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“GREEDY OGRE”: Solomon Lew aptly described by his own $12K-a-day QC

LewthegreedyogreBest barrister QC money can buy: $12,000 a day. Value of disputed trust fund: $600M+. Barrister providing a soundbite that so magnificently describes his own slimy client: Priceless.

In the Victorian Supreme Court, bricks-and-mortar dinosaur retail billionaire Solomon Lew’s lawyers kicked an own-goal so spectacular that it would be wrong not to celebrate with one of those long Brazillian-style soccer commentator ‘GOAAAAAAAAL!’ cries.

Jack Fajgenbaum, QC, by all accounts a decent man, in applying for a suppression order in proceedings his own client had initiated inadvertently so accurately described his bully-ionaire client as a “greedy ogre” that we think the description will stick like cocaine to the end of his son, Stevie’s beak.

It certainly got in the headlines today, with all major newspaper sites splashing hard with the bully-flop, using the term “greedy ogre” in their headlines. Truly a golden moment in sport.

Indeed, if you search for “greedy ogre” in Google images, you will see many pictures of Solomon Lew, now the undisputed top of the pile of Melbourne’s muck after suing his children in a sham lawsuit in order to fleece their estranged spouses and Lew’s own grand-children.

Legal sources familiar with the matter say it is common knowledge in the legal precinct that Lew’s firm instructions to somewhat bewildered legal advisers is that they are to do everything to ensure the ex-es get nothing. Nothing at all. Even though, there is an ample body of precedent to show that a very substantial sum is likely to be paid when the matter eventually gets decided by the Family Court.

This is seen as a bizarre approach to take for someone with so much money. Melbourne is left wondering why the greedy ogre won’t just reach for his cobweb-covered chequebook and ensure the mother and father of his grandkids aren’t left destitute and homeless.

Many suspect there is some sort of mental disturbance in play, such is the level of irrationality and hatred involved.

Certainly, the Sunday Age’s excellent Cameron Houston described the situation – and Lew’s infamous record of corporate and personal destruction – well:

Famous for his elegant Italian suits and perennial suntan, Lew also has a fearsome reputation as a corporate heavyweight, who regularly unleashes his retinue of lawyers against those who cross him. Some opponents have lost their businesses and homes by taking him on, while most are sent packing with a menacing legal letter.

But the decision to move the family dispute into the Supreme Court will significantly up the ante. The Lew family laundry could be hung out for all to see if his legal team fails in its attempts to suppress all media coverage.

One key part of the Lew strategy has been to initiate proceedings, launch appeals of every adverse decision and then plead for more time and use his high-priced lawyers to fabricate grounds for delaying the process. In so doing, he hopes to gain corrupt advantage by maximising the legal expenses of his ex-son-in-law and ex-daughter-in-law and to essentially starve them into submission, so that he can give them nothing.

It is understood he has already spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars on the best lawyers money can buy.

His eldest son, Peter, is the only one of Lew’s kids who is happily married, with it well understood in the Jewish community that he enjoys male companionship.

The application for the suppression order has been adjourned for judgment. Developing…

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. It’s sadly acceptable for the media to report as fact “allegations” made in a criminal case.

    And later when found innocent its still curtains for reputations anyway (ie Nathan Lovett-Murray, Theo Theophanous etc).

    If its good enough to name and shame the innocent in a criminal case it sure is good enough to watch Lew squirm in a case he brought !

    Posted by Squirm Lew Squirm. | April 18, 2012, 20:01
  2. The Looter is just a turd masquerading as a human, simple.

    Posted by Royal Flush | April 18, 2012, 21:04
  3. To Heinz – You ignorant rodent. You’re offensive comment should be deleted. Lew is a greedy, self indulgent ogre but why must you attach that to his religion? To the editor – please delete Heinz’s comment.

    Posted by ROC | April 18, 2012, 21:16
  4. Oh DAM! Rosie quick get us one of your pads love, I’ve just soiled my new Italian strides.

