Contribution is available to a defendant from another liable for the same damage alone, without any requirement that liability arises from some obligation had in common with the defendant.
Background: judgments below require ‘coordinate liability’
In Hotchin v The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited  NZSC 24, Mr Hotchin had sought NZGT’s contribution to any liability he may have under compensation claims brought by the FMA against him as a director of the Hanover Group. Section 17(1)(c) of the Law Reform Act 1936 permits one tortfeasor to obtain a contribution to its liability from another “liable in respect of the same damage”. Continue reading “Hotchin v NZGT: own goals for litigator and litigation?”
Will forthcoming judgments restate or extend legal understanding?
There is a number of reserved Supreme Court judgments, possibly occupying the judges over their summer vacation, with material interest for commercial and public lawyers. Unsurprisingly, many such final appeals seek to expand on settled legal comprehension. Given certainty’s value in law, such expansions should only be because the informing doctrines have themselves advanced, rather than they may operate harshly in the appellants’ individual circumstances. Similarly, statutory interpretation turns on identifying the will of Parliament, distinctly from regulators’ preferences for enforcement. Whether those concepts will be applied here awaits these judgments. Continue reading “Waiting on the Supremes”