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Keeping your secrets secret

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By Kaye Griffiths, Senior Associate, MST Lawyers

Confidential information is often necessarily disclosed to enable due diligence to occur or for business efficacy. However, confidential information is often the most valuable asset of a company and must be fiercely protected.

 What happens when there is a breach or misuse of this confidential information?

 Such was the case in the well-known stoush between Gina Rinehart and her children when Ms Rinehart accused her eldest daughter Bianca Rinehart of leaking family company secrets.

The background to the dispute related to control of the $5 billion Rinehart Family Trust. Gina Rinehart’s lawyers alleged that whilst Bianca was a director of Hancock Prospecting, she leaked confidential company documents to her brother, John Hancock thereby breaching the Corporations Act and several confidentiality agreements. 

It is imperative that you have in place measures which identify and protect confidential information and the mechanisms in place to prosecute company officers and third parties should they breach their duties.

 The Rinehart Court hearing is ongoing.