This was posted 4 months 9 days ago, and might be an out-dated deal.

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$59 Consultation with a New Zealand Lawyer @ Spilt Milk Law


Earlier this year I started a small law firm that runs very lean, and which is offering online consultations with a New Zealand lawyer from $99. We're offering $40 off consultations until Christmas using promo code LEASENAVIDAD so our clients can start 2024 without any lingering legal worries. Because the kind of everyday legal problems we help with can strike at any time, we'll be working through the Christmas period to answer your questions and solve your legal problems.

Our $99 consultation ($59 with the promo code) includes around an hour of lawyer time. It includes:

  • Around 45 minutes for an initial review of your request, basic legal research, drafting initial advice;
  • Email to you with initial advice/documents;
  • 15 minutes to clarify the initial advice/documents based on your email feedback (your email feedback must be received within 48 hours of the initial advice being provided).

Our $180 consultation ($140 with the promo code) includes around 1.5 hours of lawyer time. It includes:

  • Around 45 minutes for an initial review of your request, basic legal research, drafting initial advice;
  • Email to you with initial advice/documents;
  • 20 minute video call with you to discuss your legal problem;
  • 30 minutes to clarify the initial advice/documents based on our discussion and on any written feedback (written feedback must be provided within 48 hours of the initial advice).

We've had great feedback from previous clients, but have had to turn down some work that doesn't work well with our lean business model. Unfortunately we can't assist with conveyancing (buying/selling real estate) or any criminal work. We also probably won't be a good fit for any Mergers and Acquisitions work either, but if any NZX listed company directors are Cheapies regulars then feel free to get in touch using the promo code LEASENAVIDAD and we'll see what we can do. In any case, if we're not the right lawyer for your needs we'll let you know, release any preauthorisation on your credit card, and point you in the direction of some lawyers who might be a better fit.

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closed Comments

  • Do you assist with the probate process please?

    • I'm sorry for your loss. Yes I do, although it's not something I can do within the scope of the fixed fee consultation. I haven't been doing this work in 2023 as I've been working remotely from Eastern Europe, but I'd like to explore a fixed fee offering for probate work in 2024. In the meantime, there is an option to request an estimate via the online sign up process (and I'll subtract $40 from the fees in line with the promo code above). Alternatively you can email me ([email protected]) or get in touch via PM and I can give you an estimate. There are some good fixed price offerings that other firms offer too - I'd aim to beat these offers, but it's definitely worth having a look for yourself too.

  • Wills?

    • +3

      Yes. For a simple will and if there are very clear instructions, then a first draft might be possible within the scope of the fixed fee above - but some additional work (at an additional charge) could be required if the will is less straightforward. If your will is very simple, there are also some online will generators that do a reasonable job - e.g. You don't have the benefit of a lawyer reviewing the document, but it's a good option for many people.

      If you think your will might be a bit more complex, then there is an option to request an estimate via the online sign up process (and I'll subtract $40 from the fees in line with the promo code above).

  • Do you do employment law?

    • Yes. The fixed fee offer is a good option for advice for both employers and employees, although it's worth noting that larger pieces of work like running or defending a personal grievance won't be possible within that fee.

  • Contracting out agreements?

    • Not quite possible, unfortunately, but we can make a solid start.

      I've had a few people request relationship property contracting out agreements. For each client we've been able to at least produce a preliminary draft of a contracting out agreement within the scope of the $99 or $180 package. That draft can then be a useful starting point to discuss with your partner/spouse. One client provided very clear instructions, and so I was able to revise the agreement after feedback from the client's partner's solicitor within the allowed time.

      A key part of preparing a contracting out agreement is going through the entire agreement with the client and explaining the effect of each provision and of the agreement as a whole. That's a mandatory step before the lawyer can give the certification that is needed for the agreement to be effective. Unfortunately, that alone takes more time than is allowed for in the $99 package.

  • Seperation agreements? (probably after the promo period, but hey ill use it if it's cheaper)

    • Unfortunately not possible within the $99 and $180 fixed fee packages, although we can offer some initial advice about relationship property law. However, there is an option to request an estimate via the online sign up process (and I'll subtract $40 from the fees in line with the promo code above).

  • Driveway that needs fixing for 3 houses? One owns the driveway (fee simple), and me and the other neighbour (cross lease with) has ROW. The landlord who owns the driveway is not responding (after multiple attempts to get in touch)

    Would you be able to help with this? Or should i just go straight to Disputes Tribunal?

    • +1

      Initial thoughts are that it might not (but also might be, depending on the facts!) be squarely within Disputes Tribunal jurisdiction (claim usually needs to be based in the areas of law called tort, contract, or 'quasi-contract'). Within the scope of the $99 or $180 packages I could likely offer some initial advice and suggest a potential approach to resolve the dispute.

      • Thanks - will talk to a few people about it, and come back to you on your packages once I decided if we want to go ahead on this :)

  • I am not sure if we just need a will or need a trust as well? Will $99 option cover what I need to know before I go further? How much do you charge for a trust please. Thanks

    • +1

      I'm unable to help with setting up a trust. This work can give rise to reporting requirements under AML/CFT law which I don't want to deal with as a small and very lean practice. That said, I could offer some initial advice about the benefits and drawbacks of establishing a family trust (within the scope of the $99/$180 package). If you then decided that establishing a trust could be right for you, then I'd be happy to refer you to a lawyer who is better placed to assist with that specific work.

