James Wells Partnership v My Box NZ Limited [2018] NZDC 25694

Published 17 April 2019

Summary Judgment — jointly and severally liable — estoppel — Sky Network Television Ltd v My Box NZ Ltd [2018] NZHC 2768 — Krukziener v Hanover Finance Ltd (2008) NZCA 187 — Property Law Act 2007, s 27. The plaintiff sought summary judgment against the second defendant, having already had summary judgment granted against the first and third defendants previously, for outstanding legal fees of $60,276.14, together with interest and costs. The second defendant also applied for summary judgment against the plaintiff. The second defendant was the sole director and shareholder of My Box, a company dealing with the importation and selling of digital media devices in New Zealand. The plaintiff represented My Box and the company's managing director in High Court proceedings brought by Sky Network Television for breaches of the Fair Trading Act. The plaintiff submitted that the second defendant was jointly and severally liable for the costs or alternatively that the second defendant was estopped from denying liability based on representations made to the plaintiff. The Judge held that the evidence provided by the plaintiff did not establish that the second defendant was taking on liability for the legal costs for a case in which she was not a party. The Judge found that the evidence adduced to suggest estoppel was also untenable and, therefore, summary judgment for the plaintiff was denied. The Judge did, however, award summary judgment to the second defendant, as none of the plaintiff's causes of action in their statement of claim could possibly succeed. Costs were awarded to the second defendant on a 2B basis, provided counsel wished to seek a different basis. Judgment Date: 11 December 2018.