    Posted by Solly Phew | April 18, 2012, 21:17
  5. I agree delete Heinz’s comment no dispute he is greedy but delete it anyway

    Posted by Gordy gecko | April 18, 2012, 21:32
  6. Andy and I thought Solomon was a mate of yours?

    Posted by Taliban fan | April 18, 2012, 22:47
  7. I wonder where “Heinz “( or his father) was during the war?
    These guys still hate the Jews , I wonder if Lew was a Muslim if he or other closet anti Semites like him that select ly bring up religion if the controversal person is a Jew would have the guts to call him a terrorist or other Muslim remarks
    No doubt Lew is not a particuly nice guy but it is getting a bit boring when the Heinzes , Adolfs and others showing how jealous they are at these rich guys . My guess Heinz wishes he could have a private jet to fly around with instead Heinz probably loads the Lews luggage at the airport.

    Posted by Michael Burd | April 18, 2012, 22:54
  8. Lew the Looter brings a civil court case then wants it heard in secret! What a cheek !!!!

    Posted by Dirty Loo | April 19, 2012, 1:05
  9. VEXNEWS has zero tolerance for racism. One IP address has been linked to making a number of racist comments on this story and other stories, it is now permanently banned. We will use technical analysis to ban that commenter even if they change IP addresses. I am perplexed about the fact that with Mr Lew giving so much material on which folk could criticise that some concentrate on his ethnic background and/or religion. Frankly, it’s sickening and encourages us to shut down comments completely.Hopefully that won’t be necessary.

    Posted by VEXNEWS | April 19, 2012, 2:21
  10. Can’t wait for tax office to use part 4a in this case. Amazing how gina and sol don’t think they should pay tax. Misuse of this family trust structure is so common at the top end of town it’s a disgrace

    Posted by Justice | April 19, 2012, 9:14
  11. I’m sure that Nathan Lovett-Murray is rapt that people confuse him with Andrew Lovett.

    Posted by Reds are better in bed | April 19, 2012, 10:10
  12. Leave Mr Lew alone he is just a nice fella trying to earn a living. It not his fault his children married down.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 19, 2012, 13:06
  13. Yes Michael Burd – Greedy Ogre, bully-ionaire, the cartoon. Dr Gobbels would have been proud of it.

    Posted by Ari Jackstein | April 19, 2012, 13:45
  14. Im a friend of Sol. Sol is a generous person, who has created a lot of jobs both in Australia and overseas. Furthermore, he has dontated alot of money to a myrid of charities both jewish and non jewish. Why should a father in law payout a son in law or daughter in law? I ask each and every individual who writes on this blog to explain whether they would provide a payout for their son in law or daughter in law.

    The problem with society is that there is a tall poppy syndrome. People want to cut somebody down. If Sol has not paid tax properly, then that is an issue authorities should deal with, but otherwise Trusts are a legal and salient strategy used by many normal mum and dads

    Posted by Mench | April 19, 2012, 16:16
  15. Mate I reckon there will come a day soon when Mr. Lew destroys you. You must have self destructive tendencies.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2012, 19:41
  16. Dear Justice,
    It is such a pity to see people who are pig-ignorant having access to a computer keyboard. You clearly have no idea of the law of trusts trying to drag ‘gina’ into this debate. Let me enlighten you.
    The Rinehart trust is a typical traditional trust which has been in use for centuries … that is, it is established to manage the estate of a deceased. And, let me disabuse you of any notion of wrong-doing by Gina. The trust in her instance is a DISCRETIONARY Trust. What do you think that means? The hint is in the title. That’s right … it is administered at the DISCRETION of the trustee, so nothing to see here …. Move on.
    On the other hand, my understanding of the situation which is being alleged in the Lew case is that the trust was established for the purposes of “income re-distribution”, where one person distributes income to others (usually relatives with little or no other income). The problem is that one has to ‘alienate’ this income to ensure it is regarded as taxable income of the beneficiary (and taxed at a lower rate) rather than treated as income in the hands of the trustee. The problem is – and I have warned many people of this over the years – that once the income is legally alienated (but cash not passed) and it ends in a falling out between the beneficiaries and the trustee, the trustee is then in a classic Catch 22. He must either pay over the cash to the beneficiaries or admit to the ATO that the whole thing was a charade.

