Comment from Corporate Counsel in a large Australian service business
Every single lawyer I know who has moved on to non-legal things has always kept renewing their annual practising certificates. You always want to remain a registered lawyer – it’s common sense.
NB: in WA the annual renewal fee for 2015-16 was $1,250 – an abolsute pittance for your meal ticket.
Thanks to reader A for making these enquiries on our behalf.
Gillard last practiced law in August 1995 when she gave legal advice to Bruce Wilson to help cover up his frauds in Melbourne. On 11 September 1995 Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw of Slater and Gordon made a tape recorded Record of Interview with Gillard and she went on leave straight afterwards, never to return.
The firms partnership meeting minutes record the approval of Slater and Gordon paying for Gillard's legal expenses after the departure interview. There are also records of the firm's meetings with lawyers for the professional indemnity insurer at that time on AWU and Kerr Street property purchase issues. Elements of Gillard's improper actions in furthering Wilson and Blewitt's frauds constitute notifiable events under the standard indemnity insurance coverage. There would have been consequences for the malfeasance probably including undertakings to the insurer.
She had no job to go to and didn't secure paid work until May the next year when she was made Chief of Staff to Opposition leader John Brumby.
Reader A writes:
The attached file contains extracts from the 1996 and 1997 editions of the Australian Legal Directory.
In the 1996 directory, there is an entry for Julia Eileen Gillard in the list of legal practitioners and her name also appears in the entry for Slater & Gordon in the list of firms.
There is no entry for Julia Eileen Gillard in the 1997 directory.
Entries for the 1996 directory were corrected to 15 November 1995 and the directory was published on 1 February 1996.
Entries for the 1997 directory were corrected to 15 November 1996 and the directory was published on 1 February 1997.
Records f0r 1996 show Gillard's registration as a legal practitioner and Slaters partner
By November 1996 Gillard's name had been removed from the register
It seems unlikely that someone with a reputation to protect and uncertain job prospects would fail to renew their legal practice certificate voluntarily.
Last night I sent this note to an experienced lawyer who, like Gillard, moved from the active practice of the law to a management career:
Mate what are the practical real world reasons someone would not renew their certificate?
Leaving profession after being disgraced.
Most people would keep renewing just in case. I have been for the past 16 years, just in case.
Renewal of a practising certificate is not automatic.