Family Law Forum

Session ID: 183NZA12
Date: Thursday, 22 March 2018
Time: 09:00am - 05:15pm
Venue: Stamford Plaza Auckland, Ground Floor, 22 - 26 Albert St, Auckland

Face to face


Standard $715.00

Also available as

WEB183NZA12 Live Web Seminar


Session Content

Date: Thursday 22 March 2018
Time: 9.00am to 5.15pm
Venue: Stamford Auckland, 22 - 26 Albert St Auckland

Attend and earn 7 CPD Hours

When your clients look to you in the midst of a tense situation involving a complex assortment of assets and uncertainty over how it's all going to be divided up, you need to ensure that you're ready for any question that your client may throw at you and any strategy that the other party may fire off in your direction. Hone your knowledge and perfect your practice and procedure when dealing with assets, settlements, disputes, urgent applications and more.

Session 1: Dividing It All Up - Assets and Settlement

Chair: Lynda Kearns, Barrister, Bastion Chambers

Difficult Assets to Divvy Up: Shareholdings, Directorships, Real Property and Trusts

  • Common issues when dealing with company shareholdings and directorships
  • Headaches that frequently arise when implementing the transfer of real property
  • Matters to be mindful of when dealing with trusts to give effect to settlement terms
  • At what stage should you look to engage with experts in other fields?

Presented by Amanda Donovan, Partner, Haigh Lyon Lawyers

Business Valuations for Relationship Property Lawyers
A practical primer, with reference to case law, on valuing shares and businesses for relationship property purposes.

  • Valuation principles and procedures
  • Definitions of value
  • Understanding valuation discounts and premiums

Presented by Nick Li, Senior Valuations Specialist and Rosaline Chan, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton New Zealand

Fundamental Change to Fundamental Principles?
Exploring the meaning of "best interests" and "children's rights" in the Oranga Tamariki 2017

  • what does "mana tamaiti (tamariki)" mean?
  • what will "a holistic approach", as required by s5, mean for Family Court decision making?
  • what do and should the new principles mean for whanau, hapu and iwi involvement in decisions?

Presented by Jo Robertson, Barrister, Johanna Robertson Barrister

Contracting Out of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976
At times there is much to gain from contracting out of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, but doing so is not without potential risk. Explore best practices for contracting out of the Act and the pitfalls that can trip you up.

  • s21 agreements
  • How to challenge

Presented by Minka Bodde-Phillips, Director, Phillips & Co Law; Recommended Family & Divorce Lawyer, Doyle's Guide 2017

PANEL DISCUSSION: Alternatives to Litigation: Collaboration, Mediation and Arbitration
In some cases litigation is unavoidable, but in many disputes litigation is very much the last, the slowest and the most expensive resort. What are the options short of a hearing that might meet the needs of your clients? Considerations of confidentiality, speed, cost, control and choice of a third party figure are all considerations in the alternative dispute resolution landscape. The panellists will analyse the alternatives of collaboration, mediation and arbitration, and provide insights into which of these alternatives will work best and in what kind of dispute.

Selina- Jane Trigg, Director, Family Law Results; Recommended Family & Divorce Lawyers Doyle's Guide 2017
Margaret Casey QC
David Amodeo, Barrister

Session 2: Family Law Disputes - Recent Cases and Urgent Applications

Chair: Susie Houghton, Barrister, Auckland

How to Move a Child from the Jurisdiction Temporarily

  • Registration of foreign orders
  • The Court's ability to determine by consent habitual residence
  • Hague remedies: Habeus corpus
  • Practical scenarios

Presented by Alex Ashmore, Barrister, Ponsonby Chambers

Professional Negligence Claims Against Family Lawyers

  • Typical claims made
  • Financial agreements: Still a hot topic?
  • Claims prevention strategies: protecting your own assets as well as your client's assets

Presented by Brad Cuff, Special Counsel, DLA Piper

Analysis of Recent Family Law and Property Division Cases: Focusing on Relevant Issues
Analyse recent cases and decisions, their significance, and their impact on your practice and your clients.