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | April 19, 2012, 21:32
  17. So toad he’s tried to avoid tax and he will pay. How many average punters avoid tax like these dudes do?

    Posted by Justice | April 19, 2012, 22:21
  18. Adrian Jackson 19 April 13:06 must be an imposter. The real Wacko Jacko has neve been known to make a comment complimentary of a Jew.

    Posted by Imposter alert | April 20, 2012, 0:01
  19. Sol screwed you silly Andrew!

    Posted by Ha Ha | April 20, 2012, 1:09
  20. Imposter alert – do you think the comment “married down” is a complement?

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 20, 2012, 4:11
  21. re MENSCH
    The reason why Mr Lew should payout his former son in law and daughter in law is because they are parents to his grandchildren and they were spouses.
    Had Mr Lew come to an agreement re a settlement all of this would not have become so public.
    The only people being paid are the lawyers, barristers and QC’S.
    I wonder what you would be writing if they were your children.

    Posted by Hanna | April 20, 2012, 13:17
  22. re Hanna

    I have given this thought, it is still unreasonable to fund excessive payments. Why do the in laws need to live an outrageous life style? Their demands is what has blown this issue out of the water. If they were reasonable in their requests, this issue would have been dealt with. Also at hand in one of the disputes, as mentioned by Vexnews is that the son in law has had mental issues, which the Lew family was and are still very worried about. All in all, Hanna you should also consider that the in laws families are worth – tens of millions of dollars, and they could provide adequate support as well. These in laws kids, prior to meeting the Lews, lived very priviliged lives, and their parents could be forthcoming with support. I dont believe it should be on the sholders of Mr. Lew.

    And if my son or daughter was involved in a bad relationship i would bend over backwards to defend them, and provide maximum assistance. I would be loathed to provide my hard earned monies to some drop kicks wanting to take advantage of my income/wealth.

    Posted by Mench | April 20, 2012, 15:03
  23. re comments made by Michael Burd

    Michael – why do you have to paint Mr. Lew in a negative light. He has been equally as unscrupolous as your were in the Shmatta business! – Did you pay full taxes?

    Posted by Mench | April 20, 2012, 15:04
  24. re Mench
    All I was suggesting is that all of this publicity is terrible for all concerned.
    All spouses walk away with something( Im not suggesting tens of millions) in a divorce settlement and thispublicity and name slanging could have been avoided given the concern for the grandchildren.

    Posted by hanna | April 20, 2012, 17:37
  25. re: Mench

    I suggest you either change your “code name” or get your facts straight before mouthing off. As a friend of these people you talk about – you are way off the mark on all your comments.

    Posted by Friend of in laws | April 20, 2012, 18:05
  26. Sigh … Justice …. Try to keep up, Sunshine. My point was that Lew (allegedly) structured a trust to avoid tax and it is coming undone as the disaffected beneficiaries have fallen out with Solly. It was YOU who drew the parallel with Gina Rinehardt which is a complete red herring … there is no suggestion that Gina has dodged tax. The Rinehardt trust was set up to manage the estate of Lang Hancock, and the only problem there would seem to be the typical indolent third generation who can’t get by on $5m a year.

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | April 20, 2012, 18:09
  27. Re friend of in laws

    Thanks for your note. Why don’t you do some directors and shareholder searches and land title searches and you will find your terribly wrong.

