Nicola Maree Gobbo (born 16 November 1972 in Melbourne) is a retired criminal defence lawyer and police informant who resides in Australia. Also known as Informant 3838, Nicola Gobbo was also famously known as Lawyer X.
|Date of Birth
|16th November 1972
|Informant 3838, Lawyer X
|Lawyer, Police Informant,
|Number of Children
Nicola Gobbo Career
Nicola began her career as a Police Informant in 1995, while still in her final year of law school at the University of Melbourne. Later, she defended “Gangland members” such as Tony Mokbel, Carl Williams, and Rob Kerim, a drug trafficker.
However, following a five-year fight in court to keep her name hidden, the Court eventually revealed it and her cover was blown.
1996 Election Scandal Involving Nicola Gobbo
At the 1996 Australian federal election, Gobbo made his first appearance in the media. Labor Treasurer Ralph Willis used letters allegedly from Jeff Kennett criticizing Liberal activist John Howard in the final week of the vote. The letters were soon discovered to be fakes. Gobbo, who was then a member of the Young Labor Party, openly alleged that the forger was then-Liberal staffer and current Senate president Scott Ryan, who had planned for the forgery to pass initial inspection and then come back to haunt Labor. Ryan dismissed the assertion despite Gobbo’s signed constitutional declaration.
The Lawyer X Scandal Involving Nicola Gobbo
Gobbo was a licensed police informant between 1995 and 2009, as well as a defence lawyer for several of Melbourne’s organized crime figures. When representing her clients, she transferred information about them to Victoria Police, resulting in the possibility of several convictions being reversed. During the scandal’s coverage in the media in 2018 and 2019, Gobbo’s name was suppressed, and she was only referred to as Lawyer X or Informer 3838 in the media. When it was revealed that she had represented convicted criminals Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel, the suppression order was lifted in December 2018.
Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, ordered the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants on December 3, 2018. The Royal Commission looked at the number of criminal prosecutions that could have been impacted by Gobbo’s actions, as well as the degree to which they may have been affected. The Commission was supposed to submit its report to the government in July 2019, but as the investigation progressed, it became apparent that this deadline would not be met. The Commission received $20 million in new funding in May 2019 as well as a 12-month extension until July 2020.
In May 2019, it was announced that some of Gobbo’s felony convictions could be reversed on appeal, based on the possibility that Gobbo could have given evidence to police that contributed to her clients’ convictions while still representing them as their defense lawyer. The High Court ruled that [Gobbo] covertly spying on [her] clients was a “fundamental and appalling violation” of the barrister’s duties when it lifted the suppression order to disclose her name. The judges commented in their ruling on appeal from the Supreme Court of Victoria, Appeals Court:
Generally speaking, it is of the utmost importance that assurances of anonymity of the kind that were given to EF [Gobbo] are honoured. If they were not, informers could not be protected and persons would be unwilling to provide information to the police which may assist in the prosecution of offenders. That is why police informer anonymity is ordinarily protected by public interest immunity. But where, as here, the agency of police informer has been so abused as to corrupt the criminal justice system, there arises a greater public interest in disclosure to which the public interest in informer anonymity must yield.
EF’s actions in purporting to act as counsel for the Convicted Persons while covertly informing against them were fundamental and appalling breaches of EF’s obligations as counsel to her clients and of EF’s duties to the court. Likewise, Victoria Police were guilty of reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging EF to do as she did and were involved in sanctioning atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer to discharge all duties imposed on them faithfully and according to law without favour or affection, malice or ill-will. As a result, the prosecution of each Convicted Person was corrupted in a manner which debased fundamental premises of the criminal justice system.
Nicola Gobbo Marriage/Husband
Richard Barkho is Nicola Gobbo’s partner, and the couple has two children. Barkho was serving a five-year prison term for drug trafficking as of March 2019.
Nicola Gobbo Net worth
Estimated Net Worth of her is about $3 million USD as of 2023.