Mr Kidd issued proceedings in the High Court alleging that Mr van Heeren had misappropriated funds from an equal partnership the two had operated out of South Africa, which had included New Zealand's iconic Huka Lodge. Mr Kidd claimed that Mr van Heeren had purchased assets in New Zealand with those funds and accordingly, Mr Kidd sought the taking of accounts.
Following a defended hearing the High Court issued orders for an account to be taken to determine the amount due to Mr Kidd. The orders also provided a framework for how the accounts were to be taken including that Mr van Heeren was required to complete a list of all assets of the partnership and, if any assets had been disposed they were to be listed with details of who had control of the assets and their current estimated value. Mr van Heeren was also ordered to pay $25m into the High Court, a measure described by the Court of Appeal as designed to secure Mr van Heeren's performance of the primary remedy of taking of accounts.
Mr van Heeren filed an appeal against the High Court's judgment, including the orders and applied for a stay pending determination of his substantive appeal. In support of his application for a stay Mr van Heeren asserted that he no longer owned or had possession of the assets allegedly acquired by the misuse of partnership funds in New Zealand. Rather, he said he had transferred ownership of the relevant assets to the trustees of two trusts based in Liechtenstein. Mr van Heeren also claimed that he did not have assets available to satisfy the order for payment into Court of the $25m.
The Court of Appeal found that Mr Kidd was entitled to the benefits of a favourable judgment, even if its terms were largely unprecedented in New Zealand.
See Court decision here.