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Lawyer Michael Kemp leaves Rostron Carlyle after representing Hells Angel drug trafficker

A PROMINENT lawyer who left his large city firm has put his $10 million property portfolio on the market after being dragged into a Hells Angels drug scandal.

Michael Kemp’s departure from Rostron Carlyle followed his acting in a personal injury claim last year. It is now alleged by police that the money from the claim would have repaid a drug debt to Kemp’s acquaintance, an accused Hells Angels drug trafficker.

High flying lawyer falls back to earth

Lawyer Michael Kemp has put his $10 million property portfolio on the market. Picture: Scott Campbell Source: News Limited


Mr Kemp said he had no inkling that the client was a drug customer of the Hells Angel, who he knew through his wife but was not his brother-in-law as the bikie claimed.

“If I’d even suspected it (was over drugs), I wouldn’t have had a bar of it,” he said. “I don’t approve of that lifestyle or what they’ve got themselves into. I’ve got a good name for myself and done very well for myself and I would never go for ‘easy money’.”

Rostron Carlyle managing partner Greg Rostron said the firm terminated its partnership with Mr Kemp, who once ran its lucrative personal injury arm, just before Christmas. It also dismissed Mr Kemp as a director of a company that owned the firm’s multimillion-dollar Brisbane premises, Mr Rostron said.

The firm, which once handled Hells Angels trademark work and represented one of the trafficker’s co-accused last year, no longer acted for members in criminal or commercial matters, he said.

Mr Kemp said he was not booted from the partnership, but long planned to leave Rostron Carlyle and start his own firm and needed to sell his properties for seed money and to cut debt. His $4.5 million Jollys Lookout mansion was previously the home of internet porn maven Scott Phillips before he went to jail for torturing burglars who had broken in.

Also on the market is Mr Kemp’s $2.6 million Hope Island house, a $1.6 million Brisbane penthouse and a $750,000 Fortitude Valley apartment. One of his companies was forced into liquidation last year over an unpaid $240,000 tax bill.

He said he had “sporadic” contact with the bikie and his brother, who were “nice blokes” but known Hells Angels, “that’s why I didn’t hang out with them”.

The client allegedly told police the accused trafficker, who forced him into a $67,000 drug debt, had introduced Mr Kemp as his “brother-in-law”.

He said he returned to the firm to ask about the claim after the trafficker’s arrest in November but was told “I’d have to find someone else”.