James Farmer

Legal Commentary

Directors’ Duties to Creditors in an Insolvency Situation

Notes of lecture to Lawyers and Accountants specializing in Trust law (19 September 2023) Trading while insolvent Two-fold insolvency test: (1) balance sheet (assets and liabilities) (2) liquidity (paying debts as they fall due What are directors’ duties largely statutory – originated in Chancery Courts in England as fiduciary in nature – directors entrusted with company assets.  (The leading exposition of directors’ duties was that of Romer J in Re City Equitable Fire Insurance Company Ltd. [1925] 1 Ch. 407: duties are fiduciary in nature but directors are not trustees (at 426).) Companies Act 1993, (relevantly to present discussion) sections More...

Redundancy, Good faith and Employment Law

These are troubled times. Companies are seeking to cut costs and restructuring and reduction of their work force is an obvious way of doing so. Redundancy is the outcome. Unlike many countries, New Zealand lacks any statute that deals specifically with employers’ obligations and employees’ rights in a redundancy situation. For that reason, a recent Judgment of the Employment Court delivered by former President of the New Zealand Law Society, Judge Kathryn Beck – New Zealand Steel Limited v. Haddad [2023] NZEmpC 57 (5 April 2023) - will be of interest. It goes a long way to filling the gap More...

Is the America's Cup a poisoned chalice for New Zealand?

We all remember the excitement when Sir Peter Blake led Team New Zealand to win the America’s Cup from the United States in 1995, with the whole country getting behind the “red socks” campaign to raise money to ensure that the team got to the finish line.  Winning it from “Dirty Dennis” Connor, who was seen to be unsporting and who didn’t play fair, was the icing on the cake.  However, after Blake left, the Cup was lost to Alinghi but then won back again by Team NZ under Grant Dalton from Oracle in 2017 and then successfully defended in More...

The Passing of Two Knights of the Realm - Sir Murray Halberg and Sir Ian Barker

The past month has seen two outstanding men leave us – both, coincidentally, aged 89. Their accomplishments have been prominently recounted in the media and so this is not the place to write obituaries. But in different ways, they were each influential in my sporting and professional endeavours and I would like to pay a personal tribute to each of them. I did this previously in the case of George Barton QC, Don Dugdale and Richard Craddock QC (14 September 2011) and David Barnes (World Champion and America’s Cup sailor (2 November 2020). I feel privileged to have known and More...

Random Legal Thoughts While on a Post-Covid Lockdown European Trip

If nothing else, the last 3 years of a Covid-infected world have forced us to face new living and working conditions and severely inhibited our ability to travel abroad.  Enforced working from home during lockdowns and virtual Court hearings had their novelty value and there are some who would be happy never to go back to an office and (possibly) some Judges or Justice officials who would see the virtual hearing as a welcome step towards dispensing with oral hearings altogether with “Judgment on the papers” as an infinitely more efficient (and less costly) form of decision-making.The retorts are obvious. More...

America's Cup Venue - Fact or Fiction

So the decision has now been made – but by whom? – and, as expected, the venue for the next AC Defence in 2024 [AC37] is “anywhere but Auckland”, in fact Barcelona.  A relief, I suppose, that it’s not Jeddah and New Zealand supporters of Team NZ (assuming that there will be some left after the announcement) will be spared the problem of having to avoid the regular public beheadings – 81 on a single day recently, proclaimed as a “new record”.  Team NZ and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron cannot however claim any virtue in not choosing Jeddah. More...

Covid and the New Zealand Rules Committee Proposed Reforms

Below is a piece that I wrote for LAWFUEL that was published on Tuesday 18 January.  The link between COVID and the Rules Committee proposals for reform of Court processes, aimed at improving access to Justice by reducing the cost of litigation, may not be obvious.  But it does seem to me that one major effect of Covid lockdowns and restrictions has been to reduce the time spent in the courtroom, which on one view might reduce cost.   The same purpose and effect would seem to underlie the current reform proposals of the Rules Committee relating to the most More...

