Ex-wife takes $8m restraint of trade fight to top court

A husband and wife battle over an $8 million restraint of trade payout has made its way to this nation’s top court.

In a brief Supreme Court judgment released today, Chief Justice Sian Elias, Justice Susan Glazebrook and Justice Terence Arnold granted leave for Christine Thompson to appeal a case against her former husband. (see the judgment attached)

Following their break-up Nutra-Life Care and Fitness owners Christine and Michael Thompson had agreed on division of most of their assets, including $36 million each for the sale of their business.

However, the former flames – who have five adult children – have been through the courts battling over the $8 million restraint of trade payment given to Mr Thompson upon the sale of the supplements company.

The top court will decide whether the Court of Appeal was right to find the money given for the restraint of trade was not relationship property.

The Court of Appeal decision reinstated an earlier decision of the Family Court in favour of Mr Thompson.

Mr Thompson bought Nutra-Life Health and Fitness, started by two young Australian body builders turned businessmen, in 1984.

He established it as a New Zealand-based company and under his direction it started exporting its sports nutrition products internationally.

An associated company later bought the Kordel’s brand of vitamins and supplements.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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