Russel Pillemer and Alex Turnbull (Images: Supplied)

The Turnbull family and Sydney fund manager Russel Pillemer are facing off in the NSW Supreme Court -- but it is not the first time those names have appeared on a witness list. 

Crikey readers with long memories will recall that Malcolm Turnbull and Pillemer were both up before the HIH royal commission in 2003, giving evidence about their dealings with Rodney Adler and FAI Insurances. Suffice to say, the noble profession of investment banking did not cover itself in glory.  

This current court action dates back to the relationship the two forged while working together at Goldman Sachs Australia. After leaving the bank -- where they advised Adler and FAI -- they started up boutique funds management business Pengana Capital Group in 2003. But when Turnbull went into politics in 2004, it became an issue -- for any politician, the potential conflicts of interest in running an investment business are too problematic.