Hockey Set To Get Nailed In Fairfax Defamation Legal Bills

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey (left) arrives with his wife Melissa Babbage to his defamation case at the Federal Court in Sydney, Thursday, March 12, 2015. Mr Hockey has brought legal action against Fairfax Media over a series of stories in their newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times in May, under the headline

He may have won the case but it appears Joe Hockey’s defamation win over Fairfax Media is going to cost him big time.

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Hockey was awarded $200,000 last month after The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age suggested he could be bought.


However, a judge today ruled that Fairfax was only responsible for 15 per cent of his legal bills – meaning the treasurer’s $200K and more will be chewed up in barristers’ fees.

Going against Hockey was that he failed to prove that another Fairfax title – The Canberra Times – had defamed him and hence why Fairfax has been able to reduce the typical legal reimbursement of 70 per cent down to only 15.

It is unclear of what exactly Hockey paid in hiring some of the top legal minds in the country for the year-long case; however, it wouldn’t have been cheap and he is now set to foot the bill himself.

It has been reported that Hockey and his family – primarily though his financial guru wife, Melissa Babbage – are worth an estimated tens of millions of dollars personally. He reportedly earns $365,868 annually for his job as treasurer.

It has been inferred during the case that The SMH editor, Darren Goodsir, had a personal vendetta against Hockey.