By Jock Anderson
Friday 31st May 2002
|Text too small?|
|Justice Hugh Williams|
According to a source close to the case, Justice Hugh Williams (62), a former Massey University chancellor, is a close friend of NeuronZ investor Jenny Gibbs and her former husband, Alan.
The National Business Review first revealed some of the NeuronZ shareholders on March 28, after obtaining them from publicly available Companies Office files.
After seeing Mrs Gibbs' name in NBR the judge thought about pulling out of the case but decided against it, ruling that the shareholding details published by NBR were irrelevant.
He decided yesterday not to disqualify himself from hearing the substantive intellectual property ownership case involving NeuronZ later this year but he will review his position if the issue gets difficult.
Mrs Gibbs is one of a number of prominent venture capitalists - including NeuronZ chairman Robin Congreve, Geoff Ricketts, Chris Mace, Roderick Deane, Stephen Tindall and the Todd Family - who have money in NeuronZ.
Justice Williams banned all media coverage of a related contempt of court action argued before him in Auckland High Court in March.
Before then even the names of the parties were suppressed.
At the time Justice Williams rejected a bid by NBR to report the contempt case and to have access to evidence.
Justice Williams last week found overwhelmingly in favour of NeuronZ in the contempt of court action against Lloyd and Fern Tran, fining the couple a total of $20,000 and ordering them to pay what are expected to be substantial costs.
With the exception of the censoring of what was considered sensitive scientific and intellectual material, Justice Williams released a detailed 46-page judgment on the contempt issue.
Mr Tran and his company Clinical Research Management are involved with NeuronZ in complex legal claims over intellectual property rights to chemical compounds linked to possible breakthroughs in the treatment of brain damage, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
A substantive action has yet to be heard.
No comments yet
Deposit protection reduces case for RBNZ's bank capital increases, Robertson hints
NZ dollar higher after Lowe comments viewed as less dovish
Govt to introduce deposit insurance; RBNZ keeps prudential supervision
Granular approach needed for cost-effective emissions reduction
Bank executive incentives a key focus for regulators
Appeal Court puts ANZ back in the gun over interest rate swaps
Meridian to supply Australian online retailer Kogan.com
RBNZ seen keeping rates on hold but signalling more cuts to come
RBNZ demands assurance ANZ New Zealand is operating prudently
Citic gets seat at Tourism Holdings in $80 mln capital raising