Presented by Robyn von Keisenberg, Barrister, Wyndham Chambers

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyse recent family law and property division cases
  • Examine alternatives to litigation
  • Understand business valuation

Chair: Lynda Kearns

Lynda Kearns has been a specialist in all aspects of family law for many years. Her practice primarily relates to cases involving relationship and Trust property as well as estate matters, including family protection claims. She advises on custody, access, Hague Convention cases and maintenance, including spousal maintenance. She has particular expertise in the area of child support. She has senior counsel for the child status and is routinely appointed to act for children, as counsel to assist the Court or as amicus. She has presented numerous seminars on a variety of property and Trust related issues and matters relating to children. She has been appointed to numerous Law Society committees, chaired the ADLS Family Law Subcommittee and is now a member of the NZLS Standards Committee.

Amanda Donovan

Amanda Donovan leads Haigh Lyon's specialist family law team. Her practice covers all areas of family law with a particular focus on relationship property, trust issues, estate litigation and children matters. Amanda is a contributing author for the Westlaw Family Law publication (NZ) and while working in London, she was a consultant editor for Hershman and McFarlane: Children Law and Practice.

Nick Li

Nick Li is the head of Grant Thornton New Zealand's Asia Services Group. He leads a high performing team of financial advisory professionals who have diverse backgrounds in advising a range of clients from family owned businesses through to publicly listed companies. Nick grew up in Harbin, a Northeastern city in China and is a fluent Mandarin speaker. He is passionate about working with clients to help them grow and succeed; he prides himself on being honest and flexible, and he delivers a fresh approach to bridging cultural differences. In addition to his financial advisory experience, Nick's multi-disciplinary background includes significant experience in business and tax planning, compliance tax and IFRS accounting. He recently spent two years with Grant Thornton's London office where he led a range of corporate finance engagements with a combined value in excess of $5 billion.

Rosaline Chan

Minka Bodde-Phillips

Minka Bodd‚-Phillips began practising law in 1995 after being a foundation pupil at the Waikato University Law School and graduating from the University of Auckland. She has always been involved in litigation work and received wide general experience in both Auckland and Rotorua. From September 2009 until September 2015, (most recently as Partner of Phillips Hosking Family Law), she has focussed on all areas of Family Law and become a LEADR accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Provider with Family Works. She has also continued to develop a civil litigation practise. In 2015, having rebranded as Phillips & Co Law Ltd, Minka has been involved in a number of High Court cases and Trans Tasman proceedings both here and in Australia. Minka is excited about business and continuing to provide the best possible service for clients both locally and further afield. Out of work, Minka enjoys watching and supporting her own family to grow and enjoy a life of outdoor living, books, sport, laughter and love.

Selena-Jane Trigg

Selina Trigg is an experienced specialist family lawyer with a particular interest in assisting families to resolve disputes through mediation and collaborative practice. She is an FDR provider. She served as Chair of Collaborative Advocacy NZ for four years and is an active member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, having previously presented at its annual forum and served on a number of its committees. Selina has an interest in how Collaborative Practice can be developed to assist in the resolution of problems in areas aside from family law and is also involved in developing training for Collaborative Law in New Zealand.

Margaret Casey QC

Margaret Casey has a Law and Arts Degree from Auckland University as well as Masters from Kings College, London. She has practiced as a Barrister Sole since 1992 specialising in all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on international aspects of family law. She was the First Chair of the NZLS Family Law Section. She has acted for children in Family Law disputes and acted for the Central Authority in Hague Convention abduction cases. She has had a long interest in the practice of adoption law, domestic and international as well as in all aspects of surrogacy within New Zealand and cross-border surrogacy. She has been appointed to the Expert's Group on parentage/surrogacy which will have its first meeting at The Hague in late February 2016. Margaret was appointed Queen's Counsel in July 2015.

David Amodeo

David Amodeo is a barrister specialising in Family Law who prides himself on being able to offer good and practical advice to clients in all areas of Family Law and at any level. David has over 20 years of experience and regularly undertakes briefs in respect to Relationship Property, Care of Children, Estate Litigation, Adoption, PPPR and care and protection (CYFS) cases. He has also been instructed by the Family and High Court to act for children as a member of the Senior Lawyer for Child Panel and as Counsel to assist the Court, and is a member of the panel of Mental Health (Compulsory Treatment) Act lawyers. David has also been a member of the ADLS Family Law Committee and presented seminars to assist in the development of other lawyers. David also works with clients in forming plans and structures to protect assets both before and during relationships from claims arising from relationship breakdowns. He has close relationships with other professionals to ensure that such planning is as effective as possible in allowing for whatever the future may be. As a Mediator qualified through the New Zealand Law Society David is also able to undertake mediations to assist parties in any dispute to try to work through any problems and ideally reach positive decisions themselves. He is able to undertake either FDR mediations or at a private level. David recognises that the individual needs for each particular client and their particular situation require a careful plan to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved, whether that plan calls for skill in representation in Court, negotiation with other professionals or both.