    Posted by Mensch | April 20, 2012, 21:58
  28. Re friend of in laws

    Thanks for your note. Why don’t you do some directors and shareholder searches and land title searches and you will find your terribly wrong.

    Posted by Mench | April 20, 2012, 21:58
  29. Mensch/Mench you have your facts wrong, although you mean well.
    Michael Burd too has good intentions but is letting his emotions take over his point that is quite valid.
    Friend of in laws are nice and supportive friends, and I understand when you feel angry when your friends are in such a predicament.
    Worst part is the writer of this article is antisemitc. He is not alone, and let it be known – in Australia people are quite antisemitc but it’s held under the tongue and perhaps discussed in private. For now….
    I think that if we can respect these people and leave them alone to sort their shit, we would be better for it.
    Religion has nothing do with it , people just hate & blame Jews. Nothing new & we know that especially today.
    We live in a country that have nothing better to think about and write about. Everyone knows Australian journalism is of such a low standard. Shameful. Almost as bad as English tabloids.
    Too much free speech obviously is not such a good thing,….

    Posted by Fair | April 21, 2012, 0:28
  30. Facts 1. Lew tried to avoid paying tax by funneling his millions via his children.

    Fact 2. Now the childrens marriages have collapsed, Lew’s use of his children to avoid tax has been exposed.

    Here endith the summary.

    Posted by Sir Summary | April 21, 2012, 2:06
  31. please leave this gorgeous lew family alone.
    They are beautiful people and don’t need this rubbish
    its an honour to be their friend

    true friends are what life is about the rest is rubbish

    Posted by jock | April 21, 2012, 2:21
  32. To Mench or Mensch (it seems you are not actually sure) – you seem to know a lot about all this and seem to have gone to extensive lengths like checking directors and shareholders etc. Why don’t you put your real name to your comments or is that not possible because you are a PR spin doctor? One of the 300 lawyers? A member of the lew family?
    From what I read and understand it was the father who made himself a party to these issues, not the in laws wanting to sue him. Are the in laws not the defendants to this case?

    Posted by Friend of in laws | April 21, 2012, 7:41
  33. Re Friend of in laws | April 21, 2012, 7:41

    Firstly, i am not a PR of spin doctor. I am not a member of the lew family. I am not a lawyer. I am actually, just a humble old old friend of the Lews.

    Secondly, the Lews in my opinion are just protecting themselves, and the actions we commenced by both of the in laws.

    This is no different the defendants of any court case in the courts today. Look at the Centro case.

    Thirdly, i ask you to revert to Vexnews previous articles which highlight Stevie Lews business success’and acumen, and then work out that his ex wife should get half of nothing. That is all he has contirbuted is clocking up alot of expenses his family has had to cover.

    Finally, who bailed out Mr. Priester from previous business dealings in the Waffle Cone business? That turned out to a giant $0 – infact it was a vast loss.

    In my humble opinion, this should have been handled in private, however seeing that families had giant grandure in their eyes, Mr. Lew needs to protect himself. It was a shame it was not handled in private. it is a shame that a community is divided and gossiping about this. However, when children get sued, any protective mother or father would want to protect their own? According to an old Copper friend of mine – the best method of defence is attack. All Mr. Lew is doing is defending himself.

    Anyway, this is the last i will be writing on this matter. Time to move on.

    Posted by Mench | April 21, 2012, 19:51
  34. Re: Fair | April 21, 2012, 0:28

    Thank you for your comment. I must say, that it is truely disgusting that when you read the articles on this site, and others, that references to religion is very concerning. There is no need to mention religion in my opinion in this article.

    Mr. Lew has been a donor across many religions, along with some of his close friends. Mr. Lew has friends who are not jewish, infact are staunch catholics, and they are some of the biggest donors to the religious jewish community. My view is that the author of the aricle would receive more credibiity if religion was excluded from the facts.

