Lawyer Brian Henry returned to the high court at Auckland for the second time in two weeks defending his son, David Henry’s entities from liquidation at the 11th hour. 

Insurer AIG Insurance, ad agency Big Fish Creative, engineering firm McKay and Spanish firm Matrix Renewables now join Robt Jones Holdings as creditors seeking money from entities directed related to David Henry. 

Big Fish and AIG have a claim against NZ Future Forest Products (NZFFP). McKay and Matrix Receivables are chasing Kinleith Land Infrastructure and Robt Jones is separately pursuing Kinleith Continuation (LP). The NZ Future Forest Products and Kinleith entities are controlled or directed by the expat businessman. 

This morning the court heard that Big Fish, AIG and Matrix consented to adjournments. 

The rest of the hearing related to McKay's opposition to the delay of proceedings related to NZFFP. 

David Henry needed the delay to reach agreement with a party with name suppression. 

Appearing before associate judge Rachel Sussock, Brian Henry revealed details of the agreement involve payments in excess of $13.2 million, and will enable “all creditors to be paid off”.

Enough is enough

Representing Whangārei-based McKay, David Grindle told the court “enough is enough – it is time Kinleith had its day in court”. The debt owed has been due since July 31, 2020. 

The court heard on June 9 this year Kinleith first questioned the quality of McKay’s work. McKay said it was not completed because [Kinleith] was unable to pay McKay's invoices, Grindle said. 

Grindle opposed the adjournment on the basis no evidence from any party other than [David Henry] had been presented to the court that this agreement was actually going to be realised.

“My submission is this is an application for adjournment based on the hope that an unsigned agreement first dated in March [2021] will come to fruition. 

“If there was any likelihood the court would have expected evidence from [the party with name suppression] to provide some weight to agreement being reached … at best we have an email from the other party referencing there will be further changes before it is even signed.”

Brian Henry told the court it is “more likely than not” that parties will reach agreement.

The lawyer attempted to keep details private and out of the media, however, he disclosed to the court David Henry is facing a number of hurdles in reaching agreement, including price and reimbursement of McKay’s fees.

When pressed after court for details, Brian Henry refused to comment on the value of fees disputed. 

Associate judge Sussock adjourned the matter for four weeks to allow David Henry time to reach agreement. 

The judge said it is “not appropriate for the company to be put into liquidation right now” despite the 11th hour opposition by McKay. 

Last week the court heard how David Henry's Kinleith entered into a now-soured arrangement with his former King’s College friend, Joe Biddles, to lease fully-furnished office space in property mogul Bob Jones’s SAP tower, which allowed Biddles’ law firm Thompson Blackie Biddles (TBB) to relocate to PwC tower.

According to Brian Henry, David Henry and Biddles intended on doing business together, but the relationship “reached a point where TBB’s own reputation was at risk” following Biddles going to “great lengths” to introduce David Henry to his networks. 

This article has been updated to correct that the adjournments related to more than one entity.