Don’t be surprised if there is a twist in the C7 case. There’s speculation that Seven will appeal and we may learn more next week when the company reports its 2007 financial result in Sydney.
I understand the appeal, if it is made, could very well be made by the 42% controller of Seven, Kerry Stokes. He is understood to be thinking seriously about appealing personally.
For years Stokes has regarded the C7 case and the events that lead up to it as a slight on his honour. He has felt that he was lied to by certain people named in the C7 case, both personally and corporately. He has sought to prosecute the case and the board has gone along with him, much to the horror of outside investors worried about the mounting cost.
In the wake of the C7 case in the Federal Court last month Stokes wrote a personal note to a limited number of friends and senior people at Seven. In this he expressed his “disappointment” about a number of things. These included: the decision; the judge, Justice Ronald Sackville; his legal team and the barrister imported at great cost from the UK, Jonathan Sumption QC.
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From this and other comments from Stokes, the possibility of a personal appeal is quite high.
The timing of the appeal meanwhile is set down in the following way. Final orders from Justice Sackville will be issued on September 14, unless there is a delay. That was the date nominated in the decision last month. Parties have 21 days to appeal from the date of final orders. So that puts it into the first week of October.