NSW Supreme Court decides new trustee in Hope Margaret Hancock Trust saga

Photo - (AAP: David Moir)

In this long running case against multi-billionaire Gina Rinehart by her children, Justice Brereton today "...appointed Ms Bianca Rinehart trustee of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust in place of her mother Mrs Gina Rinehart, and ordered that Mrs Rinehart deliver up the trust documents and account to the new trustee." Bianca Rinehart is Gina's eldest daughter.

The Hope Margaret Hancock Trust was established by Gina's father for the benefit of her four children (his grandchildren). The deed appointed Gina as sole trustee and she maintained a tight control over the trust and its income. Three of the four adult children claimed that Gina had, inter-alia, managed the trust in a manner inconsistent with the obligations and responsibilities of a trustee.

It is said that the assets of the trust are valued circa A$4 billion. However, it is unclear whether the decision will free-up a cash windfall for the beneficiaries because investment decisions made by Gina during her trusteeship may effectively limit the flow of cash into the trust.

The dispute over the trust and its control has split the family and several of the children appear to have suffered financial hardship and disruption to their personal relationships.

See Judgement Summary: http://www.supremecourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/agdbasev7wr/_assets/supremecourt/m670001l771043/hancock_28052015.pdf

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