    The following sentence: His eldest son, Peter, is the only one of Lew’s kids who is happily married, with it well understood in the Jewish community that he enjoys male companionship.

    could just be written to say: His eldest son, Peter, is the only one of Lew’s kids who is happily married, with it well understood that he enjoys male companionship. It is also well known that he has a companion overseas, who is very fond of – some Thai gentlemen (who are not jewish).

    Posted by Sammy | April 21, 2012, 19:57
  35. Lovely photograph of Inga http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/movies/polly-hams-it-up-for-the-cameras-on-the-big-screen/story-e6frf9h6-1226333704272 it looks like she has lost some weight and is slimming down!

    Posted by Dirty Donna | April 21, 2012, 21:30
  36. This is not about racism; It’s not about Mr Lew being Jewish. It’s about Mr Lew trying to defraud other Australians who pay their applicable tax to support those in poor circumstances, fund education, health, law and order and to build the infrastructure of the nation.

    He set up a system to defraud taxpayers;it failed due to family complications. Now he’s trying to grab the money and hide it another way. The money should go where it righfully belongs – in the public coffers to pay for public good!

    A crook is a crook, no matter ethnic or religious background!

    Posted by A Real Taxpaying Wages Worker | April 22, 2012, 1:45
  37. Thjs article should be removed. It is racists and seeks to incite hatred of green ogres . Ogres are nice, caring and friendly unlike the Lewis they do not lie, cheat or steal public conservation land for private sexual pleasures such as nude bathing.

    Posted by The alien bigot | April 22, 2012, 4:23
  38. re: Posted by A Real Taxpaying Wages Worker | April 22, 2012, 1:45

    The government should then outlaw all trusts, companies and other strucutres, and have a flat GST and income tax like Hong Kong or Singapore. If these strucutres are legal, and Millions of people use them, then it is permissible for Mr. Lew, or many Trade Union officials to use as well. Why dont you survey your Union and see how many officials are using these strucutres?

    Posted by Sammy | April 22, 2012, 9:57
  39. Dear Sammy,

    Just got back from work and read your interesting post. Yep, I plead guilty, I am a union member and have been one since I started work. And I’ve paid tax all that time, proportionate to what I earn!

    The point you miss is that Mr Lew DIDN’T FOLLOW THE LAW! He and his advisers came up with a sham arrangement to get the benefit of tax laws he wasn’t actually entitled to receive. When his children’s spouses looked like they may take a share of the money in their spouses name (and therefore matrimonial assets) Mr Lew’s fiction was coming to bite him – so he takes action to protect his money he had been hiding from the taxman by pretending to distribute it to the kids. If they were real trust arrangements, then the money distributed to the kids would no longer be Mr Lew’s and would be subject to divorce proceedings involving the kids and their spouses, not Mr Lew!

    That being said, I think your idea of abolishing trusts, and for mine, other wealthyman’s tax avoidance systems, is a good one and should be supported. Income tax should return to a more progressive arrangement so that higher income earners pay a higher proportion of their income (cash and kind)with the very wealthy like Mr Lew paying 60-70 cents on the dollar (or dollar value of in-kind income) with no deductions. This should apply to all income above, say $250,000 (indexed). This would restore equity and fairness to the system, don’t you agree?

    The moral principle for all people of conscience is ‘Each according to their capacity’ and in respect to transfer payments (welfare, schools, health services, etc) ‘Each according to their needs’. This moral principle should govern everyone who is part of our society, regardless of background, and those who rort the system (like Mr Lew under the current circumstances) should face a combination of forfeiture and complulsory public service.

    Posted by A Real Taxpaying Wages Worker | April 23, 2012, 0:17
  40. Lew has lost his case to prevent public gaze of his court dealings.

    Now we all get to see what a shyster he is.

    When’s the next day in court ?!?!

    Posted by LET THE FEAST BEGIN! | April 24, 2012, 19:12
  41. Lew appeal fails. Now he is naked in front of everyone – oi vey

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 25, 2012, 0:04

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