November 2017

Recently enacted changes to the Commerce Act 1986 significantly extend the scope of what can be considered to be cartel conduct prohibited by the Commerce Act. Common, and often pro-competitive, commercial arrangements will be subject to greater scrutiny. This is particularly true of distribution arrangements and joint ventures. There are limited exceptions for certain collaborative activity and for certain provisions in vertical supply contracts. Previous proposals for criminalisation of cartel conduct were not ultimately adopted. However, the consequences of breach are still severe. They include potentially large pecuniary penalties, exposure to damages and the unenforceability of contracts. Core Prohibition The previous prohibition on price...

New Zealand business is sustained in large part by people getting into business together and sharing their expertise.  We often advise clients on shareholder and joint venture agreements and the obligations that come with getting into business with other people.  It doesn’t always go to plan and in Mike Pero’s case he found out that when it doesn’t you can’t ignore your obligations to your fellow shareholders and act in your own self-interest (in his case giving himself a healthy pay rise that the High Court has ruled he now has to pay back).  See this link to read the...

The value of a customer's acknowledgement of terms and conditions at the start of a contract and the inclusion of unambiguous exclusion clauses in those terms and conditions have been highlighted in a recent case where a construction labour hire company was able to enforce a statutory demand for unpaid amounts. ...