My Services

Expert lawyer in family law, wills and estates, property law, Māori Land Law

My vision is to resolve legal disputes and achieve goals while communicating using constructive language. When disputes arise, I work alongside you providing information and advice so you can consider whether to pursue negotiation, collaboration, mediation or litigation.

This means constructive achievement of your goals while keeping costs reasonable. ​

My Family Law services cover significant specialist areas, including;

  • Care of Children. This includes appointments by the Court as the lawyer to represent children and lawyer to assist the court.
  • Relationship Property - Representing parties who have separated and require a senior experienced lawyer to achieve a fair division of property
  • Elder Law/Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act - representing those seeking orders of the court to manage the affairs of those who can no longer manage themselves. Also occupation rights around retirement villages.
  • Trust and Estate litigation - I have represented parties in the Family Court and the High Court where difficult and complex issues arise
  • Family protection claims and trust disputes.


My wills and estates services cover:

  • Wills - establishing a will after taking advice on your family’s options and interests and any updates we can expect. Early in my career I worked as a solicitor for the Public Trust for 10 years, so I have a detailed knowledge of the law regarding wills and estates and the potential legal challenges that arise this area of practice
  • Estate administration, liaising with trustee and beneficiaries regarding an estate and helping organise wills, obtaining probate, and completing the distribution of an estate
  • Trust and asset planning. I help with establishing family trusts and assist with the transfer of assets and setting up ongoing administration of the trust.


Elder Law

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney - advice and preparation of property and personal welfare powers of attorney
  • Advising you of the legal consequences when you or a loved one is incapacitated by age, injury or sickness. I am able to prepare court applications and obtain orders for property management and Welfare guardianship where needed
  • Advising on Residential Care for elders.


Property law

I’m here to help when you require

  • Domestic conveyancing of a property
  • Subdivision of a property
  • Loan agreements and mortgage documentation
  • Refinancing documentation
  • Advice on terms of sale and transfer of title with a property.


Māori Land Law

I regularly appear before the Māori Land Court in Whangarei and Northland and provide advice on a broad range of matters relating to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. 

I am appointed from time to time by the court to advise and represent those appearing before the court.

My clients include individuals, whānau, hapu and trustees who require help with:

  • Appearing before the Māori Land Court
  • Succession to land interests
  • Occupation Orders
  • Management of Ahu Whenua, Whānau and other statutory trusts
  • Freehold land
  • Incorporations


My credentials include my membership of:

David Shanahan Lawyer