Feuding Rineharts to Continue Family Court Battle in 2013

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By Vittorio Hernandez | November 8, 2012 10:53 AM EST

Australians will likely be reading more juicy details of the Rinehart family court feud in 2013. On Wednesday, New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Paul Brereton adjourned the multimillion dollar lawsuit over the family trust to March 2013 for pre-trial directions.

After that phase, a hearing date on the petition of John Hancock, Bianca Rinehart and Hope Rinehart Welker to remove their mother, Gina Rinehart - Australia's richest woman - as head of the trust established by the family patriarch Lang Hancock.

With these developments, more details of their court battle would come out in media as the hearings are held since Ms Rinehart had previously lost her bid to keep details of the hearings private.

The family drama has been followed closely by Australians because it showed that the country's rich and famous families like the Rineharts also have their share of bickering and disagreements, although the amount they are fighting over ran into millions of dollars.

Taking the side of Ms Rinehart is her youngest daughter, Ginia, while the three older children have been estranged from their mining tycoon mother the past few years.

Also on Wednesday, Mr Brereton awarded the three adult Rinehart children 80 per cent of legal costs the family incurred for the last pre-trial hearing in September. However, despite the award, the costs will not be payable until all legal proceedings became final. That means the three, who claim to be low on funds, will have to seek other financial sources to pay the cost of their legal battle against their mother, also the world's richest woman.

The setting of the pre-trial direction date to the third month of 2013 would provide Ms Rinehart and her lawyers some respite from court appearances, fresh from their loss this week in another court battle with the heirs of Mr Hancock's former business partner and friend.

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