Australia’s richest woman may have just suffered a loss in the courtroom but Gina Rinehart’s numerous legal battles look set to keep on trundling on.
Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting was ordered by the Supreme Court of Western Australia this week to hand over its stake in Rhodes Ridge iron ore deposit in the Pilbara to Wright Prospecting.
The orders marked an end to a decade-long legal feud over the intentions of former business partners and friends Lang Hancock and Peter Wright.
Hancock Prospecting now has to do everything practicable to enable the transfer of its 25% interest to Wright.
That’s one down to Wright, but Rinehart is still embroiled in a legal battle with Wright’s descendants over Wright’s claim for a 25% stake in the Hope Downs 4 iron ore mine.
Rinehart is pushing for the Supreme Court to throw out that claim on the basis the Wright clan delayed to act on it for more than 20 years.
Meanwhile, in another legal proceeding, three of Rinehart’s children, John Hancock, Hope Welker and Bianca Rinehart are attempting to have their mother ousted as trustee of a family trust worth $4 billion.
According to The Australian Financial Review, all three children have approached a number of high-profile businessmen to help pay the large bills accrued throughout the legal action.
Rinehart is highly litigious and has run long court battles with her late father’s wife Rose Porteous and fellow billionaires Angela Bennett and Stan Perron.
In Adele Palmer’s recent biography of Rinehart, she reported that the mining billionaire had at one time or another engaged many of Melbourne and Sydney’s top silks.
So don’t expect to see Rinehart too worried about this legal loss, it’s likely she will simply appeal the decision again.
If not she has plenty of other legal claims to keep her occupied.