Lloyd Rayney faces being struck off as appeal fails

WA’s highest court upholds decision to ban Rayney for giving false evidence

Lloyd Rayney faces being struck off as appeal fails

A lawyer who was once suspected in his wife’s murder faces being struck off after the Supreme Court of Western Australia rejected his appeal against a tribunal recommendation that he be banned from the profession.

WA’s highest court upheld a decision made by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) last year to ban Lloyd Rayney from practising as a lawyer. The Legal Profession Complaints Committee pursued the lawyer for giving false evidence about secretly recording his estranged wife before her 2007 murder.

Rayney, who was once the sole suspect in the murder, was acquitted in 2012. That decision was upheld in 2013, while a phone interception case was dismissed in 2015.

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Rayney argued in his appeal against the strike-off recommendation that he was not given the right to a fair trial. He also said that the tribunal made an error in recommending that he be struck off because it did not take into account his mental health.

The SAT made the recommendation last year after finding Rayney committed unprofessional conduct for giving false evidence in court with the knowledge that the evidence was untrue and intending to mislead the Magistrates Court.

The SAT said that the conduct was “of a most serious nature” and that it “would reasonable be regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by practitioners of good repute and competence.”

“It is our view that Mr Rayney lacks the honesty and candour that are essential attributes for a legal practitioner,” the SAT said.

With the appeal thrown out, the matter is now to be considered by the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, which will decide whether Rayney will be disbarred. Rayney is not presently able to practise.

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