The AFL’s insurance system is expected to cover a large share of Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan and Jason Burt’s legal expenses for the inquiry into alleged mistreatment of First Nations players and their partners.
Sources familiar with the situation, who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive information, said the AFL had a pool of well over $1 million available that could cover legal expenses for individuals, such as ex-Hawthorn coaches and officials Clarkson, Fagan and Burt.
It would also cover any other person, such as a former player, who incurred legal costs.
The pool is available through the AFL’s insurance set-up which covers each of the 18 clubs.
Under the complicated arrangement, the policy that will cover the fees in this instance is issued to Hawthorn.
Officials and club directors such as Clarkson, Fagan and Burt can apply to have their legal costs covered under the AFL’s insurance scheme, easing some of the financial pressures that officials face during an investigation or inquiry that requires expensive legal representation.
Clarkson, Fagan and Burt have the option of paying, out of their own pocket, more than the insured amount for legal costs. Clarkson has a team from Corrs Chambers Westgarth acting for him, while Fagan is represented by Clayton Utz and a Brisbane-based King’s Counsel. Burt is represented by solicitor Tony Hargreaves.
Clarkson, Fagan and Burt have strenuously denied the allegations and are putting forth their versions of events in the investigation, headed by a four-member panel chaired by Bernie Quinn, KC.
The AFL’s umbrella policy is understood not to cover the clubs that incur costs during an investigation. The league’s view is that the legal costs for individuals in an AFL investigation have to be covered to ensure that those who