Sarah Churstain, Partner

Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in July 2008, Sarah joined Ford Sumner in March 2009 having, in the interim, completed a first class honours degree in management studies with a major in finance.

Since 2009, Sarah has practiced in Accident Compensation Corporation dispute resolution, commercial litigation, corporate, commercial, property, compliance, intellectual property and related areas.

Sarah’s areas of expertise include:
  • Accident Compensation and related insurance matters
  • Corporate and commercial law, company law, contracting, governance, administrative process, lending & finance
  • Business and corporate restructuring, including mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures
  • Commercial property
  • Commercial relationships, resolution of commercial disputes
  • Intellectual property
  • Franchises
Examples of work include:
  • Representing the Accident Compensation Corporation in Independent Reviews, District Court and High Court matters.
  • Representing a number of corporate clients in resolving significant disputes, a wide range of foray including mediation, District Court, Family Court, High Court and Court of Appeal matters.
  • Advising both public and private entities on all aspects of corporate, commercial, and property matters, including entities within the professional business, retail, hospitality, information technology, construction, manufacturing, education, equipment hire, and broadcast radio industries.  
  • Advising on numerous large (and small) mergers and acquisitions, including corporate restructurings, acquisitions, and disposal.  
  • Advice regarding commercial property matters, including extensive advice on commercial leasing, acquisition, construction, finance, security arrangements, and complicated property law matters.  This includes advice to Crown Owned Entities, landlord, tenants, and sub-tenants.
  • Advising liquidators appointed by shareholders and the High Court on their rights, obligations and powers in respect of companies in liquidation.
  • Extensive advice regarding corporate governance and administrative process matters, including compliance and regulation.
  • Extensive advice regarding lending and finance matters, acting for individuals to large entities.
  • Advising clients regarding franchise agreements.
  • Experience with a range of intellectual property matters, including applying for trade marks, and defending intellectual property rights.
Sarah is also an active member of the New Zealand Credit and Finance Institute, NZ Law Society Property Section, and NZ Property Council Woman in Property.

Outside work, Sarah enjoys travelling, breaks back to the family farm, and has an interest in property development.