A Chat On The Virtual Couch About My Legal Career

I recently took part in a chat on the virtual couch with the New Zealand Bar Association about my life in the law.  Listen to it here, using password 091121. More...

America’s Cup Home Defence – Requisition For Special General Meeting Of Members Of Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron To Discuss Venue For Next Defence

Under the Rules of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, 25 members may requisition a Special General Meeting. That has occurred, specifically to discuss and debate Team New Zealand’s plans to host the next Defence of the America’s Cup in a foreign City – narrowed down to Cork in Ireland, an unspecified Spanish City and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The Flag Officers (Commodore, Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore) have set 9 December for that Meeting even although at that time under Covid Traffic Light Red, only 100 members per room (they do have 2 large rooms) can attend. Under Orange, More...


I have so far resisted the temptation, engaged in by so many, to express (at least in writing) an opinion on the Covid situation.As an Aucklander, the latest, continuing Lockdown has become increasingly frustrating, especially with a border being erected around the district preventing travel within New Zealand to add to now long-standing deterrence from travelling outside New Zealand given the impediments against returning.  The arbitrary MIQ lottery system is now, rightly, the subject of legal challenge and the anomaly of those with Covid being able to self-isolate in their homes while the fully vaccinated returning to New Zealand are More...

Recent Posts

  1. Directors’ Duties to Creditors in an Insolvency Situation 22-Sep-2023
  2. Redundancy, Good faith and Employment Law 18-Aug-2023
  3. Is the America's Cup a poisoned chalice for New Zealand? 09-May-2023
  4. The Passing of Two Knights of the Realm - Sir Murray Halberg and Sir Ian Barker 07-Dec-2022
  5. Random Legal Thoughts While on a Post-Covid Lockdown European Trip 31-Oct-2022
  6. America's Cup Venue - Fact or Fiction Chris Goode 04-Apr-2022
  7. Covid and the New Zealand Rules Committee Proposed Reforms Chris Goode 24-Jan-2022
  8. A Chat On The Virtual Couch About My Legal Career Chris Goode 26-Nov-2021
  9. America’s Cup Home Defence – Requisition For Special General Meeting Of Members Of Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron To Discuss Venue For Next Defence Chris Goode 24-Nov-2021
  10. Pandemics 12-Nov-2021
  11. America's Cup - Just Do It and Positivity 20-Sep-2021
  12. September 11 - 20 Years On 09-Sep-2021
  13. Whither America's Cup? Chris Goode 22-Jun-2021
  14. Conducting Civil Appeals Chris Goode 07-Mar-2021
  15. David Barnes (27 April 1958 - 23 October 2020) - A Personal Note Chris Goode 02-Nov-2020
  16. Cannabis Bill Not the Right Reform Chris Goode 07-Oct-2020
  17. Whatever the result, is this the last time the America's Cup event is held in New Zealand? Chris Goode 14-Sep-2020
  18. Cannabis Legal Reform - Arguments For and Against Chris Goode 13-Aug-2020
  19. Will the Proposed Cannabis Legislation Achieve its "Overarching Objective" of Reducing the Harms Associated with Cannabis Use? Chris Goode 18-May-2020
  20. The Debate Continues - Virtual Hearings or Real Hearings Chris Goode 02-May-2020
  21. These Issues were all Predicted Pre-Covid-19 and 6 Years Ago Chris Goode 02-May-2020
  22. And here is a Report from Stuff of a Virtual Hearing this Week Chris Goode 30-Apr-2020
  23. More Correspondence on Covid-19 and the Courts Chris Goode 30-Apr-2020
  24. In Defence of Remote Technology - from Steve Keall Chris Goode 29-Apr-2020
