Catherine is a civil litigator and advises clients on a range of complex issues, including fraud and general commercial claims.
Catherine joined PCB Litigation in November 2017. Before joining PCB she worked in the litigation team of a large UK bank, advising on banking and general commercial issues. Prior to that Catherine was a civil litigator and Crown prosecutor for the Office of the Crown Solicitor, Auckland. Catherine has experience working on multi jurisdiction asset recovery and fraud cases, as well as enforcement proceedings and commercial contract claims. Catherine also has experience in regulatory prosecution and has conducted jury trials and other criminal hearings.
Catherine was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 2013 and is enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. She has acted and appeared as both junior and sole counsel in the New Zealand District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics from the University of Otago, and spent a semester studying at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland.
Cases of note
The Commercial Court has today given judgment in favour of PCB’s client, Mr Dmitry Tsvetkov, who was defending a claim brought under a guarantee by his former business partner, Rustem Magdeev. At the centre of the case was a Graff diamond franchise, established by Mr Tsvetkov, and invested in by Mr Magdeev.
The case was unusual because whilst the claim was based on a written document, being the guarantee, the successful defence was based on establishing that the parties had entered into two oral agreements, pursuant to which various payments had been made by which the loan underlying the guarantee had been repaid.
The defence was successful because Mrs Justice Cockerill DBE was persuaded that the circumstances of this case were such “the documentary record cannot be regarded as entirely reliable” with the result that “less weight is placed on such documents as signed contracts than is usual in this Court”.
PCB acted for private equity firm ACON in a claim for a US$4m payment upon exiting its investment in an energy company. ACON had been part of a consortium of private equity firms that had invested, but was unhappy with the way in which its fellow investors wished to manage the company. It therefore negotiated an exit which involved the return of its US$100m investment and an additional payment of US$4m on the fulfilment of a condition that the energy company would not suffer a penalty from its lenders. The defendant claimed that the condition was not fulfilled saying that certain terms that the lenders had imposed upon the energy company amounted to a penalty within the meaning of the condition. PCB succeeded in persuading the Court that the interpretation of the condition contended for by the defendant was wrong, and obtained judgment for US$4m.