Hart edges closer to bankruptcy

By Hana Garrett-Walker

High profile lawyer Barry Hart. File photo / Janna Dixon
High profile lawyer Barry Hart. File photo / Janna Dixon

Embattled criminal lawyer Barry Hart is now facing bankruptcy and is being forced from of his last property following a failed bid for damages from ANZ.

The ANZ Bank has sold all but one of the struck-off lawyer's rural properties in Waimauku, 25km north of downtown Auckland, to pay-off Hart's $30 million debt.

Lawyers for the bank argued in the High Court at Auckland last month for a court order to force Hart and any livestock off his last property.

But Hart argued that the bank mishandled the sale of the properties, and sought damages for this through the High Court.

In a decision handed down this week, Associate Judge David Abbott ruled that Hart did not have an arguable case for his claim.

Hart argued to have a bankruptcy notice issued by ANZ set aside on the grounds that his claims exceeded the bankruptcy sum.

But Associate Judge Abbott ruled that Hart's application to have it set aside could not succeed.

He found that ANZ did not mishandle the sale of Hart's properties.

Therefore, ANZ was entitled to the vacant possession of Hart's remaining home, which had to be provided to the bank within 10 working days after the notice had been issued on Hart.

Associate Judge Abbott also ruled that Hart was liable for the $20,543,951.92 which remained outstanding on his bank loan, and he must pay it back at a rate of five per cent per annum.

His companies Woodhill Stud and Woodhill Holdings were also liable for loans worth $16,170,727.11, which must also be paid back at a rate of five per cent per annum.

Hart did not immediately return calls for comment.

Hart's 46-year career in criminal law ended last month when the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal found him guilty of three charges of misconduct, and struck him off.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 22 Sep 2014 12:51:45 Processing Time: 523ms