Jailed surfwear mogul Matthew Perrin was so brilliant that he won a medal in law from the University of Queensland.
But even his legal standing faces being stripped following action by the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (LSC), which is seeking to have him struck off as a lawyer.
The entrepreneur and former chief executive of surfwear company Billabong was convicted in 2016 of forging his wife’s signature on bank documents and sentenced to eight years in jail.
Perrin’s voice reverberated through a phone hook-up in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) on Tuesday morning, agreeing to the LSC action.
“Your honour, I just want to expedite it for the court’s sake,” he told QCAT president Justice Martin Daubney.
“I’m not sure if the word consent or I agree or whatever word helps the court the most, but I’ve actually written to [the LSC] to say I haven’t practised for 20 years.
“I’ve no intention – I’ve volunteered to be removed, or I consent to be removed.”
Mr Perrin said he had written to the LSC to say they would not need to make submissions in support of their action, due to “the costs that are probably being wasted as a result [of any legal action], your honour”.
Still, the court said the matter would proceed to a hearing at a date yet to be fixed, with Justice Daubney anticipating the hearing would be “brief”.
Gold Coaster Perrin, 47, was a young whiz of Australia’s financial community. He went to the elite The Southport School, and studied so successfully at university in the 1990s that a judge in a civil dispute even noted his “outstanding academic record”.
His corporate career took off quickly, going from the Allens law office to becoming the chief executive of surfwear firm Billabong in 1999. But he left under controversial circumstances in October 2002; he had recently sold almost 8 million shares in Billabong for $66.4 million without earlier informing fellow board members of the sell-off.
Perrin went on to try other less public roles – he had a hand in Macquarie Bank’s $3.6 billion attempt to take over the London Stock Exchange.
But in March 2009, wearing a grey shirt and jeans, he shocked associates by revealing he was bankrupt with $42 million in debt. An attempt to invest with a Chinese shopping mall venture had soured and he had fallen out with former friends who also had been in on the deal. A civil dispute then detailed how Perrin had been having a romantic affair.
His troubles subsequently deepened when a jury convicted him in 2016 for having defrauded Commonwealth Bank by signing in 2008 for his wife and brother Fraser on loan documents worth $13 million.
Perrin had vigorously defended the matter and filed appeals. But he was largely unsuccessful, other than bringing forward by six months the date at which he could seek parole, to June next year.
Under the Corporations Act, career restrictions are placed on people convicted for dishonesty offences punishable by up to three months in jail. They are banned from managing corporations for five years after they are released from prison.
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