Saturday, 14 March 2015

Now that's how to end a judgment... with a beer and some latin....

This is how Justice Neville Owen ended his 2614 page judgment in Bell Group v Westpac [2008] WASC 239 - Australia’s longest running corporate insolvency case (404 days of hearing over a 5 year period at legal costs of over $300M and involving 80,000 documents.)

You have to feel for the chap

The trial: a final reflection

9759 I am not so naïve as to believe that the handing down of these reasons will mark the end of the litigation. But stranger things have happened. It is still not too late for the parties to put an end to this saga by a negotiated settlement, guided (perhaps) by the findings I have made. If formal judgment is never entered, or of there is a consent judgment on negotiated terms (whether or not they accord with what is contained in these reasons) I will be the last person to complain.

9760 Whatever the parties decide to do from here, my role in the litigation will come to an end in the near future. Selfish though it may seem, for me that is the primary concern. I will try to engender sympathy for those who come after me: but I make no promises.

9761 From time to time during the last five years I felt as if I were confined to an oubliette. There were occasions on which I thought the task of completing this case might be sempiternal. Fortunately, I have not yet been called upon to confront the infinite and, better still, a nepenthe beckons. Part of the nepenthe (which may even bear that name) is likely to involve a yeast based substance. It will most certainly involve a complete avoidance of making decisions and writing judgments.

9762 For the moment, in the words of Ovid (with an embellishment from the old Latin Mass): Iamque opus exegi, Deo gratias.

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