Saunders & Co is widely known for its experience and expertise in the Sport and Leisure sectors, acting for several leading cultural and sporting organisations in Christchurch.
Apart from a paid manager, administrator and contracted service staff, most sport and leisure organisations tend to be run predominantly by volunteers. However these operations face many of the same legal considerations as commercial businesses such as constitution and company structure, health and safety, liquor licensing, employment contracts, ACC, privacy, and managing risk.
Many sport and leisure organisations are also set up as Not for Profits or Registered Charities, which adds another level of complexity to their legal requirements.
Our team has a strong understanding of the regulatory framework around both sectors and can advise organisations on the legal and compliance aspects of raising funds as a charity.
Several of our Partners are, or have been, represented on numerous volunteer boards including the Canterbury Repertory Theatre Trust, Children’s Theatre, Christchurch Music Theatre Education Trust, Christchurch Football Club, Christchurch Golf Club, Russley Golf Club, Crockford’s Bridge Club, Burnside Park Tennis Club and the Canterbury Cricket Association
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I have served all of my law career at Saunders & Co, joining the firm in 1980 and becoming a partner in 1985. During this time I have enjoyed being part of the firm’s steady growth and working with a great team of people.
Law is somewhat of a family tradition, my father served as a Christchurch lawyer and later as a District Court Judge. Before I decided to study and practise law, I had a brief career as a mathematics teacher in Auckland.
I enjoy the general nature of my work which is mainly with private clients dealing with property transactions, family trusts, general administration, wills and estates, along with providing legal advice. I like to meet clients in person at the start of the process in order to develop a good understanding of their needs and take great satisfaction in achieving their desired results.
Outside work, I enjoy giving back to numerous community and charitable organisations and clubs in both a professional and voluntary capacity. I am a trustee of the New Zealand Mathematics Enrichment Trust, on the board of the Christchurch Golf Club, a treasurer of Burnside Park Tennis Club and a life member of Crockford’s Bridge Club of which I am a former president and treasurer.
I specialise in the following areas:
What My Clients Say
“I first used Ben Frampton, of Saunders & Co, for my first property purchase back in 1994. Ben has looked after our affairs since then, which have included more property dealings. Ben’s work included resolving some curly issues around a property investment in Lyttleton in 2006 (land purchase and building contract). We were impressed at how he handled things without hesitation or fuss. Another example concerned a house building dispute. Ben’s assistance resulted in the house build being completed, with the ownership being transferred to us, without prejudice to our claims. This meant we minimised any accommodation inconvenience, preserved our legal position, and saved money. Ben’s calm demeanour, consistent communication style, and professional approach have left us stress free, and with total confidence in him. You hear stories of disputes once lawyers get involved, racking up costs, with taxi tariff charging styles for the likes of making phone calls and sending faxes. This has never been the case with Ben, and the fees charged have been more than fair considering the multiple dealings he has often had to undertake on our behalf. We have been, and still are, overseas-based. Ben takes this into account in his communication. He is always thorough in contacting us, explaining issues and receiving our input, before taking action. The staff members at Saunders & Co have always provided good and pleasant service to us.”
Stephen and Lesley Clark, Australia
“I have known Ben Frampton personally for almost 20 years, and over that time I have been made aware of his very solid reputation for sound advice, reliability and proficiency as a legal advisor. Latterly, as President of The Burnside Park Tennis Club, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Ben in his role as Club solicitor. His advice is always knowledgeable and efficient, and has been the cornerstone of many important decisions, often in areas which have been sensitive and crucial to the Club’s well-being. Ben is highly respected for his integrity and his objective assessment of emerging issues, and the Club is extremely grateful for his readily available expertise. My own confidence in Ben is such that he is also our family solicitor. I have no hesitation in recommending him to others.”
John Campbell, President, Burnside Park Tennis Club and Chairman, The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust Christchurch
“Saunders & Co has handled Annette’s and my legal work from the time we purchased our first home in 1978. Ben Frampton has handled a number of real estate transactions for us since then as well as advising us on business and estate matters. Recently he handled some very delicate negotiations with regard to my late mother’s estate and was able to agree an outcome, which was fair and acceptable to all parties. This was done in his normal calm and considered manner, which helped settle a potentially stressful time for my sister and me. I have recommended Ben to a number of clients over the years and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.”
Ian Rule, Real Estate Agent Christchurch
“I was introduced to Ben Frampton in 2003. I have employed his services since this time, both as my personal lawyer and, in my real estate agent capacity, to many conveyancing clients. Ben has mostly looked after my property matters, both commercial and residential. He has also assisted with the purchase of company shares and maintaining my family trusts. In acting for my clients he has from time to time been able to provide helpful and straightforward suggestions in order to complete transactions that were sometimes looking difficult. I have always found Ben to be extremely clear with a no-nonsense approach to legal matters. I have never found Ben to be protracted about any of his dealings and this is one of the attributes I most appreciate in a sector where fees can be racked up by the hour. Ben’s response times are very quick and if he is unavailable, his support staff are extremely accommodating and helpful. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ben and Saunders & Co.”
Debi Pratt, Sales Consultant and Business Owner Harcourts Holmwood, Christchurch
I joined Saunders & Co in 1984 and became a partner in 1990.
With many years’ experience advising property developers, managers and construction companies on commercial property matters, I have built strong networks and gained a high level of expertise in the commercial field.
My experience and proactive approach when dealing with matters relating to large and complex subdivisions have seen me build many long-standing relationships and work with a large number of property developers and investor clients. I provide 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 me. I am a former member of one of New Zealand Law Society’s Standards Committees and current chairman of Nurse Maude. As a theatre buff I am 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.
I specialise in the following areas:
- Commercial Law
- Construction Law
- Not for Profit
- Professional Services
- Property Law
- Sports and Leisure
- Trust Law
- Wills and Estates
What My 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
I joined Saunders in 2018 and have been practising law in Christchurch for more than 35 years. I have worked for a couple of major firms locally, predominantly in a partnership role. I am experienced across a wide range of disciplines but now focus mainly on corporate governance, advice to SMEs, insolvency matters and trusts.
I specialise in the following areas:
I joined the Commercial and Property teams at Saunders & Co in 2016.
Before practising law, I held a number of positions in New Zealand-based companies and trusts. This experience provided me with sound practical insight and the ability to deliver clear, strategic advice. I am known for my empathetic and client-centred approach and enjoy helping clients to achieve their goals.
A broad range of commercial and private clients make up my portfolio. I advise on all commercial and property matters including property acquisitions and sales, leasing, shareholder agreements, commercial financing, business transactions, and other general company matters such as reviewing constitutions and drafting company documents.
As an adviser to Maori businesses and iwi entities, I have developed expertise in Maori Land law. I am also a specialist in Trust law and Charity law, particularly when it comes to setting up charities and the governance issues associated with trustee liability.
My work for private clients includes property transactions, elder law, estate planning, wills, enduring powers of attorney, occupation right agreements and family trust issues at different ages and stages in life. With a pragmatic, objective approach, I am able to help clients navigate the complex issues that can arise when dealing with these matters.
Ensuring clients have a clear understanding of the transaction process, are reassured, and kept informed of progress throughout, are other key aspects of my approach.
I specialise in the following areas: