High-ranking lawyer hit with “ fault ” costs

He also represented political adviser James Ashby in his sexual harassment lawsuit against former MP Peter Slipper, which was dropped before trial. Mr Harmer paid Mr Ashby’s costs.

In the Jetstar case, Judge John Logan, Judge Geoffrey Flick and Judge Anna Katzmann said the trial judge’s decision to strike his statement still allowed Mr Sabapathy to reset his case for wrongful dismissal.

“This was really an application for leave to appeal that should never have been made,” the court said.


“These reasons [of the primary judge] were given in order to quickly resolve a dispute over a matter of practice and procedure in a court which notoriously has heavy demands on its judicial resources and due to a poorly drafted statement of claim.

“Good practice has always required a certain degree of self-reflection and self-criticism from practitioners about alleged shortcomings in the conduct of a case.”

All three judges said the loopholes made the expungement order “trivial.”

“There, the case should have ended. Nothing in Mr. Sabapathy’s written or oral submissions on the request disclosed a reasonable basis for bringing or continuing the request.

In justifying the award of compensation costs, the court stated that it could do so when “additional costs have been incurred due to the ‘fault’ of a lawyer, which includes costs incurred without reasonable cause. “.

The decision came after a request from Jetstar for orders to be made against Mr Harmer and not against his former pilot, with the court acknowledging that its power extended to order a party’s lawyer to personally bear the costs.


The court said Mr Harmer did not admit that he had engaged in unreasonable conduct on his part that could warrant an order for costs against him, but noted that he had “ applied voluntary to pay the costs that the court is satisfied … that it would otherwise allow. the order to pay the costs of Mr. Sabapathy ”.

“In view of the position taken by Mr. Harmer, it is neither necessary nor desirable to explore whether, in the absence of his agreement to that effect, a cost order should be imposed against him personally.”

The final sum will be decided by a court clerk. Mr. Sabapathy’s claim will be referred to the Federal Circuit Court.

A media spokesperson for Mr Harmer, Anthony McClellan, said the decision “stemmed from his earlier offer to financially protect his client in this case.”

“Mr. Sabapathy is filing further complaints against Jetstar Airways and the senior senior pilots today, with the full support of Harmers Workplace Lawyers. ”

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