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One of the lawyers involved in the British American Tobacco (BAT) document-shredding case, Richard Travers of Clayton Utz, has left the Sydney-based firm
The move follows the firm's recent decision to shut down its tobacco claims litigation practice. This is as a result of the Supreme Court of Australia ruling that the firm and its client BAT prevented a fair hearing to Rolah Anne McCabe, a woman dying of cancer, by subverting the court's process of discovery. Travers is one of the partners who was severely critcised by the court for his involvement in BAT's policy of destroying or warehousing thousands of documents so that they could not be used during the trial. In his judgment, Judge Eames said he had invited counsel to call Travers to rebut the inference of the existence of a scheme whereby documents were warehoused in order to put them beyond the reach of discovery but available if called by the defence. However, Travers did not give evidence despite attending court several times during the trial.