Our team at AWS Legal comprises two locally born and raised Southlanders – Norman Elder, Cameron Murphy. Extending their specialities across Invercargill, Southland and surrounds, we offer New Zealand a line of trusted, reputable services in the field.

Specialising in large and small business-related projects and providing experienced advice on all aspects of Property Development, Finance, Company Structures, Business Acquisitions, Commercial Leases, Subdivisions, Forestry, Governance and Business Law.

Additionally, we are just as comfortable briefing the company directors as we are putting the small print together.

Corporate Governance Overview is a general guide. For specific advice and assistance please feel free to contact any of our team. We’re always more than happy to offer transparent, reliable guidance.


To learn more about our team members and how they can help you click on their profile links below.

Norman Elder Cameron Murphy  




AWS Legal is proud to introduce a dedicated Private Client Team to meet the personal needs of our clients.

This specialised service brings expert advice, exceptional individual attention and peace of mind to personal legal affairs.

AWS Legal offers access to advice at more locations than any other southern South Island firm – including spanning across Southland, Invercargill and surrounds. Offering an expanded range of services covering property, business, agribusiness and dispute resolution, we’re the go-to experts in the field.

AWS Legal Private Client service includes:

  • Establishing and administering Trusts
  • Wills
  • Advice from our estate planning lawyers
  • Property work including acting in the sale and purchase of residential property and retirement village units and apartments
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney and general Powers of Attorney
  • Generally advising those who are moving towards retirement and those who have retired.

If you’re not sure where to start with the above, we recommend getting in touch with our friendly estate planning lawyers for a no-obligation discussion.

The Dispute Resolution Team at AWS Legal has a focus on client-centred outcomes.


Our aim is to give clear and straightforward advice as to the best possible options to resolve any dispute that our clients may face.

We will advise you on the various options available to resolve your dispute, including direct negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and then if necessary, the various Court processes available.

We understand that being involved in a dispute and a Court case can be stressful and our aim is to make the entire process as easily understandable as possible with a view to obtaining the best possible outcome in the shortest possible time.

Our team are able to give advice on commercial and company disputes, debt collection, bankruptcy and liquidation.

We have considerable experience in construction law and can assist in all aspects of that.


Our team has a wealth of experience and expertise in family law. Our specialists are well known for providing comprehensive advice and solutions across Invercargill, Queenstown, Alexandra and surrounding areas.

We take pride in being the best at what we do and are passionate about delivering good solutions about the things that matter most in life – your children, your safety, your financial wellbeing.

Moreover, each of our team members offers a full range of related services and advocacy, including:


If you are married, in a civil union partnership or in a de facto relationship, and your relationship ends, you will be affected by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. We can advise you on your rights under the Act. Following the end of a relationship, we can help you to achieve a good property settlement, by agreement or by litigation.

Contracting Out Agreements

You and your partner can reach your own agreement about how your property will be divided if you should separate in the future. A Contracting Out Agreement will identify your property rights clearly and preserve the ownership of assets you or your partner wish to keep separate. We will help you to reach an agreement that is right for you.

Family Trusts and Asset Planning

Providing long-term protection and security for yourselves and your loved ones is a concern for most. We can help you structure and plan ownership to ensure your assets are protected and provide individually tailored solutions for property ownership.

Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney

Having an up to date Will is one of the most important documents that you can have for your loved ones. It makes sure your wishes are carried out and that arrangements are in place for your family when you pass away. We can help you with:

  • Preparing a new Will, or help you to review your existing one.
  • Preparing Enduring Powers of Attorney which provide safeguards in the event of you becoming physically or mentally incapable.


Come meet our team. Click the links to find out more about us and how we can help you:

Kasy Mary
Kasey Templer
Leads our family team
PHONE: 03 211 1370
MOBILE  027 240 4320
Mary Flannery
Offers family services to our Central Otago based clients
PHONE: 03 211 1370
MOBILE  027 627 4664


Emma Gray, Law Clerk




A large number of businesses are inadvertently finding themselves in breach of current Employment Law. The law is changing so fast that it’s hard for everyone to keep abreast of all the latest developments. Our clients put their trust in us so they can maintain their focus on their business knowing they are in safe hands and ensure that they meet the obligations as an employer.

We advise employers on their rights and responsibilities under New Zealand employment legislation, including the Employment Relations Act, Human Rights Act, Holidays Act, Privacy Act, and health and safety legislation.  We also advise employees on their rights regarding the same legislation and assist them through disciplinary matters, personal grievances, restructures and redundancies.

We offer assistance in all areas of employment including

  • Employment Agreements
  • Disciplinary Matters,
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Restructuring and Redundanciesa
  • Drafting Policies such as Health & Safety and Drug and Alcohol policies.  

We understand that there are many aspects to an employment relationship, so we take into account the legal aspects as well as practical and relationship aspects to achieve our client’s goals.

Our Team

To learn more about our Employment Team and how they can help you get in touch with us today.

