The Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Peter Slipper, has parted ways with the lawyers defending him against allegations he sexually harassed a staffer.
The law firm Maurice Blackburn has ceased to act for Mr Slipper from today.
The partner responsible for the case, Josh Bornstein, is overseas and unavailable for comment.
Mr Slipper has yet to advise the Federal Court who his new lawyers are.
Mr Slipper's former staffer, James Ashby, is suing the government and Mr Slipper under the Fair Work Act and for breach of contract.
Mr Ashby accuses Mr Slipper of "unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome sexual comments and unwelcome suggestions of a sexual nature".
He claims loss and damage for the "offence, humiliation, distress, anxiety and stress ... and dislocation to life".
The Commonwealth is being sued as it could be held responsible for the Speaker's conduct because Mr Ashby was employed by Mr Slipper on its behalf.
The respondents have applied to have the case thrown out as an abuse of process. It is due back in court on October 2.
Last month, Mr Slipper formally withdrew the allegation that Mr Ashby "unlawfully" sent extracts of his diary to a political rival and a journalist.
Ian Neil, SC, for Mr Slipper, said the decision was made in response to Mr Ashby's claim that he was justified in leaking the extracts under the implied freedom of political communication in the constitution.
In granting leave, Justice Steven Rares criticised Mr Slipper's lawyers for changing their case after the evidence had closed. He also ordered the Speaker to pay Mr Ashby's costs related to yesterday's hearing.
Mr Slipper, a former Liberal MP turned independent, has stepped aside as Speaker to defend himself against Mr Ashby's claims.
The Commonwealth and Mr Slipper's application to have the case thrown out as an abuse of process will be heard in October.