An Auckland architect has been charged with stealing trade secrets and intellectual property from a firm by allegedly hacking in to its computer system.

Michael Christopher Davies, 45, appeared in the Auckland District Court today to face five charges.

He faces four counts of accessing Context Architects' server and obtaining files relating to the firm's ArchiCAD template, a computer software.

Davies is also accused of taking a model from the firm and a template which contained a trade secret.


The alleged offending is said to have occurred from January to March this year, court documents read.

Davies told the Herald: "There had been some allegations made, I refute them, and will defend them in a court of law."

The English-born architect also confirmed he worked for the Takapuna-based company Design Partners.

The firm's website describes the Ponsonby man as being a principal of Design Partners with more than 20 years' experience in architecture.

He is said to have extensive experience across "all sectors of architecture including residential [masterplanning, passive tropical housing, luxury high end houses], commercial, hospitality, civic and naval architecture".

"He has extensive experience with high-density and mixed-use developments."

Davies also studied and worked as a technician before becoming an architect, the website reads.

Context Architects said in a statement that Davies was a former member of its staff and accused him of intellectual property theft.


"Despite a robust digital security system, the former staff member was in a senior position where he was able to access our files," the company said.

Context Architects said it had been working with the police's Financial Crimes Group.

Davies will next appear in court on February 14.