Cocaine, cash, strip clubs: Lawyer’s alleged life of excess
HIGH-profile lawyer Adam Magill sourced cocaine from his criminal clients, partied with them at strip clubs and sent sexually explicit messages to women he was representing - including requests for nude photographs, police will allege.
News Queensland has obtained court documents detailing the allegations against Magill, who police say encouraged clients to pay cash while he doubled up on legal aid funding.
Magill, a partner in the law firm Lawler Magill, is facing charges of aggravated fraud, fraudulent falsification of records and aggravated money laundering following an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
He has indicated that he will fight the charges.
Magill, a former police officer, is one of Queensland's most prominent criminal lawyers. He has appeared in numerous murder cases and represented Australian rugby union player Karmichael Hunt.
The court documents allege Magill, 47, carried out his duties in an unprofessional manner, showing a disregard for the law. They provide a list of examples:
"Sourcing cocaine from a client and associates of clients, which is corroborated through witness statements; and he has arranged for a former staff member to collect and deliver cocaine to him," investigators claim in their objection to bail.
"Communications with female clients of a sexual nature, including the request for photographs; engaging and associating with clients in licensed premises for the purposes of consuming alcohol and or cocaine together.
"He was witnessed consuming cocaine in an adult entertainment club with (client) Piet Ta during the period of representation on an occasion where Ta delivered a sum of cash to the defendant.
"(And he) commenced a romantic relationship with the partner of a client who was in custody at the time. During this relationship the defendant and this partner had a child together."
The Courier-Mail has already revealed Magill had a child with Natalie Lucas, the former fiancee of past client Ivan Tesic, an alleged bikie associate.
Magill was one of multiple arrests made during the CCC's Operation Stockade, which also saw former colleagues Corey Cullen, Mitchell Cunningham and Nathan Hounsell charged with fraud offences.
Lam Ta, a former client of Magill's, was also arrested.
Lam, one of two brothers formerly represented by Magill, was charged with aggravated fraud and aggravated money laundering.
The CCC has alleged its investigation uncovered Legal Aid Queensland fraud to the value of $340,000. More than $765,000 was paid to lawyers that was not put through the firm's trust account, they allege.
"This practise enabled the defendant to obtain a higher income that was undeclared to the business," investigators allege.
Police will also allege Magill took cash from clients with the knowledge it was the proceeds of drug deals. In one case, police will allege that in 2015, one client sent a message to an associate saying: "I need a couple of thousand, give it to my solicitor, even though he's legal aid and that."
When a copy of that message was sent between lawyers at the firm, Magill is alleged to have replied: "Boys, that's how a real lawyer works."
In objecting to Magill's recent - and successful - application for bail, investigators said the Queensland Police Service was conducting ongoing threat assessments "in relation to consistent threats to seriously harm (Magill)".
Police will allege Magill encouraged clients to pay cash for his services and failed to provide them with cost agreements or receipts. He would use encrypted messaging apps, including Viber, to organise the cash payments.
"Investigations have revealed the establishment of numerous inappropriate relationships with clients and former clients of his firm which are detrimental to his character as a solicitor and display an extreme level of unprofessionalism," the documents allege.
The 18-month investigation into the law firm's alleged criminal activity involved widespread interviews with former clients, including some who told police they made cash payments to the firm.
The case against Magill will return to court on November 26.