Firm Profile > Maurice Blackburn Lawyers > Sydney, Australia

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
LEVEL 32, 201 ELIZABETH STREET
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Australia

Dispute resolution: class actions Tier 1

The sizeable class actions group at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is renowned for its high-stakes work in class action proceedings, where it acts on the side of the plaintiffs. The core strength of the practice lies in the product liability, consumer, and commercial spaces. Melbourne-based Andrew Watson serves as head of the national group. Financial services disputes group leader Ben Slade also acts as managing principal at the office in Sydney. Melbourne-based senior associate Elizabeth O’Shea is also noted for her work on the Uber class action. Vavaa Mawuli leads the group in Brisbane.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is proud to be Australia’s leading class action plaintiff law firm. Our depth of experience has resulted in recovering more than $3bn since starting our class actions practice in 1998. Recent research demonstrates that Maurice Blackburn’s practice was responsible for more than two thirds of all class action recoveries in the first 25 years of Australia’s regime and we are the only Australian law firm to have resolved shareholder and listed securities class actions for in excess of $100m, having done so seven times now.

Lawyer, unionist and human rights advocate Maurice Blackburn founded the firm in 1919, and his values of social justice, fairness, compassion and tenacity remain true to the firm today.  The law firm has contributed to some of Australia’s most influential legal decisions, from the 40-hour week and equal pay for women and Indigenous workers, to the fight against patenting of human genes and the largest class action settlements in Australian history. Our legacy grows as we continue to protect the exploited, free the wrongfully detained and hold the big names to account.

Today, Maurice Blackburn is one of Australia’s most established, successful and respected national law firms, spanning the country with over 30 permanent offices supported by visiting offices across the states and territories. With more than 1,000 staff, we employ some of the country’s best and most respected legal professionals, and have specialist lawyers in different practice areas.

Maurice Blackburn has achieved Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice and Australian Workplace Equality Index Bronze Tier status. Major awards in 2018 include Law Institute of Victoria Law Firm of the Year winner and Queensland Law Society Equity and Diversity winner.

At the heart of Maurice Blackburn is our Social Justice Practice. We take on clients and cases to support social justice principles in the areas of civil and political rights, asylum seeker rights, Indigenous rights and equality, environment and climate change, and workplace and consumer rights.

Maurice Blackburn has also built its reputation on the thousands of personal injury compensation cases the firm has run and won, while in more recent years we have developed the largest class actions practice in Australia. Through the class actions department we are the only Australian law firm to have run and won cartel class actions, having done that four times to date. We also have the largest medical negligence and superannuation and insurance legal departments in the country, so across several well-developed and experienced departments, we have a wide range of expertise.

Landmark cases include:

  • the Black Saturday bushfires class action, which resulted in a $794m pay-out to survivors
  • a Federal court case to prevent the mass sacking of union members in the 1998 Waterfront dispute
  • a case against asbestos maker and distributor James Hardie, resulting in a $1.15m pay-out for a Mesothelioma sufferer, the largest Australian award for pain and suffering
  • the largest shareholder class action settlement in Australian legal history against Centro Group, which resulted in a $150m pay-out to Maurice Blackburn group members in 2012
Department Name Email Telephone
Class Actions Andrew Watson AWatson@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Class Actions Kimi Nishimura KNishimura@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Class Actions Ben Slade BSlade@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Class Actions Rebecca Gilsenan RGilsenan@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Class Actions Miranda Nagy MNagy@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Class Actions Julian Schimmel JSchimmel@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Photo Name Position Profile
 Rebecca Gilsenan  photo Rebecca Gilsenan Principal Lawyer and Board Member
 Miranda Nagy  photo Miranda Nagy Principal Lawyer
 Richard Ryan  photo Richard Ryan Principal
 Julian Schimmel  photo Julian Schimmel Principal Lawyer
 Ben Slade  photo Ben Slade Principal Lawyer, State Managing Principal, New South Wales
 Anna Williams  photo Anna Williams Special Counsel
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