Two Colliers International agents still have to pay more than $700,000 to a former client after they challenged that amount from a High Court decision last year.
Colliers commercial agents Grant Robert Lloyd and Philip James Leslie Nevill were ordered to pay former client Pangani Properties more than $800,000 last year.
They appealed that but only had the amount reduced by $60,000 in the Court of Appeal decision out this week.
The agents had an $800,000-plus penalty against them for wrongdoing by breaching their fiduciary duties for failing to keep a client fully informed about interest from New Zealand Post in a building they were selling.
The High Court ruled they must pay $650,000 as compensation for a lost sale, $100,000 for costs incurred in investigating and pursuing the matter before a Real Estate Authority Complaints Assessment Committee and $63,150 net commission to be repaid.
Pangani said the agents had failed to keep it fully informed about interest from NZ Post in a building they were selling and might have lost out on $799,000. So it sued them and Judge Rebecca Ellis last year ruled in Pangani's favour last year.
But now Justice John Wild in the Court of Appeal has reduced the damages part of their penalty from $100,000 to $38,260 after hearing the appeal on June 4 and delivering his decision this week.
The agents had been ordered to pay a former client more than $800,000 for their actions over a warehouse in Palmerston North's Malden St. Pangani retained a private investigator and got a report which it handed to the Real Estate Authority in 2014, complaining that the Colliers agents had not disclosed NZ Post's interest in the property when they became aware of it.
This week's appeal court decision said: "The appeal is allowed to the extent that the High court's award of $100,000 in damages for costs incurred by Pangani in the disciplinary proceeding before the committee is reduced to $38,260."
A statement from Colliers' Auckland office last year said it was aware of the High Court finding involving the sale of a property handled by its franchisee in Palmerston North.
"While the agents involved did not intend to disadvantage their client, they did fully accept the finding of unsatisfactory conduct made by the Real Estate Authority's Complaints Assessment Committee in 2014," Colliers said.
The client subsequently took the civil matter before the High Court. The franchisee is reviewing its options regarding this decision, the agency said last year.
"Colliers International takes its obligations and responsibilities under the Real Estate Agents Act seriously. Since the matter was raised in 2014, we have reviewed our compliance guidelines, and are confident robust procedures are in place to ensure similar matters do not occur in the future," the Colliers statement on the High Court case last year said.
FULL DECISION FOLLOWS