Australia - Employment Lawyers & Law Firms - Asia-Pacific - Chambers and Partners
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Asia Guide

Employment — Australia


Ashurst - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Exceptionally well-resourced employment group with an impressive reputation for large-scale industrial relations disputes and major company restructurings. Called upon by many of Australia's largest mining and transport companies for its expertise in developing enterprise bargaining agreements. Also advises employers on health and safety issues. Possesses particularly impressive knowledge and expertise in the South African space through consultant Rayn Wade.

Strengths A client recommends the group on the basis of its top-level talent, remarking: "From a health and safety perspective I could not ask for a better firm to work with. I would say the strength of Ashurst is in the quality of their partners and their ability to collaborate with business to provide high-quality and pragmatic advice while also developing capability."

Another interviewee says the team is "friendly, with a strong market presence in employment law in particular."

The firm's reputation in the area precedes it, as the following client relates: "Ashurst obviously have a good name. I have used them in previous roles, and their team is formidable."

Work highlights Advised one of the world's largest multinational mining companies in relation to a multimillion-dollar fraud perpetrated by one of its former executives, with investigations across several continents and criminal proceedings initiated in Australia.

As primary legal adviser to Qantas for its ongoing transformation programme, assisted with numerous initiatives including an enterprise agreement, defence of dispute proceedings and advice in relation to adverse action claims.

Acting for INPEX in its negotiations with the Australian maritime unions to implement an innovative private dispute settlement process to apply to all potential industrial issues on the INPEX Ichthys LNG Project.

Notable practitioners

Richard Bunting brings decades of experience in the Australian industrial relations space to his role as a senior consultant, with particular expertise in executive employment issues. He was part of the team that advised South32 on employment law aspects of its demerger from BHP Billiton.

Helen McKenzie was a consultant to the team that advised the University of Sydney on employment aspects of its organisational restructure, and a related dispute. She is viewed as one of the leading experts on employment aspects of company restructurings, particularly in the airline industry.

Adrian Morris co-leads a team advising on the review of aspects of the Black Coal Mining Industry Award by the Fair Work Commission as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards. He is acknowledged as a leading name in the employment law market, with one client declaring that he "has provided great insight and value in relation to work on our EBAs" and "has a certain amount of gravitas about him which is very valuable."

Lea Constantine continues to grow in stature in the workplace health and safety (WHS) space through provision of quality advice on major safety incidents and safety governance issues. A peer endorses her as "a really good all-rounder," while a satisfied client reveals that she is "a wonderful business partner" who "provides pragmatic advice and delivers this to the level of her audience" and "always makes herself available."

Ian Humphreys leads the firm's work for Capcoal in defence of adverse action proceedings brought by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) before the Federal Court after Capcoal made the decision to restructure and make redundant a number of positions. Peers report that he is a "really good operator" on industrial relations and employment law matters, while a client says of a recent prosecution: "He managed that fantastically."

Rob Lilburne continues his Perth-based practice, drawing on more than 20 years of experience as a key adviser on labour relations and safety issues. His expertise is especially valued by resources industry clients such as INPEX, which he recently assisted in negotiations with the Australian maritime unions to implement their private dispute settlement process.

Stephen Woodbury is regarded as "personable, easy to deal with and knowledgeable" by a client while also being endorsed by peers as "a really good practitioner." He maintains his position as the firm's global practice head for employment as well as leading the group in work such as EBA negotiations and dispute proceedings for Qantas and the University of Sydney.

Jennie Mansfield advises clients across a wide range of industries on employment and workplace relations matters. One source declares that they "would recommend her off the top of my head straight away," while another says: "Her knowledge of the market as well as her mastery of Australian employment law is invaluable to us. She is trusted counsel who operates at all levels within the organisation and is a trusted go-to person for our CEO."

Stephen Nettleton has nearly 30 years of experience advising clients on issues including enterprise bargaining, union right of entry, termination of employment and redundancy, as well as WHS matters. One client names him as "probably a standout for me," while a peer endorses him as a "very good practitioner."

