Business

Gerry Harvey takes a hiding ... Twiggy in the High Court

Gerry Harvey's hiding the fault of political egos. Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey was particularly glum yesterday as he revealed his retail businesses' half-yearly profits and a 6% dive in sales in the six months to December. Put bluntly, said Harvey, his technology division has been "taking a hiding". And while nervous consumers can share part of the blame, it's the egos of politicians that are really responsible.

"They are standing up and fighting about things that have nothing to do with the economy, but everything to do with their own personal glory," he told the Herald Sun.

Twiggy in High Court: his salute to corporate Australia. It's on. Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's eight-year legal battle against the corporate watchdog finally hit the High Court yesterday, with the rock kicker seeking to overturn a 2011 appeals court ruling that he breached his duties as a director by misleading investors back in 2004.

But the outcome of this case will have little impact on the man, other than a couple of dents – one in his pride and another in his pocket – but much more on corporate Australia, with the decision likely to have ramifications on the Corporations Act. Yesterday, Fortescue shares jumped 3.3%. An omen of things to come for Twiggy?

The new legal kids in town. If you spot a confused-looking private practice lawyer type today, be kind. Everything's gone askew in the legal community after two of Australia's largest legal employers decided to mark the start of the month as the official "go-live" date for their mergers with law firms overseas.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques officially becomes King  Wood Mallesons today, after merging with the Chinese-based King & Wood. And Blake Dawson takes the Ashurst name, after merging with the Asian operations of the global law firm.

Pollies and footy coaches break the alcohol fast. A number of Australians have achieved the almost impossible: they've gone the entire month of February – a leap year month no less – without a drink.

Special congratulations to Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy who said there's "no doubt that it's been a bit of a challenge" and to Penny Wong, who also made it the full 29 days for FebFast withough an alcoholic beverage, despite a couple of difficult issues arising in the workplace

Good day for Chip Goodyear. Former BHP boss Charles 'Chip' Goodyear has finally got a new gig, having been elected to serve as an independent director of US-based Anadarko Petroleum. Goodyear retired as BHP CEO in September 2007, after five years at the helm, to make way for Marius Kloppers.


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