Labour and employment in Australia
At Ashurst, Stephen Woodbury's labour and employment team continues to advise the leading employers in the energy, mining and resources sector on their industrial relations and workforce organisations issues. The group also has an outstanding track record in workplace investigations for public and private clients, the management of high-ranking executives, the structuring of work forces, trade union negotiations and litigation in the financial services sector. Team-wise, Elissa Speight and Julia Sutherland were made partner in Canberra and Perth, respectively; Robert Lilburne and Stephen Nettleton retired from the partnership in Perth and Sydney, respectively. Other key names to note include Jennie Mansfield in Sydney, Brisbane-based James Hall and Jane Harvey who works out of Melbourne with Jon Lovell.
‘Ashurst fields very capable team members who always make themselves available at short notice when required.’
‘This is a large team for a Brisbane-centred employment practice. It has expertise in all areas of employment law, including industrial relations, general employment law and safety. Due to the size of the team, the Ashurst employment team is able to mobilise and assist on short notice with complex, time-critical matters.’
‘Ashurst has an expert client-focused labour and employment practice. The lawyers are prompt, responsive and understanding of business needs when delivering quality accessible advice and services. They are our trusted advisers and key business partners across a wide range of legal and industrial challenges. They are a highly recommended practice of choice.’
‘The employment experts at Ashurst are exceptionally commercial and practical in their advice and are great listeners about what we want to do as a business, steering us through the legal framework to help achieve that outcome where possible.’
‘Jane Harvey and Emilie Maddox are the stand out contacts at Ashurst. They have gained a very good understanding of our business and risk appetite. They always make themselves available at short notice to deal with unexpected issues that arise from time to time. This is what makes them different to competitor firms.’
‘James Hall has strong attention to detail, does not mind workshopping issues over the phone and providing quick advice. James also leads a high performing, capable team who businesses can rely on for first class legal services.’
‘Kathy Srdanovic is an excellent practitioner and essential business partner. Kathy’s high quality legal advice and support is reliable and timely with a strong practical business focus.’
‘Talia Firth is a highly skilled practitioner and knowledgeable about how the law can impact on our business and employment and industrial practices. Both Kathy and Talia can be relied upon to provide exceptional service and practical tactical and strategic advice in complex situations. They are both highly recommended experts in their fields.’
‘Jennie Mansfield is always available at short notice and is a great listener to understand the problem or issues and craft an appropriate response or advice.’
Alcoa of Australia Limited
Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd
University of Sydney
WorkPac Pty Ltd
Western Sydney Airport (formerly known as WSA Co)
- Advising Alcoa in relation to the development and implementation of industrial relations strategies to help achieve major changes and improved performance in its Western Australian operations.
- Advised WorkPac on the Rossato v WorkPac test case to determine the entitlements of casual workers in Australian Employment law which has significant implications for the national economy.
- Advising on employment and industrial relations matters for engagement of contractors for bulk earthworks, delivery partner and other contracts for development of the Western Sydney Airport.
- Acting for Airservices in class action proceeding in the Federal Court covering 500 current and former managers who allege underpayment of redundancy entitlements, employer superannuation contributions, leave and other entitlements provided under an enterprise agreement.
- Acted for the Registered Organisations Commissioner in a judicial review application brought by the Australian Workers’ Union challenging the validity of an investigation into donations made by the AWU, and the execution of search warrants to obtain documents from the AWU’s National and Victorian Branch offices.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Through its full-service offering, Herbert Smith Freehills' employment expertise spans the disputes, corporate, real estate, finance, projects and tax areas. The practice boasts an enviable client roster which includes many of Australia’s premier national businesses, mining and resources majors, financial institutions, and public sector bodies. Regional practice head Miles Bastick is based in Sydney and jointly leads the group with Brisbane's Kirsty Faichen, Melbourne-based Steve Bell, and Anthony Longland who sits in Perth. Also notable is Rohan Doyle who is based in Melbourne and has a strong expertise in enterprise bargaining and industrial disputes across the mining and resources, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing, transport and public sectors. Natalie Gaspar was recently promoted to partner in Melbourne and Aaron Anderson joined the Brisbane office from Norton Rose Fulbright.
Miles Bastick; Kirsty Faichen; Steve Bell; Anthony Longland
The HSF employment lawyers are like an extended part of our team. Clients can call them, quickly update them on an issue and instantly they are working on it with us. They don’t feel like external advisors – except in the quality of their advice and deep expertise – but we feel like they are in it with us. This frictionless advice and support in assessing risk and decision-making, as well as accessing additional capability is priceless. The advice I can probably find in other places, the teamwork and absence of friction – that’s why I choose Kirsty Faichen and the HSF employment law team.’
‘There is an excellent mix of specialists and generalists in HSF’s employment law team, so you have the confidence of knowing you’ll get the right advice and expertise working on your matter.’
‘HSF is known for being commercial, responsive, easy to deal with, its ‘can-do’ attitude and good bench strength.’
‘Kirsty Faichen leads the team at HSF and she has built an excellent team of talented, pragmatic, knowledgeable and nice lawyers. They are always there when we need them, regardless of what time of day it is.’
Illawarra Coal Holdings
BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Limited
The Australian Building and Construction Commission
- Advising Snowy Hydro on the enterprise bargaining for the $5.1bn Snowy 2.0 project.
- Advised and represented Castlemaine Perkins, a subsidiary of Lion Pty Ltd, in enterprise bargaining with its employees, United Voice and the CEPU, at the XXXX Brewery in Queensland.
- Advised and represented Illawarra Coal Holdings, a subsidiary of South32, in the appeal of a Fair Work Commission decision that reinstated a former union delegate following a finding that he had been unfairly dismissed.
- Advising Suncorp on the employment aspects of the sale of its life insurance business.
- Advising CIMIC in defending litigation brought by a former senior executive relating to the right to ‘claw back’ bonus payments relating to summary termination.
Jim Fox is Minter Ellison's national labour and employment practice head in Syndey; he leads the group with the support of office heads Dan Williams (Brisbane), Amanda Watt (Melbourne), Kathy Reid (Perth) and Andrew Short (Adelaide). The team covers an array of matters including industrial relations, migration, health and safety, discrimination law, professional conduct and remuneration governance, particularly within the financial services, construction, education, energy and natural resources, transport, healthcare and public sectors. In recent highlights, Karl Blake was appointed as a federal judge. Special counsel Cassandra Collier is a key name to note in the Melbourne office.
‘This team is responsive, professional, pragmatic, proactive and provides solutions, not just advice.’
‘The court appearances set Minters aside from competitors as it demonstrates absolute ownership and accountability for results. Many of the competing firms use QC and barrister which slows progress, costs a lot and often doesn’t yield the same result.’
‘The MinterEllison team combines exceptional legal skill and deft handling of very sensitive matters and very sound business judgment. Most importantly, it empowers clients with information, respects their engagement and questioning, and was prepared to accept that its advice may not always be taken.’
‘Dane Williams is without peer in this space. He has an excellent track record, provides confident advice and strategic guidance, has courage and is always professional and reliable.’
‘Amanda Watt is simply outstanding.’
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Westpac Banking Corporation
Civmec Construction & Engineering
Insurance Australia Group
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- Acting for the University of Queensland and four individually named respondents in an adverse action matter brought by Dr Julian Lamont, a philosophy academic.
- Representing The Department of Jobs and Small Business in an expedited referral to a Full Court of the Federal Court (and likely then to the High Court) to consider the true nature and definition of casual employment.
- MinterEllison continues to act for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in a high-profile dispute against former managing director, Michelle Guthrie, who filed a series of complaints following her dismissal.
- Represented Seven in successfully renegotiating its main enterprise agreement with major reforms – including advising on strategy, representing Seven in face to face negotiations and in three sets of proceedings.
- Assisting Albemarle with developing its industrial strategy and managing the industrial risks posed by the construction of the $1bn Albemarle lithium processing plant.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides a complete employment, industrial relations and work health and safety service for leading Australian and international employers in the areas of high-impact advisory work and high-stakes labour, employment and safety related litigation. Australian managing partner Darren Perry sits in Sydney with Ben Dudley and workplace reform specialist Henry Skene and Chris Gardner who specialises in enterprise bargaining - are both based in Melbourne. Also notable in Melbourne are Michael Tamvakologos who regularly advises on workforce strategy development and high-stakes contentious matters and Erin Hawthorne who was recently promoted to partner.
‘Seyfarth Shaw has practical and contemporary knowledge of workplace safety. It provides well-considered advice and trusted support.’
