09 352 2040
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bret@gustafson.co.nz

Professionals breach of duty

 

Introduction


I have been involved in a number of cases involving claims of  breach of duty by a professional and some of these are set out below. These have involved allegations of negligent misstatement, misleading conduct and breach of fiduciary duty. Often these instructions involve financial transactions causing loss to a lender and then an action against valuers or solicitors involved in the transactions. 

 

Generally I sue, or act for,  valuers, accountants and lawyers.  

 

I have also sued accountants and lawyers to recover fees that the Court deemed to be voidable or insolvent transactions when the company paying those fees subsequently was placed into liquidation.

 

I have also challenged fees charged by accountants in relation to receiverships

 

It is not unusual for defendants to settle these  potential actions on the basis of strict confidentiality- this obviously limits the cases I can describe below.

 

One of the largest instructions I received was to represent and assist David Williams QC and Howard Keyte QC   for KPMG in the Winebox Royal Commission. This took over 18 months to resolve and I appeared in the Cook Islands High Court, the New Zealand Court of Appeal and obviously the Commission representing KPMG during this time.  Ultimately KPMG's behaviour was not impeached by the Commission.

 

Cases involving Professionals

 

Eagle v Petterson CIV 2011-404- 7387, 16 December 2011, HeathJ
The question for determination was what amounts could a Receiver legitimately deduct from the proceeds of accounts receivable and inventory before remitting the proceeds to the preferential creditors. Acting for David Petterson, the liquidator of a group of companies known as the Hurlstone Group we were able successfully reduce the categories of costs the Receivers wished to deduct from these proceed.
 
The Oaks Law Centre Solicitors Nominee Company Limited  v Quotable Value Limited- settled 2010
 
This was an action by my client  the Nominee Company suing the valuer in relation to valuations of several properties used as security  by a now liquidated group of companies to borrow a multi million dollar loan from the Nominee Company. Upon default the properties were realised by the Nominee company at significantly less than the amounts contained in the valuations. The proceedings were issued in 2008 and settled in later part of 2010.
 
Angas Securities Limited v Quotable Value Limited- settled 2010
This was an action by Angas Securities Limited against Quotable Value Limited issued in early 2010 alleging breach of duty in undervaluing a property that Angas used as security for a multimillion dollar loan that case settled in late 2010.

Denholm v Mosby (1996) ANZ ConvR 423; (1996) 3 NZ ConvC 192,309 (CA)

Court of Appeal hearing of  solicitors’ negligence case that I successful;ly won in the High Court but subsequently lost in the Court ofd Appeal


Agio Trustees Company Ltd v Harts Contributory Mortgages Nominee Company Ltd

This case alleged that my clients' real estate agency had been negligent in marketing the property and required my client to defend the actions of the agent, which I was able to substantially achieve

KPMG Peat Marwick v Davison [1996] 2 NZLR 319
Case regarding royal commissions ability to compel witness to testify and to produce documents from a foreign jurisdiction.