Lion Man Craig Busch has been ordered to pay Whangarei lawyer Wayne Peters more than $90,000 for legal work carried out in 2008.
In a judgment released by Judge John McDonald after a hearing in August, Mr Busch - who shot to international fame as star of the TV programme The Lion Man - was ordered to pay Mr Peters $86,351.47 for the legal work carried out when Mr Busch was in a dispute with his mother Patricia Busch. Mr Busch was also ordered to pay interest on that amount at 5 per cent from May 20, 2009; and costs and disbursements of $3617.28.
Mr Peters carried out the legal work after Mrs Busch sacked her son from the lion park in Kamo. The case has dragged on for so long because Mr Peters was unable to serve the legal papers on Mr Busch, who had been out of the country for much of the time, and Mr Busch did not defend the claim before the court.
Mr Busch engaged Wayne Peters and Associates for a variety of legal services for 7 months in August 2008.
Mr Busch was billed $86,351.47 and when he failed to pay, Mr Peters filed an application for summary judgment in October 2009.
Summary judgment is issued where there is no real contest on any debt that is claimed.
Since attempts to serve legal documents on Mr Busch failed, Mr Peters sought an order in May 2010 that the Lion Man's lawyers be served, and the order was granted.
No statement of defence was filed by Mr Busch, and Mr Peters applied for an order for summary judgment on his claim.
Judge McDonald granted the claim, finding that the legal costs sought were properly charged.
In his decision, Judge McDonald said Mr Peters' claim is "for properly tendered legal services. Such services and the cost of them having been reviewed by the Law Society, they were found to be proper."