7 Sep 2013

Court of Appeal finds family trust lawyer was negligent

12:12 pm on 7 September 2013

The Court of Appeal has ruled a lawyer gave negligent advice to a family trust which lost more than $90,000 in a failed finance company.

The Appleton Family Trust gave Blue Chip New Zealand the money as a deposit to build an apartment in Auckland.

The trust lost it all when Blue Chip collapsed in 2008, owing 2000 investors more than $84 million.

The court found a lawyer acting for the trust, Kevin Olivier from Tauranga Law, did not tell the trust the company building the apartment only had $100 in capital and did not own the land where the apartment was to be built.

It ruled the failure to disclose this information was negligent and Olivier is liable for the loss of the trust's deposit.

The court said he must compensate the trust, but the exact amount is yet to be decided.