About the Team (content provided by Ashurst)

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Herbert Smith Freehills - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Market-leading full-service employment practice, widely endorsed for its deft handling of Australia's largest industrial relations matters. Continues to maintain its decades-long relationships with major energy, construction and transport clients working across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Global network of offices provides ability to assist major multinational clients in multiple jurisdictions.

Strengths "The firm is responsive, thorough, shows great attention to detail and has great back-office depth," notes one client, adding that it "manages the end-to-end engagement process very well and is always willing to conduct post-matter debriefs."

"They just get it right," declares another interviewee, specifying its excellent knowledge and performance in terms of "the law, cost and matter management, responsiveness and ease of dealing."

A major resources industry client reports that the firm "employs high-quality lawyers and attracts top graduates" and "historically has good depth of resources," concluding that "in addition to technical expertise, their reputation as a top law firm is of value in disputes and when appearing at the Fair Work Commission."

Work highlights Acted for Qantas in bargaining for replacement enterprise agreements covering Qantas's aircraft maintenance operations, including defence of a scope order application lodged by the relevant unions in the Fair Work Commission.

Advised the Lonsdale Consortium on the employment-related aspects of a 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne from the Victorian government.

Advised Toyota in relation to an investigation and subsequent employment litigation involving alleged misconduct by supervisors in a section of Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Altona, in Melbourne.

Notable practitioners

Russell Allen makes the transition from partner to consultant and continues to lead the firm on work such as Chevron's claim for damages against the Maritime Union of Australia flowing from unlawful industrial action taken by stevedoring employees of Patrick Stevedores at the Australian Marine Complex in the Henderson suburb of Perth in 2012. A source at the Bar notes that he continues to be "doing a lot of good work," particularly in the energy and resources space.

Graeme Smith continues to be admired for his formidable skill in handling Australia's highest-profile industrial disputes. He acts in a consultant role at the firm and is recommended by interviewees for his expert knowledge of the market and relationships within it.

Michael Coonan " remains an incredible support and fount of knowledge for us to refer to," reports one client, going on to praise him for his "consistent delivery of sound, commercial and pragmatic advice." He draws on more than 30 years of experience advising on and litigating industrial relations matters in the resources, infrastructure and construction sectors.

Anthony Wood is hailed by clients who say he is "extremely knowledgeable in his areas of legal expertise" and is "able to convert legal principles and meanings into practical workplace solutions." He advised Toyota in its investigation into alleged misconduct by its supervisors and leads the practice group's national training programmes.

Miles Bastick remains regional head of employment for Australia and Asia as well as leading teams to advise on numerous contentious matters involving executive terminations. He has more than 20 years of experience in employment and safety matters and continues to be highly regarded by his peers.

Anthony Longland works from the firm's Perth office as a key adviser and advocate on major industrial disputes, as well as more general employment work. He is seen as a go-to practitioner for clients in the resources and oil and gas sectors, and acted for BHP Billiton Nickel West in a dispute over the right of officials of the CFMEU to enter upon BHP's premises.

Rohan Doyle continues to consolidate his practice as a Brisbane-based partner through high-quality work on enterprise bargaining and industrial disputes, such as his action for Qantas in bargaining for replacement enterprise agreements covering Qantas's aircraft maintenance operations. One source remarks that he is "a very well-regarded practitioner," while another says he is "technically very strong."

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MinterEllison - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Premier employment litigation practice, recognised for its focus on discrimination and executive matters, with additional strength in industrial relations. Stands out for its deep relationships and excellent track record in the media, government and education sectors, with a strong presence in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Perth practice continues to blossom through addition of senior practitioners.

Strengths A client is extremely happy with all aspects of the team's service, reporting that they are "very practical, don’t beat around the bush and help identify and protect future areas of risk. They're generally delightful to deal with as well as being proficient and talented lawyers."

Another source endorses the group for its "strong expertise in industrial relations, which is great for our business given the national coverage, and also a good range of team members to work matters effectively from a cost perspective."

A peer acknowledges that "in Sydney they're very active and have a great state government practice."

Work highlights Acted for Queensland University of Technology and two of its staff members in relation to a discrimination claim by an indigenous employee under the Federal Racial Discrimination Act.