  • Judicial review of a decision made by Immigration NZ? Recently, some friends of mine who were intending to visit NZ as tourists were denied boarding at the overseas airport by them.

    • +1

      This one would be well outside the scope of a $99 initial consultation. I'm sorry that your friends were denied boarding - it's really unfortunate that this sometimes happens once travellers are already at the airport, or even during stopovers. If all the documents were provided then I could potentially offer some initial advice within the scope of that $99 consultation which might be able to help you think through the merits of further exploring a challenge to that INZ decision. Either way, I hope you're able to see your friends soon.

  • What about advise on a US citizen/NZ Resident (living in NZ) wanting to find best way to either start a company in NZ or be a sole proprietor? It would advising on the usual tradeoffs between the different ways to present yourself in the market and be shielded from liability, etc; but adding to the complexity here is the US foreign income reporting requirements (for tax purposes). I'm not sure if I need to consult with an attorney, an accountant, or both?

    • No idea about US tax stuff, but I would rarely consider anything other than a company in NZ, and you can normally set one up within a day or so.

      Any accountant / lawyer will be able to do that for you, but you can really do it yourself to be fair.

      We used to charge a fixed $250 fee to do it for clients, but that was some years ago.

    • I'd be happy to try to help (and, in the first instance, the $99 option might be a good way to lightly explore the issue). But I have pretty limited offhand knowledge about US tax law, and so you might also want to consider a firm that specialises in US expat tax in New Zealand.

  • This one might sound silly, but can you help with getting a facebook accound reenstated after it was suspended after being hacked and breaching the terms of use (Meta customer support seems to be near on impossible to deal with)?

    • +1

      You're not the first to ask. I've tried for another client and we made no progress. If it's unusually important to you then I am of course happy to try with you, but I think your chances are exceptionally poor.

      P.S. - it does not sound silly, but it does sound very frustrating for you.

  • I am after some advice about my seperation and the possibility of accessing our super funds if that was something you could help with? Or any cheapies advice is great if they've got any wisdom on the subject.

    The split is amicable, however we would like to try and use the fact we have seperated to try and get access to our supers somehow to give us a leg up financially in these difficult times. Is there some way to structure something so that one or both of us can do this? We are open to all possibilities of how we structure the split and what goes in who's name etc, just so we can get access to our supers.

    • In order to access your Kiwisaver funds outside of retirement or buying your first home you need to prove significant financial hardsharp.
      Unfortunately the bar is very high for this to be accepted.
      There are forms to fill out which you can get from your Kiwisaver provider and you will need to prove that without the money you are in dire straits - a financial leg up won't be sufficient reason.
      I wish you luck.

      • I thought you can get access to them if you get a court order for separation purposes?

        • I'm not a lawyer - so that part may be best left for @homegardener
          I have however worked in financial services where customers have tried to access funds through separation and I don't recall it being allowed from the provider.
          My undertsanding is that although the assets (including Kiiwisaver) are divided they are paid to the Kiwisaver account - not paid out for immediate use.

        • Without commenting on the specific fact situation @Lewynz described, yes I understand that s 31 of the Property (Relationships) Act gives the court the option to grant an order to access Kiwisaver funds. Note that it's ordinarily only the proportion of the value of any Kiwisaver account that is attributable to the marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship that counts as relationship property. If you've got specific questions, I'm happy to help further - use promo code "LEASENAVIDAD" for $40 off your consultation fee.

  • -2

    Hi @homegardener or any people who may help, thanks in advance.

    I purchased a property and the previous owner didn't tell us that the neighbour is going to build townhouses. This has significantly affected my life for living here and the property value. Is it something you can help?

    • This is something that the $99 option ($59 with promo code) might be appropriate for. Unfortunately, it's all rather fact specific. For example, if your vendor had given written approval to the neighbour then there is likely a clause in the sale and purchase agreement (assuming you use a standard agreement, which almost everyone does) that says they need to disclose that to you as purchaser (the thinking being that as a result of the written approval the Council cannot take account of any effects that the townhouses would have on your property). On the other hand, when I bought my home, the real estate agent did not mention (and perhaps did not even know) that the neighbouring property had many years ago been granted a (then well expired) consent to subdivide and had very vaguely talked about having another go. Nothing in the sale and purchase agreement required her or the vendor to share that.

  • Hello homegardener, thanks for your generous discount offer. I took advantage of it on Saturday & I'm supposing that this has been a rather popular offer for you because I haven't heard back from Spilt Milk yet.

    That's ok because we all know that the entire legal fraternity heads to exotic holiday retreats for the next few weeks so nothing's gonna happen on my matter until then anyway. But I am kinda wondering what your approximate timeframe for initial replies might be?

    • Mea culpa! I hit reply rather than reply all, so sent my response back to myself. I’ve forwarded that on to you now, so check your email and we can crack on. I’ve got good availability tomorrow so can definitely get back to you before Christmas.

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