Company promoter Stuart Adrian Corp has failed to legally nail his high-powered defence team for his 2007 conviction and jailing over alleged secret links to tax haven trust companies.
A Supreme Court judge on Friday threw out a legal action by Mr Corp after examining the circumstances surrounding defence barristers James Glissan and James Whyte attending a weekend conference in the Whitsunday Islands and then not returning for the last two days of a nine-week trial.
Mr Corps and his business associate Brian Millwood Smith were convicted by a District Court jury in October 2007, on a total of 29 Corporations Act charges related to holdings in Welcome Stranger Mining and Hallmark Gold.
Judge Allan Fenbury sentenced both men to three years jail for offences, including providing misleading information over undisclosed relevant interests, permitting voting on related party resolutions and breaching directors' duties by not acting honestly.
The Court of Criminal Appeal freed the men and overturned their convictions in June 2008, after finding shortcoming in the directions Judge Fenbury gave to the jury. The appeal judges ordered a retrial on some of the charges, but Commonwealth prosecutors dropped all remaining charges.
Mr Corp launched a Supreme Court action against his two Sydney-based barristers and his Perth-based solicitor Haydn Robinson in 2011 over events in the closing days of the trial, either side of the Queen's Birthday long weekend.
The barristers attended a legal conference on Hayman Island but were affected by long delays to a Jetstar flight on Monday that was to get them to Sydney and connect them to a flight to Perth.
After discussions with Mr Robinson, the barristers did not return to Perth. They left the senior Perth lawyer, who had been closely involved with the trial, to represent Mr Corp as the judge finished his summing up to the jury.
Mr Smith was represented by top Melbourne barrister Stephen Shirrefs.
Mr Corp claimed the Sydney barristers breached their duty to attend the closing days of the trial, while Mr Robinson was sued over his part in their non- attendance.
The absence of the barristers allegedly cost Mr Corp the chance of being acquitted on all charges because they were not in a position to ensure Judge Fenbury gave adequate jury directions.
The businessman claimed damages for loss of freedom and for the contempt and ridicule caused by his overturned convictions and incarceration.
Justice Kenneth Martin rejected the case on Friday after describing the idea that Mr Corp might not have been convicted if the barristers had been present as an "unverifiable hope or speculation".
The judge said it was a far cry from an undefended person suffering an adverse result and it was far too simplistic to blandly assert the barristers's absence led to the harm suffered by Mr Corp.
Justice Martin awarded costs against Mr Corp.