Manchester Securities Limited v Auckland Council (WHT)
This was a legally complex leaky building claim concerning two penthouse apartments.
The claimant sued the council for $2.49m on the basis of an assignment from the vendor (with knowledge of defects) or in the alternative a claim in its own right.
We defended the claim on the basis that the assignment was invalid and that any direct claim made by the claimant had to be reduced for contributory negligence (given its knowledge of defects and its failure to act reasonably). We also made various quantum arguments to reduce the value of the claim.
We were successful in that the WHT determined that:
A) The assignment failed;
B) In respect of Manchester’s own claim, there was a 50% deduction for contributory negligence; and
C) The quantum of the claim should be reduced by approximately $450k.
The net result of the case was that the quantum of the claim was reduced by nearly 60%.