As we know from MURPHY's notes, he was fully aware of the Workplace Reform Association by 8 August 1995, including the fact that money from it was laundered through Slater and Gordon's Trust Account and into the Kerr Street property.
Compare and contrast what he knew with what he told the Trade Union Royal Commission.
First MURPHY's prepared statement - note the misleading and deceptive claim he only became aware of the AWU WRA Inc after he ceased to act for Wilson. That is pure tosh. Wilson told him about it while MURPHY was acting for him.
No mate - you didn't become progressively aware over some weeks. You were told by the crook who confessed what he'd done. You noted "he'd involved Slater and Gordon in criminal wrong-doing". And you knew all about it by 8 August 1995. But you told no one and did nothing to protect your real client's interests.
MURPHY went on leave in September 1995, never to return to Slater and Gordon. How convenient to suggest he learned the full AWU WRA Inc story between August and then. Convenient, but untruthful. He had plenty of time to protect his client but he chose to protect Wilson, himself, GILLARD and Slater and Gordon.
Here's some of his oral evidence to the Trade Union Royal Commission.
Q Did you have any awareness that (GILLARD) had set up an incorporated association?
A No. Not until after it became controversial, in August/September '95.
I first became aware of the existence of the AWU WRA in the weeks between 8 August and early September 1995 ...
Q You say that occurred "after I ceased to act for Wilson."And you go on to say:
10 ... as concerns began to be aired by some
11 partners of the firm about Ms Gillard's
12 involvement in the conveyance of the
13 property at 85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy.
15 And then going over to the next page you say:
17 At the same time rumours were circulating
18 that some of Julia Gillard's home
19 renovations had been paid for by the AWU.
21 You make reference here to two different matters: firstly,
22 Ms Gillard's involvement in the conveyance of the property
23 at 85 Kerr Street and secondly, rumours circulating about
24 Ms Gillard's home renovations. If I can take those in
25 turn. Looking at the third line of 3.4, you make reference
26 to "concerns" being aired by some partners of the firm
27 about involvement in the conveyance. Do you recollect when
28 you first heard those concerns?
29 A. Well, not exactly but in that period, so after
30 8 August and before I last worked there in
31 earlyish September 1995.
33 Q. Who were the partners to whom you make reference as
34 being the ones airing the concerns?
35 A. I don't recall the partner that told me, but my
36 recollection of the main source of the complaint was that
37 Mr Styant-Browne, Nick Styant-Browne, was very concerned
38 about Julia Gillard's involvement in the conveyance.
40 Q. Just to be clear, in the third line of 3.4 you make
41 reference to partners, plural, and you have told us about
42 Mr Styant-Browne?
43 A. I am not trying to suggest that Mr Styant-Browne was
44 alone in his concern. It is a long time ago, but my
45 recollection is that he was - he was the person who was
46 hottest about that issue. I think the people I likely
47 spoke to at the time were people including
1 Nick Styant-Browne, Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw, but
2 I don't recall.
4 Q. The mere fact, of course, that a partner had some
5 involvement in a conveyance of itself and without more is
6 not a matter that would give rise to a concern. What
7 exactly were the concerns that Mr Styant-Browne aired with
9 A. As I said, I don't recall Mr Styant-Browne saying it
10 precisely. I just recall him being the primary source of
11 it, but the concern that was conveyed was that
12 Julia Gillard had created an association which might have
13 been set up corruptly and might have involved corrupt
14 moneys and it involved the firm in a conveyance involving
15 those moneys.
17 Q. That raises a number of issues, but picking up the
18 latter one first, I think you made reference to corrupt use
19 of the moneys. What you are talking about in 3.4 is
20 a concern about Ms Gillard being involved in a conveyance
21 of a property at 85 Kerr Street?
22 A. Yes.
24 Q. When just then you mentioned corrupt use of the money,
25 were you indicating that part of the problem that had come
26 to light was the source of the funds to acquire the
27 Kerr Street property?
28 A. I think so. It is a long time ago and it's sometimes
29 hard to recall exactly when you learnt particular things.
31 Q. Yes. Had it come to light by this stage, so
32 August/September, that some $90,000 had come from the
33 Workplace Reform Association to acquire the Kerr Street
35 A. I don't remember.
37 Q. Was it put to you that some of the funds to acquire
38 the property had come from the slush fund, if I can call it
39 that, that Ms Gillard had set up?
40 A. I don't remember.
42 Q. Was the real problem that was being raised the concern
43 that union money may have been diverted into the
44 incorporated association?
45 A. I think that was one of the concerns.
47 Q. You use the word "corruptly", corrupt use of the
1 money. What was said to you to develop that proposition?
