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Winning wool grower lawyer hit for costs after sacking

In the latest twist in the long running saga between a bunch of superfine wool producers and the former Wool Board, Nelson-based lawyer Sue Grey has been hit with a $13,500 bill. Ms Grey represents Saxmere Company, the wool producer that took on the Wool

Liam Baldwin
Thu, 07 Jan 2010

In the latest twist in the long running saga between a bunch of superfine wool producers and the former Wool Board, Nelson-based lawyer Sue Grey has been hit with a $13,500 bill.

Ms Grey represents Saxmere Company, the wool producer that took on the Wool Board Disestablishment Company (DisCo) over a levy wrangle.

She was running the Saxmere case in a private capacity at the time she was employed by the Department of Conservation, a situation that was sanctioned by her supervisor at the time.

However, at one point she named the attorney-general as a respondent in the wool grower proceedings and was sacked as a result. A unresolved conflict was cited as the reason because she was employed as a DoC lawyer while also issuing proceedings naming the attorney-general.

It was determined she could not name a government representative in proceedings while also working for a government department.

Last year the Employment Relations Authority determined that DoC was justified in the sacking and the department sought to recover the more than $80,000 in legal fees.

In its decision released this week, the authority determined that Ms Grey must pay $13,500 as a contribution towards the costs.

Ms Grey was appealing the ERA decision. An Employment Court hearing has been scheduled in Nelson on May 18.

Late last year, Ms Grey was victorious in the Supreme Court representing Saxmere’s owner Peter Radford against DisCo.

The Supreme Court overturned its own decision in a rare case involving a judicial conflict of interest.

Liam Baldwin
Thu, 07 Jan 2010
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Winning wool grower lawyer hit for costs after sacking
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