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Geoff Saunders
03 377 4471
021 228 7600

Geoff Saunders

LLB
Partner
Geoff has extensive expertise in commercial and private client matters. He is a leading New Zealand sports lawyer having advised various national sporting bodies throughout his career.

Geoff graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1976 and worked for his family firm, Saunders & Co, which was established by his grandfather in 1923.  He was a partner there for 19 years, specialising in commercial and property law.  Seeking a change of direction, Geoff set up his own practice in July 1998.

In November 2001 Lee Robinson joined him to form Saunders Robinson Brown.  Geoff specialises in commercial law, trusts, succession and sports law.  He has advised various financial institutions, including a major New Zealand bank, and acts for several major commercial entities. Geoff has a strong focus on and interest in private client matters, including assisting families with succession planning, whether it be a business, farm or private assets.

Geoff has a strong interest in sports law, particularly in relation to golf.  He captained Canterbury and represented New Zealand at under-21 level.  He was the last New Zealand golfer to win the Bledisloe and Jellicoe Cups in the same year at the New Zealand Open.  He has played a significant role in the New Zealand golfing community, including being a director of New Zealand Golf and instigating the relocation of the New Zealand Golf Open to The Hills Golf Course in 2007.  The 2007 Open went on to become one of the most financially successful New Zealand Opens.

Geoff has an active involvement in many not-for-profit organisations, including private schools and various charitable trusts.

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Some of Geoff's recent work includes:

  • Overseeing complex residential and commercial insurance claims and assisting our Insurance Law Team
  • Advising numerous clients in respect of commercial property projects in Christchurch's CBD, including compulsory acquisitions of land by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) for the redevelopment of Christchurch's CBD
  • Advising in respect of the development of various resort and club golf courses
  • Acting for the operating entity of a major New Zealand sports stadium for in excess of 30 years
  • Advising clients on high value farming and business succession issues
  • Named as a leading expert in the field of "Sports and Entertainment" by Who's Who Legal in 2013
  • Past director of New Zealand Golf
  • Previous Chairman of the the Michael Hill New Zealand Open (golf)
  • Previous Chairman of the New Zealand Women's Open (golf)
  • Life Member of the Canterbury Golf Association
  • Honorary solicitor for the New Zealand Royal Life Saving Society