Advising Swinburne University of Technology in its negotiations for a new enterprise agreement to cover its Vocational Education workforce.

Acts for the Australian Building and Construction Commission in a prosecution brought against the CFMEU and nine union officials and delegates for various contraventions of the Fair Work Act in relation to a work stoppage at Barangaroo.

Notable practitioners

Jim Fox " is a legal expert but also has a pragmatic, business-focused approach which gives confidence and credibility when working with him," reports an impressed interviewee. As well as leading the department he also advises on some of Australia's most high-profile contentious industrial relations matters and is singled out by an energy sector source as "a tremendous lawyer."

Dan Williams continues to grow in stature as an industrial relations expert through work such as his successful representation of Teys Australia Beenleigh before the Federal Court, following protracted industrial disputes regarding conditions and enterprise bargaining with the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union. A source remarks that "his knowledge of that area of law is second to none," and that he is "also a very good advocate who holds his own even against barristers."

Gareth Jolly led the Australian Building and Construction Commission in its prosecution of the CFMEU and union officials and delegates after a work stoppage at the Barangaroo construction project. He is a renowned employment litigator and regularly appears before the Fair Work Commission, the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Amanda Watt is regarded as a go-to adviser for sensitive and complex workplace relations matters, as in her recent representation of Victoria's Department of Education and Training in negotiations to replace the enterprise agreement governing the employment of more than 30,000 government teachers and staff. A client declares that she is "a very good negotiator" who "gets to the heart of the problem" and is the "epitome of a trusted adviser."

Jennifer Patterson maintains a niche practice in discrimination law as well as acting for a variety of clients on the broader spectrum of workplace relations mandates. She is singled out by one client as a "proficient and talented lawyer," while another goes so far as to say: "In terms of quality I have not seen anyone better."

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Corrs Chambers Westgarth - Employment Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly regarded team of employment and industrial relations practitioners with an impressive roster of clients in the mining and energy sectors. Known for its long history of involvement in the development of labour laws and often instructed by the government on contentious and non-contentious matters. Home to top advisers on workplace health and safety issues and related criminal proceedings.

Strengths The team wins plaudits for being client-friendly, with one source declaring: "All members of the firm make you feel like a valued client, attending to all requests no matter how short the timeframe. The firm is interested in building a genuine relationship with my organisation and the individuals within it."

Another reports that the firm consists of "strong lawyers with dedication who are focused on Australia and Australian legal issues, which is their speciality and serves them well."

A prominent employment silk reveals: "I've worked for all the big firms and Corrs still gets the best government work. They're an outstanding firm."

Work highlights Advising Australia Post on numerous employment matters concerning its parcels and mail businesses.

Acting for marine construction and engineering provider McDermott Australia in relation to collective bargaining negotiations for its offshore construction workforce on the Ichthys LNG Project.

Representing commodity trading and mining company Glencore with regard to a variety of industrial relations and related safety matters for 20 Glencore coal mines across New South Wales and Queensland.

Notable practitioners

Siobhan Flores-Walsh continues to develop her reputation as a leader in the Australian work health and safety space as both a litigator and adviser on WHS compliance as well as discrimination, bullying and harassment issues. Her impressive client list includes major construction companies and government bodies.

Paul Burns joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth's Melbourne office from Herbert Smith Freehills in April 2018. A solicitor peer cites him as "one of the elite operators in Australia," while prominent clients declare him to be "a very authentic and humble individual who engenders a very comfortable and engaging environment" and "a true technical expert with a strong client focus."

Jack de Flamingh is hailed by one client as a "very commercial and pragmatic" employment lawyer who "conscientiously works to resolve matters efficiently and cost-effectively while still maintaining a high quality of service," and whose "advice is considered in its approach and takes into account commercial imperatives as well as the legal issues." He continues to advise Weir Minerals Australia on a range of industrial, employment and WHS matters.

Stephen Price is regarded as a skilled employment litigator and recently acted for the Australian Building and Construction Commission in prosecution proceedings against the CFMEU in connection with alleged industrial action. A source reports that he is "always available and provides reliable, timely, solid and consistently high-standard advice," adding that "nothing is a problem and he always reacts in a considered but customer-centric fashion, as well as being legally sound."

