Saunders & Co has a team of highly experienced, multi-disciplinary, construction law specialists with a wealth of knowledge across all areas of the building and construction industry.
Saunders & Co acts for one of New Zealand’s largest home building companies, along with franchise builder companies, independent builders, contractors, property developers, surveyors, and engineers. We also provide robust advice and advocacy to construction industry participants across all aspects of dispute resolution, from the more traditional arbitration and litigation settings, through to mediation, adjudication, and review boards.
- Providing commercial and property advice
- Acting for commercial property owners and developers
- Acting for the contracting industry
- Dealing with developers and iwi on major property developments
- Greenfield residential, commercial and supermarket developments
- Dispute resolution
- Service Agreements
- Regulatory compliance
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Tania HutchinsonSenior Associate
David joined Saunders & Co in 1984 and became a partner in 1990.
With almost 30 years’ experience advising property developers, managers and construction companies on commercial property matters, David has built strong networks and gained a high level of expertise in the commercial field.
His considerable experience and proactive approach when dealing with matters relating to large and complex subdivisions has seen him build many long-standing relationships and work with a large number of property developers and investor clients. He acts for one of the city’s largest residential and commercial developers. Financial institutions, small to medium business clients and local iwi all benefit from his advice. David also provides estate planning and personal asset management services to a large private client base.
Giving back to the law profession and the wider community is important to David. He is a former member of one of New Zealand Law Society’s Standards Committees and current chairman of Nurse Maude. As a theatre buff he is Patron and Honorary Solicitor for the Repertory Theatre Society, as well as for Christchurch Music Theatre Education Trust, Canterbury Children’s Theatre and the Malthouse Theatre Trust.
Outside work David has a broad interest in sports and the arts, and is a keen golfer.
David specialises in the following areas:
- Commercial Law
- Construction Law
- Not for Profit
- Professional Services
- Property Law
- Sports and Leisure
- Trust Law
- Wills and Estates
What David’s clients say:
As a small business operating in the New Zealand fishing scene there are many ‘fish hooks’ for the unwary. Sometimes you find yourself unintentionally swimming amongst the sharks. Then my company came under attack from overseas threats it was time to bring on board the legal expertise of David Lang. He acted quickly and decisively to save me from being caught by some nasty predators. He simply saved my business.”
Chris Ludeke, Director Arendale Ltd, Christchurch
“My wife and I enjoyed a long and happy relationship with a lawyer in a large Christchurch firm. Owing to a role change, he became unavailable to continue to act for us. We were then bundled around the firm and lost comfort and confidence in the firm’s ability to match our previous experience. I wanted a lawyer we could work effectively with at both a personal and professional level. It was especially important that my wife was comfortable in the event that something should happen to me. Matters came to a head over issues to do with the proposed development of our cross-lease property in Akaroa. We had engaged a very highly respected engineer to draw plans for retainer walls. I consulted the neighbour concerned, and his reply arrived in the post a few days later – he was very angry. To try to allay his concerns we paid for the engineer to travel to Akaroa for a meeting. Unfortunately this didn’t resolve things. So my wife and I interviewed a number of solicitors who had been referred to us. Our selection criteria came down to two main things:
1) My wife needed to feel happy to work with them.
2) What was their advice in developing our area of exclusive use in a cross-lease situation for car and boat parking, so when our family came to stay they could park their cars in a safe manner, when the neighbour was still so very angry?
In every case we were advised to sell and move on, yet the area we were trying to develop was for our exclusive use. Our luck was about to change. We were referred to David Lang at Saunders & Co, Lawyers, in Christchurch. We met with David and my wife and I instantly felt at home with him. David’s advice was yes, you can develop your area of exclusive use. From that point on, he simplified both the legal and practical issues. The bonus – the neighbour acknowledged a job well done. The legal fees were also very fair. I have no hesitation to refer other friends and colleagues to David.”
Ken Reese, Consultant Amberley, Canterbury
“I have found David Lang very thorough and very professional in all my dealings with him. I recall an occasion where, with a very difficult settlement, David’s efforts ensured a positive result that easily could have gone the other way. This was also significant in that the settlement funds were needed to fulfil other financial commitments. David is accessible on short notice which is often very important to our company.”
Ian Calderwood, Executive Chairman Jonmer Group, Auckland
“David Lang of Saunders & Co has always been approachable, professional and extremely prompt in dealing with our legal matters. His attention to detail has ensured all matters have been completed successfully, without any of the last minute surprises or issues that you often hear about. Dave’s biggest asset is his ability to ensure all goes well. He’s a bit like the captain of a ship – and I am always comfortable that things will go according to plan and best outcome when he is ‘at the helm’. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services and the friendly help of the support staff at Saunders & Co to any of my colleagues.”
