A raid to obtain information from Perpetual Trust has been found to be unlawful, but the High Court says the Financial Markets Authority can keep the documents.
Perpetual's parent, Pyne Gould, has been under scrutiny after Perpetual loaned another Pyne Gould unit, Torchlight Fund, $28 million, triggering its auditor's resignation and prompting the FMA to intervene to get the money repaid.
The High Court found the FMA's search notices were unlawful because they required the documents to be provided immediately.
The FMA says the court's decision is the first on these types of notices and clarifies how it's expected to use this power.
Pyne Gould says it will consider the possible implications of the judgement.
The court has appointed independent observers to watch over Perpetual, which is in the process of winding up its mortgage fund.