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Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers has learnt that Terry Hill, CEO of now defunct Australian-based Hill Wine Group of companies, has launched legal action against parties who he alleges agreed to help him buy back the Basedow, Marienberg and Fern Hill brands from the group's liquidators. He alleges that David James, owner and managing director of Hunter Valley-based James Estates Wines and the Bearing Traders Group of Companies, along with his solicitor, negotiated a substantially lesser price with the liquidators, then altered draft asset sales contracts to conceal the true amount of the purchase price from Mr Hill. Hill alleges Mr James intended to keep the difference of A$3.8 million.