Building Capability: Partners, Partnering and Partnerships

The Business of Design D.Cast is a discussion about running a design business or design in a business.

We’re looking at a range of subjects but covering a single theme for each episode. We’re looking for insights, experience and anecdotes to share with the audience and we’ve prepared the questions below as thought/discussion starters.

However, it’s less an interview and more a discussion. 

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Partners, Partnering and Partnerships 

This D.Cast is a discussion about Partners, Partnering and Partnerships.

Design businesses are often started by friends and on a handshake. As they grow and deal with different partners, suppliers and clients, the need for contracts and legal structures grow. Whether it’s shareholders, banks or clients there’s a minefield of issues.

On this D.Cast we’ve got DINZ’s own legal advisor here to discuss this and share his experience.

Concepts Explored:
- Legal Structures
- Contracts, Constitutions & Shareholder                          Agreements
- Shareholders & Directors
- Finance
- Intellectual property

Questions:
Everyone in business has good and bad stories about getting into legal issues. Have you got any war stories you're willing to share?

And on that note, what’s the best legal advice you’ve received?

What kinds of business structures have you used? Limited Liability, Partnerships, Handshakes?

From our experience, the moment we got serious was when we had to sign a personal guarantee. What have been your moments when you’ve realised that this is something to take seriously?

Can you give us a bit of an overview of the key business documents. Heads of Agreements. Contracts. Shareholder Agreements. Constitutions. Am I missing any?

What’s the common issues you see with practitioners starting businesses from a legal perspective?

If there’s one piece of advice you could give someone starting up in partnership what would it be?

It’s a big subject but how do you protect your intellectual property? From clients, staff and competitors?

Introducing our Panelist:

James Carnie HonDINZ, Clendons Barristers and Solicitors
James is principal at Clendons Lawyers, a Commercial and Intellectual Property law firm based in Auckland City. James has been practising for 25 years, and for many years has been the honorary solicitor for the Designers Institute. James has provided legal advice to many Designers Institute members over the years.

As part of Clendons’ long-standing sponsorship of the Designers Institute, James frequently provides free consultations to DINZ members on legal issues. In addition to advising on visual arts and intellectual property matters, Clendons provides legal and strategic advice to DINZ members on a variety of commercial issues including joint venture and project collaborations, contracts and terms of trade, project disputes, employment law, and trade practices.

A series brought to you by Gideon Keith PDINZ, Seven, DINZ board member (left) and Ryan Ward PDINZ, Archant, DINZ board member (right)

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.