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Deja Vu
6 May, 2009  

More from Justinian’s hard copy archives … How the Curse of Justinian struck Sir Arthur George … 1994 Sydney bar ‘n’ grill election results … Rozenes’ special thoughts on rape

Finger of doom

From Justinian, December 1994

The Curse of Justinian has struck again. Sadly this time the victim is Sir Arthur Thomas George – imageSydney entrepreneur, philanthropist, property developer, pancake shop proprietor, solicitor, soccer czar, and now bankrupt.

Sir Arthur took proceedings against Justinian in 1982 to stop publication of details of disciplinary charges that had been brought against him by the Law Society. He was subsequently found by the Statutory Committee to have:

* Improperly intermingled the financial affairs of clients with those of his companies.

* Failed to ensure that any of the clients who deposited money with his companies received separate and independent advice.

* Failed adequately to protect the interests of any of the clients who advanced money.

* Failed to make adequate disclosure to his clients of his interests in the companies.

* Been guilty of professional misconduct.

He was fined $1,000.

Now he has gone belly-up with personal liabilities of $5,507,320 and assets of $61,843.

He said he had $61,738 in a bank account and $105 in assets and property, which included two watches and two sets of cufflinks worth $50. His gold plated medal which was an award from the international soccer federation is worthless.

In the last 12 months he said that his income was $3,000 and he expects a similar income in the next 12 months.

All the furniture and effects at his home in Vaucluse were purchased by the Sir Arthur George Trust and subsequently sold to his wife Lady Renee George.

Things started falling apart in a serious manner when Tricontinental Corporation got a judgment against Sir Arthur for $431,000 in May last year [1993] and then made a demand on him.

Sir Arthur has said that property sales and the hoped-for success of various ventures such as holiday resorts in Spain and the redevelopment of Wembly Stadium in London would pull him through and he was hoping to have the bankruptcy annulled.

Tragically, this has not happened. Over the New Year he is considering whether a s.73 composition with his creditors can be arranged.

George is still a defendant in an equity suit commenced by James Spellson, his former son-in-law.

This arose from the break-up of the marriage of his daughter Diane to Spellson. The bankruptcy documents filed in the court say that his “matter is stood over at this stage pending receipt of funds by the (Sir Arthur George) trust to enable settlement arrangements”.

Sir Arthur is the second person involved in proceedings against this noble organ who has been stuck down by The Curse of Justinian.

He joins Dr Michael Pickering, formerly of Dunhill Madden Butler in Melbourne, who was cursed after he acted in defamation proceedings brought by a Melbourne barrister called O’Sullivan against Justinian in 1983.

Pickering was subsequently struck down by the Curse following allegations of plagiarism against him.

He has carefully copied out an article from some learned overseas journal and had it published under his own name in the Law Institute Journal.

Despite the efforts of some to save him from a count of professional misconduct he was struck from the roll, and not a sausage has been heard from him since.

Count your lucky stars

From Justinian, December 1994

Who is the most popular barrister in Sydney on a peer respect basis?

Interestingly, it is the old criminal law warhorse of the Northern Territory, Ian Barker.

He topped the recent election poll with a massive 529 primary votes, out of a total of 873 valid votes cast at the recent NSW Bar Association election.

He out polled the President of the Bar Association M. Tobias by 67 votes, and not far behind Tobias in third slot came Bret Walker with 443 votes.

The least popular silk on polling day was Malcolm Broun QC (108 primary votes and 48th in the poll), and the person attracting the least votes overall was someone simply known as Barrett (27 votes, or 82nd).

Among the senior juniors J.P. Gormly was the biggest star with 337 votes (8th position) followed closely by Anna Katzmann with 332 votes.

The nun’s friend reappointed

From Justinian, December 1994

Commonwealth DPP M. Rozenes has stuck his hand up for a further two years in office, and been given it by the government – despite criticism within the government of his views on raping nuns.

He was originally anointed DPP three years ago after a lunch in Melbourne with then AG Michael Duffy.

In recent times Rozenes has made it clear he wants to see more gaol for those who defraud the Commonwealth.

Recently he expressed the greatest respect for nuns, saying when it comes to penalty it is far worse to rape them than prostitutes.

The DPP has the idea that in relation to prostitutes, it could be argued that some punters might feel that if they had paid for one service, what was wrong with taking a second one – for free?

Attorney General Lavarch was so unimpressed with the sentiment that he dragged Rozenes out of court to berate him telephonically.

Even though he subsequently expressed regret for the statement, the DPP has shown little retreat in private. “Everyone knows I was right,” he has remarked.