It’s time for an update on the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU Fraud which was in court this week before Victorian Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen. As it turns out Mr Lauritsen is a good Labor Party boy who has a direct personal interest in the case via John Cain and should be nowhere near the matter. That’s the same Peter Lauritsen that was identified as being corrupt by former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill in 2009.It’s looking like the cover-up of the cover-up will be bigger than the original cover-up and crime. Yes, it would be comical if it wasn’t so criminal.
I will keep it brief as most readers know the background. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard helped her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson rip off the AWU in the 1990′s when she worked at the law firm Slater and Gordon which was covered up. (Click here to go to the page that has all my posts on the subject)
Victorian Police have been investigating again since the end of last year based on new evidence. The police subpoenaed documents from Slater and Gordon which was in court this week because Bruce Wilson is claiming legal privilege over some of those documents. Legal privilege basically means that any communication between yourself and your lawyer is private and cannot be used against you in a court of law. The exception is when your lawyer helps you commit a crime then you do not have legal privilege. This is known as the crime exception, fraud exception or crime-fraud exception which is what the Victorian police are arguing in this case. They are basically saying that Julia Gillard and/or her then boss Bernard Murphy knowingly aided Bruce Wilson in committing crimes.
As a side note Julia Gillard appointed Bernard Murphy as a Federal Court judge not long after she became Prime Minister. (Click here to read the post that I wrote on his appointment)
In a situation like this favours are called in from everywhere to try to make sure it is swept under the carpet. An example being the Craig Thomson fraud which the Labor Party managed to bounce around for almost 4 years before anything happened and probably nothing would have happened if Craig Thomson had not been so arrogant.
The Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud is a lot bigger than the Craig Thomson matter as it involves a lot more high-profile Labor Party people and no stone will be left unturned to have it swept under the carpet and that includes judicial favours if they think they can get away with it.
Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen’s background
If you read Mr Lauritsen’s CV nothing really stands out although it does show he has strong credentials. He was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 1975 and worked as an employee solicitor and partner in a suburban legal practice until 1987. What his CV does not say is that the Law firm was owned by John Cain Jnr who was the Labor Party Victorian Premier from 1982 until 1990.
In 1987 Mr Lauritsen was appointed as a magistrate for the Northern Territory.
In May 1989 Mr Lauritsen was appointed as a Victorian magistrate by the then Victorian Premier John Cain who was also Mr Lauritsen’s old boss at the “suburban legal practice”. A quick check of the WikiPedia profile for John Cain Jnr and it says he “practised law in suburban Melbourne”. Lauritsen’s failure to mention the name of the law firm where he worked seems to be motivated to hide his political connections.
In 2003 the Steve Bracks Labor Party led Victorian Government appointed Mr Lauritsen as Deputy Chief Magistrate for Victoria.
In November 2012 Mr Lauritsen was promoted to the top job of Chief Magistrate. His appointment was praised by many including “Mr Cain”.
Address by Michael Holcroft, President of The Law Institute of Victoria, on Thursday 13 December 2012 at the welcome to Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen upon his appointment as Chief Magistrate of Victoria (Extract - click here to read the whole speech)
20. Your Honour then went to Cain & Lamers in Preston.
21. John Cain (senior) was first elected to the Victorian Parliament in the March 1976 election – but he remembers Your Honour well as a young solicitor with a good knowledge of the law – and with great skill and understanding of the situations of clients in what he describes as “a robust people-practice in the Northern suburbs”.
22. It was at Cain & Lamers that Your Honour met your wife Kathleen, who was a solicitor there.
23. Your Honour achieved partnership at Cain & Lamers. You were one of three partners: Peter Lamers, Michael Quinn and Your Honour – with about 12 staff.
From what I can make of it, Lauritsen joined Cain’s Law Firm and by the time Lauritsen became a partner in the firm, Cain had left to become a politician. Maybe Cain retained a financial interest in the firm after he left which would be interesting to know or did Lauritsen pay Cain for his share of the firm? One has to suspect some sort of financial transaction between Cain and Lauritsen and one they were both happy with given Cain later gave Lauritsen the Victorian magistrates job.
Just so there is no confusion there are 3 people named John Cain from the same family. John Cain (senior) who was Victorian Premier three times between 1943 and 1955. His son John Cain (junior) who was Victorian Premier from 1982 until 1990. And then there is the grandson John Cain (who is also sometimes referred to as junior) that was involved in the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud when he was CEO of the Law Firm Maurice Blackburn.
John Cain and the AWU Fraud connection
When the AWU found out about the fraud committed by Bruce Wilson and others in 1995 they transferred they legal account from Slater and Gordon Lawyers to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
The grandson and son John Cain (I will refer to as Jnr from here on) was the Managing Partner / CEO of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers during the 1990′s when the AWU fraud took place. It says on the Maurice Blackburn website which is dated June 2011:
“Mr Cain, who was Victoria’s Government Solicitor until March 2011, will return to the firm he led throughout the 1990s. Mr Cain was Managing Partner of Maurice Blackburn from 1991 until 2002. Since then he has continued his distinguished career as CEO of the Law Institute of Victoria (2002 – 2006) and more recently as Victorian Government Solicitor (until March 2011).” (Click here to read more) Mr Cain did not last long back at Maurice Blackburn, in August 2012 he moved to the law firm Herbert Geer.
