Begbie was the Chief Justice (or its equivalent) for most of his professional life and remained in this role until his death in 1894. It was he who, early in 1884, heard the appeal launched by the Ainsworth Syndicate over the ownership of claims at Big Ledge. Begbie reversed all of Gold Commissioner Kelly's rulings, except one. Hammill's re-staking of the Bluebell site was a simple case of claim-jumping, Begbie decided, and he ruled in favour of Sproule.
Begbie also expressed his annoyance at the role played by Baillie-Grohman in the dispute. "...the whole of this wearisome, expensive and mischievous litigatiion has been caused and fostered by the unauthorized intrusion of a stranger, who seems to have succeeded, before the Gold Commissioner, in raising such a cloud of irrelevant statement and controversies, as to entirely obscure that officer's view of the few material facts in each case. This interference, it is scarcely necessary to state, is entirely illegal."
However, lest we think Begbie was the kind of man to hold a grudge, it is instructive to notice that Mrs. Baillie-Grohman, in writing of her time in Victoria, states how Begbie was a good family friend and would often come over to house for dinner. And, after all, the two men did share a common middle name.