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Section 15 PRA - recent cases & awards - Online CPD

NZ $195.00
CRAWSHAW KC Vivienne HEANEY Elizabeth
Vivienne Crawshaw KC
Barrister, Hobson Chambers
Elizabeth Heaney
Lawyer, Morgan Coakle

Package includes:

Online CPD Module  l  Electronic booklet  l  PowerPoint Presentation

Package Fee (incl GST)

  • $145 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $195 - Non-members

Note: Access to the online files is via your "My CPD" page. If you would like to purchase multiple packages, please contact us here.

Online CPD Module

Presentation time: 120 minutes

Section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 allows for one party to be compensated if the income and living standards of the other party are likely to be significantly higher due to the division of functions in the relationship. This module will consider the key recent cases and awards pertaining to economic disparity following the Supreme Court’s decision of Scott v Williams in 2017. It will take a practical approach that will help ensure that you are able to provide robust advice to your clients whatever party you are advising.

This module will include:

  • An overview of the current approach to economic disparity claims
  • A discussion of the common issues that arise in economic disparity claims
  • A survey of recent economic disparity awards.

Learning objectives

By attending this module you will gain:

  • An understanding of how to assess whether your client has an economic disparity claim.
  • Insight into some of the issues you might need to consider if your client has an economic disparity claim.
  • An indication of the current range of awards for economic disparity claims.

Electronic paper 

Authors: Vivienne Crawshaw KC, Elizabeth Heaney
Published: 24 November 2022
Pages: 45


Section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 came into effect on 1 February 2002. It introduced a new discretion into the Act aimed at alleviating growing concerns that the equal division of assets following a separation did not always achieve an equal or just result where one partner, because of the divisions of function in the relationship, was left with significantly reduced income and career prospects. In the relatively recent case of Gosbee v Gosbee, Walker J observed:

Although the aim is straightforward, the application of s 15 since its induction in 2002 has proved anything but. The Supreme Court addressed s 15 in Scott v Williams but there are five separate judgments and even the majority judgments of Arnold, Glazebrook JJ and the Chief Justice, have slightly different approaches.

In saying that, Scott v Williams has settled many of the issues that were swirling around in relation to s 15 claims and in practice practitioners seem to generally follow the approach to causation and the calculation as to quantum set out by Arnold J in the case. The aim of the first part this paper is to set out, as simply as possible, the application of s 15 and some of the common issues that arise in its application in an ever changing landscape. The second part of the paper looks at how courts have approached s 15 claims since the decision in Scott v Williams.

PowerPoint Presentation

These are the slides included in the presentation.

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