Sally Ridge loses another court battle

FAILED LEGAL BID: Socialite Sally Ridge must pay costs after her failed court battle for half of ex-partner Adam Parore's business.
FAILED LEGAL BID: Socialite Sally Ridge must pay costs after her failed court battle for half of ex-partner Adam Parore's business.

Auckland socialite Sally Ridge has lost in the latest of her High Court battles - this time over $6000 court costs.

In April, she was ordered to pay more than $100,000 in costs after her failed court bid to gain half of ex-partner Adam Parore's business.

The dispute over Small Business Accounting (SBA) - the company the former Black Caps wicketkeeper has run since 2008 - reached the High Court in Auckland in September but Justice Murray Gilbert said "Ms Ridge's claim fails at the first hurdle".

When Ridge disputed the decision, Gilbert repeated his view that Ridge's case was "hopeless", "lacked merit" and was "always doomed to fail".

A decision released today showed that on June 12 Ridge attempted to have the cost of the civil hearing - $5880 - waived because she could not afford to pay it.

Parore's lawyers pointed out, rightly according to Justice John Wild, that there was no evidence provided to the court that Ridge was broke.

"I decline to extend time for the giving of security for costs," he judge said.

"If there was or is any genuine intention to borrow the funds to give security, or any real prospect of borrowing them, I consider that could and should have been done long before now."

Ridge said she was in the dark over the latest developments.

"I don't know anything about it," she said.

"That's what you get a really good lawyer for, right?"

When asked whether it marked the end of the court battle, Ridge was sceptical.

"I doubt it."

During the original hearing last year, evidence was given that Ridge and Parore met in 2001 and initially kept their assets separate in two trusts but, after their engagement in 2003, there were a series of agreements combining their financial interests.

Four years later, Ridge and Parore began a multimillion-dollar construction project in Ponsonby, to create a lavish family home.

But the work went over budget, meaning more financial manoeuvring between the trusts.

Family assets were transferred to the Ridge Trust, while business assets fell under the Parore Trust.

Throughout the High Court hearing, Ridge claimed she did not understand how the arrangement worked.

"You could explain them to me and I used to say this to Adam a million times, 'My brain doesn't compute trusts'," she said.

"I don't get them, don't understand them, never have and I most probably never will.

"Call me thick, I don't mind, but I do not understand the ins and outs of a trust full stop, I just don't."

However, Justice Gilbert described her as an "intelligent and capable woman", who understood how the pair's finances would be divided.

It was clear SBA was owned by Parore and therefore Ridge was not entitled to it, the judge ruled.

The relationship between Ridge and Parore soured in 2010 and the pair split.