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Footy legend Darren Lockyer tackles law firm in $46MILLION lawsuit due to alleged negligent advice

Rugby league legend Darren Lockyer tackles Brisbane law firm in $46MILLION lawsuit after it allegedly delivered negligent advice that cost the former Brisbane Bronco a fortune

  • Rugby league great Darren Lockyer is embroiled in a $46million law suit
  • Brisbane law firm McCullough Robertson accused of passing on poor advice
  • Lockyer one of five businessmen suing for negligence and breach of contract

Rugby league legend Darren Lockyer is involved in an explosive $46million lawsuit against a prestigious Brisbane law firm accused of costing the footy star and his business partners a small fortune in potential profits.

Lockyer and four other prominent businessmen were all previous part owners in a labor-hire business.

They claim top lawyers McCullough Robertson passed on poor business advice which collectively cost the quintet tens of millions of dollars.

The former co-owners are suing the firm in the Supreme Court for negligence as well as breach of contract, according to the Courier Mail.

The claim alleges the poor financial advice resulted in the business, One Key Resources, having an invalid enterprise agreement (EA) which prevented maximum profits.

It is also alleged the invalid EA cost the shareholders more than $17million in the sale of the company.

Rugby league legend Darren Lockyer is involved in an explosive $46million lawsuit against a prestigious Brisbane law firm

Law firm McCullough Robertson is accused of passing on poor business advice which cost Lockyer and his business partners tens of millions in potential profits (pictured, after his final match at Suncorp Stadium in 2011)

Law firm McCullough Robertson is accused of passing on poor business advice which cost Lockyer and his business partners tens of millions in potential profits (pictured, after his final match at Suncorp Stadium in 2011)

One Key Resources was sold to a private equity player in the UK for $33.2million in 2016 – but only $15.8million was actually paid after the new owners were hit with massive bills for previous unpaid staff leave and redundancy payments after an EA was overturned in court , the claim outlines.

The five plaintiffs – including Broncos great Lockyer – allege if McCullough Robertson lawyers Michael Andrew Moy, an Industrial Relations specialist who advised on the EA, and Isaac Clifford West, a commercial law specialist who advised on the sale, had not negligently given them bad advice between 2014 to 2016, their collective profits would have been considerably larger.

If they managed to delay the sale of One Key Resources until the end of 2018, they could have then sold the company for $44million.

The claim for loss is $46million, which includes estimated profits for 2017 and 2018 at the projected higher sale price.

The lawsuit goes onto allege Mr Moy advised then-One Key managing director Grant Wechsel in 2015 to enter into a new EA using the name of RECS (Qld) Pty Ltd.

Thus it was done because RECS was not a known company within the resources industry.

Lockyer is one of five businessmen suing the law firm in the Supreme Court for negligence as well as breach of contract (pictured, with fellow footy legend Wally Lewis)

Lockyer is one of five businessmen suing the law firm in the Supreme Court for negligence as well as breach of contract (pictured, with fellow footy legend Wally Lewis)

It is alleged Mr Moy advised Mr Wechsel this was a ‘common practice’ and that the revamped EA would ‘slip through’ the Fair Work Commission under the new trading name.

Subsequently, the EA was rubber-stamped by the FWC in October of 2015, with all employees transferred to the RECS EA.

When the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union took the case to the FWC three years later, the EA was ruled to be invalid.

The company then folded owing money to workers who needed to paid at a higher rate to match their industry awards, according to the detailed claim.

Mr Lockyer was a director of One Key Resources’ parent company One Key Holdings from December 2014 until the sale in May 2016.

Lockyer retired from the NRL in 2011 after a glittering career with the Broncos, Queensland and Australia (pictured with Immortal Andrew Johns)

Lockyer retired from the NRL in 2011 after a glittering career with the Broncos, Queensland and Australia (pictured with Immortal Andrew Johns)

Lockyer Enterprises also held 2,800 shares in OKH until May 2016, for which the footy great was paid $374,999.

In October of the same year, he was paid a further $188,630, the claim states.

As it stands, no defense has been filed and no hearing date has been set.

Lockyer, a father of three, retired from the NRL in 2011 after a glittering career with the Broncos, Queensland and Australia.

He then made a comfortable transition into the media with Channel Nine.

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