How a Survivor outlasted Corrs on church legal work

How a Survivor outlasted Corrs on church legal work

He achieved greater fame as a contestant on Survivor: Panamathe second series of the reality TV franchise in the UK that screened in 2002. Dalzell finished third, just missing the final two after a key miscalculation from the eventual runner-up, teacher Susannah Moffatt.

Wikipedia explains: “Despite believing that Jonny Gibb was more popular than John Dalzell, she voted out the latter thinking that she was remaining true to a deal that she had with Jonny.”

Law was a safer occupation

She should have gone for Dalzell, who was listed as “former marine/law worker, 32” in his show profile. “John admits to being a bit of a show-off in front of a crowd. His hero of him is Muhammed Ali.”

dalzell awning The Australian Financial Review in 2014 that after five years with the royal marines – he joined at 16 and rose to the rank of Commando – he’d had enough. He could have worked as a mercenary in Somalia or the Middle East, but he decided the law was a safer occupation.

At Corrs, he did a lot of work on church compensation claims under the watch of partner Paul McCann and was made a senior associate. He also acted for British American Tobacco after the multinational moved its account from Clayton Utz to Corrs in the mid-2000s. (Hearsay wonders if Corrs is “transitioning out of personal injury work” for BAT.)

Richard Leder had carriage of that work down south for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (CAM) after helping devise the Melbourne Response in 1996. He was the reason Corrs started acting for Sydney when George Pell moved to the harbor city in 2001. (Leder is expected to continue acting for CAM, but obviously not at Corrs.)

Dalzell up and left in 2010 for Gadens and has been working under the Dentons letterhead since 2016, when the Sydney office of Gadens joined the global behemoth. (Gadens has since rebuilt its Sydney offering.)

His website profile at Dentons lists Ginia Rinehart, daughter of Gina, as a client, along with liquor giant Diageo.

And he’s happy to own his work for the church and big tobacco, even listing his role in the Ellis defence. In 2007, the Court of Appeal accepted the church’s argument that it could not be sued. Not only were the church trustees not responsible for the conduct of the clergy, but also it was an unincorporated association that didn’t legally exist (and which held its assets in a protected trust). This was overturned by legislation in 2018.

It’s a bit different over at Corrs, where the profile for Leder barely mentions the church, which is out of kilter given he has been its go-to-man for 25 years.

Dalzell declined to comment but assured us that he would be “reading carefully”. He is a litigator after all.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.