‘Seyfarth Shaw is highly conversant with our business – its challenges, opportunities, and changing landscape. Clients get strategic and commercially pragmatic advice. More importantly, the partners interact well at board and executive level.’
‘Paul Cutrone always delivers a highly responsive, practical and contemporary knowledge of workplace safety. He maintains strong linkages to industry and regulators and can advise on the regulatory landscape. Paul is a trusted adviser to our business. He provides sound advice on proactive compliance and appropriate response to regulatory matters.’
‘Henry Skene quickly builds trust and confidence at senior levels, including CEO and General Counsel. He is intellectually very quick on his feet.’
‘Rachel Bernasconi works in really nicely with operational teams. She is able to bring great technical expertise, and strategic advice, to teams in a style that is not imposing and so enables further ideas and thinking from the accountable team. In doing so, she becomes a key collaborator for a team working through complex situations.’
‘Erin Hawthorne has built confidence by being very well considered and reliable on matters of high urgency and importance.’
‘The difference at Seyfarth Shaw is clients’ access to multiple partners who actively share information; written advice that gets to the point, and can be shared with non-HR or legal parties; and verbal advice that easily cuts through with non-HR or legal parties, because it’s balanced, pragmatic and on-point.’
National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA)
BAE Systems Australia
Seven West Media
Various client – restraints expertise
Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT)
- The firm assisted the National Roads and Motorists’ Association in defending Fair Work Commission litigation where the Maritime Union of Australia is challenging the approval of an enterprise agreement.
- Over the past 12 months, the team has supported BAE on the employment and industrial aspects of its acquisitions programme, in addition to a number of its ongoing projects.
- Seyfarth Shaw acted as strategic and legal advisers to Pacific National in relation to its 2016-2017 bargaining for enterprise agreements to cover its Victorian bulk and New South Wales coal and bulk haulage operations.
- Provides strategic advice to Seven West Media in relation to its bargaining, as well as being the team lead for the negotiations.
- Advised and acted for Patrick Stevedores – Australia’s largest operator of container stevedoring terminals – in various disputes arising from the implementation of its most recent enterprise agreement.
Baker McKenzie has been advising its enviable client roster of institutional clients on a number of sensitive 'me too' investigations and routinely carries out proactive regulatory compliance programmes. The practice has also handled a number of industrial relations matters such as Unilever's high-profile termination of its Minto ice cream-making site enterprise agreement. Also notable is the firm's work on modern slavery, senior director and executive issues, harassment, healthcare and migration matters. Michael Michalandos spearheads the practice from Sydney where Paul Brown and Spiro Mellos are also based. In Melbourne, the key names to note are Sean Selleck and Kellie-Ann McDade who was recently promoted to partner. Stephen Hardy was also made up to partner in Sydney.
‘The knowledge, flexibility and business focus is what sets Baker McKenzie’s labour and employment lawyers apart. They understand our business, needs and work with us for practical solutions and advice.’
‘Sean Selleck’s commitment to our business, his knowledge and skills in employment law, his availability and ongoing support truly distinguish him.’
‘Paul Forbes’ knowledge on class actions and guidance as well as his clear advice and support make him a standout.’
‘David Walters helps us navigate the landscape with clear direction.’
New South Wales Government
Smiths Detection Australia
Hutchison Ports Australia
British American Tobacco
- Representing Appco Group Australia in a class action alleging sham contracting and non-compliance with a range of employment obligations.
- Represented, in the Fair Work Commission, Hutchison Ports in relation to various matters that were determined in the past 12 months.
- Represented the interests of Serco Group – which operates detention facilities and a range of outsourcing services contracts in the states and territories of Australia – on a national basis before the Fair Work Commission with respect to various matters.
- The team is representing Smiths Detection in relation to the enforcement of post-employment restrictions against a former executive and his new employer.
Clayton Utz's national labour and employment team is spread across Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne and provides specialist health and safety advice to clients involved in major infrastructure projects. Saul Harben's team also advises the federal government and has a strong track record advising on workplace relations in the university and higher education sector. Brisbane-based Hedy Cray focuses on strategy, major change reputation, emergency response and risk management, industrial relations, disputation and employment regulatory compliance, while Sydney's Abraham Ash is best known for his work in restraint of trade and breach of confidential information cases. Also notable are Graham Smith - who sits in Melbourne - and Shae McCartney who leads the national work health and safety group from Brisbane.
‘The team is readily available, provides a commercial lens for decisions, and accepts feedback about restrictions within its clients’ business practices. The combination of strong strategic support with appropriate operational implementation has provided a strong advantage to our operations.’
‘Shae McCartney provides appropriately structured, strategic and operational advice to ensure that business outcomes can be met and industrial interests remain strongly protected.’
‘Brett Thompson is synonymous with exceptional operational support and is readily available for advice in both the strategic and operational areas.’
‘Martin Bartlett is thoroughly recommended.’
Korea Zinc (its subsidiaries Sun Metals Corporation, Townsville Logistics and Townsville Marine Logistics)
Delivery Hero (Foodora Australia Pty Ltd)
Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd (VAA)
Gladstone Airport Corporation.
Tiger Airways Pty Ltd (Tiger Air)
Regional Express Airlines (Rex)
Group of 8 Universities (including Monash University, Australian National University, University of NSW, Sydney University, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, University of Western Australia and University of Adelaide)
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC)
Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO)
Registered Organisations Commission (ROC)
Gold Fields Australia
NSW Rural Fire Service
- Clayton Utz is preparing, filing and obtaining an urgent interlocutory injunction in the Supreme Court of Western Australia restraining a manager from commencing employment at a competitor of Austral (the client) in breach of the manager’s post-employment restraint clause.
- Clayton Utz advised on litigation on behalf of Delivery Hero (Foodora Australia) in the Fair Work Commission and proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, commenced by the regulator, the Fair Work Ombudsman, as well as management of inquiries and penalties issued by the Australian Tax Office and NSW State Revenue.
- Clayton Utz assisted Tiger Air to take decisive action in response to proposed work bans by pilots.
- Clayton Utz successfully represented the Group of Eight (University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Australian National University, Monash University, Adelaide University and University of Western Australia) in defending claims before a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission brought by a number of unions seeking significant additional regulation and benefits, conversion of casual employees and restrictions regarding part time employment in awards.
- Clayton Utz successfully represented Gold Fields in obtaining orders from the Fair Work Commission on an expedited basis as part of Gold Fields’ acquisition of Sedgman Pty Limited’s crushing assets at its Agnew gold mine site.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth has significant experience advising public and private sector employers on business-critical workplace issues across a range of sectors, with particular emphasis on the energy and natural resources and mining and minerals sectors. John Tuck's team recently handled sensitive investigations, disputes as well as health and safety issues. Paul Burns advises on industrial relations matters and is based in Melbourne with Tuck and the key names to note in Sydney are Jack de Flamingh and Stephen Price. Nicholas Ellery heads up the Perth office and is particularly proficient in labour disputes in the energy and natural resources sector. Special counsel Marie Costa focuses on health and safety matters from the Melbourne office.
Ferrovial Agroman (Australia) Pty Ltd
- The firm is acting for Downer EDI in an application by the Australian Workers’ Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union for a protected action ballot order that would allow employees to engage in stoppages of work at a number of critical infrastructure projects in Queensland.
- The group is acting for the State of Victoria in settling transition arrangements in relation to the outsourcing of its disability care workforce to five not for profit providers.
- The firm is assisting Serco with its industrial relations strategy for Serco’s Justice Services and Defence Services businesses.
- Advised BP on long-running enterprise bargaining negotiations in relation to its Kwinana oil refinery.
- Acting for Hays in respect of class action proceedings commenced in the Federal Court of Australia.
King & Wood Mallesons
The employment relations safety group at King & Wood Mallesons serves an impressive range of blue chip and government agency clients on senior executive and other workplace disputes and investigations, enterprise agreements and health and safety matters. Its clients come from sectors ranging from financial services to utilities and infrastructure. It is advising BHP in a Federal Court class action arising from the Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter Valley. Melbourne's Murray Kellock and Perth-based Philip Willox jointly lead the practice. Also notable are Andrew Gray in Sydney, Jamie Wells in Brisbane and special counsel Ruth Rosedale, who is based in Perth.
Murray Kellock; Philip Willox
Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (NDIS scheme)
National Australia Bank
The Star Entertainment Group
The Griffin Coal Company
- The firm advised the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet on the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria.
- Has been assisting Griffin Coal for over 3 years to reform the industrial instruments covering the mine’s production and maintenance work forces.
