Clive Palmer sued for $4.6 million by former employee

A former employee and friend of Clive Palmer is suing the millionaire and Federal MP for $4.6 million over an alleged contract breach.

William Schoch claims the mining magnate breached his employment contract, while he was working as chief financial officer on Palmer’s China First coal project and later at Palmer’s Hyatt Coolum resort.

In the Supreme Court on Monday, he said that Mr Palmer offered him $5 million over five years in a phone call in 2011.


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He was then given an employment contract which offered a base salary of just $100,000 a year.

Mr Schoch said he then amended the contract to include “plus bonus as agreed”.

Mr Palmer’s human resources staff laughed at the amendment, Mr Schoch told the court.

“I didn’t care whether they laughed or not because it was a deal that I had with Clive, who I’d known for 40 years, and that was it,” he said.

“He said that I’d be on a starting salary to start with and the rest of the money would come in later.”

However, Mr Schoch said Mr Palmer fired him by telephone when he asked about the promised funds in December 2013.

 

He is now suing Mr Palmer and two of his companies, claiming he was tricked into signing a “sham” contract.

The claim is contested by Mr Palmer.

A trial is expected to run for four days.

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