Judge rejects trustee

preferred by Ginia Rinehart

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The NSW Supreme Court has rejected a proposed replacement trustee put forward by Gina Rinehart’s daughter Ginia Rinehart on the basis that it was too late to allow her siblings to investigate her proposal.

The decision was made by Judge Paul Brereton on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after he refused to let Bianca Rinehart to nominate as replacement trustee of the $5 billion family trust due to the delay.

Friday’s judgment means the only remaining possible replacements are Bruce Carter, put forward by the plaintiffs, or John Hancock if he chooses to stand. Christopher Withers, John and Bianca’s barrister, said he needed to take instructions on that.

Ginia Rinehart has suggested an independent trustee be appointed under a more complex structure. The judge said it would be “highly desirable” to allow both Bianca and Ginia’s suggestion to stand if the parties would agree to that, but that otherwise he rejected both.

“We seem to be getting rid of them all very, very quickly, and we will end up with a default solution effectively,” Justice Brereton said.

The rejection of Bianca on Thursday was at the request of Ginia, who has sided with her mother in the dispute over the trust, set up for the­ ­children by their grandfather Lang ­Hancock.

Bianca has stood alongside her brother John for the last two years, fighting their mother over her management of the family trust and accusing her of deceiving them.

It was not until Tuesday morning that a last-minute tactical decision was made to nominate Bianca as replacement trustee – a move supported by John, who withdrew his nomination for the coveted position.

Bianca’s decision was vigorously fought by Ginia, who argued that she would need time to investigate and gather evidence on whether her sister would be suitable, and that could not be done in the space of a few days.

Justice Brereton agreed and said that to allow Bianca to stand would create an “unacceptable injustice” to Ginia.

Henry Sapiecha
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