20 May 2010

Law Society may investigate Mr Asia lawyer

12:22 pm on 20 May 2010

The Law Society says it has the power to investigate the former lawyer for the Mr Asia syndicate kingpin, who has been acquitted of money laundering.

Edward Leary, who was reinstated to the bar in 2007 after being struck off in the 1980s, had name suppression until yesterday.

Phone conversations in which Mr Leary's wife and a drug dealer referred to him were ruled to be inadmissible hearsay evidence and the case against him was discharged in January.

His wife Claudine Leary and co-defendant Nicholas Voerman pleaded guilty to the money laundering charge shortly before their trial.

She was fined $10,000 and Voerman was jailed for a year, which he will serve concurrently with a term imposed for selling ecstasy tablets.

Law Society president Jonathan Temm says as name suppression only expired yesterday there is no inquiry underway.

Mr Leary was struck off the roll of barristers in 1987 for conduct which included helping Mr Asia's Terry Clark to locate or take possession of cannabis plant material.

The Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal dismissed Mr Leary's 2006 application to have his name restored to the roll, but that was overturned by the High Court.

Eighty-one testimonials, including some from judges and Queen's Counsel, supported his application.