Symond calls foul on media court coverage

by Mackenzie McCarty13 Mar 2013

A report in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph of John Symond’s legal action in relation to negligent tax and corporate structuring advice provided by Gadens Lawyers is both misleading and unfair, says the Aussie Home Loans office in an official letter.

In the statement, Aussie’s senior manager, public relations, Fiona Hamann, says the story ‘incorrectly’ states Symond used a tax-free $58 million windfall to build his harbour front mansion.

“The damages sought by Mr Symond from Gadens in the proceedings is based on Mr Symond's claim that, as a result of the advice provided by Gadens, Mr Symond has actually paid substantially more in tax than he otherwise would have paid if he had been provided competent advice under the Tax Act.”

Furthermore, Hamann says there was no ‘windfall’ in place, but a deferral of tax.

“In the end more tax was paid than ordinarily due because of the structure recommended by Gadens.”

Symond is seeking damages of $13 million plus costs against Gadens, whose former partner provided the advice and, according to Hamann, now faces criminal charges in relation to other unrelated matters.

“Similar action against lawyers Abbott Tout, who hired the former Gadens partner, has been successfully settled with Mr Symond receiving $2.5 million including costs from the firm.”

She says Symond has received a letter from the Australian Tax Office stating that, following an investigation, neither he nor Aussie Home Loans had set out to avoid their taxation payments at any time.