Leading Australian law firm Clayton Utz faces a crisis with allegations of misconduct and potential perjury against two former partners involved in major tobacco litigation.

Clayton Utz, the corporate law firm that defended British American Tobacco against cancer victim Rolah McCabe, may be stripped of its multimillion-dollar position on the list of firms entitled to work for the State Government.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls has written to the unit that manages the Legal Services Panel, a list of 10 firms, asking it to investigate whether Clayton Utz’s position on the panel should be “reconsidered in light of … serious allegations” against two former partners of the firm.

The partners were found by an internal inquiry to have engaged in misconduct and potential perjury while acting for British American Tobacco.

The contents of the report were revealed in The Sunday Age in October. On Wednesday, Mr Hulls referred the report to the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions for investigation.

Positions on the Legal Services Panel are much sought-after. Firms on the panel shared in $35 million of State Government work in 2004-05.

(Memphis, TN/ December 19, 2006) LAWFUEL – Legal News, Legal Jobs – …’s lead story reports on leading Australian law firm Clayto…