2 Why was that suspicion --
3 A. The other thing which occurred at the same time were
4 the matters that I dealt with later in my statement about
5 which I cannot inform you because of privilege.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. That too was informing the discussion about what
9 Julia Gillard did or didn't do.
11 Q. But that really, without delving into the detail of
12 the advice which, for the reason you have indicated, you
13 don't want to travel into, that really dealt with
14 a different matter, didn't it? That related to the
15 possibility that funds had been moved in a particular way
16 in 1995 or later. The point that you were adverting to in
17 3.4 is a concern that had begun to be aired by some
18 partners of the firm about Ms Gillard's involvement in the
19 conveyance of the property at 85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy, and
20 what I was endeavouring to explore with you is what
21 precisely was the concern in relation to that conveyance
22 that was aired.
23 A. Well, I think all I can say is if Mr Wilson had been
24 involved in wrongdoing later, what was - what had occurred
25 earlier was the question that was swirling around Slater &
26 Gordon at that point.
28 Q. What had occurred earlier was the question swirling
29 around Slater & Gordon?
30 A. Well --
32 Q. Well, what was the question swirling around Slater &
34 A. You are inquiring into privilege matters.
36 Q. No, I'm not. The privilege matters relate to what
37 occurred in 1995. I am actually asking you about the
38 concern about the conveyance which was in 1993?
39 A. What you can't do, I don't think, Mr Stoljar, is
40 separate the two because what was concerning the partners
41 was the relationship of Julia with Mr Wilson and what
42 Mr Wilson may or may not have been up to.
44 Q. In 1993 as distinct from 1995?
45 A. Well, I don't know whether the distinction was drawn
46 as neatly - in fact, I'm sure it wasn't drawn as neatly as
2 Q. Had there been an investigation within the firm into
3 these matters?
4 A. Not that I was aware of.
6 Q. Were the concerns ventilated by Mr Styant-Browne
7 communicated orally or in writing?
8 A. I never saw anything in writing and I don't recall
9 Mr Styant-Browne communicating it to me. I do recall being
10 told of his concerns.
12 Q. Was there any document that you are aware of created
13 by Slater & Gordon recording these concerns or the outcome
14 of any investigation?
15 A. I've seen a transcript of an interview but other than
16 that, no.
18 Q. You mean the interview of Ms Gillard?
19 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were part of the concerns that were ventilated with
22 you by Mr Styant-Browne or others the fact, for example,
23 that Mr Wilson had executed the documentation using a power
24 of attorney?
25 A. I don't mean to say that those concerns weren't aired,
26 but I don't believe they were aired to me.
28 Q. I'm still focusing on the conveyancing issue. Did
29 that cause you some consternation?
30 A. No.
32 Q. The conveyancing issue didn't?
33 A. No.
35 Q. It was the other matters or - I am sorry, did other
36 matters cause you consternation?
37 A. Yes.
39 Q. Did you discuss the conveyancing issue with
40 Ms Gillard?
41 A. I don't recall a conversation, but given that
42 I reached the view that she hadn't done anything wrong,
43 I must have.
45 Q. The second matter to which you make reference in
46 paragraph 3.4 is rumours circulating that some of
47 Ms Gillard's home renovations had been paid for by the AWU.
1 Who told you about those rumours?
2 A. Well, I recall being told of one incident by
3 Andrew Watson who was a former barrister who had become an
4 industrial officer of another union. He told me about
5 a builder turning up at the AWU and asking for payment and
6 I told Julia about that, but that wasn't the only occasion
7 to which I'm referring. There were wider rumours. I can't
8 recall their source at the time, but it wasn't - they were
9 being discussed more widely than that. It wasn't that much
10 longer before Phillip Gude raised them in State Parliament.
12 Q. Were they being discussed among the partnership at
13 Slater & Gordon?
14 A. I don't know. I wasn't attending partners' meetings
15 at the time because of the Harris Smith dispute, but I must
16 say I presume they were because they were raised with
17 Gillard in the interview that was transcribed.
19 Q. Was it a matter that Nick Styant-Browne raised with
21 A. No.
23 Q. Just pausing at the top of page 3, the last part of
24 3.4, you say some of Julia Gillard's home renovations had
25 been paid for by the AWU. Did you hear rumours to the
26 effect that funds had come from the incorporated
27 association to pay for those renovations?
28 A. No.
30 Q. It was always the AWU?
31 A. Yes.
33 Q. In 3.5 you say:
35 In my conversations with Julia Gillard at
36 the time she denied any impropriety in
37 respect of the ...
39 And I interpolate here, firstly, the AWU Workplace Reform
40 Association and secondly, her home renovations?
41 A. Yes.
43 Q. So you questioned her, did you, about the Workplace
44 Reform Association?
45 A. I don't know whether "questioned her" would be right,
46 but I had conversations with her about whether she'd done
47 anything wrong and she assured me she hadn't and I believed
3 Q. Did you ask her about why she hadn't set up a file,
4 for example?
