May 20, 2013

News Limited exec offers up to $100k in secret legal payment

The war over real estate advertising in Geelong is hotting up, with a News Limited executive offering to help pay the legal fees of an estate agent to defend himself against claims made by a publication part-owned by Fairfax.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

A senior News Limited executive offered to pay up to $100,000 in legal fees to a Geelong real estate agent embroiled in a legal brawl with a part-Fairfax-owned rival.

A "private and confidential" email sent by News' national real estate czar Tom Panos to Hayeswinckle managing director Danny Hayes in March, obtained by Crikey, states that under the "strictly confidential" deal News would pay 50% of his legal fees to defend himself against Metro Media Publishing, which is half owned by Fairfax. Metro Media is suing Hayeswinckle and related entity Team 3216 in the Victorian County Court for at least $1.4 million in contract breaches and damages, alleging that it reneged on the terms of an advertising agreement with the MMP-owned Weekly Review Greater Geelong and moved its ads to News' Geelong Advertiser instead. Panos writes that "to assist you in your defence of the legal action brought against you by MMP we are prepared to reimburse you 50% of the legal fees that you incur ... up to a total aggregate payment by us under this arrangement of $100,000". Hayes replies that he "will talk about payment tomorrow". It is not known whether any cash changed hands.

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Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “News Limited exec offers up to $100k in secret legal payment

  1. klewso

    How much is that gutter real estate worth?

  2. C R

    Is it possible Murdoch and one his “Senior” execs have been caught possibly doing something illegal? Quelle surprise. The man who micro-manages his media empire but tells anyone who will listen that nothing that goes wrong is his fault – well, none of the illegal stuff anyway.
    Oh, when will we get rid of the abcess on the australian media landscape?

  3. klewso

    In the interests of an enlightened electorate?
    To almost quote Henry II?
    “Who will rid us of this troublesome pest!”?

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