Supreme Court relief for Blue Chip victims
Victims of the Blue Chip collapse have finally had their day in court, with the Supreme Court making a ruling in their favour.
After months of waiting, the highest court in the land has come back with its decision in a case Blue Chip investors took against the developers of apartment buildings they invested in.
As a result the investors will get their deposits back, and are relieved of obligations to settle on apartments they never intended to own.
The 250 investors put their money into convoluted products marketed by the Blue Chip property investment group, founded by Mark Bryers.
It involved them signing sale and purchase agreements on units in three yet-to-be built Auckland apartment buildings. But it was never the intention that they would actually end up purchasing the properties.
However, when Blue Chip collapsed in February 2008 the investors were left holding the unwanted sale and purchase documents. The developers of the apartment buildings then tried to enforce the agreements.
Led by barrister Paul Dale, the investors' case unsuccessfully went to the High Court and then the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court has now thrown out the lower courts' rulings, in a decision Dale described as "robust".
"It's really a great statement for consumer legislation. They've really applied the [Securities] Act in a commonsense way."
He was very pleased with the outcome but conceded it had come too late for some investors who had already lost their homes over the soured investment.