Ian Cambridge who was the joint National Secretary of the AWU at the time wrote an affidavit in 1996 where he points out that he tried to get some documents from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in relation to the fraud but they refused to hand them over. I dissected the affidavit in relation to this point in a previous post where I wrote:
Page 34 Paragraph 31 – 8th September 1995 – Cambridge also says he wrote to Bob Smith AWU Victorian Branch Secretary requesting information. At paragraph 32 Cambridge says he received correspondence from Bob Smith saying he had sought legal advice and would send the information requested.
Page 37 Paragraph 44 – 21st June 1996 – Cambridge writes to Steve Harrison Joint National Secretary requesting he counter sign a letter to Maurice Blackburn lawyers requesting the relevant files. Mr Harrison never did sign the letter.
Page 39 Paragraph 52 – Ian Cambridge writes to Maurice Blackburn and requests they send the relevant files to Bill Ludwig’s lawyers C.A. Sciacca and Associates in Federal Court matters 1247 and 1296 of 1995.
Page 39 Paragraph 55 – Maurice Blackburn advise Cambridge their CEO, John Cain, is on leave and when he returns the matter will be raised with him. At paragraph 57 Maurice Blackburn advise Cambridge their client has refused to make the file available as it is covered by privilege. The client is Bob Smith, the AWU Victorian Branch Secretary. At paragraph 58 Cambridge suggests Smith will not release the files to cover-up his actions. (Click here to read the full post)
So on the basis of what Ian Cambridge said in his 1996 affidavit, it means John Cain and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers were heavily involved in the cover-up and have plenty of questions they need to answer. And as the Victorian Police have pointed out with Slater and Gordon there would be no legal privilege.
Michael Smith says on his site in relation to John Cain “he was the Maurice Blackburn partner who was at the Commonwealth Bank when the CBA handed over about $160,000 to Wilson and Bob Smith after a deceptive letter was handed to the branch manager.” (Click here to read the post)
There is another thing that makes it even worse for John Cain. In 1995/96 Julia Gillard and her then boss Bernard Murphy left Slater and Gordon when the AWU fraud started blowing up. Where did Bernard Murphy go? John Cain who was CEO / Managing Partner at Maurice Blackburn employed Bernard Murphy. John Cain was fully aware of the fraud and theft of Bruce Wilson which Julia Gillard and Bernard Murphy helped facilitate but still gave Murphy a job.
Perceived bias by Peter Lauritsen and why he should stand down from hearing the matter
Currently what is before the court is that Chief Magistrate Lauritsen will have to determine what documents subpoenaed by the police from Slater and Gordon can and cannot be used in making out the police’s case of criminal offences by Bruce Wilson and others. This is important as a whole case can sometimes turn on one or two pieces of evidence, so any decision by Chief Magistrate Lauritsen could have a huge impact on the case.
The Australian reports:
“LAWYERS for Victoria Police have declared there is “very strong” evidence to suggest Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend may have committed fraud, as they fight to obtain documents seized from her old law firm relating to the AWU slush fund scandal.”
“Bruce Wilson, who was in a long-term relationship with Ms Gillard in the 1990s when she worked at Slater & Gordon, has lodged a claim of client legal privilege over papers that fraud squad detectives took from the firm earlier this year.”
and: “The hearing has been adjourned to December to allow Sergeant Mitchell to prepare a further affidavit and Mr Lauritsen to inspect the documents.” (Click here to read more)
What is guaranteed based on all the evidence so far is that John Cain and Maurice Blackburn have plenty to hide and some of those seized documents from Slater and Gordon will have correspondence with John Cain and Maurice Blackburn lawyers. Some of those documents will quite possibly be extremely incriminating of John Cain and Maurice Blackburn or at the very least extremely embarrassing for them.
And who will making a judgement of what documents can and cannot be used by the police? And if they can be used by the police it in effect makes them public documents for everyone to read. Well the decision maker is Mr Lauritsen who is a friend and former employee of John Cain Jnr’s father, John Cain the former Premier of Victoria. As I previously stated it is highly likely that Mr Lauritsen paid John Cain for his share of the law firm. It must also be noted that if it was not for John Cain Mr Lauritsen quite possibly would not be a Victorian Magistrate.
So would the average person think Mr Lauritsen might be biased to protect John Cain Jnr. If the answer is yes then he has to stand down from hearing the matter. The AWU fraud has been in the media for a couple of years now and Peter Lauritsen would know that it involves John Cain Jnr and so he should have stood down from hearing the matter without being asked. But I suspect Mr Lauritsen would think that no one would ever notice the link. Remember Mr Lauritsen says on his CV that he “worked as an employee solicitor and partner in a suburban legal practice until 1987.” and did not mention that it was John Cain’s.
I said at the beginning of the post that it is the “same Peter Lauritsen that was identified as being corrupt by former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill in 2009″. I will expand on that in the next post as this one is long enough as it is.