- Acting for BHP in the defence of class action proceedings brought on behalf of labour hire workers at the Mt Arthur coal mine, which is a BHP mine.
- Assisted BHP defend an unfair dismissal application by a former employee.
- Successfully assisted Morgan Stanley in Supreme Court proceedings involving an employee’s breach of a Settlement Deed.
Formed in late 2019, Kingston Reid is the new firm created by Alice DeBoos, Steven Amendola, Duncan Fletcher, John Makris, Christa Lenard, Michael Stutley and Lucy Shanahan, all latterly of K&L Gates. In addition to these key partners, other lawyers are part of a team of some 40 staff located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The group offers extensive expertise in all aspects of employment, labour relations and work place health and safety. It has a history of advising an impressive range of clients across all types of advisory and contentious matters - some of its current clients include BGC Australia, BlueScope Steel, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NSW Government including NSW Police, Transport for NSW and Visa Global Logistics.
Jason Noakes sits at the helm of Norton Rose Fulbright's labour and employment team in the Sydney office. The group is regularly engaged to represent its enviable client roster in civil court cases and tribunal advocacy in complex employee disputes, and is well-known for its strong industrial relations expertise, particularly on large construction and energy projects. Also notable is the group's outstanding track record in the public sector where it routinely acts for state and federal government entities. Sally Woodward is another key name in Sydney; Sarah Ralph is based in Melbourne and Martin Osborne sits in Brisbane.
‘The team always provides commercial advice and can be relied upon to help you work out the most pragmatic solution for your business.’
‘Year after year, this team performs at the highest level.’
‘Martin Osbourne is a true ‘trusted advisor’. He knows and understands our business and is always a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Sally Woodward and her team are outstanding in their field. What really sets them apart is their client management – their ability to effectively balance the needs of multiple clients and priorities without compromising their excellent service is unparalleled.’
- Acted for HCF in the drafting of, and subsequent defence of opposition to an Enterprise Agreement covering the majority of HCF employees throughout Australia.
- Acted for the Commissioner of Police in the defence of an unfair dismissal claim by a former police officer.
- Advised on the development and implementation of a process to drive employment efficiencies post merger of three New South Wales state-owned entities.
- Obtained a Supreme Court of Victoria decision not to grant leave to appeal the VCAT discrimination decision and award of A$30,000 costs on behalf of the Victoria Police.
- Represented the Australian Federal Police in a significant adverse action claim based on sexual preference by a current AFP member.
Simon Dewberry heads Allens' employment and safety team from Melbourne and has significant experience advising on major workplace investigations, restructuring projects and related employment and industrial relations issues. The group is particularly strong in employment litigation matters and routinely represents major clients in the natural resources, infrastructure, public and construction sectors. In Sydney, the firm fields experts such as Veronica Siow and Peter Arthur who both have substantial experience advising on the employment aspects of significant transactions.
‘Having worked with this team for some time, its differentiation comes from its deep knowledge and appreciation of the way we treat employees. Allens’ responsiveness and attention to detail makes the in-house role that much simpler.’
‘We have a great relationship with the Allens employment team. It produces great quality work whilst being cost-effective. This is a commercially-minded and just a really friendly and pleasant team to work with.’
‘The team is excellent at giving strategic advice on high-stakes, complex matters. The Allens lawyers are generally very responsive and practical in their approach to legal issues. They are a down-to-earth team that makes them very easy and enjoyable to work with even in high pressure situations.’
‘John Naughton stands out because he cares, which is often vital to a positive outcome. We value his timely and, when necessary, tough advice on tricky situations. He does not sugar coat advice when our position is not strong which allows us to deal with matters in a more cost effective manner.’
‘Peter Arthur is very practical, commercially focused and a strong negotiator.’
‘Simon Dewberry is very accessible, highly commercial and solutions-focused, compassionate and gets us the result without sacrificing human emotion.’
Westpac Banking Corporation
Ray White Group
Super Retail Group
- Allens defended the Australia Post in proceedings initiated in the Federal Court by a former employee – the former Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Australia Post, the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) and Jim Metcher (former New South Wales State Secretary of the CEPU).
- Allens defended the Australia Post in proceedings initiated in the Federal Circuit Court by a former contractor against StarTrack (an Australia Post business).
- Allens defended BlueScope and all other defendants in proceedings initiated in the Federal Court by a former employee against BlueScope and five senior employees.
- Allens is acting for Ray White Projects Pty Ltd in defending claims by senior ex-employees before the Fair Work Commission and subsequently the Federal Circuit Court.
DLA Piper's Australia employment team works closely with colleagues in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US to provide cross-jurisdictional advice to clients considering expansion or starting operations in Australia. On a national level, the firm's offering is spread across the offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and acts for a growing client roster of high-profile names spanning a wide array of industries. Nicholas Turner heads the practice from Sydney while Rick Catanzariti sits in Melbourne. In Perth, Leanne Nickels is the main name to note. Also notable is senior associate Clancy King who has experience in the technology, banking and financial services and professional services sectors.
‘DLA Piper is known for its excellent in-depth legal knowledge coupled with common sense and a pragmatic approach to litigation.’
‘I continue to be impressed by DLA Piper’s quality of work, advice and attentiveness. It is a team that genuinely cares about relationships and client service. The firm provides commercially sensible advice and are cost-effective. I highly recommend its services.’
‘The practice is well-known for its sensible, outcome-focused approach combined with a sophisticated and intellectual take on key issues in employment and industrial law. The team’s key strengths are its ability to engage with clients and work collaboratively to develop solutions to actual problems, rather than ivory-tower thinking or an overly aggressive, confrontational approach. Compared to other firms it is extremely well placed to litigate smartly.’
‘Nicholas Turner and Clancy King are excellent lawyers who are also great fun to work with. They are both dedicated individuals who go to great lengths to ensure that their clients are provided with timely and sensible legal advice. They take a pragmatic approach to litigation and achieve incredible results for their clients that, more often than not, well and truly exceed their clients’ expectations.’
‘Nicholas Turner has a great deal of local and international experience.’
‘Clancy King is extremely attentive and has strong litigation skills including the preparation of evidence and advocacy.’
‘We have found all our interactions with Leanne Nickels to be very positive. Leanne is responsive, has a good understanding of our business, our agreements and the application. Her expertise in employment law is very good, she has navigated us to outcomes on a number of occasions. I value her calm demeanour, I trust what she is telling me as she can articulate it in a way that I understand and I am clear on the strategies.’
‘Clancy King particularly stands out for her ability to work collaboratively and engagingly with internal and external stakeholders, her high-level and cutting edge knowledge of employment and industrial law, and her ability to integrate outstanding technical expertise with commercial know-how and a common-sense approach to dispute resolution and litigation.’
Bristow Helicopters Australia
China Navigation Company (a subsidiary of the Swire Group)
Downer EDI Limited
Fircroft, including One Key
Fresenius Medical Care
Global Payments AU/NZ (including Ezidebit)
Guzman y Gomez
Inditex Group (Zara)
Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG)
Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
London Stock Exchange Group
Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board
Newell Rubbermaid (including Coleman and Sunbeam)
One Tree Community Services
Queensland Investment Corporation
University of Notre Dame
ZOLL Medical Corporation
- DLA Piper successfully enforced non-competition and non-solicitation post-employment restraints of trade applying to a former sales executive of Adobe.
- DLA Piper represented Suncorp in the management buyout of Suncorp’s Resilium Business.
- DLA Piper successfully enforced post-employment restraints of trade on behalf of an energy technology provider against a former employee and a direct competitor.
- DLA Piper acted for a technology provider in the removal of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and major shareholder following the identification of misconduct by the CEO.
- DLA Piper continues to represent a medical device manufacturer in various matters including post-employment restraints of trade and in response to the identification of serious misconduct.
FCB Workplace Law
FCB Workplace Law is a boutique labour and employment practice led by managing partner Campbell Fisher from Sydney. Also notable in Sydney is Matthew Robinson who heads up the manufacturing industry sub-team and has a considerable track record in the employment litigation space. 'Stand out' partner Bianca Seeto acts from the Brisbane office and has experience in the retail, hospitality and fast food industry sectors. In recent highlights, the group substantially expanded its junior ranks through a number of internal promotion and lateral hires across the country and this includes senior associate Dani Salinger.
‘FCB has a unique ability to understand its clientèle. The team’s knowledge of the industry is detailed and it does everything possible to service its clients. They are highly competent lawyers who have a an excellent understanding of industrial relations with a driven attitude to win against all odds. They are professional and articulate people who provide excellent legal advice.’
