Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111


Technology is a fast growing and exciting sector, with its implementation now a key part of almost every business.

When it comes to tech start-ups there are some specific mechanisms that need to be put in place to ensure success when commercialising new ideas and software.

These include sourcing venture capital and taking on investors, protecting intellectual property, confidentiality agreements, software licensing and distribution agreements

Negotiating these matters can be a risky and complex process for the uninitiated, which is why expert advice from our specialist legal team is critical from the outset.

We also provide a range of general business legal advice to technology clients at all stages of operation, including buying and selling of businesses and property, employment matters, partnership agreements, succession planning, and risk identification.

As a firm, Saunders & Co has a strong interest in new technologies. We are investors in our own software platforms – the OneLaw practice module and Justly online wills software, so have a good understanding of how to approach an investment in technology.

One of our Partners, Toby Giles has a significant understanding of the business operations of Internet Service Providers, having held governance positions on two major Telcos.

Examples of our recent work

  • Virginia Nicols, Senior Associate, is a member of Canterbury Tech and is currently working with a high-tech manufacturer in Christchurch to obtain Callaghan funding for their new R&D project.
  • Liam Glubb recently completed a development agreement for an established local game studio to work with a smaller US company on a $1million new project.

Get further advice from

Liam Glubb


Direct dial: +64 3 966 7710
Mobile: 021 026 19110
Office: CBD

Liam is a commercial and property specialist, who joined Saunders & Co in 2016 after gaining extensive experience at a major Christchurch firm. He was made a partner of the firm in 2018.

His client base covers a wide spectrum from corporates, to smaller ‘mum and dad’ business owners, property investors and private clients. He works with clients in buying and selling property; shares and businesses; negotiating a range of commercial documents such as shareholders agreements, franchise agreements and terms of trade; leasing; and commercial and residential subdivisions. Liam’s accounting degree allows him to clearly interpret financial information and work closely with accountants, bankers, and other financial professionals. He is also a member of the Canterbury Property Investors Association.

With a strong interest and background in business and property, Liam has a great understanding of his clients’ needs, and enjoys working closely with them to help achieve their goals. He has a particular interest in providing guidance and advice for new businesses on formation, ensuring correct structuring and documentation are in place from the beginning and helping to connect new business owners with other professionals they might need. First-home buyers and business owners also benefit greatly from Liam’s expertise and guidance.

When it comes to client contact, Liam tailors his approach and advice to the needs and experience of each individual. He is approachable and adaptable, and always has his eye on the details.

Outside of work, Liam likes to spend time with his family, travelling, watching movies and participating in a range of outdoor activities such as cycling, running, and boating.

Liam specialises in the following areas:

Nathaniel Heslop


Direct Dial: +643 963 1467
Mobile: 021 020 62292
Assistant: Ria Smith
Office: CBD

Nathaniel joined the Commercial and Property teams at Saunders & Co in 2016, after five years’ prior experience advising clients.

Before practising law, he held a number of positions in New Zealand based companies and trusts. This experience provided him with sound practical insight and the ability to deliver clear, strategic advice. Nathaniel is known for his empathetic, warm personality, and client-centred approach. He enjoys helping clients to achieve their goals, and likes to clarify how certain transactions will affect and benefit them.

A broad range of commercial and private clients make up Nathaniel’s portfolio. He advises 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, Nathaniel has developed expertise in Maori Land law. He is 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.

Private clients relax in Nathaniel’s friendly approach and trust his advice as it relates to 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, he is 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 Nathaniel’s approach.

A keen basketballer and NBA fan, Nathaniel also enjoys mountain biking, tennis, the outdoors, reading biographies, and putting his considerable epicurean skills to the test.

Nathaniel specialises in the following areas:

Toby Giles


Direct dial: +64 3 963 1466
Mobile: 021 441 255
Assistant: Kathryn Whinray
Office: CBD

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

Virginia Nichols

Senior Associate

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1463
Mobile: +64 27 449 8893
Assistant: Michaela Combe
Office: CBD

Virginia is a lawyer, a Registered New Zealand and Australian Patent Attorney, and a Registered Australian Trade Mark Attorney. She joined Saunders & Co in 2015, bringing over 10 years’ experience as a patent attorney and IP specialist to the firm.

Virginia advises local clients on all aspects of intellectual property, from simple matters such as protecting a company name, to the complexities of protection of designs, brands and ideas, through copyright, trademarks, and patents. If disputes arise, she has the litigation experience to identify and pursue a range of commercially realistic solutions

International clients are provided with registration and maintenance of their IP rights in New Zealand and Australia, and the support of our full commercial and litigation teams in developing their business interests in New Zealand and enforcing their rights here.

She also assists other members of the Saunders & Co team with intellectual property issues arising in the commercial context, for example during the sale and purchase of a business, franchise or distribution agreement; and undertakes civil litigation work in the District Court and High Court.

Providing clients with clear communication and regular updates throughout what can be a complex and unfamiliar process is a key aspect of Virginia’s personable approach.

Virginia enjoys learning how things work, identifying and resolving issues. Her technical background is evidenced by her BSc(Hons) in Physics and ME(Elec) from the University of Canterbury. Her post-graduate work was in the Nanostructure Engineering Science and Technology (NEST) group, focussing on the fabrication and characterisation of wide band-gap semiconductors, particularly Gallium Nitride, which was one of the first materials used to make blue LEDs, and can be used to make UV detectors.

Outside of work, Virginia enjoys hiking, singing, reading, and spending time with her family.

Virginia specialises in the following areas:

Read articles written by Virginia:

What Virginia’s Clients Say

“Welhaus engaged Virginia Nichols of Saunders & Co to work on a case where we argued another party couldn’t monopolise a generic name for a process. From the outset, Virginia’s confidence, decisiveness and expertise in the field were evident and she quickly presented us with some good, clear options for moving forward. We appreciated her evidence-based approach, specific knowledge of the subject and willingness to dig deeper into the matter. This greatly helped our decision-making process and resulted in a speedy conclusion, achieved in just a few days. The process even proved inexpensive given Virginia’s efficiency. The experience of dealing with Virginia and Saunders & Co was refreshing and I have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”
Dan Tremewan, Welhaus

“I’d like to take this opportunity to personally recommend Virginia Nichols, currently a Senior Associate with the Christchurch legal firm Saunders & Co. It must be said that Virginia is a unique and special person. She is not only skilled and very capable at her craft – but better still she actually listens to the client, finds out their total requirements and then efficiently moulds their needs into a strong legal format. Importantly she is not afraid to advise her clients where she believes an aspect of their demands may be unreasonable or inappropriate, doing so with caring and a gentle yet firm approach. Virginia sees herself as a regular down to earth individual with a burn to help others and make a difference. She truly does that in spades!”
Bill Rodger 


CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

© Saunders & Co. 2018 Terms of Use Website design by Fox. Online Will and EPA powered by Justly.
Back to Top