find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Firm denies $700k costing for WorkCover

Firm denies $700k costing for WorkCover

Claims that WorkCover South Australia spent $700,000 on legal fees for a case thrown out of court are incorrect, according to the firm.

CLAIMS that WorkCover South Australia spent $700,000 on legal fees for a case thrown out of court are wrong according to the firm. 


Managing partner at Johnson Winter & Slattery, Peter Slattery, told The New Lawyer that “the figures you see in the media are completely wrong”. 


This revelation comes just a day after The New Lawyer and other news sources reported the contrary.


The accusations were raised in parliament by shadow attorney-general, Vickie Chapman, who said: “WorkCover alleges that it has spent more than $700,000 on prosecution costs in the case of Thompson v Duffin. The case has been thrown out by the Full Court of the Supreme Court on the grounds that the prosecution, which was directed by WorkCover and not by the DPP, acted improperly. 


"The justices of the Supreme Court identified in their judgment that the case bore all the hallmarks of a win-at-all-costs approach and that WorkCover has no prosecuting guidelines such as those which are almost universally applicable to state prosecuting authorities and which are designed.” 


In response to the allegations, South Australian attorney-general, Michael Atkinson, agreed with Chapman, saying: “I share her concerns.”


He added: “The prosecution was done by the private law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery. The judgment is a condemnation of their methods. I think that WorkCover would be well advised to look towards the Crown to do future prosecutions. I think that policy change suggests itself in the judgment.


“When I first came to office as attorney-general, the crown thought that there was a move to privatise their work, to farm it out to private legal firms; in fact, many members of the Crown Solicitor's Office seemed pessimistic about their future. I never entertained for a moment privatising the work of the Crown Solicitor's Office. My view is that the Crown Solicitor's Office does an outstanding job and that any well-run government would rely on in-house government lawyers who take a whole-of-government perspective.” 


Slattery said he was unable to comment on the case, as it was an ongoing issue, but was adamant the figures quoted in the media and parliament were incorrect. 


“I don’t know where they come from,” he said. “The number they have is wrong.” 


Julia Davison, CEO of WorkCover SA, said the decision to employ Johnson Winter & Slattery for the case against Thompson, was based on WorkCovers’ obligation to the workers they represent. 

“WorkCover appoints legal representation on a case by case basis, utilising firms that have a prosecutorial background and knowledge of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986,” she said. 


"WorkCover is responsible for ensuring compliance with our state's workers rehabilitation and compensation legislation. Part of this responsibility includes taking steps to thoroughly investigate allegations of fraud against the scheme and, where appropriate, initiate court proceedings."


The case started in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on August 13, 2004, and ended on September 4 of this year in front of the South Australian Supreme Court. 


The leader of the opposition, Isobel Redmond, did not return The New Lawyers calls in time for publication. 

 

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

Firm denies $700k costing for WorkCover
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
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 & ...