Sally Ridge loses bid for Adam Parore's business
Four years after a messy breakup, Auckland socialite Sally Ridge has failed in her bid for half of ex-partner Adam Parore's business.
The dispute over Small Business Accounting (SBA) - the company the former Black Cap has run since 2008 - reached the High Court in Auckland in September. After a protracted hearing, Justice Murray Gilbert released a relatively short ruling this week.
"Ms Ridge's claim fails at the first hurdle," he said.
With the way the ownership of the business was structured, there was never any intention that Ridge would be entitled to half of it, which was "fatal to the plaintiffs' claim".
The couple met in 2001 and originally 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.' I don't get them, don't understand them, never have and I most probably never will," Ridge said.
"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.
Ridge and Parore's relationship soured in 2010 and the pair split.
"The parties were not able to reach agreement on how the assets of the two trusts should be dealt with, each claiming that the other had received more than they were entitled to," Justice Gilbert summarised.
The frostiness between the two was clear in the courtroom as they sat as far from each other as possible and did not communicate.
That was reinforced as the court heard Parore appeared in Ridge's email address book as "Adam Parore a.......".