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Brittany Higgins’ early June wedding accommodated in Linda Reynolds’ bid to obtain trust deed

Rebecca Le MayThe West Australian
Brittany Higgins’ wedding in early June has been accommodated in Linda Reynolds’ court bid.
Camera IconBrittany Higgins’ wedding in early June has been accommodated in Linda Reynolds’ court bid. Credit: Instagram/Instagram

Brittany Higgins is set to tie the knot with fiance David Sharaz in the next few weeks.

The surprise news was revealed as the pair’s legal battle with senator Linda Reynolds continued in a Perth court.

The legal teams for the opposing sides were back in the WA Supreme Court as Senator Reynolds attempted to find out about the Brittany Higgins Protective Trust.

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It was reported earlier this year that the trust was set up to protect from litigation $2.4 million Ms Higgins was awarded in compensation by the Federal Government.

The outgoing senator’s team wants a copy of the trust deed before her defamation battle with Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz heads to trial on July 24.

The application attempts to determine who the trustee is and who to sue in the event Ms Higgins says she cannot pay damages.

Linda Reynolds' legal team led by Martin Bennett outside the David Malcolm Justice Centre on Thursday.
Camera IconLinda Reynolds' legal team led by Martin Bennett outside the David Malcolm Justice Centre on Thursday. Credit: Neale Prior

Their application was heard by Chief Justice Peter Quinlan on Thursday, who was told by Ms Higgins’ lawyer Leon Zwier that they needed extra time because of his client’s impending nuptials.

Justice Quinlan scheduled a hearing for July 17 when he will hear the argument on whether or not to order Ms Higgins’ counsel to supply the deed.

“The judge has accommodated their request not to interfere with Ms Higgins’ wedding,” Senator Reynolds’ lawyer, Martin Bennett, said outside court.

He said that in a media report, “details for the trust, which could only have come from Ms Higgins or Mr Sharaz, said it was set up to protect her investments from litigation”.

“Every State in Australia has legislation that sets aside a disposition that’s entered into to defeat creditors,” Mr Bennett said.

“And that’s what we’re looking at.

“We don’t know who the trustee is. We don’t know what law of Australia — Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, WA — governs it. We need to know those facts.”

Senator Reynolds is suing Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz, who now live in France, for defamation over a series of social media posts.

Mr Sharaz said he wanted to bow out of the battle earlier this month, saying he could not afford it, while Senator Reynolds — who raised the issue of freezing the couple’s assets when they moved to France — has remortgaged her house to pay for the court fight.

The contentious social media posts came after Ms Higgins alleged she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann in Senator Reynolds’ office at Parliament House, Canberra, in 2019.

Mr Bennett with outgoing Senator Linda Reynolds outside David Malcom Justice Centre on Thursday.
Camera IconMr Bennett with outgoing Senator Linda Reynolds outside David Malcom Justice Centre on Thursday. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

Mr Lehrmann has always denied the claims but last month — in a separate defamation case — Justice Michael Lee concluded he was convinced, to a civil standard, that Ms Higgins had told the truth.

He also noted in his judgment that claims of a political cover-up, which formed part of Ms Higgins’ compensation claim, were unfounded.

Earlier this week, Senator Reynolds said believed Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus should accept that he and his office were wrong in awarding Ms Higgins the payment.

Mr Lehrmann faced a criminal trial in the ACT in 2022 that was aborted due to juror misconduct.

If you have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing sexual assault and/or domestic violence, contact 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732.

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