by Michael Mata
Fighting the state for compensation over her suspension from Crown Law has proved to be a costly endeavour for Siobhan Parer.
According to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Parer, who is Acting Assistant Crown Solicitor, was suspended on full pay on June 12, 2015, and has since spent $258,000 in legal costs.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of Parer’s financial woes: According to her solicitor Susan Moriarty, Parer’s Brisbane home burned down a week after giving evidence to the commission.
Following her suspension, Parer was asked to show cause as to why she shouldn’t be disciplined over her alleged negligent supervision of another solicitor, Jeremy Weston, and a junior solicitor. Jim Murdoch QC said that Weston’s failings were so complete and systematic that they justified Parer being asked to show cause in relation to her failings as his supervisor.
In contrast, Parer claims that her suspension was a prohibited action, calling it an “act of reprisal” after she complained about Deputy Crown Solicitor Helen Fremantle. Parer is seeking reinstatement, as well as compensation for damages to her professional reputation and for psychological injury. She is also asking for the state to receive a penalty.
Parer is the niece of the late former senator and Howard government minister Warwick Parer. She joined Crown Law in 2001 and has practiced exclusively in the area of litigation, with the majority of her work relating to personal injury law. According to her profile on Crown Law’s website, Parer “has defended some of Queensland’s most complex and sensitive litigation matters and continues to act on behalf of the State in many significant litigation claims”.
The state is being represented by Murdoch and is being instructed by Minter Ellison.
The case is being presided over by Commissioner Glenys Fisher.
Commissioner suspended Crown Law solicitors after one-hour decision