The former James Hardie directors who were disqualified from managing companies for releasing misleading information about an asbestos fund have had their penalties reduced.
In May the High Court upheld an appeal by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and found the former directors and executives had misled investors with a press release that claimed an asbestos compensation fund was "fully funded" to meet claims against it.
ASIC appealed after the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the original decision of Supreme Court judge Ian Gzell, who found the directors and executive had breached their duties.
Justice Gzell originally imposed a five-year ban on all the non-executive directors and chief financial officer of James Hardie, a seven-year ban on the company secretary and general counsel Peter Shafron, and a 15-year ban on former chief executive Peter Macdonald.
In his original judgment, Justice Gzell was scathing about the credibility of some of the directors' evidence, particularly that of Meredith Hellicar.
Upon ruling in favour of ASIC's appeal, the High Court remitted the matter to the Court of Appeal to redetermine penalties for the former directors.
Ms Hellicar, a former chairman of the company, has had her disqualification reduced from five years to two years and three months, with the NSW Court of Appeal taking into account a period of one year and four months when she was not legally disqualified pending the High Court appeal by the regulator.
She will again be eligible to be a company director or manager from May next year.
Three of the other Australian-based former non-executive directors of James Hardie during the relevant period - Michael Brown, Gregory Terry and Geoffrey O'Brien - have been given the same disqualification period.
One other Australian-based former director, Peter Willcox, will be disqualified until March 31 because he elected not to stay the effect of the original decision and has thus been disqualified a month longer so far than his former colleagues.
The Australian-based former directors will pay fines to ASIC of $25,000 each, down from an original $30,000 penalty.
Two US-based directors - Martin Koffell and Michael Gillfillan - have been given a shorter disqualification of about one year and 11 months and will be eligible to manage a corporation at the start of the new year.
These two directors will pay $20,000 each in fines to the corporate regulator.
The original seven-year ban and $75,000 fine against Mr Shafron was upheld by the Court of Appeal.