Susie Houghton

Through the course of her career Susie Houghton has worked as a member of litigation teams in both large and small law firms. Since 2001, Susie has chosen to practice as a barrister sole specialising in family law. Susie has significant experience in representing parties as well as children in Court hearings. She is also an experienced mediator and enjoys assisting parties in negotiating an agreed outcome or solution. This enables families to resolve disputes much more speedily and cost-effectively than having to proceed with costly litigation. Since 2000, Susie has been appointed by the Family Court and the High Court to represent numerous children in Court proceedings. As an elected member of the Law Society's Family Law Committee, Susie has a keen interest in Family Court processes and playing a role in ensuring the systems meet parents' and children's needs, as best as is possible. Susie is also a Law Society accredited family mediator and in the role of mediator, has assisted families in resolving issues, outside of the Court arena.

Alexander Ashmore

Alex Ashmore was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1990. He has practised as a solicitor for approximately 17 years - 12 of those as a partner in a medium-sized firm in Waitakere City. He went to the Bar in 2007 and has been practising as a barrister sole in central Auckland since that time. Alex specialises in all aspects of Family Law including relationship property, and cases involving children. He is also experienced in family protection and adoption - particularly in cases involving surrogacy. He has a particular interest in cases involving international child abduction and has appeared as counsel in Family Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in such cases. He is regularly appointed to act for the Central Authority in cases involving the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Alex also regularly undertakes appellate work, taking instructions to appear on behalf of the appellant or respondent in appeals from the Family Court to the High Court in particular. Alex's tertiary qualifications include a B Com LLB obtained in 1988 and a Masters with First Class Honours obtained in 2006. He is a member of the International Family Law Issues Committee of the New Zealand Law Society and has presented papers on various aspects of family law both in New Zealand and overseas.

Brad Cuff

Brad Cuff is a civil litigator and insurance law specialist. Brad's practice covers a wide range of insurance matters including fire and general, life and disability, product liability, public liability, management liability, statutory liability and professional indemnity claims. He has over 15 years' experience acting and advising on insurance claims and non-claims issues across all lines in both Australia and New Zealand. Brad has extensive experience in professional indemnity litigation for doctors, architects and engineers, valuers, financial advisers, solicitors, accountants and insurance brokers, responding to Worksafe NZ and Commerce Commission inquiries and in acting and advising insurers on property loss issues including litigation and coverage issues arising out of the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes.

Robyn von Keisenberg

Robyn von Keisenberg is a family law specialist with over 30 years experience. She has developed a broad practice with special interest in Care of Children Act proceedings, relationship property including Trust issues, Family Protection Act and other Estate Litigation, Mental Health Act proceedings, Protection of Personal Property Rights Act and other related elder law issues. Robyn has represented children in trust disputes (including in the seminal decision X v X) and for children in High Court Estate litigation. Robyn is senior counsel on Lawyer for Child and Lawyer for Subject Person lists and has a special interest in representing people with disabilities. Robyn has served and convened a number of Law Society Committees and was Chair of the Deportation Review Tribunal for a number of years. She is currently a Deputy Convenor on the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Robyn is currently the Chair for the Family Courts Association, a mixed discipline organisation with interest in Family Court issues.

Johanna Robertson

Venue Details

Stamford Plaza Auckland

Ground Floor, 22 - 26 Albert St
Auckland 1010

Ph: 64 9 309 888


The Stamford Plaza Auckland is a short 5 minute walk from the main

train/bus station Britomart. There is onsite valet parking, charged at a rate

of NZ$45 per car. Alternatively there are numerous public car parks in the

area including Challenge House, 1/3 Wolfe Street.

Parking is not included in the registrartion fee and price is subject to


Add to Cart
sign up!


"Very interesting and extremely well presented; speakers knew the area very well"

Delagte - Criminal Law Update, Auckland, March 2017






Read more testimonials