Lawyer X to be struck off from roll of practitioners

By Naomi Neilson|08 October 2020
Nicola Gobbo

Proceedings have been launched in the Victorian Supreme Court to remove gangland criminal barrister Nicola Gobbo from the roll of practitioners.

Just months before an explosive report is due that details the Lawyer X human source saga, the Victorian Legal Services Board and its commissioner issued proceedings in the state’s Supreme Court to have Ms Gobbo’s name removed from the roll.  

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Ms Gobbo has not held a practising certificate since 2014 and has not been permitted to practise since, a decade after she officially became an informant against her clients. The legal services board cannot comment further while the matter is before the court.  

The news comes as the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (RCMPI) commissioner Margaret McMurdo prepares to publish the final report at the end of November examining the extent to which Ms Gobbo worked with Victoria Police and breached her obligations as a legal practitioner while informing against her clients. 

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Ms Gobbo’s lawyers submitted that the evidence demonstrates that many of the clients provided information to her in social settings, which does not attract legal breaches. 

Her lawyers argued that Victoria Police and Ms Gobbo behaved negligent in allowing Ms Gobbo to breach her duties as she did. Although they agreed that the conduct had impacted the administration of justice, it was “not unlawful” and was mitigated by a “lack of oversight and guidance by senior [decision-makers] at Victoria Police”. 

In new submissions published on the RCMPI website, counsel assisting committed to restoring confidence in the Victorian legal community and in its law enforcement. 

Counsel assisting said that when carefully considering the issues raised by responders to the 2,000-word submission on the events surrounding the Lawyer X saga, the public can be confident that the findings sought are appropriate and necessary to restore the confidence of Victorian residents in the “vital work of legal practitioners” and police.

Lawyer X to be struck off from roll of practitioners
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