The lawyer who was offered a $1.5 million settlement by her client has told the ABC she didn’t exercise her discretion and her client should be awarded $1 million.
Claire Baskin-Kellar is a leading figure in the legal community and an award-winning lawyer who has defended clients including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former prime minister Julia Gillard and singer Nicki Minaj.
Ms Baskins-Kellar, who worked for Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard as a solicitor, told the broadcaster she has no regrets and that she was the right person for the job.
“I was an incredibly good solicitor, the right fit for the task,” she said.
But she was frustrated by the fact she never won a case on behalf of her client, Mr Rudd, because she was told by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to stop pursuing the claim because it was not an issue of fact.
Mr Rudd’s lawyer, Mark Kelleher, told The Courier-Mail he was not surprised by Ms Baskers-Keller’s decision.
He said it was standard practice for a lawyer to not pursue cases against her clients, and that it was a very poor legal strategy.
“(The client) was offered $1M to drop it because of her conduct, and she didn´t do anything to stop her being represented by that person, and it was just a very, very poor decision by her,” he said.
“So the lawyer should be paid out.
In the end, she was not awarded the money, which is disappointing because it is an important award for the victims of crime.
However, he said Ms Baskinger had no regrets.
She is not alone in her frustration with the Civil and Admin Tribunal.
One of Mr Kellehers clients, former NSW police officer Kevin Dukes, was awarded $3.5million after his claim was rejected by the tribunal in 2014.
Other high-profile victims include former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillards, and actress Nicki minaj.