Lawyers representing the Mainzeal liquidators are seeking over $58 million from the failed construction company’s directors, including former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.
The Supreme Court is hearing an appeal against the company’s former directors, who include Richard Yan, Peter Gomm and Clive Tilby as well as Dame Jenny Shipley. The three day hearing is due to determine whether the directors must pay a total of $38.3m in damages and costs to the company’s liquidators, which the liquidators reject and claim the extra $20 million.
>> See the latest law jobs on LawFuel’s job network here
The directors were found liable in a decision in the High Court in 2019, which ruled that they had traded recklessly, facing the order for $36 million in damages and $2.3 million in costs, of which Dame Jenny’s maximum exposure was $6 million in damages.
The Court of Appeal found in favour of the liquidators in March 2021.
The appeals to the Supreme Court were made by both the directors and the Mainzeal liquidators, whose barrister, Zane Kennedy, argued that Dame Jenny should be paying more than her fellow directors.
Jack Hodder QC represents Shipley, Gomm and Tilby who has argued that the directors were attempting to save the company and had acted rationally in doing so. The benefit of hindsight should not be something that is used to now impose the penalties sought by the liquidators, he argued.
He had earlier said that the initial court ruling was the ‘stuff of nightmares’.
The case continues.