5 A. No, I didn't.
7 Q. You didn't raise that at all?
8 A. I don't think so. It is a long time - I can't recall
9 the conversation.
11 Q. Did you have conversations with her at the time about
12 the circumstances in which the Workplace Reform Association
13 was set up?
14 A. No.
16 Q. When you say:
18 In my conversations with Julia Gillard at
19 the time she denied any impropriety in
20 respect of the AWU WRA ...
22 What was the content of those conversations?
23 A. I don't recall the content but she was being - she was
24 being accused of wrongdoing by others within the firm and
25 I asked her, to the best of my - I asked her what was in it
26 and she assured me there was nothing in it. I can't recall
27 the detail of the conversations. I left it, left those
28 conversations, believing that she'd done nothing wrong.
30 Q. Did you give consideration to what options were
31 available to you and the rest of the firm at that time?
32 A. I don't know what you mean.
34 Q. Did you consider the option, for example, of advising
35 the AWU of the concerns that were being expressed by
36 various persons?
37 A. I didn't. I was - I left there within several weeks
38 of this.
40 Q. You mean you didn't give it consideration or you
41 didn't inform the AWU?
42 A. I didn't inform the AWU.
44 Q. Did you consider that as an option?
45 A. No.
47 Q. Did you discuss it? So you didn't discuss it at all
1 with Ms Gillard or anyone else?
2 A. No.
4 Q. You said that Mr Styant-Browne, in your evidence this
5 morning, had raised concerns about corruption. Did you
6 have discussions about taking the matter any further with
7 him or anyone else?
8 A. No, I didn't. I wasn't attending partners' meetings
9 at the time.
11 Q. So is this your evidence: that you had the discussion
12 to which you make reference with Ms Gillard and she denied
13 any impropriety and you didn't take the matter any further?
14 A. That's correct.
16 Q. In 4.1 you say that you had no involvement whatsoever
17 in Slater & Gordon's work in 1993 in respect of the
18 conveyance and that really has developed, in a bit more
19 detail, the evidence you have given orally this morning.
20 Can I come down to paragraph 5. You are now dealing with
21 the advice to Mr Wilson to which you have already made
22 reference in your evidence. We will need to be careful
23 here, Justice Murphy, not to travel into privilege matters,
24 but in 5.3, you say that:
26 ... Wilson instructed me to act for him in
27 relation to allegations by Smith that
28 Wilson had misappropriated union monies.
29 The allegations related to an account held
30 at the Commonwealth Bank in Carlton,
31 Victoria, which was titled, to the best of
32 my recollection, the AWU Members Welfare
33 Account. No written retainer agreement was
34 entered into.
36 You mean between Slater & Gordon and Mr Wilson?
37 A. That's correct.
39 Q. Was your client Mr Wilson or the Victorian Branch of
40 the AWU?
41 A. Mr Wilson.
43 Q. Did he come to you after first seeking advice from
44 Ms Gillard?
45 A. I don't know.
47 Q. In any event, he first approached you in about
1 mid-July 1995, did he?
2 A. I've said June/July because I don't recall the exact
5 Q. Did you keep any notes or anything like that?
6 A. Yes.
8 Q. Those, if they were retained at all, would be with
9 Slater & Gordon?
10 A. Yes.
12 Q. In paragraph 5.6 you say that you ceased to act for
13 Mr Wilson, in respect of the allegations made against him,
14 immediately following the conference. You are making
15 reference there to a conference on 8 August 1995?
16 A. Yes.
18 Q. Without telling us what they were, he told you certain
19 things at that conference, did he?
20 A. Yes.
22 Q. On 14 August 1995, as you say in 5.8, you sent
23 a letter to Mr Wilson which set out his instructions with
24 regard to the 8 August conference and confirmed the firm
25 would no longer act for him. A list of privileged
26 documents has been provided to the Commission by Slater &
27 Gordon and a letter was sent - I can show you the list if
28 need be, but on 14 August a letter was sent from you to
29 Mr Wilson headed, "Possible Criminal Prosecution". Is that
30 the letter to which you make reference?
32 DR HANSCOMBE: I object to that. That does call for part
33 of the content of the document. The document is the
34 subject of a contested claim for privilege.
36 THE COMMISSIONER: There appears to be some force in that
39 MR STOLJAR: I am only talking about the heading. I was
40 not aware any objection was being raised in respect of the
43 DR HANSCOMBE: Commissioner, in my submission, the
44 heading is part of the document. The document in its
45 entirety is the subject of the claim for privilege. That
46 privilege claim is contested in the courts of Victoria and
47 is yet to be determined.
2 THE COMMISSIONER: Technically, the privilege protects
3 communications and the heading may not be a communication,
4 but doesn't it have a tinge of summary of the contents of
5 the matter proper?
