Gina Rinehart’s potentially-explosive court battle with three of her four children will remain a mystery into the new year after the NSW Court of Appeal granted a stay of proceedings until January 13.
This morning’s decision was a temporary win for the mining billionaire, who has been fighting to keep the family stoush out of the public arena.
Ms Rinehart — Australia's richest person worth an estimated $10 billion — is being sued by her three eldest children for alleged misconduct over her handling of the multi-million dollar Hancock family trust, which was set up by the late Lang Hancock before he died and owns almost a quarter of her company, Hancock Prospecting.
But little else is known about the case.
Since the children launched legal action against her in September, Ms Rinehart has successfully managed to keep their allegations out of the public arena and applied for all-encompassing suppression orders preventing the release of any details of the court fight.
In October, the NSW Supreme Court rejected her bid to have the case thrown out but agreed to keep the details suppressed while she appealed its decision.
In a unanimous judgement on Monday, the NSW Court of Appeal found that a suppression order went against the principle of open justice.
Ms Rinehart’s legal team immediately indicated that she intended to apply for leave to appeal the decision in the High Court of Australia and Justice Margaret Beazley this morning ordered a stay until January 13, the earliest the matter can come before at least three Appeal judges to determine if another delay can be granted.
But she said her conclusion was that Ms Rinehart’s prospects of success in her attempts to keep the details private “are not strong”.
"The reasoning of the majority which led to the discharge of the suppression order ... is, in my opinion, likely to be upheld."