‘FCB Workplace Law has an intimate understanding of our industry. FCB goes above and beyond to ensure all of our employment law needs are met in a timely manner. Their advice is pragmatic, commercial, timely and sensitive to the needs of our members.’
‘The FCB team and practice are unique due to their ability to build relationships, understand your business and work on strategies to suit us.’
‘I had an outstanding experience with the services of both Dani Salinger and Nick Tindley. Both have gone over and above to service every issue that we have had in the past. They have made the impossible simply possible. Dani Salinger certainly differentiates from her competitors because not only does she play to win but she works endless hours to get the result that she wants.’
‘Matt Peterson is a stand out performer.’
‘Bianca Seeto is by far the stand out. I have worked with her for a number of years and followed her to FCB because of our relationship and how valuable she is as a partner to our business. She is kind, patient, knowledgable and goes above and beyond to deliver for our business.’
Australian Dental Association Inc.
Australian Retailers Ass (ARA
Collective Wellness Group Pty Ltd
CW Retail Services Pty Ltd
Noni B Limited
Super Retail Group Ltd
Kincare Health Services Pty Limited
Rugby Union Players Association
- FCB represented the Rugby Union Players Association in the high-profile Code of Conduct matter concerning well-known Wallaby Israel Folau who made several controversial tweets on his personal account.
- FCB acted for Lendlease in the defence of a false and misleading conduct claim filed by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) with regards to Lendlease’s Entreprise Agreement in New South Wales, which had been approved by a majority of employees.
- FCB successfully represented Ray White Bateau Bay in a breach of restraint case against an ex-employee.
HWL Ebsworth's national workplace relations and safety group advises both private and public sector employers and has significant experience in all aspects of employment law, industrial relations, equal opportunity and discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, work health and safety and workplace training. The firm has developed a particularly strong expertise in the defence of employment practices liability claims for a large number of leading national and international insurers. National practice head Mark Howard sits in Melbourne with defence litigator Colin Almond and Chris Egan who has experience in unionised industries. The main name to note in Sydney is Sian Gilbert while Erica Hartley and Sarah Harrison sit in Perth.
Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
Westpac Banking Group
Zurich Financial Services Australia Ltd
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Carlton & United Breweries
- HWL Ebsworth acted for Flinders University of South Australia in defence of a multi-million dollar claim brought against the University by an academic alleging breaches of the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.
- HWL Ebsworth is assisting Schindler Lifts manage its enterprise bargaining agreements negotiations and disputes.
- HWL Ebsworth represented Chubb – PremiAir Services and its director against prosecution by SafeWork NSW. The firm successfully argued charges should be struck out for defects in the prosecution brief.
- HWL Ebsworth advised and represented Hungry Jack’s in relation to a Victorian Work Cover Authority prosecution involving a fatality at one of the client’s retail outlets.
- HWL Ebsworth acted nationally for both Chubb and AIG in defending a range of employment related claims falling under an Employment Practices Liability policy of insurance, including unfair dismissal, general protection, discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and misrepresentation claims.
Johnson Winter & Slattery regularly acts in proceedings involving post-employment restraints, industrial disputes, breaches of confidentiality obligations, and claims of adverse action, unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and bullying. On the non-contentious front, Ruveni Kelleher's team manages major change projects, legal and tactical responses to industrial action - both protected and unprotected, enterprise agreements, and employer compliance with consultative and dispute procedure obligations. Experienced litigator Jan Dransfield is known for his work on discrimination law, remuneration and benefits, work health and safety and superannuation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Not all lawyers display excellence in their work with boards. Some communicate relatively poorly, waste valuable board time or patronise experienced non-executive directors. Throughout the many months that Aldo Nicotra presented to the board his verbal and written communications were extremely considered, practical and valued by the board. He was an examplar of what boards seek.’
‘Ruveni Kelleher is very responsive and strategic in her advice.’
Qantas Airways Limited
Seven West Media Limited/Seven Network (Operations) Ltd
Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Ltd
- The firm acted for Michelle Guthrie in a high-profile dispute with her former employer, the Australia Broadcasting Corporation in relation to the termination of her employment as Managing Director mid-way through her statutory appointment of a five-year term.
- The group acted for Seven Network as claimant in the New South Wales Supreme Court, against a senior sales executive to enforce her post-employment non-compete obligations.
- The firm is acting for one of Australia’s largest enterprise software companies, in discrimination and harassment proceedings.
- Acting for Merivale, a large hospitality group with over seventy pubs, bars and restaurants in Sydney, in proceedings involving a large scale employee fraud, namely, $230,000 of falsified invoices.
- The group acts for Swissport (formerly Aerocare) on its ongoing enterprise bargaining and related industrial disputes with the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia
Lander & Rogers
Daniel Proietto leads the employment practice at Lander & Rogers from the Melbourne office. The group specialises in discrimination law, industrial relations, human rights and equal opportunities, restructurings, investigations and restraint of trade matters. Its varied client roster features state and federal government bodies, retail and supply chain names, education entities, financial services players and charity organisations. Also notable in Melbourne are Julian Riekert and Derek Humphery-Smith, while Tony Woods is a key name in Sydney. Sally Moten, Will Spargo, Kaitlyn Gulle and Christian Mooney were recently promoted to partner.
Bendigo Kangan Institute
Country Fire Authority
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
Victorian TAFE Association
Department of Education & Training (VIC Govt.)
Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (VIC Govt.)
Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VIC Govt.)
Transport for NSW (NSW Govt.)
Sydney Trains (NSW Govt.)
Roads and Maritime Services (NSW Govt.)
NSW Trains (NSW Govt.)
NSW Police (NSW Govt.)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Ministry of Health (NSW Govt.)
NSW Ambulance (NSW Govt.)
St John Ambulance Victoria
Department of Environment & Planning (NSW Govt.)
Victorian Managed Insurance Authority
University of Melbourne
State Trustees Limited
Richmond Football Club
Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (Commonwealth Government)
Registered Organisations Commission (Commonwealth Government)
Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (Vic)
Catholic Education Melbourne
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Lander & Rogers represented Healthscope in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia over a claim it breached an Enterprises Agreement’s consulting obligations.
- Lander & Rogers is acting for the Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board in a high-profile matter before the Fair Work Commission which has given rise to complex political and industrial issues and resulted in significant public interest and media attention.
- Lander & Rogers acts for the NSW Resources Regulator in the prosecution of an operator of a coal mine, Lake Coal Pty Ltd, and its labour provider, LDO Operations Pty Ltd, arising from a workplace incident where a worker was injured while driving a vehicle.
- Lander & Rogers acted for the University of Melbourne in relation to all aspects of its strategically important new enterprise agreement covering more than 13,000 employees and which took 12 months to negotiate.
- Lander & Rogers advised Thomson Reuters Australia on the employment and industrial relations aspects of the restructure of its financial and risk business in Australia.
Jointly led by Sydney's Bruce Heddle and Melbourne-based Lindy Richardson, the employment, safety and people practice at Maddocks advises national employers on enterprise bargaining and industrial relations, and has a particular expertise in the public sector. In parallel with its cross-border transactional support work, the team also handles enforcement matters, health and safety and sexual harassment claims. Ross Jackson represents public and private sector organisations in the full gamut of employment-related matters from Melbourne, while Maree Skinner and Vanessa Andersen are key names to note in the Sydney office.
Bruce Heddle; Lindy Richardson
‘The team’s partners are highly experienced across all areas of employment law but are also accessible, reliable, responsive and cost-effective. The team has a strong knowledge of the government sector as well as the corporate space, which is unique. The depth and size of the practice, which spans all areas of employment law is also impressive.’
‘Maree Skinner is an exceptional practitioner. She has excellent technical legal skills, but also provides pragmatic, practical and commercially focused advice.
‘Maree Skinner is accessible, responsive, rigorous and reliable. She is also approachable and an absolute pleasure to deal with. She has an incredible depth of experience across all areas of employment law, including industrial relations and transactional work too. She is highly respected by clients across many industries as well as her peers.’
‘I have worked with Vanessa Andersen over the past seven years and followed her across firms due to the quality of her advice and the thoroughness of her briefings and assistance.’
NSW Police Force
Metropolitan Fire Brigade
Victoria State Emergency Service
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Ernst & Young
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises
Rail Control Systems Australia
Gordon Institute of TAFE
Western Sydney University
Swinburne University of Technology
Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE
University of Wollongong
Southern Cross University
University of New South Wales
The Bays Healthcare Group
The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
St Luke’s Care
Nexus Day Hospitals
St Vincent’s Australia
The Ministry of Health
Western NSW Local Health District
Sydney Local Health District
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
- Maddocks assisted V/Line Corporation to successfully defend an unfair dismissal application brought by a former Customer Service Employee at V/Line’s main customer service hub, Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.
