Christian Porter’s leading defamation barrister Sue Chrysanthou has been ordered to pay costs to the friend of the woman who accused him of rape 30 years ago.
Concluding the legal fight to keep Mr Porter’s Sydney barrister Ms Chrysanthou from his star-studded legal team, the Federal Court has ordered that he pay costs to Jo Dyer, the friend of the woman who accused him of rape and who submitted that her previous lawyer-client relationship with Ms Chrysanthou could advantage him.
Ms Chrysanthou argued that the information she may or may not have learnt from her professional relationship with Ms Dyer was not confidential and could not advantage Mr Porter but was found to be wrong, with the Federal Court ordering that she and Mr Porter’s legal teams pay Ms Dyer’s costs of the proceeding.
Mr Porter accepted that he should pay costs but said that the order should be for 70 per cent of the costs in light of the “late service” of a reply. However, in the court’s view, there was “insufficient reason to disturb the ordinary rule”.
Ruling on the decision in May, Justice Thomas Thawley refused to allow Ms Chrysanthou to continue working on his legal team because he was concerned there was a “danger of misuse of confidential information by Ms Chrysanthou”.
“Ms Chrysanthou gave evidence that she did not remember the confidential information… [but] there is nevertheless the risk of subconscious use of confidential information. A fair-minded member of the public would say she should not act for Porter,” Justice Thawley said.