Underworld figure launches legal action over Nicole Gobbo informing to police

An underworld figure whose murder conviction was overturned is taking legal action against his former lawyer, police informant Nicola Gobbo, alleging she misused his confidential information and breached her legal duties as his lawyer.

Faruk Orman was jailed for more than a decade over a gangland hit but walked free after his conviction was quashed in the first case the courts found was contaminated by Gobbo, who is also known by the pseudonyms Informer 3838 and Lawyer X.

Faruk Orman in the hours after he walked from court a free man in 2019.Credit:Justin McManus

In legal documents filed in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday, Orman alleges Gobbo breached her duty to not misuse information he provided to her in confidence to obtain legal advice, and that, as a result, he suffered loss and damage.

“As a legal practitioner acting for [Orman] at all relevant times [Gobbo] was required to exercise care and skill in the provision of legal services to [Orman] to promote [Orman’s] interests,” court documents say.

“Further and in addition, [Gobbo] owed [Orman] a continuing duty to safeguard and not misuse the plaintiff’s confidential information.”

Orman was 25 when he was imprisoned for the 2002 murder of gangster Victor Peirce. The court documents say that Gobbo acted as an informant from 1995 to 2014.

The court documents also allege that as a result of Gobbo’s actions, Orman suffered loss. His claim does not name a specific quantum of damages.

“By reason of [Gobbo’s] breach of duty, [Orman] has suffered injury, loss and damage,” court documents say.

“As legal practitioner acting for [Orman], at all relevant times, [Gobbo] owed a fiduciary duty to [Orman]: (a) of loyalty and good faith; (b) to avoid conflict of interest; (c) not act for another client simultaneously with an interest adverse to [Orman] in the same or a related matter.”

Orman’s was the first case in which the Victorian Court of Appeal determined a miscarriage of justice occurred because of the role Gobbo played in his case.

Disgraced barrister Nicola Gobbo faces legal action from her former client Faruk Orman.Credit:ABC

Gobbo acted as Orman’s lawyer after he was charged, but she was also working for the police and encouraged a key gangland turncoat to become a witness against her own client.

Orman was convicted of the 2002 murder on the basis he drove childhood friend and hitman Andrew “Benji” Veniamin to Port Melbourne to kill Peirce.

“After serving 12 years for a crime that I did not commit, I am looking forward to getting on with my life as a private citizen,” Mr Orman said in a statement.

“A lot has been said about me, which I had no control over. I think that many people will think that I have come out of prison bitter and angry. I haven’t. I have been lucky enough to have people who have supported me and fought for me.”

Other prisoners appealing their convictions on the Informer 3838 principle include drug lord Tony Mokbel and drug trafficker Rob Karam, who was jailed over one of Australia’s biggest Calabrian mafia drug busts – 4.4 tonnes of ecstasy pills stowed in tomato tins.

Orman’s lawyers have been contacted for comment.

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