Queenstown developer fends off liquidator

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Queenstown developer Chris James has won his latest court battle with the liquidator of James Developments. 

Liquidator Grant Reynolds lost a High Court bid last week for a “pre-judgment charging order” over Jack’s Point land owned by a trust of which James is a beneficiary. 

The New Zealand Herald reported earlier this week that the James trust bought the 8925sq m Jack’s Point block to build “a very substantial home”. 

Reynolds sought the charging order – a form of security – ahead of a court verdict on whether $740,000 advanced by James Developments to the trust should be recovered for company creditors. 

Justice Rachel Dunningham said the $740,000 was allegedly “re-documented” as a $500,000 advance from James personally and a $240,000 advance from another James company. 

While Reynolds has a “strongly arguable” claim to retrieve the $740,000, the judge said, the tests for a charging order weren’t met. 

The judge also noted Reynolds has a caveat on the Jack’s Point property and saw no need for a charging order, especially with the full case scheduled to be going to court soon. 

This was the latest in a legal battle between James and Mana Property Trustee after James Developments failed to settle on a disputed $5m purchase of Cromwell land in 2008. 

James declined to comment this week.