Gina Rinehart, Australia's richest person, stunned the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday when she ended the prolonged family feud with her two estranged adult children. Ms Rinehart told the court she would step down as head of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust as sought by John Hancock and Bianca Hope Rinehart.
The mining magnate suggested to hold a mediation session to find a new trustee who would be a family member with thee qualifications which she identified as impartial, sensible and experienced in the mining industry.
"The increased demand on her time in dealing with the ... plaintiff's issues has taken valuable time away from her responsibilities," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bruce McClintock, her lawyer.
He said Ms Rinehart decided to end her two-year court battle with her two children because of the pressure the lawsuit has placed on her as well as the untenable risk of damage to Hancock Prospecting.
Mr McClintock said if a new trustee would not be found, a judge will be asked to appoint one.
Christopher Withers, the lawyer of the two Rinehart children, asked the court to keep the trial date next week in case a new trustee would be agreed upon. He insisted that Ms Rinehart should not have a say on the appointment of a new trustee because "She has unclean hands as does the company."
Given the requirements that the trustee must be of lineal descent and must have experience in the mining industry leaves only two possible options - John Hancock who once worked in the company and Ginia Rinehart, the youngest daughter now working with Hancock Prospecting.
Ginia sided with her mum in the legal battle, while a third daughter, Hope Welker was the one who initiated the lawsuit but dropped out of the case and allegedly received a $200 million settlement.