This piece of investigative journalism by Shane Dowling was published in Kangaroo Court in Australia. It provides a glimpse into one part of the association between the Turnbull government and the banks. Julie Bishop’s brother is a partner in Clayton Utz, the law firm defending the banks in the Current Royal Commission, and it stands to make tens of millions out of it. Kangaroo Court in Australia is an independent site, dedicated to investigative reporting of political, judicial and police corruption.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop’s brother, Douglas Bishop, is one of biggest beneficiaries from protecting corrupt financial institutions like the Commonwealth Bank. We have learnt over the last few days from the Banking Royal Commission his law firm Clayton Utz are even bigger beneficiaries to the tune of 10’s of $millions.
It also raises the question: Given the federal government has made many decisions over the last couple of years regarding financial institutions including delaying a Banking Royal Commission for the banks benefit. Has Julie Bishop ever declared in cabinet or to the public the perceived bias given her brother makes $millions from financial institutions like the Commonwealth Bank?
Yes, there’s more. Senator Mathias Cormann is the Minister for Finance and his wife Hayley Cormann works at Clayton Utz, as well as a Senior Associate in their Perth office, also happens to be the WA Law Society president.
That’s at least 2 federal ministers whose families have a direct financial interest in Clayton Utz as employees of the company who would also receive bonuses for the work they bring to the company. It would be a huge selling tool for lawyers at Clayton Utz to be able to tell customers like the AMP and Commonwealth Bank etc that they can directly influence cabinet decisions and the banks would pay well for that.
Julie Bishop is fast gathering a reputation for rorting the government expense account, so I would not expect her brother to be greatly different and from my investigations he isn’t.
Clayton Utz and their snouts in the federal trough
The New Daily reports:
The leading Australian law firm embroiled in AMP’s “fees for no service” scandal – the banking royal commission’s biggest bombshell so far – has already won nearly $11million in government contracts since January.
Amid calls for Clayton Utz to be suspended from all government work, analysis by The New Daily shows the law firm is well on the way to taking in tens of millions of dollars from the taxpayer this year.
Since the start of the year, based on contracts made public, Clayton Utz won 95 tenders worth a total of $10.96 million to provide legal services to various departments and agencies.
AMP Independent Report Scandal
The royal commission heard evidence last week that Clayton Utz rewrote a report on AMP’s “fees for no service” scandal 24 times at the financial services company’s request.
The report was given to corporate regulator ASIC and described as “external and independent”. (Click here to read more)
And the SMH reported:
The senior AMP legal executive accused of interfering with a supposedly independent report into breaches by its financial planning division has been stood down from a disciplinary panel run by the corporate regulator amid growing concerns about the close links between the financial services giant and ASIC.
AMP general counsel Brian Salter took leave from his corporate position on Friday – the same day chief executive Craig Meller was sacked – after the Hayne Royal Commission heard evidence that the Sydney-based company had lied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on at least 20 occasions and altered a so-called “independent” report prepared by law firm Clayton Utz. (Click here to read more)
Former NSW Premier Mike Baird
Banks and other companies employ people from politics or with political connections on huge wages and the banks expect results. For example, another person from politics is former NSW Premier Mike Baird who now works for the NAB as Chief Customer Officer – Corporate and Institutional Banking on a rumoured salary of over $2million a year and there are many others.
Media questions for Douglas Bishop
I emailed Douglas Bishop some questions as per below but at the time of writing I have not had a response although he did read the email as per the below read receipt.
From: SHANE DOWLING
Sent: 24 April 2018 16:38
To: [email protected]
Subject: Media request
Dear Mr Bishop,
I am writing an article that I plan on publishing tonight. Can you please answer the following questions:
- Can you please advise which financial institutions you work for?
- Do you still do work for the Commonwealth Bank?
- Were you directly involved in the AMP / Clayton Utz “independent report” scandal uncovered by the Banking Royal Commission? Do you expect to personally face criminal charges?