- Maddocks is advising Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE on all employment matters in relation to a large-scale organisational review and restructure, which follows an organisational capability assessment undertaken by KPMG in 2018.
- Maddocks advised Domino’s Pizza in relation to the final findings and public report by the Fair Work Ombudsman into its 18-month long investigation into the client and its franchisees.
- Maddocks has been acting for the State in a long-running litigation dispute with an existing employee. This has involved proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Fair Work Commission.
- Maddocks is representing Australia’s national workplace relations regulator, FWO, in a prosecution of Sinpek Pty Ltd, its sole director and the director’s wife (as an accessory) for the systematic underpayment and exploitation of migrant Indian nationals on visas at a petrol station and convenience store located in Doyalson, NSW.
Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors' client base includes overseas multinational companies, domestic Top 100 companies, larger enterprises and medium to small-scale companies. The group also represents a number of industry bodies, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Nigel Ward is the firm's CEO while co-founder Joe Murphy heads up the workplace and employment team nationally; they both sit in Sydney with Luis Izzo. In Brisbane, Dianne Hollyoak and Alan Girle are the main names to note. Also notable are Louise Hogg and Newcastle's Kyle Scott.
Nigel Ward; Joe Murphy; Luis Izzo; Dianne Hollyoak; Alan Girle
‘The ABL team is exceptionally knowledgeable within its areas of expertise. Having a large team enables the use of specialists across areas as required. This means their responses are targeted to your needs even if they lean on another partner in-house, ultimately reducing the response time. Overall, I enjoy working with each member of the team as they show case their professionalism in some of the most difficult cases. When it is time to move heaven and earth, ABL can.’
‘ABL fields a well-balanced team that gives sound advice whilst giving proper consideration of the risk and opportunity through legal strategy and action.’
‘The team is very strong in both knowledge and personal skills, has a great level of support and is able to provide guidance and a sense of calm throughout what is always a stressful situation.’
‘I most enjoy the professional yet down-to-earth nature of the practitioners. They are approachable and do not make you feel inadequate or incompetent but rather make you feel stronger and more in control of the situation which is the ultimate service delivery any client could ask for.’
‘Kyle Scott was available at just about any time of the day or night that I was awake. He was quick to reply to emails and provided logical and sound advice about the risks and strengths of our case.’
‘Joe Murphy’s strategic approach to litigation is second to none. Joe has a unique ability to predict his opponents’ actions and reactions well in advance, which gives his clients an incredible advantage when it comes to resolving matters whether it is by way of fast-paced litigation or settlement. Either way, he achieves excellent outcomes for his clients due to his ability to see beyond the immediate.’
‘We deal predominantly with Louise Hogg who we have always found to be very professional. Louise also has a really good appreciation for the commercial practicalities in relation to labour issues.’
‘Louise Hogg is friendly, easy to communicate with and understands my needs with very little effort. I will always go directly to Louise for this reason and her knowledge and advice has been exceptional.’
Gadens Lawyers covers the full employment cycle from strategy and recruitment through to termination issues. Steven Troeth and Jonathon Hadley jointly lead the group and regularly act on workplace discrimination cases and matters before the Fair Work Commission and Courts. In recent highlights, the team has a particular focus on assisting its clients with significant compliance issues relating to wages in the hospitality industry, modern slavery and whistleblower regulations, and issues arising in the health and aged care sector. Brett Feltham is the main name to note in Sydney and Siobhan Mulcahy sits in Melbourne.
Steven Troeth; Jonathon Hadley
‘Gadens has an extensive team of well-qualified and experienced people who are able to deal with a variety of legal matters and are also able to facilitate contact with non legal professionals when required. They are quick to respond to queries and always deal with matters in a timely and professional manner. They provide 24 hour contacts, should they be needed.’
‘The stand out partners are Steven Troeth, Adam Walker and Michael Kenny. They have dealt with our matters in a very professional manner and are available whenever needed. Their knowledge of our industry is exceptional.’
Denso Automotive Systems
Hamilton & Marino Builders
Horticulture Innovation Australia
Suncorp Insurance Services
- Gadens exclusively advises Hort Innovation in relation to various employment and workplace relations issues, including employee contractual terms, workplace investigations, and employee exits.
- Gadens is acting for global automotive component manufacturer, Denso Automotive Systems on all matters relating to employees.
Gilbert + Tobin
Employment is one of the key practice areas for Gilbert + Tobin. The team - jointly led by Dianne Banks and special counsel James Pomeroy - handles the full spectrum of matters, including conducting investigations on behalf of employers and advising on allegations of employee misconduct, conflict of interest, discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. On the non-contentious front, the firm covers transactional support, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and restructurings.
Dianne Banks; James Pomeroy
‘Dianne Banks’ team has in-depth legal knowledge of the employment laws in Australia, and is familiar with the views of regulatory authorities and courts.’
‘Dianne Banks and the team bring the ‘human’ back to law. They have an incredible ability to make you feel like you are a valued part of their family. They make you feel comfortable, explain complicated concepts in an accessible way, and make the time for you as a client, as if you are the only client they have.’
‘Dianne Banks is a pleasure to work with. She has significant employment law experience and is trusted adviser to the executive team and board.’
‘Dianne Banks has such a wealth of experience. She is always thinking 2-3 steps ahead and is to-the-point without being abrupt. She has a great sense of humor, even when situations can be trying at times. and understands our business and the industry.
‘Kaushalya Mataraaratchi is very responsive, goes above and beyond, quickly learns the industry we operate in and provides great insights.’
‘James Pomeroy is responsive, pragmatic and commercially grounded in his advice. He willingly provides a ‘sounding-board’ when I am confronted with issues and is able to explain potential options and scenarios in an easy-to-understand approachable manner.’
- Gilbert + Tobin is advising Avaya Australia on its successful application to stop the transfer of an enterprise agreement from an external service provider to Avaya as part of an in-sourcing transaction.
- Gilbert + Tobin is acting for Yancoal Australia with the employment due diligence relating to its HK$1.605bn Hong Kong IPO and associated capital raising.
- Gilbert + Tobin is acting for Jen-Weld Australia Pty Limited in an occupational health and safety prosecution in Victoria, where the client received a fine at the lower end of the penalty scale without a record of a conviction.
The employment practice at Hall & Wilcox recently bolstered its offering with the arrival of Fay Calderone and senior associate Clare Kerley in the Sydney office from DibbsBarker. They joined Aaron Dearden who also sits in Sydney. Melbourne-based Karl Rozenbergs spearheads the national team which advises a vastly diverse client roster on the full spectrum of contentious and advisory employment matters. Other key names in Melbourne include Mark Dunphy and Alison Baker while the main name to note in Perth is Kylie Groves.
‘The team has good depth, great technical knowledge and good engagement with the in-house legal community as well as HR professionals.’
‘Aaron Dearden is outstanding!’
City of Wanneroo, City of Swan, City of Stirling and City of Joondalup
Town of Cambridge
Hanssen Pty Ltd
Ruralco Holdings Limited
A French multinational manufacturing company
- Hall & Wilcox is representig BlueScope in its appeal against a Federal Court decision which held that BlueScope failed to make appropriate superannuation contributions to its employees, in breach of various industrial instruments that applied to its workforce.
- Hall & Wilcox was engaged by four large metropolitan local governments in Western Australia to prepare submissions to the Ministerial Review into the State Industrial Relations System.
- Hall & Wilcox is acting for BlueScope in relation to the negotiation of a new enterprise agreement for its Port Kembla Steelworks.
- Hall & Wilcox undertook a complex investigation into issues of alleged non-compliance related to the local government’s functions and duties, which included providing advice on issues of statutory interpretation and legal professional privilege as well as providing recommendations on how to deal with issues arising from the findings of the investigation.
- Hall & Wilcox is acting for Hanssen, the largest residential high rise construction company in WA, who are the second respondent in a Federal Court claim brought by the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in which the CFMEU is challenging the employment status of workers engaged as contractors through a labour hire company.
