TRILOGY Funds has won the right to recover $70 million from former City Pacific chief executive Phil Sullivan and other unsuccessful defendants.
Two years after the original judgment against Sullivan and other senior executives, their appeal in the Federal Court was thrown out.
Since the collapse of City Pacific in 2009, the Pacific First Mortgage Fund has been frozen and has affected more than 11,000 investors. The win in the Federal Court will allow the fund to be opened to investors who were hurt by the collapse of the Gold Coast property developer.
The original judgment found in favour of Trilogy Funds Management and against what was described as a "rapacious Gold Coast property developer with grandiose plans".
The executives of City Pacific claimed during the appeal that they had not received a fair hearing in the initial trial and made allegations about "fabricated documents".
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the team behind Trilogy Funds Management, says the investors have been "vindicated".
In rejecting City Pacific's appeal the trial Judge called Phil Sullivan "a most unsatisfactory and unimpressive witness", and said he was "trenchant and emphatic and often belligerent".
Maurice Blackburn Principal Jason Geisker says the appeal decision vindicates the resolute action taken on behalf of investors.
"This decision represents an important victory for better corporate governance in Australia," says Geisker.
"Anyone entrusted with management of pooled schemes for investment is today again reminded of the significant responsibilities they are under to ensure they comply with our Corporations Act requirements.
"Today's decision is a timely reminder of the very serious personal consequences awaiting those who disregard Australia's corporate laws."
Business News Australia
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support