Damien Pine
PHONE: 03 211 1360
MOBILE 0274 317 809
Jessica Hayes


ARTICLES of interest

Our employment team are eager to keep you up to date with the latest trends and changes occuring in the employment world. 

Click here to go to a variety of interesting articles our team have prepared.






Our practice is recognised as one of the top in the South Island, testimony to our team and the decades of collective knowledge and experience within it. Across Southland and Central Otago, we’re the team of commercial lawyers you can trust.

AWS Legal’s business lawyers are committed to providing our with clients quick turnaround and accurate legal solutions.

Our client base is as extensive as it is diverse – we’re advisors to both emerging and long-established organisations. We cover all areas of commercial law, and our clients include many of the best in southern business, particularly in the manufacturing, electricity, property development, construction and forestry sectors.

Commercial lawyers with extensive experience

Our team’s core specialties include:

  • All facets of company law and corporate structuring
  • Property developments
  • Conveyancing – commercial and residential
  • Capital raising
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Finance and securities
  • Insolvency and restructuring
  • Overseas Investment
  • Intellectual property and technology

We are also industry advisers to the following sectors:

  • electricity, forestry, manufacturing, fishing, tourism
  • local government
  • construction, finance




At AWS Legal, we know it’s not easy running a business, and it’s even harder when you’re miles off the beaten track and that is where top legal advice comes into play.

We have hundreds of rural clients based from one end of New Zealand to the other – be it from Southland to Te Kao. Our specialist knowledge and commitment to service also see clients from around the world choose AWS Legal’s team to advise on their business interests.

What makes our rural lawyers different?

Our client base covers the full spectrum – from individuals to multinationals, investors to career farmers. We’ve been at the legal forefront of the farm boom, sought out to advise on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions, including many of the largest New Zealand has ever seen.

Our approach, underscored by state-of-the-art technology, means whether you’re in Holland or the Hokonui Hills, out in the paddock or in one of our six offices, you’ll enjoy the same comprehensive, up to the minute legal support.

No matter the location, no matter the challenge, our focus is firmly on getting the job done – and done well. Wherever we’re working, we have instant access to ground-breaking legal decisions and draw on the full support and experience of Southland’s largest law firm.

Our size, expertise and resources are unusual for a provincially-based firm. These strengths mean our rural clients enjoy access to comprehensive legal support – including dedicated Business, Disputes Resolution, Employment and Private Client teams – plus the efficiency of dealing with one firm, without compromising on quality. We extend these services across Southland and throughout New Zealand.

Buying and selling property, whether it’s residential or commercial, is a big deal for most of our clients.  Our aim is to ensure the process goes as smoothly and is as stress-free as possible.

Our lawyers [excluding our Court lawyers] can all help you with this type of work so have a read of the information below and head over to Our People page to find someone who can assist you.

Selling – Let’s start at the start

The best time to seek legal advice is before you even list your property.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to market and sell the property yourself, or use the services of real estate agent.

Both options bring with them important considerations.

How can we help?

If you’re planning a private sale, you won’t have some of the protections and tools you would had you used a real estate agent. That by no means precludes a successful sale, but it’s vital you make an informed decision, and are fully aware of the pitfalls.

Most vendors opt to sell through a real estate agency. You’ll need to sign an agency agreement – and it’s imperative you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

Just some of the problems we see from vendors:

  • Paying way more commission than they intended
  • Confusion around exclusive and multi-agency agreements
  • Contracted in for longer than intended
  • Not understanding their obligations around extra costs – e.g. marketing

Did you know?

Under recent changes, there is a post-signing “cooling off period” around agency agreements. Once an agent delivers a completed agency agreement, you have until 5pm the following working day to withdraw.

Before you confirm the agreement, you should seek independent legal advice to ensure you know and understand everything you are signing up for.

Understanding sales methods

While your real estate agent can provide you good information on the sales methods open to you, and the relative merits of each, there are specific, and differing, legal considerations for vendors depending on which option you choose.

  • Private treaty
  • Auction
  • Deadline treaty
  • Tender
  • What you need to know – before buyers

Many vendors think of due diligence – especially around a property’s potential problems – as solely the domain of buyers.

Unfortunately, vendors often find out too late, via the buyer, that there’s something wrong with their property. They’re either left chasing their tail trying to fix it … confronting a reduced selling price … or watching a promising deal sink unnecessarily.

Vendors can easily find themselves on the back foot during negotiations. Let’s face it, most buyers want to pay less for a property – and there’s nothing like a problem or two they unearth during due diligence to lessen your bargaining power.

By giving your property the once over first, you’ll buy yourself time and options to rectify problems without compromising your position. What’s more, you can set your property apart from the rest, by proactively providing potential buyers certain critical information.

We can help you decide what you need to explore sourcing, including:

  • Land Information Memorandums

  • A Builder’s Report

  • An Independent Valuation

  • Code of Compliance Certificates

  • Confirmation of District Plan compliance