Harmers Workplace Lawyers
While focused mainly on corporate Australia and its senior executives, Harmers Workplace Lawyers also represents employers, employees and their representative organisations as needed. The employment team advises a wide range of blue-chip corporate, public sector and NGO clients in a range of both complex litigation and day-to-day employment, health and safety and industrial relations matters. Practice head Michael Harmer is supported in Sydney by work health and safety specialist Sudhir Sivarajah, experienced litigator Emma Pritchard, firm co-founder Sandra Marks, and Jenny Inness. Also notable is senior associate Amy Zhang who has experience in the areas of restraint of trade, sexual harassment, discrimination, regulatory investigations, and termination of employment.
Findex / Crowe Horwarth
Mindbody Inc. (via L&E Global)
Australian Ski Areas Association
Insurance Australia Group
- Harmers acted for Taxback.com and its clients in a high-profile test case in the Federal Court challenging the validity of the Commonwealth Backpacker Tax on the basis of breach of non-discrimination clauses in international treaties.
- Harmers is acting for the peak Australian alpine employer body, the Australian Ski Area Association, in the creation of the Alpine Resorts Award, which operates to allow both employers and employees to benefit from and enjoy the unique nature of the snow sports industry.
- Harmers assisted Solotel with the resolution of a highly publicized disability discrimination dispute with a patron. Harmers also provided sexual harassment and discrimination training to 300+ staff nationally and provided advice on policies, EBA and dismissals.
- Harmers acted for Findex in a complex cross-jurisdiction dispute against a disgruntled ex-employee arising from preliminary discovery and search order applications.
Adam Salter is the partner name to note within Jones Day's employment practice. From the Perth office, he advises domestic and international employers on Australian labour and employment, work health and safety, employee benefits and personal data privacy and security issues. This is in addition to its experience advising major domestic and multinational corporations on all labour and employment aspects of merger and acquisition and outsourcing transactions.
‘The Jones Day team has spent time getting to know our organisation so any advice is framed in a commercial, meaningful way for us. They find solutions to whatever unusual situations we come across and coordinate across their team globally to ensure we receive an aligned and considered response.’
‘Both Elizabeth Cole and Adam Salter are exceptional and go out of their way to respond promptly and effectively to queries, no matter how big or small. This may be via a quick phone call or through more detailed advice.’
‘The real value added at Jones Day is that they think not just of the question being asked but also highlight broader concerns which ultimately allows us to be one step ahead.’
‘Adam Salter is very accessible, diligent, proactive and personable.’
Apollo Motorhomes Limited
Coronado Global Resources Inc
MedHealth Pty Limited
Martin Brower Australia Pty Limited
Teleperformance Australia Pty Limited
- Jones Day continues to advise Apollo Motorhome Holidays on a number of employment issues, including responding to and settling an unfair dismissal claim brought against Apollo, advice in relation to employment contracts, drafting updated employment policies across the group, advising on Award entitlements and coordinating the provision advice from lawyers in New Zealand, Europe and North America.
- Jones Day advised KPMG Australia on all employment law aspects of its merger with Ferrier Hodgson, a leading independent restructuring, turnaround and insolvency firm in Australia.
- Jones Day advised Coronado on all employment law issues arising from its acquisition of additional coal mining areas at the Curragh coal mine in central Queensland, Australia, from Stanwell Corporation Limited for AU$210m, and the entry into a further long-term coal supply agreement with Stanwell.
- Jones Day advised MedHealth Group, Australia’s leading provider of independent medical experts, on all employment law issues arising out of its acquisition of the Work Health Group.
- Jones Day assisted Teleperformance Australia Pty Ltd with a mass redundancy of all employees working at a call centre operated by it in Melbourne.
KHQ Lawyers is a boutique employment law firm headquartered in Melbourne, where Chris Gianatti spearheads the team. The group has a particular reputation for its work on major projects, enterprise bargaining and industrial litigation. Gianatti and his colleagues routinely appeare in the Fair Work Commission, the State anti-discrimination tribunals, the appellate divisions of the Federal and State Supreme Courts and the High Court. Claire Brown has substantial experience in the litigation space and was recently promoted to principal solicitor along with Gina Capasso. Michael Cochrane was recently promoted to special counsel.
‘KHQ’s industrial relations team has a good understanding of business practices and business acumen which separates them from other law firms that simply focus on the law.’
‘The KHQ employment practitioners are key partners in our business and their advice is always a critical factor when making important or difficult employment decisions. They are practical and creative thinkers who effectively balance legal and commercial considerations.’
‘Chris’ team at KHQ are true partners in seeking legally robust but meaningful and pragmatic business outcomes.’
‘What makes this practice unique is the personal relationship you have with the team. I am always greeted personally by name and they go out of their way to keep in touch.’
‘Led by Chris Gianatti, the KHQ team has a particular strength in industrial relations. The key strength of the practice is its significant industry experience in areas such as construction and industrial maintenance which allows it to provide highly strategic and commercial industrial relations advice to its clients.
‘KHQ has a well-resourced team and punches well above its weight for a boutique firm.’
‘Michael Cochrane is a stand out special counsel. He is very practical, easy to deal with and doesn’t waste time on unnecessary information and gives easy to understand advice.’
‘Claire Brown is brilliant, friendly, practical, is able to engage managers outside the HR space and bring them opn the journey.’
‘Chris Gianatti is a highly skilled go-to lawyer who generates innovative ideas and advice at pace. Claire Brown is very solid, sound and approachable and isalways ready to go the extra mile to deliver.’
‘Chris is an incisive lawyer and gets to the heart of a matter extremely quickly. He intuitively understands commercial imperatives and is easily able to frame legal advice in commercial contexts. Chris is very approachable and works very well with non-legal colleagues when required.’
‘Peter Lupson is heavily recommended for his knowledge of the law and ability to negotiate solid outcomes for his clients.’
National Disability Insurance Agency
Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)
Asahi / Schweppes Australia
Lend Lease Engineering
Melbourne Metro Tunnel – Stations and Tunnels Project (CYP JV – Lend Lease, John Holland and Bouygues)
Melbourne Metro Tunnel – Rail Infrastructure Alliance Project JV (John Holland and CPB)
West Gate Tunnel Project JV (John Holland and CPB)
Sydney Metro Tunnel JV (John Holland and CPB)
Swatch Group Australia
Excell Gray Bruni
Toyota Tsusho Australasia
Victorian Land Registry Services
Pilbara Rope Access
Gaming Laboratories Australia
Bapcor / Burson Autoparts
Heart Research Institute
Kidney Health Australia
Bus Association of Victoria
Victorian Transport Association
Pace Development Group
Dunlop Flooring Australia
Building Engineering Pty Ltd
Third Zeton Pty Ltd t/as Tieman Tankers
Caraniche Pty Ltd
- KHQ is acting on behalf of UGL in its $9m+ litigation against the unions in connection with ESSO’s oil and gas facilities in south eastern Victoria.
- KHQ is acting as key advisor to the National Disability & Insurance Association with respect of the transfer of state employees to the Commonwealth in Western Australia and Victoria.
- KHQ is acting as strategic industrial relations advisor to the Cross Yarra Partnership for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project.
- KHQ has been advising Australia & New Zealand Banking Group on its national enterprise agreement and associated disputes since 2012.
- KHQ acted for Broadspectrum in the High Court in relation to its “Justice Business Unit” enterprise agreement approval litigation.
From its Brisbane base, McCullough Robertson's employment relations and safety team routinely represents state government entities across the country and represents major natural resources companies on workplace safety. Tim Longwill is well recognised in the aged care, not-for-profit and the education sectors, while Cameron Dean represents employers during statutory investigations and prosecutions in light of catastrophic incidents. Michael Moy specialises in State Government employment and industrial relations issues, advising and representing the Department of Health and the Department of Transport and Main Roads; Scarlet Reid is the main name to note in Sydney.
Michael Moy; Scarlet Reid; Tim Longwill; Cameron Dean
‘McCullough Robertson is reliable, supportive and really goes above and beyond to help.’
‘The team is really genuine, actively listens and gives solid and extremely caring counsel.’
‘The team are cohesive, knowledgeable and professional.‘
Australian Rail Track Corporation
New South Wales Department of Education
Brisbane City Council
State of Queensland
Sydney Trains Corporation
Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Ltd
Goondiwindi Regional Council
- McCullough Robertson acted for the New South Wales Department of Education in proceedings seeking a review of a decision made by the Advisory Committee.
- McCullough Robertson represented the State of Queensland (Queensland Health) in a claim by the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union claiming that nurses and midwives should not have had annual leave or time off in lieu deducted on public holidays.
- McCullough Robertson acted for the Goondiwindi Regional Council on a claim brought against it on behalf of two employees alleging that adverse action was taken against them by way of imposing warnings on them, said to have been issued not for genuine performance reasons but because of a prohibited reason.
