National News

Palmer trial funding deal 'not right'

The judge overseeing Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel collapse trial wants to know how much money the liquidators' backers stand to make if they win.

The billionaire businessman is fighting a $100 million lawsuit brought by two sets of liquidators over the Townsville refinery's 2016 demise.

They're trying to claw back money they say is owed to unpaid creditors in the Brisbane Supreme Court but could end up with millions more if they're successful.

On Tuesday, Justice Debra Mullins raised questions about the liquidators' funding arrangement and their potential windfall if the "unusual outcome" of the liquidator having too much cash were to occur.

"I suspect a funding premium would apply to everything that is recovered and that doesn't seem right if that were the case," she said.

Justice Mullins called for the liquidators' lawyers to provide more information about how much money their backers stood to gain.

It follows Mr Palmer's defence team's application on Monday for the trial to be thrown out amid allegations the liquidators are fee-chasing.

They say given Mr Palmer has already agreed to settle the majority of the claims against him, pursuing his company, Mineralogy, for $100 million in unpaid loans is no longer paying creditors.

"It is grossly unfair and disproportionate," said Dr Chris Ward SC, a lawyer for Mr Palmer's companies.

The liquidators have brushed the criticism aside, saying they wouldn't have been able to mount a case without a finding deal because Mr Palmer's companies stripped QN of its assets.

Earlier, Justice Mullins rejected the mining magnet's request to have himself and his nephew Clive Mensink removed from the claim.

Cost orders related to Mr Palmer's attempt to postpone the trial on its first day prevented it, she said.

Justice Mullins did, however, agree to his lawyer's application to excuse the former federal MP from any further attendance at the trial.

"I was happy to make that order right from the word go," she said with a chuckle.

The trial continues.

© AAP 2019