Court orders Porter and lawyer to pay $430,000 legal costs

By Jackson Graham

January 20, 2022

Christian Porter
Christian Porter and Sue Chrysanthou are to pay $430,000 in legal fees.  (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The Federal Court has ordered former federal minister Christian Porter and his defamation lawyer Sue Chrysanthou to pay $430,200 in legal fees. 

The costs relate to a finding last year that Chrysanthou could not continue working with Porter on his defamation case against the ABC because there was a risk she could misuse confidential information. 

The money will be paid to Jo Dyer, a friend of the now-deceased woman who accused Porter of raping her more than three decades ago. 

Dyer’s lawyers argued there was a conflict of interest because she and Chrysanthou discussed issues with the case before Chrysanthou was representing Porter. 

The court ruled on Wednesday the costs would be shared between Porter and Chrysanthou. 

The defamation case came about following the ABC reporting on an unnamed cabinet minister being accused of raping a woman in 1988. 

Porter strongly denied the allegations, identified himself as the reported cabinet minister at a press conference in March, and commenced the defamation proceedings. 

Porter stopped pursuing the defamation proceedings in May, shortly after the Federal Court granted an order to restrain Chrysanthou from acting for Porter. 

Porter announced in December last year he would not contest the next election, casting himself as facing “more of the harshness of modern politics” than most, but having “no regrets”.  

He had moved from attorney-general to industry minister in March and been forced to resign as a minster in September following public backlash over a “blind trust” that partly paid for the defamation case

A committee later found he did not breach parliamentary rules by not disclosing those behind the trust, but it recommended political disclosure rules be overhauled.

Dyer in December announced she would contest this year’s federal election as an independent in the marginal South Australian seat of Boothby.


Judge halts Christian Porter ABC defamation case over alleged conflict of interest

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