Lawyer Ho Ledinh died after being shot multiple times outside the Happy Cup Café in Bankstown on Tuesday afternoon.
He was at a coffee meeting when an unknown attacker shot him and fled on foot before getting into a car, according to witnesses.
The 65-year-old was a well-known criminal lawyer and the principal of Bankstown-based firm Ledinh Lawyers.
Law Society of NSW president Doug Humphreys OAM said Mr Ledinh’s tragic death marked a sad day for the profession.
“We are shocked and dismayed at the events,” Mr Humphreys said.
He added that the Law Society will assist Mr Ledinh’s firm to carry on its business.
“Because we are a professional organisation but also a co-regulator, we are going to move quickly to appoint a manager to his firm to ensure that his clients can continue to have access to legal representation and advice, and that any monies in trust are protected,” Mr Humphreys said.
Van Nguyen, a good friend of Mr Ledinh’s, had met him for coffee earlier that day. The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Nguyen said Mr Ledinh’s death may have been linked to his career as a criminal lawyer.
“This job is a horrible job,” he said.
“It’s good money but it’s because of the job, I think.”
Police are on the hunt for the perpetrator of what they called a “targeted attack”.
Homicide Squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said in a press conference yesterday morning that the police would look into Mr Ledinh’s work as part of their investigation, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“He has a lot of clients who are engaged in organised crime and other offences, so that is absolutely a line of inquiry in terms of his business,” Detective Superintendent Cook said.
Mr Humphreys said the potential connection to Mr Ledinh’s work was a reminder of the dangers that lawyers can face.
“It serves to bring home the risks that lawyers do face when they’re providing representation,” he said.
“We don’t get to choose our clients and we provide representation to all, and it’s just a dreadful, dreadful situation to have a colleague who was having a cup of coffee in the street gunned down.
“We hope the police will quickly ascertain who’s responsible for it, arrest them and bring them before the courts. And in keeping with our finest tradition, no doubt there will be representation for them.”