News & Thinking

Anthony Harper wins Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year

Contributed by:

Adeline O’Connor
Business Development

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Adeline O’Connor

Anthony Harper was named winner of Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year at the 2023 NZ Law Awards, for the liquidation of CBL Insurance Limited.

The firm acted for liquidators, McGrathNicol, in a claim against the directors and advisors of the company in respect of losses claimed at no less than $320 million.

Led by Dan Hughes, Lynne Van and Joey James, the complex litigation and overlap of criminal, regulatory and civil jurisdictions saw 18 King’s Counsel and barristers and at least 12 other law firms instructed in the matter.

The collapse of the CBL Group (with trading arms across the world) has been widely publicised with an estimated loss of NZ$747 million arising because of the collapse of parent company, CBL Corporation.

Of significant public interest, the collapse of CBL in New Zealand is the first time shareholders and creditors have been left significantly out of pocket. It has also led to an inquiry into the regulatory processes in respect of insurers in the market.

During the litigation, Anthony Harper worked alongside McGrath Nicol to employ Technology Assisted Review (TAR) to expedite the process of discovery. Still in its infancy in New Zealand, the use of TAR greatly reduced the time and cost of discovery for the client, improving efficiency in process.

When presenting the award to Anthony Harper, comments from judges included: “Complex and high value case; First choice for many reasons, including the complexity added due to multi party proceedings involving criminal, regulatory and civil issues as well as innovative use of TAR.; Multi-jurisdictional, multi-party and numerous legal representatives – a complex transaction and settlement, worthy of this award.”