Grant wins

Stuff reports:

Liquidator has been given another chance to make his case to be allowed to continue his insolvency career. …

In a judgment released on Tuesday, the High Court in Auckland overturned the Ritanz decision and required it to be reconsidered.

Grant has credit card convictions from the late 1980s and a fraud conviction from when he was 26 in 1994, for his part in a share-dealing scam. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and served 16. …

Muir said the Ritanz panel had applied an incorrect test when “weighing up” the past convictions against his present career.

All of its significant doubts had a retrospective focus, Muir said.

“At no stage did the panel say that it had significant, or even any, doubts Mr Grant has truly moved on from his criminal past…. The danger, as I see it, in the panel’s approach is that in the case of serious dishonesty offending … a balancing approach may leave the scales permanently weighted against admission. That is not to say that the nature of the offending is not important. Conspicuously it is.

“[If] the door cannot be considered permanently closed to Grant and he is free to apply again in the future, the question must inevitably arise, if not now, when? Is 35 or 40 years of honest commercial and media endeavour really any different in this sense to 27 years?”

I’m very pleased Grant got the decision over-turned. It was an appaling decision.

The court ruling is here, and worth a read. A key point the Judge made is RITANZ seemed to ignore that Grant wasn’t someone trying to become a liquidator, but he had been a highly successful one for the last 12 years. He has been appointed to over 800 insolvencies, and has a staff of 20.

The Judge also pointed out that RITANZ focused hugely on whether having a member with a 27 year old fraud conviction would lower the reputation of the profession, and ignored the possibility having Grant as a member would heighten their reputation, by showing how people can turn their lives around.

RITANZ now has to consider a new application by Grant. I hope they do the right thing this time around.

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