John Tuck heads the firm's national employment, workplace relations and safety group and is especially well regarded for his work for government bodies such as the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, which he advised on major enterprise agreements. One interviewee notes that he is "very client-focused, and genuinely tries to always support the needs of his clients and to deliver tailored, customised solutions," while a peer reports that he "continues to do well in government work."

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K&L Gates - Employment Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Active industrial relations and workplace safety practice advising clients from the construction, mining and energy sectors, as well as non-profit organisations and government entities. Reputation for skilful handling of complex employment disputes before the Fair Work Commission and in the courts. Senior associate Nerissa Rowe provides valuable expertise and connections with clients in New Zealand.

Strengths A satisfied client reports that the team is "technically incredibly proficient" and "commercial and pragmatic in how they apply that expertise," adding: "If we ask something they come back quickly and if for whatever reason they can't, they check in with us to let us know."

The "very professional, highly knowledgeable and extremely customer-focused" employment group is praised by another client, who reveals that "getting accurate and practical advice in an extremely quick manner has been absolutely critical to our business."

"The firm is very professional and responsive, and we are enjoying the depth of their services and global reach as a one-stop shop for all our legal needs," says another source.

Work highlights Advised Essential Energy on the design and implementation of a strategy to achieve either a new ground-breaking enterprise agreement or termination of the existing agreement.

Advised the Hansen Yuncken/Leighton Contractors joint venture on its responses to two separate fatalities that occurred during the construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital; the prosecution withdrew its charges for safety breaches in the week prior to commencement of trial.

Represented Ausgrid in all employment and industrial relations aspects of its privatisation.

Notable practitioners

Steven Amendola continues to be acknowledged by peers as a "very good practitioner" with a "very good reputation" in strategic dispute resolution and industrial relations. He joined K&L Gates's Melbourne office from Ashurst in October 2017.

Gerard Phillips is recognised for his broad practice encompassing the labour relations and WHS spheres and was recently part of the team that represented an aged care provider in relation to a fire at a nursing home which resulted in the death of a number of residents and significant damage to the home. Peers report that he is "well regarded" in the market, and a major client notes: "I have been very impressed with his knowledge during the matters he has been involved in."

Alice DeBoos is "fantastic," declares a client, before adding: "I have worked closely with her and she is able to quickly understand the issues at play and provide different options and strategies, and then drive for results." She leads the practice group from Sydney and has lately advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on compliance with local employment laws across the many different countries in which it operates.

Duncan Fletcher maintains a busy Perth-based practice representing clients in industrial relations and other employment matters such as contracts, WHS issues and discrimination. He acted for Kentz in relation to a test case involving the interpretation of a clause in enterprise agreements applying to thousands of employees of the USD54 billion Gorgon LNG Project.

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Seyfarth Shaw LLP - Employment Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Specialist employment firm handling both contentious and non-contentious matters for major corporates. Advises on the full range of labour and employment issues, including WHS and strategy, with a strong focus on collective bargaining and high-level union issues. Australia-based international employment law team assists multinationals on cross-border transactions, including high-profile M&A matters. The firm continues to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with the opening of a new office in Hong Kong.

Strengths A source believes the group compares well to other firms, declaring: "Their ratio of lawyers to partners means more hands-on work with the partner, which makes you feel you are getting the right level of advice and bang for your buck, not always evident when dealing with other top-tier providers."

The collective knowledge of the partners is a selling point for one client, who hails them as a "strong specialist firm in all employment matters, with deep experience from large global firms brought together into a specialist boutique firm."

They are also "very strong in the health and safety area," another source notes.

Work highlights Represented ten partners who resigned from Herbert Smith Freehills to join White & Case, in proceedings brought by HSF seeking to prevent them joining White & Case and performing any work for six months relying on certain restraints.

Continues to act as main adviser to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on strategic workplace relations matters, including negotiation of the CBA's 2016 enterprise agreement.

Advising Coles in the Fair Work Commission in its defence of an attempt by an employee to terminate its enterprise agreement covering supermarket employees.

