GRANT ADAMS V THE QUEEN

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb024842
Published date01 February 1995
Date01 February 1995
Pages191-199
AuthorLORD TEMPLEMAN,LORD JAUNCEY OF TULICHETTLE,LORD BROWNE‐WILKINSON,LORD WOOLF,LORD LLOYD OF BERWICK,Joanna Gray
Subject MatterAccounting & finance
GRANT ADAMS V
THE
QUEEN
PRIVY
COUNCIL APPEAL NO. 36 OF 1994 (LORD TEMPLEMAN, LORD
JAUNCEY
OF TULICHETTLE, LORD BROWNE-WILKINSON, LORD WOOLF,
LORD
LLOYD OF BERWICK) FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL OF NEW ZEALAND
Judgment delivered by Lord Jauncey: 31st October, 1994
Reported at: Times Law
Reports,
4th November, 1994
THE FACTS
This appeal to the Judicial Commit-
tee of the Privy Council (JCPC),
which is still the highest court of
appeal for certain Commonwealth
jurisdictions, concerned conduct
associated with the Equiticorp group
of companies. Equiticorp Holdings
Ltd (EHL), the holding company in
the group, was formed in March
1984 and went public in June 1984.
Its accounts, as at 31st March, 1987,
showed total assets of $2.167bn and
a group net profit after tax of
$104.9m. On 22nd January, 1989, the
whole group was placed into statu-
tory receivership and the shares in
EHL became worthless. The chair-
man of the Board of EHL and
managing director, a Mr Hawkins,
along with companies associated
with him, controlled 40 per cent of
EHL shares throughout the whole
saga.
Grant Adams, the appellant in
this case was, throughout the period
deputy chairman of EHL and either
chairman or director of other group
companies. Along with four other
men (who all held executive posi-
tions within the group and had also
been tried on two of the same crimi-
nal charges as the appellant), these
two formed 'the investment team' of
the EHL group whose responsibili-
ties included major investment pro-
jects for the group. In addition to
these six there were also three
executive directors and three non-
executive directors who are referred
to throughout the litigation as 'the
independent directors' since they
were not party to any of the alleged
misconduct.
The facts which give rise to the
191

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