Former high-flying Brisbane lawyer Nigel Francis Munt is seeking to continue his legal career, just five months after he was convicted of drug trafficking.
The law society cancelled his practicing certificate in September but Munt saw the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday to challenge this decision to cancel his right to work as a solicitor.
According to The Courier Mail, the tribunal president Justice David Thomas ruled Munt could not have the decision “stayed” pending a full hearing later in the year.
“I will not be granting a stay,” Justice Thomas said.
Allowing convicted drug traffickers like Munt to continue practicing would have a detrimental effect on the public confidence in the legal profession, the state’s law society argued in a hearing last week.
The father-of-five told the tribunal yesterday that he was no longer a drug addict and had passed hundreds of urine tests. Munt also told the tribunal and that he had broken up with his former girlfriend who introduced him to methylamphetamines, saying his new girlfriend is a beauty therapist.
But Munt could also be struck off the roll of solicitors due to the fact that he was bankrupted two weeks ago when he failed to meet the deadline for paying back the $1.2m he owed the ATO.
A year after making a fortune of reportedly around $19m when he sold his share of a plaintiff law firm to Slater & Gordon, Munt pleaded guilty to one count of methylamphetamine trafficking and 20 counts of supplying, receiving a suspended three-year jail sentence.
The Courier Mail reported yesterday that the tribunal heard that Munt had quit his job prior to his sentencing to save his employer embarrassment, but had been working in the law since then.