Gloves off over Wrecker
Former business manager and new lawyer headed to court over clash
WILL the Wrecker has become more reclusive as a legal battle about his multi-milliondollar fortune triggers an explosive relationship between his former business manager and new lawyer.
Joseph “Will the Wrecker’’ Smith continues to live on a camp bed at the Gold Coast Housing Commission home of his partner, despite having a property portfolio believed to be worth up to $20 million.
“He sleeps on the couch or his swag on the back veranda,” a concerned friend told the Bulletin. “He no longer attends his wrecking yard where he enjoys fiddling (with old car wrecks). He is not seen at his usual haunts. He does not call his friends or business associates. Lifelong friends are unable to contact him. He has no contact with his family.”
The Bulletin has tried to contact Mr Smith on his mobile phone multiple times, only for wrecking yard staff to answer and say he is not on site.
As the legal battle continues in several courts, a video has emerged showing Mr Smith’s ex-business manager Michael Yarwood and Smith’s barrister Chris Garlick meeting inside the Southport Registry office.
The video shows Mr Yarwood approaching the counter where, by chance, Mr Garlick is seeking help from a court employee at the registry.
“Are you filming me, Yarwood?” Mr Garlick says, telling others waiting at the registry that Mr Yarwood is facing alle- gations of ripping off Mr Smith for $4.3 million.
Mr Garlick then returns to the counter where he tells court staff: “You have no idea what’s been going on.”
The staff member tells him: “We just don’t want that sort of thing in here.”
The legal battle was sparked when Mr Yarwood lodged a court claim for $1.9 million in lost earnings after his contract as Mr Smith’s business adviser was terminated.
Mr Smith counter claimed by accusing Mr Yarwood of defrauding him of $4 million after he was given power of attorney to negotiate the Reedy Creek land deal in which the State Government aquired his back lots for a rail corridor next to the Pacific Highway.
Mr Yarwood has strongly refuted the latest counter claim, amended to say he owed $1.65 million to Mr Smith.
Mr Smith knew the wellknown Coast business family and approached Mr Yarwood after reading a newspaper report about him serving time in jail. The “Wrecker’’ was paying up to $300,000 in land tax and rates. The deal with the government netted him $9 million, allowing him to keep the iconic house with the FX Holden peeking from the veranda on the first floor.
Mr Yarwood, a former Somerset College school captain, rising LNP star and lawyer, was jailed in 2011 for misappropriation of funds and forgery but released after nine months when he won an appeal against the sentence after detailing health issues.
Mr Yarwood and his wife Jacqueline have made a complaint against Mr Garlick to the Legal Services Commission, alleging “conduct of harassment by a legal practitioner”. The complaint has been referred to the Bar Association, and after receiving its findings the commission will determine whether to close the file or start disciplinary proceedings.
The couple has also sought a peace and good behaviour order against Mr Garlick. The matter, has been adjourned until December 10.
Mr Garlick did not respond to requests for comment.
Gold Coast millionaire and junkyard recluse Will Smith arriving at Brisbane Supreme Court (main image); barrister Chris Garlick (top) and Michael Yarwood.