Lawyer X a lawyer no more
Supergrass lawyer Nicola Gobbo is facing her first official sanction by having her name struck off the roll.
Victoria's peak legal regulator - the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner - has lodged an order in the Supreme Court to remove her name from the roll despite the Lawyer X scandal being exposed six years ago.
The Supreme Court action will come as a blow to Gobbo despite having not practised law since 2014.
Gobbo, who has not renewed her licence to practice in that time, has never officially been sanctioned for her role in duping her clients after becoming a registered police informer known to the force as 3838, but dubbed by the Herald Sun as Lawyer X.
"The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSB+C) has today issued proceedings in the Supreme Court to obtain an order that Nicola Gobbo's name be removed (struck-off) from the roll,'' a statement said.
"Ms Gobbo has not held a practising certificate since 2014 and has not been able to practise as a lawyer since then.
"We can't comment further while this matter is before the Court.''
The proceedings have been issued pursuant to a section of the Legal Profession Uniform Law.
It is not known whether Gobbo will fight the order.
The Supreme Court of Victoria maintains the roll which contains the names of people admitted to practise law in Victoria.
The Herald Sun has previously queried the Legal Services Board as to why Gobbo had not been struck from the roll considering her unethical practices.
Gobbo has not officially acted as a lawyer since 2014.
It comes as debate continues as to whether a Special Prosecutor will be appointed to investigate and charge those responsible for alleged legal breaches due to Gobbo's role as a registered police informer.
Victoria's anti-corruption body IBAC and the Director of Public Prosecutions have both stated they are unable to investigate or press charges over the Lawyer X scandal.
Victoria Police, which would have conflict as the investigating body, has argued Gobbo's use was a systemic flaw and has sought to protect individual officers from prosecution.
Gobbo's alleged breaches of the law could also be overlooked if a special prosecutor is not recommended and appointed.
The primary alleged legal breach to be probed would be perverting the course of justice.
Barrister Remy van de Wiel QC said a special prosecutor had to be appointed and should be independent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) because of its association to the Lawyer X issue.
"The royal commission has looked at the evidence and will make its comments about it,'' Mr van de Wiel said.
"Those comments and or findings will not be the basis of any prosecution.
"In order to ensure that there is a real consideration of prosecution of the various participants in these activities a special prosecutor must be appointed who will be independent of both the DPP and Victoria Police.
"If prosecutions are recommended against Nicola Gobbo it would be totally improper not to charge people who conspired with her, being the police.''
Lawyer X commissioner Margaret McMurdo will file her final report on November 30.
Originally published as Lawyer X a lawyer no more