I always find it entertaining when someone reaches the end of litigation only to discover the hollowness of the victory or loss. This is particularly the case when it involves the media because it is they that will ensure that the issue actually does see the light of day!
So, it is that the Treasurer’s case against Fairfax concludes with both sides out of pocket and the lawyers running away with the bounty; or at least so it is reported.
I have lost count of the number of times I have had to deal with directors, employees, relatives or others lifting the goods or money from an entity or party and then using those funds to fight against their recovery. To date virtually every action has ended with the same result; funds depleted in full, normally on legal fees, a decision in favour of the Trustee or Liquidator and upon that being handed down the losing party declaring themselves bankrupt.
In a case not so long ago a liquidator was limited to claim fees on a percentage basis. There was much hue and cry when this was handed down and I do note that this decision is not considered to be the sole precedent in the area of entitlement to remuneration, but its intent is worthy of consideration.
Why? Well because it would be really interesting to consider where our legal system might be today if the stolen goods had to be put back on the table rather than being used to fund a defence, and/or if the legal fees of a given matter were restricted to a percentage of the value of the issue at the centre of the proceedings.
I’m sure the legal issues would not have gone away, but just possible that the system under such pressure would have self-modified so as to ensure that it could efficiently deal with the problem at hand within the limits of the money that was available.
An interesting thought; I just wonder what it might look like?