Notable practitioners

Henry Skene is held in the highest regard by his peers, who describe him as "an exceptional lawyer" and "a real heavy-hitter," as well as his clients, who report that he "continues to provide strategic and practical advice. He understands the practical commerciality of running a business and the need to balance this while operating within the legal framework." He represented Programmed in novel proceedings in the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission which sought to stop bullying of Programmed workers during the 2016 CUB brewery dispute.

Paul Cutrone continues to advise companies in the resources, energy and telecommunications sectors on a variety of high-stakes WHS issues. A satisfied client notes that "he provides excellent service" and is "also pragmatic, which is important with our work, because in dealing with government and negotiating policy positions and the wording of regulations there is often a need for pragmatic approaches, not strict legalism."

Chris Gardner specialises in workplace strategy and enterprise bargaining negotiations and has been advising Victoria International Container Terminal in the setting up of its employment terms and conditions including the creation of an enterprise agreement. Clients report that he "continues to demonstrate a deep understanding of the particular challenges our business faces and applies his professional expertise to help us solve our problems," and "gives clear advice, does not overstate the potential outcomes and is diligent in his addressing of issues in a fast manner."

Darren Perry is the firm's Australian managing partner and department head, and advised Patrick Stevedores on its collective bargaining negotiations with the Maritime Union of Australia. A source at the Bar declares that he is "the market leader in Sydney" for industrial relations work, while a solicitor peer acknowledges him as "a very good practitioner."

Michael Tamvakologos acts for Telstra in relation to multiple executive hiring and termination matters and defence of litigation in the Fair Work Commission concerning the correct classification of a group of employees. He continues to make an impression on the market, with a major client lauding him as an "excellent IR and HR lawyer" and adding: "I've never come across anyone in that space as good," while a leading member of the employment Bar proclaims: "I've rarely seen such excellent technical work."

Rachel Bernasconi is a skilled adviser on discrimination and industrial disputes and recently represented ANZ in defending disability discrimination proceedings commenced in the Federal Circuit Court by a former employee. "Her advice is sound, pragmatic and commercial," notes one satisfied client, adding that "she provides solutions and is willing to look outside the square," while another client names her as a "very experienced senior partner who is proactive and sensible."

About the Team (content provided by Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, we are Australia's only dedicated labour, employment and safety provider servicing leading employers as part of a global firm.

Our partners are widely regarded as market leaders in their field. Their considerable experience, when combined with our innovative client service delivery model, has established Seyfarth Shaw as a premier labour, employment and safety practice in Australia. We are able to draw upon the collective wisdom of all of the firm’s partners for the benefit of our clients, and we can align specialisation with client need irrespective of location.

Workplace Law & Strategy Blog 

Providing updates and insights on workplace issues and employment law from Seyfarth Shaw Australia’s team of Australian and international experts, www.workplacelawandstrategy.com.au

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Baker McKenzie - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Leverages its global network of offices to advise on regional and cross-border employment matters. Its expertise spans a broad range of issues, from corporate restructurings to discrimination, bullying and WHS. Strong track record in the healthcare sector. Valued for its expertise in sensitive executive and director-level issues including misconduct, fiduciary breaches, whistle-blowing and executive remuneration.

Strengths A client singles the firm out for its consistent service, declaring: "My experience with Baker McKenzie has consistently been positive. Reliable counsel and support is key to this relationship. They have never let us down."

Work highlights Advising publicly listed theme park company Ardent Leisure on all aspects of an investigation into an accident which resulted in the death of four people at the Dreamworld theme park in Queensland.

Representing Appco Group Australia in a class action alleging sham contracting and non-compliance with a range of employment obligations.

Acting for Keolis Downer in relation to its successful bid to take on operation of the Newcastle Integrated Hub and related employee transfers from public to private sector employment.

Notable practitioners

Paul Brown is based in Sydney and advises clients on the full gamut of employment and industrial relations issues for companies operating in a broad range of industries. He is warmly praised by clients, one explaining: "He's had some cracker results for us. He's one of the leading industrial specialists in the country," and another explaining: "His advice from an HR perspective is second to none."

