find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Rayney action could cost WA Govt millions

Rayney action could cost WA Govt millions

A defamation suit alleging barrister Lloyd Rayney was “greatly injured” when identified as the only suspect in his wife’s death could see the WA Government pay millions of dollars in compensation, including damages for loss of income and opportunity to be appointed silk.

Rayney launched the action against the State Government in 2009 based on comments made by police officer Senior Sgt Jack Lees in 2007 at various press conferences. Rayney’s claim, which was made public last week (11 October), alleges that Lees identified him as the “prime” and “only” suspect in the death of his wife, Corryn.

Kym Fraser (pictured), a partner and defamation expert at Clayton Utz, told Lawyers Weekly that Rayney’s civil suit is premised on the accusation of guilt and will be greatly influenced by the outcome of the murder trial.

He explained that Rayney would be unlikely to continue the defamation suit if found guilty. “The defendant would have a strong defence of truth or justification or contextual truth”. But, if acquitted, Rayney’s case would be given a considerable boost, he added.

In addition to compensation for distress and anxiety, Rayney is seeking aggravated damages for loss of revenue, loss of expected future earnings and loss of the opportunity to be appointed Senior Counsel.

Rayney, who had high-profile clients including Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, blames the comments made by Lees for alleged damage to his legal career.

Based on his experience as a defamation lawyer, Fraser predicted that if Rayney is successful in his civil action he will likely be awarded the aggravated damages, which could run into millions of dollars.

The murder trial without a jury, which is being heard by Justice Brian Martin, is expected to conclude in coming days, with closing statements being made by prosecutors and defence lawyers today (18 October).

The press conferences in which Rayney claimed to have been defamed were given by police on 22 August, 29 August and 20 September 2007.

Rayney was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder in December 2010, more than three years after her body was found in Kings Park, Perth.

Corryn Rayney was a registrar at the WA Supreme Court at the time of her death.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Rayney action could cost WA Govt millions
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
06:03
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...