Caudwells Lawyers

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Who we are

Why Come to Caudwells for Legal Advice?

We offer our clients:

  • 7 partners and over 20 solicitors with a wide range of legal expertise including commercial, resource management, employment, property transactions, criminal and family law.
  • Availability, accountability and approachability - we pride ourselves on it.
  • Expert advice from a firm with proven experience.
  • Up-to-date technology.
  • Value for money.
  • Quality of advice.
  • Proven quality of service delivery in both Dunedin and Christchurch.
  • Easy to understand contracts.
  • Full discussion on fees prior to engagement.

Our Partners Head Teams Practising in a Range of
Specialist Areas

Caudwells Lawyers Logo         Dunedin

Warwick Deuchrass
  • Business advice
  • Commercial law services
  • Negotiation
  • Finance & development
  • Complex property transactions
  • Trust & rural planning
Frazer Barton
  • Civil litigation specialist
  • Insolvency
  • Trade competition law
  • Mediation
  • Public law
  • Dispute resolution


Joseph Butler
  • Resource management
  • Local Government & administrative law
  • Environmental law


Clare Malthus
  • Company and commercial law
  • Property transactions and financing
  • Commercial compliance
  • Trust and asset planning


Jenny Beck
  • Employment law
  • Insurance law
  • General civil litigation
  • Accident compensation



Peter Richardson
  • Business law
  • Property law
  • Trusts
  • Property development
  • Small business support
Roger Sandford
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Employment law
  • Japanese business advice
  • Aged care management and trusts

Want More Information?  Then Read On ...

Who We Are: Who Our Clients Are: What Sets Us Apart:



Caudwells Lawyers are an experienced law firm and very approachable people, with a commitment to excellence and service for our clients. Caudwells is a South Island based law firm, with 3 offices in both Dunedin and Christchurch. Its strength of commitment to Dunedin is based on its extensive history in the City. Many of the solicitors who make up the firm have strong historical family ties with the City and as individuals are vital contributors to their local communities.


As a firm we can trace our history back, to a practice which commenced providing legal advice in the 1870's.

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We have a strong commitment to quality and are proud to have achieved ISO 9001 certification. This certification has been of benefit to Caudwells in two primary ways. Firstly it has ensured that all our administration systems are first rate. Secondly, ongoing ISO audits focus attention on continuing compliance with quality management requirements, ensuring high quality outcomes are consistently achieved.Every client is looked after by on or more of our law teams, each of which is led by a Partner. That Partner is responsible for managing the client relationship, and although not necessarily involved as the principal lawyer on every file, fills a valuable supervisory role for all current work.

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Caudwells Lawyers lead the way with legal technology including full office computer networking, internet access to a range of Government agencies, digital library searching, data processing and information retrieval.

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Conway Powell is the firm’s General Manager, based in the Dunedin Head Office. He has experience as a senior manager in the Science and Health sectors and, along with Administration Manager Malcom Duncan, manages the firm on behalf of the partners. Pamela Barnard is Office Manager for the Christchurch offices. This allows the partners to concentrate on what they do very well - providing expert quality legal advice and counsel to their clients.


The firm has developed "natural teams", consisting of a Partner, staff solicitors, and support staff. The development of these teams is directed at ensuring an even distribution of work loads, specialisation in key areas of law and the ability to ensure a high level of supervision and file management.


Caudwells has excellent legal and support staff who are well trained and experienced. Furthermore, we are committed to ongoing training and development of all staff, in the law and in all aspects of business. Our experience has shown that clients appreciate legal advice that is commercially sensible and practical, as well as legally correct.


It is important to us at Caudwells that we continue to exceed the expectations of our clients. This involves understanding the demands and expectations of our clients and the ever changing marketplace. This desire to respond to client needs is deeply embedded in the culture of our organisation. We want to be the best!

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Caudwells is an independent law firm, and its culture and ethos are determined by its Partners and staff, as well as its clients. Caudwells takes a role of leadership and participation in community affairs. Our staff are involved as individuals in many community and business organisations including school boards of trustees, service organisations, sporting and church and volunteer groups. This involvement on both a collective and individual level has fostered a culture with which Caudwells is pleased to be recognised.

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Our main office in Christchurch office has grown to two partners with a support staff of ten, including 4 solicitors, after merging with a well known Christchurch firm.


The merger in 1998, with the long established local firm of Flesher Sandford, now enables us to provide legal services to our existing and new clients from a wide experience base, and to offer them additional legal and professional business services.  This firm is known in Christchurch as Caudwells Flesher Sandford.


Our main Christchurch offices are located in modern premises over-looking the old courthouse and the river, on the ninth floor of Cardinal House at 86 Gloucester Street, Christchurch.


