Antony Holmes


Antony has been a commercial litigator since 2002, and has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes and contentious regulatory matters.

After two years with Slaughter and May in London, where he acted in multi-jurisidictional arbitrations, regulatory investigations and High Court litigation, Antony returned to New Zealand in 2012 to join the bar.

Antony practised as a barrister prior to leaving New Zealand, but began his career as a solicitor at two of Auckland’s leading litigation firms: Wilson Harle and Bell Gully.

He has experience with disputes involving issues of contractual interpretation, negligence, 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

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 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 has now determined infringed copyright in the musical work Lose Yourself. The audio production studio is alleged to have licenced the use and to have made representations regarding its use to another third 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 ([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.

ArbitrationAdvised 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.

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

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.