Perhaps the biggest property litigation in New Zealand history involved prospective investor Robt. Jones Investments defending a NZ$130 million liquidated damages claim from MacDow Properties relating to early withdrawal from a contract to purchase the Coopers & Lybrand (now ANZ) Tower in Auckland. The legal arguments focused on a fundamental requirement of the contract for certain leasing criteria to be achieved before the purchaser was obliged to acquire the building. Ipso facto if the thresholds could never have been met there was no obligation to purchase and there could be no liquidated damages claim.
In 1992 Nigel Mayson developed the first comprehensive relational database of commercial buildings and tenants for the Auckland property market which could interrogate data by various inputs such as building grade, location, tenant size, lease expiry, rental level etc. The database was an invaluable tool in modelling historical and predicted supply and demand trends and in preparing supporting evidence for this legal case.
Robt. Jones Investments