Title: Lawyers audition for Catholics work Corrs vacated
Since law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth abruptly dumped the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne’s “personal injury work” in July, a major power shift has been underway in the darkest crannies of the legal fraternity.
Corrs effectively wound up the practice of partner Richard Leder, longstanding adviser to the church and architect with George Pell of the 1996 “Melbourne Response”, the world’s first compensation scheme for victims of sexual abuse by clergy. And a sublime euphemism.
It was a shitful response, absolving institutional liability in return for maximum payments of $50,000. Its single greatest beneficiary was “independent” commissioner Peter O’Callaghan QC, whose $7.7 million in fees accounted for 44 per cent of the program’s total outgoings.
Which rival shop Leder now lands at, or whether he’ll hang out his own shingle, remains an open question, but his annual billings from the Catholics alone were north of $4 million.
Yes, this is a seriously lucrative calling if your conscience can suffer it.