Qantas chief Alan Joyce bounced into a plane-spotters' conference in Sydney on Thursday full of optimism.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce bounced into a plane-spotters' conference in Sydney on Thursday full of optimism.

His upbeat tone should not be a big surprise because the Irishman just recently returned from holiday in his homeland and other parts of Europe.

After quick hello to Sydney Airport boss Kerrie Mather, Joyce sat down for a "fireside chat" before several hundred aviators, travel agents and consultants.

As expected, he talked up the Flying Kangaroo's prospects.

But he saved his best for when asked about Etihad chief executive James Hogan, who has repeatedly pointed out that Qantas missed out on a lot by fending off his airline's advances.

"It's a bit like being offered the bike before you are offered the BMW," Joyce replied.

Qantas formed an extensive alliance with one of Etihad's main rivals, Emirates, last year.

The Jones factor

It is the class action lawsuit worth hundreds of millions of dollars that came close to failing before it was even lodged for want of someone to sue.

Shareholders represented by law firm Maurice Blackburn are suing the estate of the late David Coe over the collapse of his debt-laden Allco empire as the GFC struck in 2008.

As Coe died in January while on a skiing holiday, Maurie B's lawyers needed to join the executor of his will to the lawsuit.

But although Coe was conservatively estimated to be worth tens of millions, it appears there was no executor appointed.

Maurice Blackburn did find a Gary Jones, who had advertised his intention to apply for probate in February but had not actually done so. The law firm then ran to the NSW Supreme Court, which appointed Jones as administrator of Coe's estate for the purposes of the class action.

That leaves one question: who is this mystery man? The clipping files reveal a Gary Jones who, along with Coe and others, is an investment banker who was a director of Stripe, the ill-fated digital radio outfit fronted by convicted tax cheat Glenn Wheatley.

However, it is believed the Jones named in the lawsuit is Coe's long-time personal accountant.

Whether the two Joneses are the same man CBD is unable to say. The solicitor representing the one named in the lawsuit, Hamish Esplin, declined to comment.

Damaging Dalton

Still in the courts, Queensland beak Jean Dalton has delivered a caning to administrators of Peter Drake's failed LM Investment Management.

Justice Dalton found that administrators FTI gave misleading information to investors in a bid to see off fund manager Trilogy, which was jockeying for control of LM's First Mortgage Income Fund.

Her honour slammed FTI's Ginette Muller for using an affidavit to make an "unprofessionally robust and partisan" attack on Trilogy.

"Ms Muller's affidavit ... is characterised by the sort of sniping and argumentative passages which one would hope not to find in any affidavit, let alone an affidavit of someone who is an officer of the court and a trustee acting on behalf of others," Justice Dalton said.

Getting in early

No matter how hard it strives, miner Newcrest just can't catch a break when it comes to getting clear air to announce its bad news.

CBD has previously (June 10, April 3) written of the strange effect by which an impending public holiday causes Newcrest's mines to shed billions in value.

Apparently megaminer Rio Tinto's attention-seeking antics on Thursday had a similar effect.

Less than an hour before Rio put out its half-year result, Newcrest revealed to the market a bigger-than-expected write-down of $6.2 billion.

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