Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

PwC fails to halt liquidator's lawsuit

David Henderson. Photo / David Alexander
David Henderson. Photo / David Alexander

Accounting giant PwC has lost a second attempt to halt a lawsuit brought against it by the liquidator of a collapsed property development company.

Property Ventures, directed by now-bankrupt Christchurch businessman David Henderson, was the parent of a group of companies that failed after the global financial crisis and left a large Queenstown project unfinished.

Property Ventures' liquidator Robert Walker has launched High Court action against the company's directors - including Henderson, Queen's Counsel Austin Forbes, Adolf de Roos, Gordon Hansen, Alister Johnston - as well as PwC, which was the group's auditors.

Walker alleges that if PwC had done its work properly, the group's insolvency would have become apparent much sooner than it did and would have avoided trading losses said to amount to $320 million.

The action is being paid for by SPF No 10, a company tied to litigation funder LPF Group, whose directors include former Shareholders' Association boss Bruce Sheppard, former Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson and Phillip Newland.

PwC, last year, applied to stay the proceedings arguing the funding arrangement in the case was an abuse of process.

When Justice Brendan Brown refused to halt the case, PwC took the matter to the Court of Appeal.

The appellate court, however, turned down PwC's challenge in a decision delivered this morning.

- NZ Herald

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