Lawyer Sacked By HWL Ebsworth Wins Bid For Extra Trial Time

The Federal Court has agreed to set aside another week for trial in an unfair dismissal case brought by former HWL Ebsworth senior counsel Dr Gary Rumble against his old law firm.

Last week, Justice Nye Perram granted two weeks in total, after a request was made by Dr Rumble’s barrister, Rachel Francois, who said that more time was needed to present his case.

Consenting to the decision, HWL’s barrister Glenn Fredericks, said he was unaware of the “can of worms” that had caused the need for an extended trial.

Dr Rumble filed a claim of unfair dismissal against HWL in May last year.

He lost his job as special counsel at the law firm after writing an article for Fairfax Media, in 2016.  The article described the treatment of veterans who had suffered various types of abuse at the hands of the Commonwealth as “disgraceful”.

His employment was terminated after repeated attempts to stop the lawyer from advocating on behalf of abuse victims in the military while the Federal Government was a client of the firm.

Dr Rumble was then fired by email on February 20 last year.

Three days after he had been recognised as Canberra’s “Public Lawyer of the Year”.

The trial has now been set for 10 days commencing on December 3. A further case management hearing has been scheduled for July 18.

Francois was instructed by Employment Lawyers Australia. Fredericks was instructed by HWL Ebsworth.

Rumble was represented by Maurice Blackburn but changed law firms in December last year.

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