Antony Holmes


Antony is an experienced commercial litigator who has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes and contentious regulatory matters.

Antony returned to New Zealand in 2012 to join the bar, following two years with Slaughter and May in London, where he acted in multi-jurisidictional arbitrations, regulatory investigations and High Court litigation. He had also practised as a barrister prior to leaving New Zealand, and began his career in 2002 as a solicitor at two of Auckland’s leading litigation firms: Wilson Harle and Bell Gully.

He has experience with injunctive relief, freezing and search orders, and disputes involving issues of contractual interpretation, negligence, construction, leases, government contracting, market behaviour, securities and insolvency.

Antony has also represented parties with internal disputes, under joint ventures, partnerships, and shareholder agreements, and in respect of directors’ duties. He also provides independent advice to individuals and employees involved in investigations by government regulators.

Recent Experience


DO YAY LIMITED (IN LIQUIDATION) v WEI & ANOR [2020] NZHC 759 Acted as lead counsel for the respondent/cross-appellant in an important appeal in which the District Court judgment on liability was upheld, and the High Court increased the damages awarded by allowing expectation damages for a misrepresentation claim where the represented value of a business exceeded the price actually paid for it, confirming that the respondent/cross-appellant was entitled to the benefit of the bargain lost.

LI v 110 FORMOSA LIMTED [2018] NZHC 3418 Acted for defendants facing a claim in excess of $18 million arising from the use of $4.8 million as part of the purchase price for a substantial block of land, in circumstances where both the plaintiff and defendant claimed to be the ultimate source of the contribution. The High Court found the plaintiff to be the source of the contribution, but awarded only the sum contributed, or a shareholding in the holding company which was equivalent to the amount contributed ($4.8 million).

MUDAJAYA CORPORATION BERHAD v CHUA & OTHERS[2019] NZHC 1436 Acted for defendants who successfully applied to set aside freezing orders which were obtained on the basis of a foreign judgment which was sought to be registered in New Zealand which was obtained in Malaysia without the defendants having been given prior notice of the Malaysian proceeding.

XIAO v SUN [2016] NZHC 454; XIAO v SUN [2018] NZHC 536 Acted as lead counsel for the plaintiff in a five week trial which successfully proved that the plaintiff had borrowed funds from the defendant at an interest rate of 5% per week including funds ostensibly borrowed while the defendant was gambling on behalf of the plaintiff, under an illegal gambling contract. The High Court granted injunctive relief on an interim basis, and following trial found the arrangement was illegal, and had it not been illegal, would have been oppressive and in breach of consumer credit legislation.

EIGHT MILE STYLE, LLC v NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL PARTY [2017] NZHC 2603; [2018] NZCA 596 Acting for an audio production studio joined as a third party to a claim brought against the National Party for use of a music track in the National Party’s 2014 election campaign, where the High Court determined infringed copyright in the musical work Lose Yourself, and the Court of Appeal determined the quantum damages payable by the National Party. The audio production studio was alleged to have licenced the use and to have made representations regarding its use to another third party, which then made representations to the National Party.

ADAPTABLE SOLUTIONS v TOON [2017] NZHC 753 Acting for a creditor challenging a liquidator’s decision to decline its claim in a solvent liquidation.

N v M [2016] NZSC 160; [2015] NZSC 15; [2015] NZSC 185; [2014] NZSC 189; [2014] NZCA 623; [2014] NZCA 526; [2016] NZCA 429 Acting for an individual seeking a restraining order against one of her former clients, who then commenced a suite of proceedings against her, including a civil claim for, inter alia, breach of contract and defamation, an action for contempt of court, judicial reviews of the District Court proceedings and costs awards, seeking to debar her counsel from acting, and appeals of almost all decisions, leading to a myriad of District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judgments.

IRVINE & TAYLOR v PENNY & SIMUNOVICH [2015] NZHC 485 Appointed as counsel for unrepresented beneficiaries in an application by independent trustees for approval of the resettlement of trust assets following the settlement of disputes regarding a relationship property agreement.

MAYES v SOUTHERN CROSS FINANCE LIMITED [2014] NZHC 1164 Acted for a borrower against a finance company which had failed to give proper disclosure of its cost of credit under the Credit Contracts Act 1981. The Court ordered that the total cost of credit to be reduced by 50% for the loan and the various extensions of the loan.

CAZNA Avenue Nominees Ltd v The University of Auckland [2014] NZHC 303 Acted for a building owner which had received an assignment of the benefit of a tenant’s reinstatement and redecoration obligations. The building owner was awarded damages from the former tenant which had failed to carry out those obligations.

Hampson v Registrar of Companies [2013] NZHC 1202 Acted for a director of a company which had been removed from the register in an application to strike out claims brought by former creditors of the company against the director for alleged reckless trading.

Minister of Education v Econicorp Holdings Ltd [2012] 1 NZLR 36 (CA)Acted, without appearance, in the strike out of the Ministry of Education’s claim against a builder of a school hall on the basis that the builder did not owe the Minister a duty of care in tort. The claim was restored on appeal on the basis that the question of whether a duty of care existed could be determined at trial.

Stiassny v North Shore City Council [2008] 1 NZLR 825 (HC) Acted for the Council against a Receiver seeking orders that funds held were subject to a trust. High Court (affirmed on appeal) determined that the funds were not trust funds and that the trust would have constituted a security in terms of the Personal Property Securities Act 1999.

Diagnostic Medlab Ltd v Auckland District Health Board [2007] 2 NZLR 832 (HC); [2008] NZCA 385 (CA) Acted for the three Auckland DHBs in the judicial review of a decision to enter into a $560,000,000 contract for the provision of public services with a new provider, which was set aside by the High Court, but restored on appeal.

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd v Telecom New Zealand Ltd (18 Dec 07, HC Wellington, McGechan J, CIV-07-485-826)Acted for Vodafone on appeal of the Commerce Commission’s decision as to the costs of providing a regulated telecommunications service.


Advised a significant German industrial company against an Indian company in an ICC arbitration with its seat in Singapore, in a multi-million pound claim in respect of alleged defective equipment.


Advised a major UK-listed financial institution in respect of its dealings with its regulator and the UK Listing Authority.