In addition we also have a branch office (North Law) in a newly revamped premises in the Northlands Mall on the corner of Sawyers Arms Road and Main North Road. The North Law office is run by Solicitor Jane Watson with frequent visits from Partner Peter Richardson and Associate Glenda Murphy, and focuses on providing full legal support to local businesses and domestic conveyancing to the local community.

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Caudwells acts for a wide range of business and personal clients including individuals, small companies, farmers, incorporated societies, partnerships, trusts, trade and professional organisations, educational and health institutions, local government, and very large public companies.

Our clients come back to us because they trust us to achieve the best result and give them peace of mind. We frequently receive instructions to provide legal services, on an agency basis, from other Dunedin law firms as well as firms from other centres. This is particularly so in areas of representation in the District and High Courts, and in the Environment Court.

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We believe that what sets us apart from other law firms for the South Island is our wide ranging legal expertise particularly in employment law, dispute resolution, resource management and commercial law, delivered to the standard of excellence expected of the “mega” law firms in a highly professional but friendly manner. In addition, we have an excellent skill base in ACC law and frequently win substantial lump sum payments for clients who have taken successful actions against ACC over non payment of rightful compensation.  Caudwells is also one of the few law firms in New Zealand to have an experienced solicitor (in our commercial team in Christchurch) who is a very fluent speaker and writer of Japanese.  We assist many organisations in their legal negotiation with Japanese companies.

You will also find that our hourly rates are around 40% – 50% lower than the cost of equivalent legal expertise in Wellington or Auckland and on a par with or 10% - 15% less expensive than equivalent legal expertise in Christchurch and Dunedin.

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Our clients feel comfortable with dealing directly with a Partner in charge of their file. It is therefore our practice to ensure clients have this contact and the ability to establish a close working relationship with a familiar face - someone who they know will always be available, accountable and approachable!

Our clients are welcome to call their lawyer, in an emergency at any hour of the day 365 days of the year.

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Our size and location is a distinct advantage in the way we price our services. We are large enough to provide expert coverage of all aspects of the law yet not so large as the "mega” law firms and therefore have lower overheads and more flexibility with the prices we charge. Our hourly rates are around 40% - 50% lower than the rates you would pay for equivalent advice from a Wellington or Auckland law firm.

We believe it is very important to discuss legal costs with clients and firmly believe that legal costs should not be a mystery to the client. It is our practice to delegate work to the most appropriate level in our firm and this ensures that our costs to the client are reasonable.

We inform our clients in advance what they can expect to pay us so that there are no surprises!

Estimates are regularly given and for some specific jobs are happy to quote for legal costs.

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We provide advice that ...

  • ..... is clear and succinct : We advise clients in plain english and we have attempted to omit unnecessary legalese from our communications with clients.
  • .... takes into account the impact of impending Legislative changes : We give legal advice that is intended to be proactive and not reactive. This involves constantly monitoring the legal environment and analysing changes before they occur. We aim to help our clients manage legal risks efficiently so that they are not taken by surprise.
  • ...... takes into account a range of options : In the area of litigation in particular, this is becoming increasingly important. It is important to weigh up the costs and benefits of litigation where there are alternative forms of dispute resolution available. We are very experienced at negotiation and alternative dispute resolution methods to get the best result for the client. In some cases, the proper use of alternative dispute resolution has proved to be much more cost effective and less time consuming.
  • ...... is commercially sensible : We are business advisers. The advice and options we give take into account commercial reality and the unique characteristics of each client's business. In giving clients advice we think laterally, and attempt to find a solution that is truly best for the client, not just the obvious solution.

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Caudwells owns and maintains an extensive library of statutes and regulations, and a comprehensive assortment of case reports. In addition, many periodicals, journals, commentaries and texts are subscribed to from the full range of legal writing. Caudwells had full access to a wide range of electronic library services.

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Like most other larger legal firms throughout New Zealand, time spent on a file is the basis upon which our professional fees are rendered. In addition all disbursements are recovered.


The use by Caudwells of Trilogy Law software and desktop terminals enables each solicitor to record time spent on transactions directly into the central accounting database. Time entries are accompanied by full narrations so that we are able to account fully to a client regarding their account, at any time. In addition a detailed bill is provided to give the client a full understanding of the nature of the work for which the fee is charged.


The firm endeavours to allocate work according to the degree of complexity. For example straightforward debt collecting is carried out by junior solicitors or legal executives under the supervision of a partner, while complex court cases or commercial transactions are handled by partners.

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Who we are
Services we provide
Japanese client legal services
How to contact us
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