  25. Court Hearings and Covid-19 - Part Two Chris Goode 29-Apr-2020
  26. Court Hearings and Covid-19 Chris Goode 28-Apr-2020
  27. Covid-19 and Executory Contracts: Will the Doctrine of Frustration Apply? Chris Goode 06-Apr-2020
  28. Race, Poverty and Education - Lessons from the UK learned while spending Christmas in London December 2019 Chris Goode 13-Jan-2020
  29. Witnesses in Civil Cases - the Consequences of Not Calling and of Not Cross-Examining - A Paper Presented to the Pacific Islands Lawyers Association, Auckland, 22 November 2019 Chris Goode 21-Nov-2019
  30. The Forthcoming Referendum on the Growing and Supply of Cannabis for Personal Recreational Use Chris Goode 19-Nov-2018
  31. Armistice Day and Its Sequel Chris Goode 13-Nov-2018
  32. An Easy Read of the Rule of Law in the World of Fiction Chris Goode 08-Aug-2018
  33. Bullying, Harassment and Gender Bias Chris Goode 22-May-2018
  34. Criticising Judges Chris Goode 07-May-2018
  35. America's Cup Part 3A Chris Goode 11-Dec-2017
  36. America's Cup Part 3 Chris Goode 04-Dec-2017
  37. Pro Bono Publico as an Aid to Living a Balanced Lifestyle Chris Goode 08-Nov-2017
  38. Terence Arnold Retires From the Supreme Court Bench Chris Goode 10-Apr-2017
  39. From Violence to Redemption Chris Goode 14-Mar-2017
  40. Drugs, Sports and Society Chris Goode 18-Oct-2016
  41. Are Our Law Schools Churning Out Too Many Lawyers? Chris Goode 25-Aug-2016
  42. Equiticorp 20 Years On Chris Goode 07-Jun-2016
  43. The Year in Retrospect Chris Goode 19-Jan-2016
  44. A Good Year for the Farmer Legal Family Chris Goode 30-Oct-2015
  45. Having a Balanced Life Style - Part 4 Chris Goode 21-Sep-2015
  46. A Balanced Life Style (Part 3), Prisoners' Voting Rights, Top Gun, 7000kms in a Corvette, John Maynard Keynes and Atticus Finch Chris Goode 05-Aug-2015
  47. Biographies Chris Goode 13-Apr-2015
  48. The Cost of Justice Chris Goode 13-Mar-2015
  49. The Increase in Unrepresented Litigants and Their Effect on the Judicial Process Chris Goode 11-Feb-2015
  50. Evidence - Notes of Presentation to Continuing Legal Education Seminar November 2014 Chris Goode 01-Dec-2014
  51. Corporate Governance and Directors' Liability Chris Goode 19-Aug-2014
  52. Paper Presented on 2 August 2014 at the Competition Law & Policy Institute of New Zealand 25th Annual Conference Chris Goode 05-Aug-2014
  53. Life in the Fast Lane Chris Goode 06-Jun-2014
  54. 2014 - Roaring Past Chris Goode 04-Jun-2014
  55. Commentary on Paper Delivered by Professor Andrew I Gavil at Commerce Commission Conference Chris Goode 18-Nov-2013
  56. America's Cup Wrap Up Chris Goode 04-Oct-2013
  57. Happiness, Living a Balanced Life and Legal Practice - Part II Chris Goode 15-Aug-2013
  58. America's Cup 2013 Chris Goode 01-Jul-2013
  59. Why the Rules of Evidence Matter in Civil Cases Chris Goode 11-Mar-2013
  60. The High Court in Review Chris Goode 07-Oct-2012
  61. "Criticism of Supreme Court needs to be put in context" as published in the New Zealand Herald 11 May 2012 Chris Goode 23-May-2012
  62. Recent Reform Reports Chris Goode 03-Apr-2012
  63. Happiness, Living a Balanced Life and Legal Practice Chris Goode 09-Jan-2012
  64. In Defence of the Supreme Court Chris Goode 12-Dec-2011
  66. Cross Examination Notes Chris Goode 11-Nov-2011
  67. Are the independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law under threat? Chris Goode 16-Oct-2011
  68. Commentary on my commentary on Morse Chris Goode 14-Sep-2011
  69. The passing of three leaders of the Bar Chris Goode 14-Sep-2011
  70. How good is our Supreme Court? Chris Goode 08-Aug-2011

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