Monday, November 26, 2007

Peters' VGM

It has been a busy week. I have been consumed by this matter I am working on with Ben. The matter Peters asked me to call his friend about after the pro bono breakfast the other week.
It turns out Peters' friend is in a bind. Not a Tony-Mokbel-international-scandal bind but nonetheless a bind of a criminal nature.

The story goes like this...

Peters' friend is a long standing client of the firm. It is unclear whether he was a mate or a client first but he gives BCF millions of dollars of work from his construction business each year so now he is a mate, a very good mate (VGM).

The day before Peters and I had breakfast VGM called Peters about a construction matter BCF is handling for him. During the course of the conversation, VGM subtly integrated the fact that he and his wife has separated. Peters was sympathetic and supportive and insisted on taking VGM out for lunch.

Over the set lunch menu at Vue de Monde, VGM told Peters the whole story. He and his wife had married young. They have been married for 18 years now. It all started beautifully, he built her the house of her dreams and she played the part of dutiful and beautiful wife for him. Slowly, as he started to work more and she became lonely, abandoned in the big house, things began to come unstuck. He claims she has a substance abuse problem (a Toorak house wife who likes her cocoa puffs). She claims he beat her a number of times over the course of the marriage. He denies he beat her; she denies the substance abuse.

The wife has successfully taken out an interim intervention order against VGM and is seeking a full intervention order at the hearing next week. She has also provided police with a damning statement which forms the basis of an assault charge against VGM.

VGM has instructed us to defend the charge at all costs and Ben and I are preparing for the contest in a couple of weeks. I must say it doesn't look good.

Time to do some digging on VGM and, more importantly, his wife.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Melbourne Cup

We had a corporate tent at the Melbourne Cup yesterday. It sounds so glamorous... 'corporate tent' ... but really it just means you are stuck with people you don't like an awful lot on your day off.

Uncle, fresh out of hospital, managed to make an appearance and, for someone who's meant to be at home on bed rest and dosed up on pain killers, managed to consume an awful lot of beer and slap other people on the back a lot.

Peters was very excited. He had placed a couple of hundred dollars on 'Efficient' because it 'represents everything BCF stands for. She's young and fit and likes to run past all the others'. There was also the obvious reference to 'efficiency' and productive use of time.

Ben, of course, was there, swanning about like king of the world, still riding high on the crest of the wave of partnership, introducing me as 'Trixie, one of the lawyers in his team'.

We are working together as a result of the work Peters has asked us to do for one of his 'friends' but I don't think that means I am technically part of his 'team'. And why is it his team anyway? As Partner he does have some entitlement to possession but as I pointed out to him yesterday, 'There's no I in team'. But then again, as he responded, 'There is an m and an e'.

There is a 'm' and an 'e' in Melbourne Cup too, doesn't mean he owns that.