Matakauri Lodge. Photo supplied.
A Queenstown law firm is surprised at the attention given
to a legal battle over a top luxury lodge.
Graeme and Susan Shaw established Matakauri Lodge, near
Queenstown, and sold it in 2001 for $7 million with a
condition stating the couple, now based in Sydney, would get
seven days' full board a year at no cost.
They thought it was an entitlement for life.
But the lodge has changed hands since, and when American
billionaire Julian Robertson bought it for $12 million in
2009, the clause was not part of the sale.
The Shaws took High Court action against law firm Macalister
Todd Phillips, who acted for them in 2001, claiming
negligence - but in an August 19 judgement Associate Judge
Rob Osborne dismissed the claims because they were outside a
six-year statutory limitation period.
Mactodd partner Richard Cunliffe said it was not unusual for
law firms to be sued, which was why they had professional
''What is a little unusual is the publicity. Often, these
things don't hit the papers.
''But we're quite comfortable that we haven't done anything
wrong and the Shaws have left it far too late to raise the
When contacted by the Otago Daily Times, Graeme Shaw
said he did not want to comment before consulting his lawyer.
Matakauri Lodge has had some high-profile visitors this year:
in April, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a night there
without baby Prince George, and, more recently, alleged
internet pirate and politician Kim Dotcom stayed there with
Rooms cost up to $12,750 a night.