Boxes botch-up costs Hubbard managers $37,500

Grant Thornton has been ordered to pay Allan Hubbard's widow $37,500 for delaying a High Court hearing.

Aorangi Securities statutory managers Richard Simpson, Trevor Thornton and Graeme McGlinn, of Grant Thornton, are locked in a legal battle with 83-year-old Jean Hubbard – the widow of deceased Timaru financier Allan Hubbard – over the ownership of about $60 million of assets.

The hearing scheduled for October was adjourned within two weeks of the start date because the statutory managers rediscovered 72 boxes of documents "and some ring binders", which they had initially uplifted in mid-2010.

Mrs Hubbard, who is executrix and trustee of her late husband's estate, originally asked for $177,000 in costs.

In his November 7 minute, given to NBR ONLINE today, Justice Lester Chisholm says the adjournment should not have occurred and it does not reflect well on the statutory managers.

"Obviously, the statutory managers should have realised that relevant documents were held by them long before this actually dawned on them, and their conduct could be categorised as careless."

However, the judge says the management is extremely difficult and involves a huge number of documents.

The hearing will now be held in May.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

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