Matthew Reid, Fendalton, Christchurch
Dean has recently joined Saunders. His profile will be launched shortly.
Dean specialises in the following areas:
As an Associate and member of the Property and Commercial team, Meg Gregson acts on a broad range of matters.
Her specialist areas include construction and all aspects of residential subdivision and property related transactions. Meg also provides advice on the sale and purchase of businesses, leasing, finance and general company matters.
She works closely with Saunders & Co partner, Paul Coghlan on the portfolio of one of New Zealand’s largest residential and commercial building and development groups, which provides the bulk of her work including due diligence and land purchase transactions, subdivision work, construction law, contract advice, and the sale of house and land packages.
Meg enjoys being regarded as part of the ‘in-house’ legal team for the group, an approach she extends to her other clients, which include smaller building companies, building product distributors, and owners of popular hospitality venues. She likes to take the time to get to know their businesses, how they tick and what they are trying to achieve as this enables her to deliver tailored solutions, with clients fully engaged throughout the process.
Delivering effective, pragmatic solutions is a key focus for Meg, who is results-driven and takes a genuine interest in working through clients’ issues or problems.
If she hadn’t been a lawyer, Meg may well have been a dancer, having studied numerous disciplines since she was a child and also teaching dance. She regularly performs in major musical theatre productions and corporate events in Christchurch, including Showbiz productions at the Isaac Theatre Royal. Meg is also an avid skier, and competes in half marathons and ocean swim races, making for a busy, active life.
Meg specialises in the following areas:
What Meg’s clients say
“In 2016 I decided to build a house in partnership with a friend and it was recommended to us that we use Meg Gregson to sort out the legal details.
It probably wasn’t the easiest case to deal with due to both having a 50/50 share in the property, and both of us had never done anything like this before. But Meg was extremely helpful, answered lots of stupid questions and gave great service.
In the meantime I put my partner onto Meg when she was looking to buy a property. Due to the nature of the property we needed some due diligence completed within a couple of days, and Meg also came through for us.
After a year my friend decided to sell his portion of the new house to my partner, which meant coming back to Meg to sort out all of the paper work. During this process we have been extremely frustrated with the banks and the level of service they have given us, but once again Meg has been a pleasure to deal with. Nothing is ever a problem and she always returns calls and emails. Even our personal banker commented on how easy Meg was to deal with and how quickly she got things done.
Meg is a great asset to Saunders and Co. It has been great dealing with her and we look forward to dealing with her in the future when we sell and purchase more property.
Shaun and Kahl
Paul leads a property and commercial team and has been a partner since 2011.
He provides commercial and property advice to one of New Zealand’s largest home building companies, in addition he acts for clients with a diverse range of business interests including construction, commercial property and the hospitality and fitness industries.
Paul prides himself on delivering personalised service to each of his clients, and enjoys the opportunity to work with a variety of people.
His young family is a major focus outside work, alongside sport, going to the gym and travel. Paul regularly visits the West Coast, and he and his Scottish wife enjoy visiting Scotland every couple of years with their three children.
Paul specialises in the following areas:
Tania was admitted to the bar in early 2010. She joined the civil team at Saunders & Co as a Senior Associate in April 2017 and is a litigation specialist with a focus on construction and insurance law, civil matters, debt recovery, and the resolution of general commercial disputes.
Providing comprehensive advice to clients in the construction industry around their obligations under building and construction law and legislation is a specialist focus for Tania. She regularly assists clients with matters such as contractual breaches, defective building work and materials claims, as well as pursuing claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and other legislation.
Tania is also highly experienced when it comes to providing advocacy, negotiation, and settlement of disputed residential and commercial insurance claims in Christchurch’s post-earthquake environment.
Clients appreciate Tania’s practical approach and ability to give frank, straightforward guidance. As well as helping clients to work through disputes, she likes to provide them with a working knowledge of the tools available to help avoid similar disputes in the future.
Outside the office, Tania enjoys the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, food, wine, and travelling abroad. With a busy family in tow, Tania has developed a keen interest in being a tourist in and around New Zealand.
Tania is a member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc., Canterbury Women’s Legal Association (CWLA), and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).
Tania specialises in the following areas:
What Tania’s Clients Say
“Thank you Tania for all your support on my claims this year. You have been so lovely to deal with. I really appreciate that you always returned my phone calls promptly, you thoroughly explained everything to me as we worked through the processes and of course achieved a great outcome. Your integrity and professionalism are greatly appreciated.”
