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Claims against firms and ACT DPP under fire: What’s hot in law this week (15-19 May)

The board of inquiry into the handling of the Bruce Lehrmann prosecution has seen some big revelations this week, and courts across Australia have been kept busy. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconLawyers Weekly 20 May 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 15 May to 19 May, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1. ‘Frivolous and vexatious’ gender discrimination claim against boutique dismissed
A solicitor has unsuccessfully sued a Sydney boutique firm after he claimed he was discriminated against because of his gender and demanded $5,000 in compensation for “injury to feelings”.

  1. ‘Unusual’: Firm faces allegations of ‘aiding and abetting’ Fair Work breaches
A boutique law firm and a Federal Court judge were caught up in allegations behind an “unusual” Fair Work claim.


  1. Meridian appoints 3rd cohort from McCabes
National law firm Meridian Lawyers has hired further professionals for its national insurance practice group from fellow BigLaw firm McCabes, making it 30 new starters hired from the latter firm in recent times.

  1. ‘Giant of the Australian Bar’ mourned
Tributes are flowing for “consummate barrister” David Jackson AM KC, who was — the NSW Chief Justice opined — a “much admired, deeply respected elder statesman” in the barristerial community.

  1. Shane Drumgold temporarily steps aside
The ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold SC, has been replaced for the next month, as the board of inquiry into the handling of the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann is set to continue next week.

  1. $132.7m settlement reached in PFAS class action
An agreement has been signed to settle a multi-site class action for $132.7 million after toxic PFAS chemicals negatively impacted around 30,000 residents spanning seven communities.

  1. Dentonscombination with Link Legal in India commences
The combination between global law firm Dentons and India-based firm Link Legal, entered into in October of last year, is now underway.

  1. Cracks in relationship between DPP and police ‘no surprise’
Clandestine coffee meetings, “unnecessary” comments and body language tipped Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyer off to the possibility that the relationship between the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions and investigative police officers had soured.

  1. Is free firm merch ‘shallow and tokenistic’ or ‘enticing’?
Firms offering free merch have been urged to move away from stress balls and water bottles in favour of aligning themselves properly with the “environmental and societal values” of today’s law students.

  1. Lehrmann’s lawyer ‘pissed off’ with DPP’s conduct
Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyer told an inquiry he was “pissed off” with the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions for making serious allegations about him and the police “without evidentiary basis” during the trial.