Clive Palmer’s lawyers blasted over last-minute evidence in $22m lawsuit
While Clive Palmer was jetting into Townsville today, a judge was slamming his lawyers in Brisbane for bringing up last-minute evidence in a $22 million lawsuit.
Mr Palmer’s flagship company, Mineralogy, wants a declaration that it is not obliged to pay exploration company BGP Geoexplorer any money over a $22 million debt owed to it by another of his businesses, Palmer Petroleum, which is in liquidation.
BGP Geoexplorer has filed a counterclaim and the case has been set down for trial over two days in the Supreme Court starting today.
Justice David Jackson questioned why Mineralogy’s legal team wanted to rely on a new expert report just five days before the trial in an attempt to prove its case that BGP breached a contract for exploration work done in the Gulf of Papua.
“How can that possibly be appropriate subject matter to raise five days before the trial?” he said.
He ordered the lawyers to prepare an affidavit by 2.30pm today “as to who considered it appropriate, and why”.
“Because it seems to me that it’s a fundamental default in the procedural law of this court,” Justice Jackson said.
Mr Palmer touched down in Townsville this morning to visit the Yabulu refinery of his company, Queensland Nickel.
QNI went into liquidation last year with $300 million in debts. More than 800 people were left out of work.
Last week, Mr Palmer had to promise not to sell the refinery until a hearing next month to decide whether his assets would be frozen amid another multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought on by QNI’s taxpayer-funded liquidators.