- McCullough Robertson advised Bolton Clarke on an application by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Union seeking a scope order to carve out the Victorian operation and a good faith bargaining order by the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland.
The work relations, employment and safety practice at Mills Oakley has a broad client base that spans industry sectors including building and construction, maritime and offshore, rail, mining, technology, security, real estate, retail, fast food and hospitality, beauty and cosmetics, health and financial services. Brisbane-based Harold Downes recently joined the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills; his practice includes all aspects of employment law including restraints and other typical employment litigation. In Melbourne, the key names to note are Ross Levin and Lisa Anaf. Andrew Klein has substantial experience in the public sector and is based in Canberra.
‘The team as a whole is very attentive to our business and the particular matter they are working on. They are subject matter experts that have a deep insight into our particular needs and the impacts on our business. They are also commercial in understanding the short and long-term financial and operational impacts on our business.’
‘Mills Oakley is known for its excellent customer service, strong attention to detail with little to no re-work required, and punctuality.’
‘The team understood our need for urgency at times, but also when we needed to take time to understand implications and choices.’
Our prime contact is Ross Levin, partner in the firm. We have followed him through a couple of firms in recent years. Over many years now Ross has been assisting us in various matters including EA negotiations, employment litigation, award variations and the like.’
‘What stands out for me with Ross is he wins and delivers results. This is because of his extensive experience in all areas of employment-related matters combined with a great sense of commercial and operational understanding.’
‘Mills Oakley provides practical solutions that are in line with the businesses requirements without telling you how to run your business.’
Town of Cambridge
Macmahon Holdings Ltd
CB&I Constructors Pty Ltd
Odyssey Marine Pty Ltd
Brookfield Multiplex Australasia Pty Ltd
Printing Industries Association of Australia
Solstad Offshore Pty Ltd
Australian Skin Clinics
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Hobsons Bay City Council
- Mills Oakley oversaw the delivery of a work health and safety officer due diligence compliance project for Australia’s largest private company, the Visy Group.
- Mills Oakley provided strategic advice to Brookfield Multiplex Australasia on options for the termination of enterprise agreements around Australia resulting in the client’s ability to tender for multi-million dollar work throughout Australia.
- Mills Oakley was engaged by CB&I Constructors to provide strategic advice and assistance with the replacement of a national enterprise agreement in the face of ongoing union intervention.
- Mills Oakley is providing advice and representation to Macmahon Holdings with regard to the claw-back of payroll tax and the conduct of a tax case against the Office of State Revenue on the meaning of “ordinary hours of work”.
- Mills Oakley provided advice and representation to Solstad Offshore with regard to a Fair Work application by the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers concerning the recovery of leave paid in advance.
Labour and employment law is a core part of Piper Alderman’s national offering led from Melbourne by Tim Lange whose experience includes the drafting and negotiation of enterprise agreements and awards, resolving industrial disputes, terminations and unfair dismissals, employment contracts and policies, issues around employee records and privacy, anti-discrimination and work health and safety. David Ey is the main name to note in the Adelaide office and Sydney-based Tim Capelin is also a key contact.
‘The team at Piper Alderman always makes itself available and is able to share knowledge in a way that can be understood by a group of people with varying experience in the employment and industrial relations space.’
‘They know their trade and keep up to date with legislative changes at Piper Alderman. They are honest and responsive. I trust their advice and I appreciate their candid conversations.’
‘Chris Hartigan and Michelle Cox take the time to understand our company. This results in practical advice that is easy to apply and easy to pass on to management.’
‘Piper Alderman has the legal expertise and professionalism that you’d expect but that is combined with a pragmatic approach based on a real understanding of how businesses work. They aren’t just lawyers, they are trusted advisers.’
‘Erin McCarthy and Andrew Stewart provide commercially astute, complex legal analysis and are easily capable of ‘operationalising’ their counsel.’
‘Tim Capelin is approachable, highly professional and provides exceptional client service. He is timely in his responses to both phone calls and written advice. He and his team deliver on pieces of work once briefed without multiple follow-ups unless necessary.’
‘David Ey and Erin McCarthy are an absolute pleasure to deal with. They provide reliable and consistent advice and make themselves available whenever we call. They are genuinely committed to the success of our business.’
‘Andrew Stewart has an extraordinary grasp of industrial relations law.’
‘Erin McCarthy is a fantastic lawyer based in Adelaide with an exceptional knowledge base as an employer lawyer, but has the capacity to be very practical and explain things to executives who are time poor and want answers.’
‘Tim Lange is available, customer-focused, positive and supportive.’
Alfred Health (Public health service incorporating The Alfred Hospital)
ATF Services Pty Ltd
Bridgestone Australia Ltd
Broadspectrum (Australia) Pty Limited
Bureau Veritas Minerals Pty Ltd
Capital Transport Services (Vic)
Catholic Church Insurance Ltd
Coopers Brewery Limited
Country Fire Authority
Delaware North Australia Parks and Resorts
DHL Express (Australia) Ltd
Dufry (formerly The Nuance Group P/L)
Football Victoria (Victorian football governing body)
LS Precast Pty Ltd
Medlab Pty Ltd
Melbourne Arts Centre (Victorian Arts Centre Trust)
Melbourne Health (Public health service incorporating Royal Melbourne Hospital)
Norco Co-operative Limited
NSW Sugar Milling Co-Operative Ltd
Prince Alfred College
Relationships Australia Inc
SA Power Networks
Sodexo Australia Pty Ltd
South Australian Commission for Catholic Education
Technicolor Pty Limited
- Piper Alderman represented Broadspectrum in Fair Work Commission proceedings over enterprise bargaining and setting appropriate scope for bargaining proceedings across multiple major sites.
- Piper Alderman defended a large resources company against an alleged underpayment of wages and a claim for penalties for an alleged contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 by a former employee in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
- The group assisted a number of independent schools with the mechanics and utility of joining the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
- Piper Alderman advised Norco Co-Operative Ltd on enterprise agreements.
- Piper Alderman successfully defended Sodexo’s redundancy processes and selection for redundancy arising from a major restructure, in a series of individual unfair dismissal claims.
Bird & Bird's Australia employment team operates as an integral part of the firm's APAC network and is therefore particularly strong in assisting on cross-border employment issues arising from international assignments or business establishments. Its diverse client roster spans the aeronautical, finance and telecommunications sectors where it advises on everyday employment issues as well as large scale corporate investigations - regulatory and disciplinary. Kristy Peacock-Smith leads the group from Sydney with the support of senior associate Leila Moddel.
Other key lawyers:
Ritual Technologies Inc
90 Seconds Australia Pty Ltd
Didi Mobility (Australia) Pty Ltd
ThermoFisher Scientific (Oxoid Australia Pty Ltd)
The Walt Disney Company (Australia) Pty Limited
Syneron Medical (HK) Ltd
ServiceNow Australia Pty Ltd
Australian Institute of Company Directors
Electronics for Imaging, Inc.
CGI Glass Lewis Pty Ltd
Align Technologies Inc.
Ares Management Ltd
Instructure Australia Pty Ltd
Sky5 Pty Ltd
Asset International Inc.
M&G Real Estate
Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre (Garvan Group)
Circles Australia Pty Ltd
Professional Footballers Australia Inc
Solera Holdings Inc
- Bird & Bird is representing Solera Holdings in the employment issues arising from its acquisition of all of the shares in AutoMate Training Pty Ltd.
- DiDi Mobility Australia launched its global mobility platform in Australia. Bird & Bird advised on the drafting of DiDi’s first local compliance documents, including employment contracts, the employee handbook and policies, a non-disclosure agreement, OHS manual and form kit.
- Bird & Bird provides day-to-day advice to British Telecoms Australia surrounding all elements of employment relationships including performance issues, redundancies, acquisitions and transfer of employment scenarios. This recently included a potential misconduct investigation involving criminal activity which impacted upon the employment relationship.
- Bird & Bird advised DXC Technology on the employment aspects of its acquisition of all of the shares in System Partners Pty Ltd.
- Bird & Bird advised the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Advisory Centre (Jarrah House) after a significant industrial dispute was launched in the Fair Work Commission, following the client’s attempt to introduce a new rostering system. The Nurses Federation lodged a dispute in the Commission, alleging a lack of consultation with the Federation and with members.
