Crikey’s old favourite, Allan Myers QC, is acting for Philip Bowman’s de facto, Geraldine de Malet, in the Supreme Court battle that’s shaping up to be a beauty.

Rumour has it that Bowman, the former Coles Myer finance director presently negotiating a $20 billion takeover of Allied Domecq, has summoned his defence team to London to prepare for a “vigorous” defence of her “baseless” allegations that he took up with a secretary and therefore should hand over half his assets to the woman he never married or had any children with.

It would be amusing to know where the Bowman defence team from Melbourne fits in with the flurry of meetings undoubtedly going down over what would be the world’s biggest grog company takeover.

And we certainly trust that Bowman hasn’t decided to put Allied Domecq in play now, just when his personal finances are under attack from arguably Australia’s most successful and highly paid QC. Myers is worth at least $200 million and doesn’t lose many. Geraldine is obviously confident and has some capital behind her if she can afford him at $8,000 a day.

However, if Bowman suddenly gets a legal war chest from a takeover of Allied Domecq, he might be able to fight his former lover all the way and not care if he loses. Then again, getting cross-examined by Allan Myers QC about a 20-year personal relationship is not anyone’s idea of fun.

Peter Fray

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