An Auckland architect has been accused of stealing trade secrets. Sam Hurley reports from the trial in the Auckland District Court.

Alarm bells sounded for a Kiwi architecture firm when it discovered one of its departing senior employees downloading thousands of intellectual property files on to a memory stick, a court has heard.

Michael Christopher Davies, 46, is accused of the rare crime of stealing trade secrets from his former employer Context Architects as he left for another firm.

He allegedly took the Context Architects' annual business plan, project files, pricing models which included agreements with Housing New Zealand (HNZ), its ArchiCAD computer drawing template, and project plans for school developments.

The English-born architect faces nine charges of stealing trade secrets