The contents of a secretive Freemasons board meeting will be examined by the courts, after a lawyer accused a renowned tech start-up guru of defaming him.
The contents of a secretive Freemasons board meeting will be examined by the courts, after a lawyer accused a renowned tech start-up guru of defaming him.

High-flying Freemasons face off over $500K defamation claim

THE contents of a secretive board meeting at a heritage listed masonic lodge in Brisbane City will be examined by a District Court judge after a southeast Queensland tax agent lodged a defamation claim for $500,000.

The court case will centre on the monthly board meeting of the Board of Management of the United Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Freemasons of Queensland inside the Masonic Memorial Centre at 311 Ann Street, Brisbane City, on May 21 last year.

According to a statement of claim filed in court, Grand Treasurer Phillip Lawrence Cohen, a registered tax agent and former solicitor who lives in Tamborine, claims he was defamed by then-director Damon Peter Fealy, a startup guru who works with the Queensland Ballet, travel app Travello, Griffith University and advisory firm Oakland Traleen.

Mr Cohen claims Mr Fealy falsely accused him of paying a person to make false statements in an affidavit tendered in court.

According to his statement of claim, this statement by Mr Fealy was heard by a room full of high-flying businessmen, including Martin Overman, managing director of The Metro Express Transport Group, Alan Townson, the director of Freemasons Queensland charity Hand Heart Pocket, and Paul Holland, owner and managing director at Creativity Well among others.

"It was a natural and probable consequence of the matters pleaded above that, by the 'grapevine effect', the imputations and substance or effect was related by many other people," Mr Cohen states in his claim.

However, Mr Fealy has stridently denied the allegations, stating via his lawyer in his defence of the claim filed last month on June 18 that he did not state words to the effect that Mr Cohen had paid someone to lie in an affidavit tendered in court.

The Masonic Memorial Centre, 311 Ann St, Brisbane City. Picture: Supplied
The Masonic Memorial Centre, 311 Ann St, Brisbane City. Picture: Supplied

He also claimed there was and is no such thing as the Board of Management of the United Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Freemasons of Queensland

Mr Cohen is claiming $300,000 in general damages and $200,000 in aggravated damages.

He is yet to file a response to Mr Fealy's defence.

Originally published as High-flying Freemasons face off over $500K defamation claim



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