As a result of Bruce Wilson speaking publicly about the instructions that he says he gave Julia Gillard in the incorporation of the AWU-Workplace Reform Association (Inc), Bruce has made public what would otherwise have been confidential.
There's no prospect of arguing a case for Legal Professional Privilege and its attendant confidentiality obligations, when the client himself has made the issue of the instructions he gave to Slater and Gordon very, very public.
That led directly to Nick Styant Browne, a former partner in the firm, deciding to release what he had previously kept confidential - the extracts you've seen in the press today from Julia Gillard's departure Record of Interview with Slater and Gordon.
She gambled and she lost. She seems to be addicted to risk. The PM bet that the damning bits of her record of interview would remain safely redacted and she could cruise in to next year. Well it was not to be, we can now see what a dreadful deception she pulled on the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner and I'm sure police are looking very carefully today at what she did all those years ago.
There's a bit of poetic justice here for the reputation of the WA Commissioner for Corporate Affairs in 1992 as well. In the Federal Parliament Ms Gillard has been trashing the judgement of the Commissioner, saying to the opposition that if it felt the AWU-WRA was improperly or unlawfully incorporated, it should criticise the Commissioner for improperly incorporating the sham Association. Now we know that the poor Commissioner was comprehensively deceived. A victim of fraud. Ms Gillard's own words make her intent clear. She vouched for a sham.
Fancy blaming the victim of the fraud!
Labor must move today to rid the nation of this terrible embarrassment. I hope the opposition takes no triumph, just let her go quietly, she's not worth anything more.
The police will take care of the rest.
PETER GORDON: All right, well, let's talk about the AWU Workplace Reform Association Account. That account, as you've said, is an account which was the account belonging to an incorporated association by the same name which was incorporated by Slater & Gordon at (Bruce) Wilson's, on Wilson's instructions following your advice to him which you described earlier.
JULIA GILLARD: That's right.
PG: And that happened in or about mid-1992.
JG: That's right.
PG: And last Monday I think you gave to Paul Mulvaney a follow-up which demonstrates that Slater & Gordon had drafted model rules for, for that, had submitted those rules to the relevant Western Australian government authority, that there'd been a letter from the authority suggesting that it might be a trade union and therefore ineligible for incorporation under that legislation, and that we had prepared a response submitted on Wilson's instructions to that authority suggesting that in fact it wasn't a trade union and arguing the case for its incorporation. My recollection is that all of that happened in or about mid-1992. Is that right?
JG: I wouldn't want to be held to the dates without looking at the file, but whatever the dates the file shows are the right dates, so . . .
PG: Yes. And to the extent that work was done on that file in relation to that it was done by you?
JG: That's right.
PG: And did you get advice from anyone else in the firm in relation to any of those matters?
JG: No I didn't.
PG: Did Tony Lang have anything to do with the model rules or the drafting of them?
JG: No, I obtained, I had just in my own personal precedent file a set of rules for Socialist Forum which is an incorporated association in which I'm personally involved. Tony Lang and I drew those rules some years ago. Tony more than me. And I've just kept them hanging around as something I cut and paste from for drafting purposes, and I obtained, I don't quite recall how now but I obtained the model rules under the WA act and I must have done the drafting just relying on those two sources. I don't have any recollection of sitting down with Tony or any other practitioner and talking through the draft of the rules.
PG: Do you recall whether when it was necessary to argue the case with the, with the relevant Western Australian authority, whether you consulted anyone else in the firm as to what would or would not get, become acceptable or appropriate?
JG: I once again don't recall talking to anybody else in the firm about it.
PG: Beyond that, and it seems from the file that after that letter it was successfully accepted as an incorporated association and duly was created and presumably accounts were set up. I should ask did we have anything to do with the setting up of the accounts or was that done by the officers of the incorporated association?
JG: Slater & Gordon didn't have anything, did not have anything to do with setting up bank accounts for that association. We attended to the incorporation.
PG: Can I ask you then following the last thing that we did to setting up the incorporation, which appears from the file to be the letter arguing that it ought to be not construed as a trade union, did you have anything personally to do with that incorporated association afterwards?
JG: No I did not.
PG: Right, to the best of your knowledge did anyone at Slater & Gordon?
JG: To my knowledge no one at Slater & Gordon had anything to do with it post that time.
A direct result of Bruce Wilson's 7.30 interview, thanks again Bruce