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Salary consternation and Drumgold’s future in question: What’s hot in law this week (7–11 Aug)

From smaller pay rises to the ongoing gender pay gap, money remains front of mind for lawyers. Meanwhile, the Sofronoff report is making waves. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconLawyers Weekly 12 August 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 7 August to 11 August, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1. Firm’s poor commercial decisions, potential breach of legal duties flagged in class action matter
The Federal Court shut down a law firm’s request for more than a third of a $300 million class action settlement after it found group members who were already left with a “borderline” amount should not have to bear the consequences of the firm’s poor commercial decisions.

  1. ‘Utter disgrace’: Shane Drumgold’s future and reputation in law at risk
A large question mark is looming over Shane Drumgold’s future career and reputation in the legal profession following his resignation as the ACT’s director of public prosecutions and a disastrous attempt to hold police accountable for Brittany Higgins’ abandoned rape trial.


  1. Man involved in High Court scandal unsuccessfully complains about solicitors
One of the parties at the centre of a High Court scandal involving a relationship between a judge and a barrister has unsuccessfully made numerous complaints against two solicitors.

  1. Cowell Clarke takes team from Piper Alderman
Commercial law firm Cowell Clarke has bolstered its employment law offering in Sydney with the addition of a team from BigLaw firm Piper Alderman.

  1. Criminal lawyer’s $130k security order looms over future proceedings
A high-profile criminal lawyer will have to hand over $130,000 in security to a law firm she has been fighting for over a decade.

  1. 3 new magistrates named for NSW Local Court
NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley has appointed three new magistrates for the Local Court in the nation’s most populous state.

  1. Lawyers still receiving pay rises but are ‘slightly less happy’ with bonuses, says recruiter
After the Australian legal market remained buoyant during FY23 in comparison to other major global markets, firms have continued to remain positive, despite a potential recession on the horizon, according to the director of Beacon Legal.

  1. Will private equity solutions become commonplace for firms amid recession?
A year on from selling a 30 per cent stake of its business to a private equity firm, Wotton + Kearney has experienced numerous benefits. So, with a potential recession looming, will more firms look to alternative funding solutions for increased cash flow?

  1. Combating the (ever-pervasive) gender pay gap in law
While women won the right to equal pay in 1969, the gender pay gap still exists – while progress is being made, firms are being urged to implement various policies to help address it.

  1. Former MP’s ‘self-flattering’ Facebook page costs him $20k
A former Queensland MP who anonymously ran a local social media page for self-promotion purposes has been heavily criticised by the Federal Court for deceptive and “misleading” misconduct.

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