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Warren Anderson Sued By Own Lawyer
Sydney Morning Herald
Friday December 19, 1997
Mr Warren Anderson's corporate flagship faces liquidation after a falling out between the property tycoon and celebrity lawyer Mr Martin Bennett.
Mr Bennett's law firm Bennett & Co has asked the WA Supreme Court to put an insolvency accountant in charge of Mr Anderson's lead company, Tipperary Developments Pty Ltd, over $136,000 in legal bills.
The bills relate to work allegedly done by Bennett & Co on Mr Anderson's Supreme Court actions against the WA Government and accounting firm KMG Hungerfords over $27.2 million Mr Anderson lost in the collapse of Laurie Connell's merchant bank Rothwells.
Mr Anderson could not be contacted for comment yesterday and Mr Bennett's partner Mr David Shaw said his firm would not speak ahead of the wind-up application being heard on January 28.
Mr Bennett is already in the middle of a legal battle between Lang Hancock's widow Ms Rose Porteous and the late mining magnate's daughter Mrs Gina Rinehart, with Mr Bennett being an executor of Mr Hancock's estate and having acted for Ms Porteous in estate actions.
Mr Anderson began using Mr Bennett to pursue his claims against Hungerfords and the State Government in April after more than three years of using other law firms.
But Mr Anderson suffered a major blow in August when the Master Craig Sanderson struck out the action against Hungerfords, launched in 1991, because of inordinate and inexcusable delays.
Tipperary has since appealed.
Tipperary invested $50 million in Rothwells during a cash crisis in 1988 after borrowing the money from Mr Kerry Packer, his partner in the Westralia Square property deal that Mr Packer and Mr Anderson had with the State Government at the time.
Tipperary claimed it was assured by the Government, and former premier Mr Peter Dowding in particular, that it would get its money back.
The action relates to audits done by Louis Carter, who was jailed for four years with Connell and others for defrauding the public, and Mr Anderson claims he relied on the audits when he put money into Rothwells.
Of $50 million deposited by Tipperary during Rothwells's cash crisis in 1988, only $22.8 million was repaid.
Mr Anderson had to surrender his 50 per cent stake in Westralia Square because he was unable to pay back Mr Packer.
Australian Securities Commission records for Tipperary do not give any indications of its assets or liabilities because it uses proprietary company reporting exemptions.
It is nominally a $2 company but is recorded as owning an office building in West Perth which it bought in 1990 for $4.5 million.
One former associate of Mr Anderson said he was concentrating on offshore investing, particularly in Indonesia.
The State Government matter is expected to go trial next year, but court papers show that summonses for the removal of Bennett & Co were lodged with the court last month.