find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
McCullough Robertson gives Abbott legal aid

McCullough Robertson gives Abbott legal aid

Queensland-based firm McCullough Robertson is giving Liberal leader Tony Abbott free legal advice to defend a $1.5 million lawsuit being taken against him by One Nation co-founder David Ettridge.

Abbott declared the pro bono work by the firm on the parliamentary pecuniary interest register.

McCullough Robertson hired a dedicated pro bono partner to its non-profits and community partnerships team in 2010. Heather Watson declined to be interviewed by Lawyers Weekly, but the firm has confirmed that Watson is not acting on Abbott’s case.

A spokesperson for McCullough Robertson told Lawyers Weekly that its broad pro bono priority areas are: access to justice; health and mental health; indigenous education; rural and remote communities and their activities, and community arts.

However, the firm refused to comment on how representing a federal politician fits within these priority areas.

“We are very proud of the pro bono work we conduct for our clients,” the spokesperson said.

Ettridge has accused Abbott of unlawfully assisting and encouraging litigation against One Nation in 1998. Both Ettridge and the party’s co-founder, Pauline Hanson, served 11 weeks of a three-year jail sentence after being convicted of electoral fraud in 2003. The convictions were overturned on appeal.

Ettridge told the Herald Sun that it was a farce that Abbott was not paying his own legal costs.

“This is just a case of the soldier ants rallying around the nest,” he said. “Mr Abbott doesn’t accept responsibility for his breaking of the law and it is clear that he can't even accept the responsibility of paying his own way to defend this case.

“I guess the question needs to be asked is what political favours are being created by that firm that will be called upon if Mr Abbott is prime minister after the next election.”

Abbott is also being represented pro bono by barrister Robert Bain QC and junior counsel Nick Ferrett in the matter.

Last year, Abbott disclosed that he was receiving pro bono legal services from Arnold Bloch Leibler in a defamation case brought against him by unionist John Setka.

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

McCullough Robertson gives Abbott legal aid
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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'...
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...
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 & ...