Alex Turnbull ordered to pay attorney’s fees in botched lawsuit

Malcolm Turnbull’s son has been ordered to pay his father’s former business partner and friend’s legal fees after rejecting three settlement offers during an ultimately unsuccessful legal battle.

The former prime minister’s son Alex Turnbull took legal action in 2020 to seek $12 million from Pengana’s chief executive Russel Pillemer, claiming his family had been misled into giving cash to repay a to accept the loan granted to Pengana in 2017.

Alex Turnbull, son of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Alex Turnbull, son of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The lawsuit provided insight into the high profile shop in Sydney and political circles and contained allegations that Malcolm Turnbull had attempted to conceal his financial wealth during his political career by giving his children a $6 million “gift”.

The case was kicked out earlier this month after Judge Kate Williams found Alex Turnbull had a “disposition to lie” and provided “false” and “self-serving” evidence during cross-examination. On Wednesday, Judge Williams sentenced Alex Turnbull to pay the defendant’s costs.

The latest ruling centers on Pillemer’s lawyers giving Alex Turnbull three ways to get his company out of the case. All three offers were rejected.


Pillemer’s attorneys made the first attempt at settlement in September 2020, offering Alex Turnbull’s firm $180,000. With that offer, each party would have paid its own costs and Alex Turnbull was given seven days to respond. He didn’t accept.

The following year, on July 5, Pillemer’s team made another offer to pay Alex Turnbull’s company $150,000 in full to have the matter dismissed, with each party bearing its own costs. This offer was valid for 14 days, but Alex Turnbull again declined the offer.

Pillemer’s team made a final offer to settle for $250,000 on September 13, 2021, two weeks before the final hearing began. Again, Alex Turnbull didn’t accept. Alex Turnbull ordered to pay attorney’s fees in botched lawsuit

Brian Lowry

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