Clyde & Co LLP
Clyde & Co LLP's employment practice has developed a strong reputation in the work health and safety space but also covers the full spectrum of industrial relations matters, corporate governance, investigations and disputes. Michael Tooma heads the group as well as the firm's APAC regulatory and investigations department. Also notable are workplace health and safety specialist Alena Titterton, David Amentas and Perth-based Jonathan Wyatt who has a strong track record defending local governments in employment disputes.
Department of Defence (Royal Australian Navy)
Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Ltd re: Shire of Denmark
Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Swiftscaff Pty Ltd (Insurer: Starr Underwriting)
- Clyde & Co was engaged to continue its work in delivering the Navy safety risk management training program, for the implementation of the Navy’s safety management system (which was originally designed by partner Alena Titterton in close collaboration with Navy personnel).
- Clyde & Co defended the Shire of Denmark throughout 2016 and 2017 in lengthy proceedings brought in the WA Industrial Relations Commission by a senior employee alleging unpaid contractual benefits.
- Clyde & Co developed a bespoke workplace health and safety prosecution mock trial and due diligence for the Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources and delivered that mock trial as part of a due diligence workshop for the SES, exploring what is practically required of senior leaders in the Department in exercising due diligence for health and safety.
- Clyde & Co represented Robert Druid-Sutton – a retired former Manager of Waste Services at the City of Armadale – who was charged with being a manager of the city when it was guilty of an offence under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and therefore attributable to his gross neglect (attracting a potential custodial sentence) in relation to a serious injury at the city’s landfill facility.
- Clyde & Co acted for Swiftscaff Pty Ltd in a prosecution filed against it pursuant to section 31 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) in relation to an incident where a painter fell over 2m from scaffolding to the ground and sustained a serious back injury.
Colin Biggers & Paisley
The employment and safety department at Colin Biggers & Paisley is best known for its expertise in the construction, mining, education, aged-care and insurance sectors. Under the leadership of Sydney-based Greg McCann, the team has a strong track record in responding to fatal and serious incidents at mine sites across Australia. In recent highlights, the group bolstered its ranks through the hire of Megan Bowe from FCB Workplace Law in Sydney, Sara McRostie from Crown Law in Brisbane, and special counsel Dimity Leahy from the Fair Work Ombudsman in Syndey. Other key names include Melbourne's Paul O’Halloran and Cathryn Prowse, and Brisbane-based Megan Kavanagh.
Other key lawyers:
Catholic Church Insurance
Chubb Insurance Australia Ltd
Doutta Galla Aged Services
Marist College Ashgrove
Masterton Homes Pty Ltd
Proctor and Gamble Pty Ltd
RCR Tomlinson Limited
Electrix Pty Ltd
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba
Professional Divers Group Pty Ltd
Ready Workforce Pty Ltd
Trustees of Edmund Rice Education Australia t/as St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre
- The firm is acting for RCR Tomlinson in managing the response to a number of Work Health and Safety investigations conducted by the Queensland Safety Regulator into unfounded safety allegations surrounding the construction of solar farms in Queensland.
- The group acted for the defendant, Professional Divers Group Pty Ltd in defending a Work Health and Safety prosecution commenced by Safework NSW of the alleged unsafe practices involving the death of a trainee commercial diver in 2015.
- Colin, Biggers & Paisley is defending a significant employment law class action brought against Ready Workforce Pty Ltd (a Division of the Chandler Macleod Group) by Simon Turner, the representative Applicant in a class action involving 279 casual employees.
- The firm acted for the respondent, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, a Catholic school for disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth, in an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission in which the claimant alleged he was unfairly dismissed for significant neglect towards a child.
- Colin, Biggers & Paisley assisted Electrix with its response to an application before the Federal Court of Australia for an interlocutory injunction requiring it to reinstate a former employee pending determination of the principal proceeding.
HFW's multi-office team recently joined from Dentons and is particularly renowned for its expertise in the hospitality, construction, stevedoring, transport and energy sectors, where it has a considerable track record in handling sensitive and high-value workplace disputes before both the courts and tribunals. Mark Sant and Brendan Milne jointly lead the practice from Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, and both have substantial experience in industrial relations and enterprise bargaining matters.
Mark Sant; Brendan Milne
‘The team has an excellent depth of understanding of the laws applying to the labour and employment practice, with many of the team members being very experienced practitioners. They approach matters with a commercial and pragmatic eye, and look to find cost-effective and technological solutions for the delivery of advice where possible.’
‘Mark Sant and Stephen Schoninger are highly skilled employment lawyers who operate very well as a team. They take a sensible commercial approach to problem solving.’
‘This practice offers truly commercial and pragmatic advice that can be hard to come by compared to larger firms in the employment law space.’
‘Mark Sant is a very experienced employment and industrial practitioner, who is engaging, accessible and a trusted advisor. He explains legal concepts and issues clearly, concisely and simply. His approach is strategic yet practical, and very solution driven.’
‘Mark and Stephen Schoninger are genuinely client-focused; they work hard to understand a client’s needs and find solutions. Whilst not overly legalistic they make sure your back is covered.’
‘Brendan Milne is an outstanding employment law partner and is our trusted adviser and ‘go to’ person for many employment and industrial matters. He has taken the time to truly understand our business and always gives us tailored, commercial and pragmatic advice. His breadth of experience and knowledge is unsurpassed. He frequently advises us on highly complex industrial issues and matters. Brendan is also a pleasure to deal with, and is well-regarded by our internal stakeholders.’
John Holland Group
Accor Hotel Group
InterContinental Hotel Group
Brookfield Global Integrated Services
- HFW is advising an international manufacturing company on managing and investigating allegations of workplace bullying and serious sexual harassment amounting to an alleged sex crime, including conduct that allegedly occurred on work-related travel outside Australia.
- HFW advised a global pharmaceutical company with respect to fraudulent work-related expense claims (which included holiday travel expenses, car leases for family members and a remote-controlled drone), which had been made by a former executive.
- HFW successfully defended Qube Ports in relation to a claim made against it in the Fair Work Commission alleging that Qube Ports had contravened the “labour review” clause in the enterprise agreement that applies to its stevedores in Tasmania.
- HFW defended KAEFER Integrated Services against a claim made in the Federal Court of Australia by an ex-employee alleging adverse action (on the basis that he made a complaint in relation to his employment).
- HFW is defending Suez in proceedings commenced by the Transport Workers Union, alleging that Suez engaged in discriminatory conduct against a former employee, including by terminating the employment for the predominant reason that the employee was exercising, or purporting to exercise, functions and powers as an elected health and safety representative in accordance with Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).
Squire Patton Boggs' labour and employment practice is jointly spearheaded by Perth-based Bruno Di Girolami and John Oakes who recently arrived in Sydney from Watson Mangioni. The team primarily acts for employers and focuses on sensitive disputes, investigations, work health and safety prosecutions, cross-border compliance reviews and business migrations, and corporate governance matters. Also notable in the Perth office is of counsel Dominique Hartfield who has considerable experience both in contentious and non-contentious issues.
Bruno Di Girolami; John Oakes
Other key lawyers:
‘The labour and employment practice at Squire provides a high level of customer service, which is always conscious of its clients’ costs. It offers options for managing matters to assist its clients to deliver outcomes within their budgets and appetite for litigation.’
‘Bruno Di Girolami is approachable, friendly and factual in his approach. He is not afraid to tell you how it is, even where your circumstances are sensitive or your chances of success from a legal perspective are slim. Bruno has a strong ability to read the political climate in his clients’ organisations and adjusts his style of communication to ensure that his advice is heard, despite political agendas.’
‘John Oakes’ commercial acumen is excellent. He understands our risk profile and is able to convert the legal requirements into a series of action steps that get us to the end objective. He is always available and responsive and is able to take my calls even when on holidays or sabbaticals.’
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Pty Ltd (SEL)
Spotless Group Limited
Technip Oceania Pty Ltd
Scope Systems Pty Ltd
Pivet Medical Centre
West Australian Octopus Pty Ltd
Randox (Australia) Pty Ltd
Transalta Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd
Halewood International Holdings (UK) Limited
- Assisting Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories with a complex bullying allegation involving senior managers and witnesses across the US and Australia.
- Provided legal advice to the Spotless Group in relation to an investigation by the Energy Regulator, Office of Energy Safety into a serious electrical accident that occurred in a domestic residence.
- Assisting Scope with litigation in the Fair Work Commission/Federal Circuit Court involving a claim of adverse action alleging discrimination on pregnancy grounds.
- Assisted the Simonds Group in a long-running Fair Work Commission and Magistrates Court dispute involving unfair dismissal and alleged unpaid bonuses/commissions claims by a senior sales consultant.