Lawyer X: Tony Mokbel may have cause to be refunded $84,000 in legal fees
Gangland figure Tony Mokbel paid lawyer and police informer Nicola Gobbo a fortune in legal fees while she was trying to have him jailed.
Nicola Gobbo provided legal advice to Mr Mokbel from December 2015 to March 2016, while also reporting his crimes to police.
Mr Mokbel paid $84,000 for the legal services provided by Ms Gobbo over the four month period.
Matt Collins QC said Mr Mokbel may have cause to seek a refund of the legal fees.
“He’s got a reasonable moral claim to it at least, doesn’t he?,” he said to 3AW’s Ross and John.
“When you go to see a lawyer you expect that you’re buying independent advice that’s in your best interest.
“If you don’t get independent advice that’s in your best interest then you’re not getting what you paid for.”
But the duration of time which has passed since the money changed hands may pose a problem for Mr Mokbel’s legal challenge.
“Generally speaking, if you wanted to seek your money back because you didn’t get what you paid for, you need to do so within six years,” Mr Collins said.
“If you didn’t know the relevant facts then you have a reasonable period after finding out those facts to take action.
“Everyone has known the identity of Lawyer X for coming up to at least a year now, so it’s starting to look a bit long in the tooth to me.”
Mr Collins said Mr Mokbel may possibly also have a case against Victoria Police.
“The argument here would be that, to the extent that there was a breach of contract for the provision of legal services, it was in some way contributed to or induced by the conduct of others, such as the police.”
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