“I have been working with Tania Hutchinson since May 2017. Tania has been assisting myself and the owners of a 12 unit mixed-use unit title property to resolve their earthquake insurance claim. Tania has been tremendously helpful in guiding us to reach a long awaited satisfactory settlement and ensured that the owners received their full entitlements under the policy that was applicable. She is continuing to assist the owners by providing advice in regards to the path forward post settlement as there are a number of options now available to the owners.
I have been fortunate to be able to introduce Tania to another of my clients recently. Tania is working with this residential body corporate with the aim to get their claim settled as soon as possible and give the owners the opportunity to move forward.
Tania is pragmatic, knowledgeable, professional and a pleasure to work with. I would be more than happy to recommend her and to work with her again.”
“We first met Tania in early 2017 regarding a payment dispute we were having with another contractor. Tania was nothing less than amazing giving us understandable advice and providing resolutions for our situation. She quickly got to the bottom of our case and spent about 3 to 4 months helping achieve the best outcome. As a young business owner I could not have asked for anything more from Tania as she took our concerns on board and gave us every reassurance that we were doing the right thing. I would most definitely seek help from Tania again if any issues arise in the future.”
Harley and Renee Haywood, Utilities Infrastructure NZ Ltd
Nicky McCormick – Senior Legal Executive
Direct dial: +64 3 963 1452
Mobile: 021 564 259
Toby is an experienced Partner who joined Saunders & Co in 2003, and operates across the Commercial and Property teams. His wide range of experience includes:
- Significant exposure to the contracting industry acting for major Canterbury civil contractors, quarries, demolition contractors, and transport and logistics companies.
- Experience within the insurance industry with local brokerage companies, particularly merger and acquisition-based transactions.
- Extensive property development background dealing with local iwi development, major developments in Christchurch, Queenstown, and Amberley, with greenfield residential, commercial, and supermarket developments.
- Mergers and acquisitions (both national and international), share and asset sales, tenders and RFP processes, as well as prior experience within the Telco and ISP industries.
Toby advises across the business and commercial spectrum in all fields, with his active property and private client practice ably supported by Senior Legal Executive Nicky McCormick. His style is to be as pragmatic and commercial as possible in all dealings and to work with a client to achieve their goals in a transaction
Outside of work Toby holds a governance role with the Christchurch Rugby Football Club and is a delegate to the Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU), a role that has exposed him to significant disciplinary and judicial representation experience. He also holds, or has held, governance roles with a major Canterbury based Telco firm, and a national consulting engineering company.
Toby is married with a young family, and is an avid sportsman, keen on cycling, golfing, skiing and boating. He has finally given away rugby.
Toby specialises in the following areas:
What Toby’s clients say
“Toby Giles has looked after me and Dormer Construction’s legal matters for several years. Toby is tremendous to deal with. He goes to great effort to ensure he understands the issues affecting our business. I know he always has our best interests at heart.
Another attribute I value is his promptness in dealing with urgent matters. I recall one particular time when an unforeseen matter arose and Toby put his dedication and focus to work instantly. The situation was settled within a very short time. Problem solved.
I have no hesitation in recommending Toby to other friends and colleagues.”
Peter Dormer, Director, Dormer Construction Ltd
“Toby Giles of Saunders and Co has been looking after the legal affairs of Amicus Group for a number of years. We have had a number of issues regarding changes in constitution, changes in ownership and other general legal questions that Toby has helped us with. We have also used Toby to check loan documentation and finance agreements that we use, and his advice in those areas has been top notch. Toby handles things with great efficiency, especially in responding to e-mails and phone calls.
We are happy to refer Toby to other colleagues as a trusted legal professional.”
David Gyde, Adviser/Director, Amicus Group Ltd
Violeta joined the Litigation team at Saunders & Co in October 2018 after working in the litigation team at Inland Revenue. Prior to Inland Revenue, Violeta held positions with the Crown Law Office and the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Government.
Violeta enjoys all aspects of litigation, having appeared in District and High Courts around New Zealand as well as the Court of Appeal. She has prior experience in commercial, tax, public and intellectual property law. Violeta works closely with Partner, Andrew Riches and Senior Associate, Tania Hutchinson in a wide range of matters, from Construction and Insurance Law, to Criminal and Employment Law.
Providing excellent results in an effective and efficient manner is very important to Violeta. She takes careful consideration to explain legal intricacies and processes to her clients to ensure confidence going forward with their matters.
Outside of the office, Violeta enjoys the odd tennis match or round of golf. Violeta is also an avid traveller, having traversed Europe, the United States, Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand. She also enjoys painting, theatre, and visiting art galleries all over the world.
Violeta specialises in the following areas of law: