About us

The New Zealand Law Society’s Property Law Section was established in April 2000 to give members who have a common interest in a particular field of law an opportunity to promote that interest in association with others. The section recognises the special nature of property law practice and helps members meet the changes and challenges of the practice of property law, and supports them as they deliver the highest possible quality service to their clients.

Almost 5000 lawyers in New Zealand undertake some property law work, with a quarter of them spending more than half their time on property law matters.*

The section supports and assists the profession through its best practice guidelines, dissemination of topical property law information, and through its e-dealing consultancy service. The section is also active in property law reform activities, via its contribution to the Law Society’s law reform work.

The section has a number of objectives:

  • promoting opportunities for property lawyers to improve and maintain their professional skills and to gain expertise in marketing their services
  • encouraging discussion and debate on property law issues and promoting best practice
  • establishing and maintaining contact with business and government about issues relevant to property lawyers
  • promoting the value and services of property lawyers to the public
  • promoting the interests of the public in property transactions
  • providing easy access to property lawyers.

*As reported in LawTalk issue 815 28 March 2013 page 8


The Section is established by the New Zealand Law Society Council (section 18 New Zealand Law Society Constitution) and operates under its own Section Rules.

The Section is governed by a volunteer Executive Committee, chaired by Tauranga lawyer Duncan Terris. The remaining Executive Committee members are Debra Dorrington (Deputy Chair, Auckland), Peter Fanning (Treasurer, Hamilton), Jeannie Warnock (Wellington), Niamh McMahon (Auckland), Kerry O’Donnell (Queenstown), David Roughan (Whangarei), Mark Sherry (Christchurch), Katherine Wilmott (Rangiora) and Ian Haynes (President’s Nominee, Auckland). The Executive Committee is elected by full members of the Section.

The Section has five technical committees staffed by experienced lawyers from around the country and various working groups. Law Society staff provide secretarial and administrative support to the section.

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