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Judge says NAB must answer Ausmaq claims

The founder and former owner of the Ausmaq electronic trading system has won the first round of its A$21 billion damages suit against the National Australia Bank.

Wednesday, August 25th 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The founder and former owner of the Ausmaq electronic trading system has won the first round of its A$21 billion damages suit against the National Australia Bank.

Technology company Idoport, and its principal John Maconochie, is suing the Bank of New Zealand's parent company, NAB, claiming it breached agreements the two parties had to commercialise Ausmaq.

A judge in the New South Wales Supreme Court has found, last week, that Idoport has a "serious, and not speculative case" against the bank, and it had a real possibility of ultimate success.

However, Judge Einstein ruled against Idoport's claim to appoint receivers and managers to NAB subsidiary National Markets Group.

He said taking such action was out of the question.

The dispute between Idoport and NAB dates back to late 1996 when Idoport sold the Ausmaq system to the bank. Under the agreement Idoport supplied the intellectual property to NAB and Maconochie's consulting firm was to have, amongst other things, responsibility for creating management plans and business strategies.

Maconochie alleges NAB failed to commercialise Ausmaq in accordance with its sales agreement.

The claim, which is equal to all of the bank, is based on estimated 2003 earnings of a well-managed global business

Judge Einstein found that there were serious concerns about bank's conduct. He set a trial date for May 2000.

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