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High Court guidance on the penalty doctrine - the Honey Bees case

The recent Honey Bees case provides clarity on the way that penalties are being interpreted by the New Zealand courts.

  • Overview of Honey Bees Preschool Limited v 127 Hobson Street Limited
  • How are the New Zealand courts deciding whether a clause is really a penalty?
  • How does the court determine the bargaining power of the parties?
  • Lessons for the drafting of enforceable clauses: deterrence versus punishment
  • Comparing the likely loss and the stipulated sum of damages clause
  • What constitutes a legitimate interest which a payment obligation on breach is seeking to protect?
  • What does a proportionate sum look like?


Networking Lunch


Contracting interpretation by the courts - what evidence will be considered?

What material relating to contractual terms and meaning can be admitted as evidence to help courts to interpret contracts?     

  • Parol and oral evidence of the parties' negotiations
  • Post-contractual dealings or other evidence relating to the parties’ subjective interpretation
  • Lessons from the courts – trends in admission of evidence  

Chris Browne, Partner, Wilson Harle


Panel: Risks and opportunities of blockchain and smart contracts

Blockchain is still a work in progress from a legal and operational perspective.  This thought-provoking panel will discuss the enforceability and risks of smart contracts.

  • Know your customer checks and blockchain: complying with anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws
  • What are the risks of blockchain repeating and compounding errors or fraud?
  • Does blockchain have mechanisms to detect infiltrators?
  • How powerful is private key cryptography as an ownership tool?
  • How easy is it to detect and modify errors in blockchain?
  • Problems with legal enforceability with a “permissionless” distributed ledger
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms relating to distributed ledger technology 

Partner, Russell McVeagh

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P: +61 2 8437 4722

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