James Packer Crown NSW CASINO INQUIRY
James Packer during the NSW casino inquiry (NSW) (Image: AAP)

Lawyers old enough to remember what it was like appearing before Patricia Bergin, when she was Justice Bergin and chief judge of the Commercial List in the NSW Supreme Court, knew there was a solid chance she’d do some serious damage as head of the inquiry into Crown’s fitness to hold the Barangaroo casino licence.

I remember. It was like fronting the headmistress with your pants already down.

And, well, Bergin did not disappoint. She found that Crown is not presently a “suitable person” to hold the licence and its CEO Ken Barton “is no match for what is needed at the helm of a casino licensee”. She made it very clear that, in her view, Barton and two other directors -- Andrew Demetriou and Michael Johnston, both aligned to James Packer -- will have to go. Others have already gone.