Rinehart ordered to pay kids  legal bills
Rinehart ordered to pay kids' legal bills

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has been ordered to pay the legal costs of three of her children who are seeking to oust her as trustee of the multibillion dollar family trust.

In a NSW Court of Appeal judgment handed down today, Australia's richest person was also ordered to pay the costs of several media companies who intervened in the case, including the ABC, Fairfax Media, Nine Network and Nationwide News.

Last September, John Hancock, Bianca Rinehart and Hope Welker launched the proceedings against their mother in a bid to remove her as trustee of the family trust.

They claim she acted with "gross dishonesty" and "deceitfully" in her dealings with the trust, set up in 1988 by her father Lang Hancock, with her children being the beneficiaries.

Ms Rinehart is supported by her youngest daughter, Ginia, in the battle.

Ms Rinehart and Ginia Rinehart were ordered to pay the costs the three children incurred when opposing the unsuccessful application to stay an earlier court decision.

In the Court of Appeal last December, Justice Margaret Beazley stayed a decision overturning suppression orders on details of the case while Ms Rinehart sought leave to appeal to the High Court.

On January 13, the Court of Appeal concluded that the stay should not be granted, although they allowed a short stay until February 3 because several legal representatives were on holidays.

The media companies had also sought the costs of their application opposing the suppression orders.

Ginia Rinehart did not oppose paying costs, but Gina Rinehart argued she had successfully achieved a limited stay in January and she had acted reasonably in seeking it, while her children and the media had acted unreasonably by declining to accede to it.

Her arguments were rejected by the court.

"The fact remains that the applicants were not successful before this court, and there is no reason why costs should not follow the event,” Chief Justice Tom Bathurst said in the judgment.

The three plaintiff children had asked that the costs be paid immediately.

While acknowledging the proceedings might take “some time", Chief Justice Bathurst said there was no reason for such an order.

He also refused a costs application by the media companies in relation to a number of hearings last year.

The matter is due to return to the Supreme Court in September.

The West Australian

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