Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, has received a blow after a court ruled that a lawsuit brought against her by her three children couldn’t be dismissed.
The ruling comes on the back of a dispute among Rinehart family members. Three of the mining tycoon’s four children – John, Hope and Bianca – want to remove Rinehart from her role as the sole trustee of the family trust.
The Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, set up by Rinehart’s late father, Lang Hancock, holds a quarter of the shares of Hancock Prospecting, the family business. The children allege that Rinehart, who chairs Hancock Prospecting and is worth around €14 billion according to Forbes, is unfit to head up the family trust.
Rinehart had earlier sought to get the proceedings thrown out of the New South Wales Supreme Court.
But the court ruled that the case cannot be dismissed and should go to a full trial.
Justice Paul Brereton reportedly said Rinehart had been unable to prove why the court proceedings were “doomed to fail” and should be dismissed.
He added: “Of course, that is not to say that the plaintiffs will necessarily prove their allegations.”
No date has been set yet for the full trial.
Hancock Prospecting was formed after Lang discovered one of the world’s largest deposits of iron ore in Australia.
Besides the feud with her family, Rinehart is also engulfed in a legal battle with the company owned by her late father’s business partner. Wright Prospecting is challenging Rinehart’s ownership of Hancock.