Shareholders at War!

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Its just a matter of time before we see shareholders at war again, just like they were after the global financial crisis. A classic case in point popped up in the High Court last month. It involved a falling out between siblings. Basically, four siblings between them owned four companies. Three of the four ganged up and removed the fourth sibling (“A”) as a director of the companies. Naturally A took offence to that because his view was that the companies were not being well managed. He asked the court to make a number of orders including: Reinstating him as a director Requiring the directors to obtain a business plan, a review of health and safety procedures, and a review of remuneration to senior staff Compensation to be awarded to him by those siblings who had received “inappropriate remuneration/benefits” from their positions Appointment of a majority of independent directors (in…

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Mixed Up Muddled Up Estates

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You probably hate the thought of your loved ones fighting over money when you call time on life here on earth. But it happens. Think of these situations:   Joe dies and in his Will he leaves everything to his second wife Mary. This is a problem for Joe’s children from his first marriage. Joe might have assumed that Mary would look after his children once he departed. But Mary might not leave them anything in her Will because she is not obliged to. Besides, she has children of her own from her first marriage. What do Joe’s children do? Do they claim against their own father’s estate now, or do they kind of hope that Mary does the right thing by them? This is a very real case in this day and age.   How about this one:   Joe dies and in his Will he leaves a life…

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Its a great time to be a tenant!

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Commercial landlords and tenants are having some fun right now. I know some of you from both camps are having issues. Queenstown Law can help – contact us to take advantage of our initial 30 minute chat russell@queenstownlaw.co.nz or scott@queenstownlaw.co.nz   A tenant’s view of what is a fair rental is a bit different to what some landlords think. Yes, the focus right now is getting the immediate problem sorted – namely a rental that is fair to both landlord and tenant in the short term. Everyone is talking about clause 27.5 of the lease – nobody even knew it existed 4 months ago! Clause 27.5 is the clause saying that if the tenant can’t get into the premises due to an emergency then “a fair proportion of the rent and outgoings shall cease to be payable”. That’s great but nobody really knows what a fair proportion is. Even now….

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Commercial Leases – Need Guidance?

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Commercial Leases are a big talking point right now. And we’re only getting started! So far, we’ve had numerous discussions between landlords and tenants about rent relief.  Some tenants literally have no income while their premises remain closed.  Yet landlords have costs too, so it’s not fair to expect a freeby. Next it will be ratchet clauses.  Most commercial leases have them – they prevent the rent ever going down when there is a rent review.  But what’s going to happen when its rent review time and market rent is 50% less than the current rent! I’ll tell you.  It’s going to be either an unhappy tenant, maybe an insolvent one (and an empty space producing no income for the landlord).  Or its going to be negotiation time again, and possibly a reset. I’m picking most landlords and tenants had never heard of clause 27.5 until three weeks ago.  Nor…

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