John Setka’s Victorian CFMEU branch has dumped law firm Gordon Legal and shifted the union’s lucrative legal work to rival Maurice Blackburn, in the latest fallout from the controversial unionist’s conduct.
Relations between Mr Setka and Gordon Legal, led by prominent lawyer, Peter Gordon, have been under significant strain for months and worsened in June when the union decided to target the firm as part of the state branch’s probe into leaks against Mr Setka.
The Australian has been told CFMEU officials officially informed Gordon Legal this morning that it has decided to end their professional relationship and shift the union’s work to Maurice Blackburn.
Mr Setka has hired a former homicide squad and armed robbery squad detective, Stephen Curnow, to conduct an investigation into Gordon Legal employees and CFMEU officials to try to discover who leaked damaging allegations against him.
His branch passed a resolution in June stating that private documents “held by only a very few” were leaked to the media in “another spineless attempt to bring down” Mr Setka.
Mr Curnow was appointed to investigate employees, state and national officials, and audit their computers and phones.
“Given that the relevant documents concerned were also in the hands of Gordon Legal, the investigation will also include those individuals employed by Gordon Legal who had access to these documents,’’ the resolution said.
The Australian has confirmed the split but representatives of the CFMEU, Gordon Legal and Maurice Blackburn all refused to comment.