Prominent Sydney barrister Charles Waterstreet has had his certificate to practice law cancelled, following earlier reports that his license was under suspension.
The surprise announcement by the Bar Association came without notice, or fanfare, on Thursday, the same day that Mr Waterstreet made his first appearance in a Sydney court to fight his earlier suspension.
The Bar Association published details of the decision late this week.
Mr Waterstreet, who was the inspiration for hit ABC television series Rake, was admitted to the Bar in the early 1970s, and has acted for some of the most high profile criminal cases in NSW.
He was named in a series of New Matilda articles in 2017, and again in 2018, amid multiple allegations that he sexually harassed women who worked for him, and even women who were simply applying for a job with him.
The Sydney Morning Herald published a series of lengthy defences written by Mr Waterstreet, a long-time columnist for Fairfax, which denied all accusations of sexual harassment.
Mr Waterstreet became the subject of multiple complaints to the Bar Association, the governing body which regulates barristers in NSW.
The Herald reported recently that Mr Waterstreet had launched legal action to challenge a decision in May by the Bar Association to suspend his license to practice law. The Bar Association has refused to publicly disclose the reason for the suspension, although it’s known Mr Waterstreet was the subject of multiple complaints about his conduct.
He was represented in the brief appearance in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) by lawyer Katherine Ruschen, and was due to return to court later this week (July 5), to continue his argument for a temporary lifting of the suspension order.
The date of the notice of cancellation by the Bar Association is June 27, the same day last week he appeared in court.
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