic capability – largely due to my work on boards over nearly 20 years

How to spot issues and find a specialist – if that is not me or my instructing solicitor then I can find you a specialist to deal with your issue, often with a single phone call.

Good communication skills

Attention to detail

Time management – I work only three days a week so I need to manage my time even better now than when I worked fulltime.

Academic ability – I pride myself on my ability to draw clarity from complexity

Initiative – trying to think ahead for opportunities and avoid pitfalls

Understanding the role of law – for me it’s a bout greasing the wheels of commerce. Some things just cannot be done.  But most of the time it can – it’s just a case of working out how.

Flexible billing – push the Learn More button below

Governance support

I am a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, have been a board member on public and private sector boards continuously since 1999 and also have extensive experience providing advice on governance, accountability and monitoring.  For example, in the local government sector, I advised the Auckland Transition Agency on the development of trading entities for Auckland Council including governance and monitoring arrangements

My governance experience includes facilities ownership and management, destination marketing, destination management, business development, investment attraction, economic development supporting infrastructure (airport), marketing, events, consumer products and services.

Because of this experience I understand the needs of owners and Board members and I can help executives, Board members and owners understand those different needs and work together better.


Sales and Marketing

Photo by Bet_Noire/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Bet_Noire/iStock / Getty Images

My aim is to help clients to make more money (through helping them achieve legally what they want to do creatively and commercially), and to keep the money they have made (through not incurring unnecessary expenses or fines).

Through access to an extensive legal support network, I am able to provide risk weighted, legal and strategic advice on a broad range of issues including:

Compliance:  end to end supply chain legal compliance, advance planning and reviews.

Supply chain contracts: for tooling, manufacturing, warehousing and freight, supply and retail

Sales channels: distribution, retail, direct marketing and direct selling.

Sales techniques: 

Advertising – print, radio, tv, outdoor, online, including comparative advertising.

Sales promotions (eg draft and review competition and promotion terms and conditions).

Events and sponsorship.

Other online activities, such as:

·         text promotions

·         web promotions eg advertising and interactive social media campaigns across all online platforms including Twitter and Facebook, participation competitions with video uploads and voting features, giveaways, and friend-get-friend campaigns

The consumer:  advice on consumer protection rights in respect of eg, spam and privacy and under, eg, the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

What do I review and/or draft?:  copy, claims, offers, competition terms, loyalty programmes and other buy incentives

I’ve found that getting involved early (eg at concept and story board stage to identify potential “sticking points” under New Zealand law and suggest solutions) is significantly more cost effective than reviewing once a creative concept has been locked down or, worse, once execution is well down the track.

When things go wrong:  responding to all forms of complaints and regulatory investigations.

To stay current each week I track legal developments in these areas across Australia, New Zealand and the UK then blog about them.   Sign up for updates

I help clients grasp opportunities that will boost their competitive advantage. I do this by making sure that clients understand their tolerance for risk then I focus my advice to reflect that risk tolerance. I tell you how you can achieve your commercial goals – not stand in your way.


Food and grocery

Photo by gpointstudio/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by gpointstudio/iStock / Getty Images

Some years ago I identified the food and grocery sector as an undeveloped legal speciality.  Along with Ciska de Rijk I built a substantial trans-Tasman practice in this sector.

I provide risk weighted legal and strategic advice to clients in all parts of the sector, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Through access to an extensive legal support network, I offer practical advice addressing issues including product standards, packaging and labelling, advertising, recall procedures, and regulatory approvals. My experience includes advising on:

Food cosmetics and supplements

·         New Zealand's food and dietary supplement regulatory regimes in respect of various types of products, including energy drinks, weight management products, powdered drinks, supplemented foods, sports foods, infant formula products, foods for special medical purposes and dietary supplements.

·         all aspects of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Food Code)

·         advice on labelling and advertising of cosmetics

·         major legislative reforms in the food and beverage space

·         weights and measures legislation, including negotiations with the relevant Australian regulator on the legislation

·         food and beverage product classification under the Food Code, New Zealand Supplemented Food Standard, and Dietary Supplement Regulations (including advice regarding mutual recognition arrangements with Australia under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act).

·         Advising on food colours, ingredient permissibility and new product formulations.

·         Advising on food packaging and labelling compliance, such as GMO labelling and allergen warnings.


·         local alcohol policies under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

·         advertising provisions under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

When things go wrong:  Regulators

·         Meetings and negotiations with various regulatory bodies including the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Commerce Commission, the Press Council, the Advertising Standards Authority, the New South Wales Food Authority, The Victorian Department of Health and Human Sciences, the National Measurement Institute (AUS) and Commercials Advice (being the body that classifies advertisements in Australia before broadcast)

When things go wrong:  recalls

·         Advising on numerous product recalls and providing legal input into risk assessments when recalls are being considered.

Law reform

·         Advising on the impact of major legislative reform such as the Food Act, Alcohol Law Reform, the Consumer Law Reform and Natural Products law reform.

Trade measurement

·         Advising on sampling proposals and procedures.

·          Interpretation of trade measurement legislation.

Related sales and marketing activity

·         various forms of advertising (including packaging and television commercials) to ensure compliance with the Fair Trading Act, Food Code and Advertising Standards Codes


·         Providing staff training seminars.


·         Advising on commercial contracts including supply and distribution, licensing and manufacturing agreements.


Direct Selling

Photo by Mikko Lemola/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Mikko Lemola/iStock / Getty Images

I provide risk weighted legal and strategic advice to direct sellers.

Through access to an extensive legal support network I can assist direct sellers with:

·         day to day legal issues

·         set up their businesses in New Zealand including, advising on the best structure from both a tax, contracts, and regulatory perspective

·         compliance issues involving the New Zealand Commerce Commission and Ministry of Primary Industry

Direct sellers are often heavily involved in cosmetics, food and supplements. See the information above on how I can help in those areas.