- How much do you earn yearly from advising financial institutions on how to lie to ASIC?
- Did you ever discuss the need for a Banking Royal Commission with your sister Julie Bishop before it was set up?
- Have you ever discussed the Banking Royal Commission with your sister Julie Bishop since it started?
Please respond by 7pm tonight 24/4/18.
Douglas Bishop and the whistleblower stitch-up for the Commonwealth Bank
This isn’t the first time I have written about Douglas Bishop and in fact he was one of the stars of the article I published in January 2015 titled “Commonwealth Bank now using legal threats and the courts to intimidate whistleblowers” which started off:
Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev is now using legal threats and the courts in an attempt to shut-up whistleblowers regarding the massive fraud and theft at the bank. Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop’s younger brother Douglas Bishop is the lawyer representing Commonwealth Bank executive Brendan French in defamation proceedings against whistleblower Michael Fraser. This raises many questions by itself.
I have seen some dumb moves and this one by the Commonwealth Bank is right up there with the dumbest as it will continue to put the spotlight on the bank’s corrupt practices. It will also potentially expose the government given Mr Bishop’s involvement and the government’s refusal to have a Royal Commission into the CBA. (Click here to read more)
Brendan French eventually won the defamation case in December 2015 thanks to the then CEO Ian Narev using Commonwealth Bank shareholder’s funds for his legal team.
The judge hearing the matter was none other than NSW Supreme Court defamation list judge Justice Lucy McCallum who is well known to be in the hip pocket of the big end of town. I wrote not long after the judgment was published:
Justice Lucy McCallum and the defamation judgment – French v Fraser (NoÂ 3)  NSWSC 1807 (4 December 2015) (Click here to read)
In the judgement at paragraph 6 it says “There is not the smallest suggestion of any actual wrong-doing on Dr French’s part. For the bank to back Dr French’s attempts to stem the personal harm to him caused by Mr Fraser was entirely appropriate.”
Well there is a truck load of evidence of Dr Brendan French’s wrongdoing before the Australian senate.
And at paragraph 88 it says “The evidence also establishes beyond doubt that Dr French has suffered an immense amount of emotional pain and hurt as a result of the publications”. What about the hurt and suffering caused to the CBA customers who were ripped off by CBA staff and then the CBA refused to give them compensation?
The below video is Merilyn Swan giving evidence about trying to get the money back that was stolen from her parents by the CBA and the get lost message she received from Brendan French. If Ms Swan and others had of given evidence at the defamation hearing I suspect the result would have been the opposite.
I notice Justice Lucy McCallum makes no mention of the widespread crimes of the bank and its staff which has been all over the media for the last few years. I would have thought that very relevant given the CBA were funding the matter and the case obviously impacted on the CBA’s reputation. Looks like Justice McCallum handed down the best judgment money can buy. It’s the same Justice McCallum who was caught having as a secret hearing to help Kerry Stokes. (Click here to read the transcript)
While Michael Fraser certainly did say and do things that he shouldn’t have they are trivial at best compared to the widespread destruction caused by the corrupt conduct of the CBA senior management which includes Brendan French. But the CBA jumped on the trivial stuff, blew it out of proportion and tried to get the CBA whistleblower names which was their main objective. When they couldn’t get the whistleblowers names they then used the CBA’s financial muscle to win a defamation case for their dodgy employee Brendan French. (Click here to read more)
And where was Douglas Bishop in the French v Fraser battle? He had his snout in the trough and would have made close to a $1million if not more from that matter alone helping the Commonwealth Bank hide their crimes of fraud and theft from customers.
The Bank Royal Commission is only a few weeks old and while I was very sceptical to start with it does seem like it might achieve a lot. But to achieve what it needs to achieve it needs to be broadened and to go a lot longer than the scheduled finish this year with a final report to the government by the 1st February 2019. An extension to about 2022 is what’s needed.
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