7 MR STOLJAR: If it does, Commissioner, in my submission the
8 ship has sailed. There has been a list of documents that
9 has been circulated with that heading with, as I understand
10 it, no objection taken up until now.
12 THE COMMISSIONER: Do you have that list to hand?
14 MR STOLJAR: I don't have it to hand. I might have to come
15 back to it, Commissioner.
17 THE COMMISSIONER: Yes, it may be necessary.
19 MR STOLJAR: Q. Yes. I will come at it in a different way
20 for the time being, Justice Murphy. In paragraph 5.3 you
21 say that the matters which Mr Wilson raised related to an
22 account held at the Commonwealth Bank in Carlton titled,
23 "The AWU Members Welfare Account". Pausing there, this is
24 a separate issue from the Workplace Reform Association?
25 A. Yes.
27 Q. And the allegation, as you understood it, was that
28 Mr Wilson had misappropriated union moneys. You had your
29 conference on 8 August, to which you make reference in 5.5,
30 and then at 5.8, you sent the letter that I referred to
31 earlier. Don't worry about the title, but you sent
32 a letter saying that the firm would no longer act for him.
33 Can I just take you back to 5.6. You say:
35 I ceased to act for Wilson ... immediately
36 following the conference.
38 That is on 8 August. However, you then say: Wilson
40 Wilson ... requested that I seek
41 a redundancy payment ...
43 And you telephoned Mr Cain about that. What was the
44 position? You were still doing some work for him?
45 A. I ceased to act for him in relation to the
46 allegations, but I, at that point, agreed that I would act
47 for him in relation to seeking the redundancy.
2 Q. Were the two connected?
4 MR HUTLEY: I object. That could call implicitly for
5 implied privileged information.
7 THE COMMISSIONER: I am sorry, I didn't quite get that,
8 Mr Hutley.
10 MR HUTLEY: That implicitly calls for the disclosure of
11 privileged information in that form
13 MR STOLJAR: Yes. I don't press that question,
16 Q. Did Mr Wilson give you instructions as to the basis on
17 which he was seeking a redundancy payment?
18 A. He said he was leaving.
20 Q. He was simply leaving?
21 A. Leaving the union and he wanted a redundancy.
23 Q. In any event, you then say in 5.7 that a few days
24 later, you also ceased to act for Mr Wilson in relation to
25 the redundancy claim?
26 A. Yes.
28 Q. Did any further event occur between 8 August and your
29 ceasing to act for Mr Wilson in the redundancy claim which
30 gave rise to the latter event?
31 A. Well, at around the same time that I told Mr Wilson
32 I wouldn't act for him in relation to the redundancy,
33 I also informed John Cain that I was no longer acting in
34 the redundancy. I don't recall the date of that
35 conversation, but it was in the same time period.
37 Q. What caused you to change your mind about continuing
38 to act for Mr Wilson in that limited capacity?
39 A. I thought I was in a position of conflict.
41 Q. You mean by that that Mr Wilson's interests and those
42 of the AWU were in conflict?
43 A. Yes.
45 Q. And that precluded your ability to continue to act for
47 A. Yes.
2 Q. You communicated to Mr Wilson that the firm would no
3 longer act for him. You have said that in 5.8?
4 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you give the same communication to the AWU?
7 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. You say in 5.10 that you no longer acted for the AWU
10 after you ceased acting for Mr Wilson. That was on or
11 about 14 August, but in fact, as I think you have already
12 made reference to earlier, you went on leave in about
13 early September 1995?
14 A. I did, but effectively we'd already ceased acting for
15 the AWU because Mr Smith had become the new Secretary of
16 the new AWU FIME Branch. He instructed other solicitors.
17 The National Construction Branch was no more because Wilson
18 was leaving and Blewitt was leaving and Slater & Gordon had
19 no clients from the AWU.
21 Q. When you say, "I no longer acted", in 5.10, "after
22 I ceased acting for Wilson", do you mean by that that you
23 did not do any work for the AWU in the period 14 August to
24 early September 1995?
25 A. I didn't do any further work for the AWU in that
28 Q. So you made a determination yourself that you wouldn't
29 act for the AWU, but you didn't communicate that to anyone
30 at the AWU?
31 A. No, I didn't.
33 Q. After the three weeks or so from 14 August through to
34 early September, you went on leave and the short point is
35 you never returned to Slater & Gordon?
36 A. No, I didn't.
38 MR STOLJAR: I have nothing further. Thank you,
There's plenty more in MURPHY's cross examination at the TURC here:
How can Murphy get away with his sworn evidence that he only found out about the AWU WRA Inc after he ceased to act for Wilson when in his own notes he says it was Wilson who told him - in the course of receiving legal advice from Hinkley QC?