The NSW Court of Appeal has dismissed Gina Rinehart’s application to have details of a bitter family fight for control of a multibillion-dollar trust kept secret.
Australia’s richest person is being sued by her three eldest children over control of a $4 billion family trust.
Bianca, John and Hope claim their mother breached her duty as trustee and want her removed from control over riches set aside for his grandchildren by Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock.
Gina Rinehart, worth about $17 billion, and her youngest daughter Ginia, 25, argued the family should go to confidential mediation and arbitration before resorting to the courts, but the NSW court of appeal rejected the move, determining that Supreme Court Justice Paul Brereton made the correct decision last October.
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In dismissing the appeal, Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, Justice Ruth McColl and Justice Peter Young said the claims by the three eldest children were not disputes under the deed.
“As the respondents’ claim is not under the deed there was no error of discretion in refusing to stay the proceedings, even if the potential defences do raise disputes under the deed. The primary judge correctly exercised his discretion.”