News Ltd is seeking to have a $244 million court case that includes claims against James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch dismissed because of the time it took to file the claim.
One.Tel's special purpose liquidator, James Weston, launched a claim in the Supreme Court in August on the basis that News Ltd, PBL and CPH executives, including James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch, deceived One.Tel's independent directors into cancelling a $132 million share issue, which Weston says resulted in an insolvent transaction from which only News Ltd and PBL benefitted.
While the claim was originally filed in 2007, Weston delayed serving it on the executives until August this year, citing lack of funding as one reason for the delay.
However, lawyers for News Ltd are trying to get the Supreme Court proceedings dismissed and are arguing that the fact Weston waited so long to pursue legal action has disadvantaged their clients. They have also requested that they be given access to confidential evidence filed with the court by Weston in support of his claim.
Justice Reg Barrett has yet to decide whether Weston's confidential evidence should be provided to the executives' lawyers.
According to a report in the AFR, Weston estimates that costs could be anywhere between $17 and $37 million, inclusive of any adverse costs orders.