Michael Michalandos acted for Trilogy and its directors in proceedings commenced against it by Crowe Horwarth and Findex relating to the enforcement of post-employment restrictions following the departure of three key executives from the multinational firm. He gets rave reviews from a client who says he was "a standout" on a recent matter and "provided robust, commercial, practical, timely and sensitive advice that went beyond mere legal advice."

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Clayton Utz - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Has a distinguished national reputation for its representation of federal and local government bodies. Fields a highly regarded litigation team which focuses on discrimination, bullying and industrial disputes, and offers notable strength on the advisory side. Further focuses of the team include the use and development of technology to assist employers during work health and safety incidents. Has a particularly robust client base and expertise in the aviation and university sectors.

Strengths The group gets a glowing review from one client, who says they are "a safe pair of hands" due to being "responsive and focused on commercial, interest-based outcomes" and made up of "highly competent individuals and teams."

A source notes that the firm is "strong in employment and industrial relations" as well as having "a very good corporate area."

A client appreciates the team's ability to "consider risks and reputational issues in the provision of advice."

Work highlights Advising ExxonMobil in respect of enterprise bargaining and industrial disputes with its onshore and offshore workforces and involving the ETU, AMWU, AWU and ASU unions.

Advised the Australian Building and Construction Commission in action against the CFMEU after a stop work action at the construction of one of the flagship venues being prepared for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Representing the Group of Eight universities in the four-yearly review of Modern Awards presently being conducted by the Fair Work Commission.

Notable practitioners

Graham Smith is held up as "a doyen of the sector" by his peers, having spent around 30 years advising major corporations and government bodies at all levels on workplace relations. He regularly appears in proceedings before Fair Work Australia and has provided advice to ExxonMobil and the Group of Eight universities on industrial relations issues.

Saul Harben continues to lead the firm's national workplace relations, employment and safety team while still maintaining an active practice, such as his advice to Aphrodite Gold following the removal of the CEO/company secretary and the managing director. A source relates that he is "efficient, knowledgeable, and knows how we operate and the outcome we typically want."

Hedy Cray leads the firm's Brisbane employment law practice and is endorsed by a client as "undoubtedly an expert in employment law," whose "response time and service in bringing about successful outcomes is of the highest standard" and whose "practical written advice is thorough and relevant." Her excellence as an onsite workplace relations trainer is widely acknowledged, as is her skill as a litigator.

Abraham Ash is based in the firm's Sydney office and maintains a broad practice across employee contract negotiation, unfair dismissal and WHS issues. He acts for a variety of government and private sector clients, and is endorsed by a prominent client as being "commercially focused and super responsive."

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King & Wood Mallesons - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well placed to handle the full range of employment law issues stemming from corporate restructurings and privatisations, workplace incidents and industrial disputes, working closely with its M&A team. Attracts a broad spread of clients from multiple sectors, particularly banking, mining and energy. Noted for its prominent role advising on employment aspects of major projects in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Strengths The depth of the group stands out for one client, who notes that "the employment team is extremely capable and runs deep," and adds: "All the lawyers we have worked with from this team have proven to be excellent lawyers with sound communication skills. They're well trained and practical to deal with."

Another source praises it as a "knowledgeable and sophisticated" group that has a "range of blue-chip clients and brings a wealth of experience in the range of issues we face."

Work highlights Advised Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia on employee consultation, role classification and potential redundancies occurring as a result of its global restructure.

Represented the Griffin Coal Mining Company in defence of proceedings brought against it in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission by a maintenance employee regarding his contract of employment.

Advised Birla Nifty in prosecution proceedings after a plant operator engaged at its Nifty copper mine was fatally injured.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Gray is recognised for his high-quality employment and WHS work, such as his representation of SunRice in an investigation into a fatality at one of its sites and subsequent review of its safety governance systems. One client praises him for "his depth of knowledge of all aspects of employment law and our commercial constraints," "his willingness to act as a partner" and "his availability at short notice," while another reports that he is "very easy to work with and offers very pragmatic advice."

Murray Kellock co-heads the firm's employee relations and safety practice and leads the team on a variety of matters involving the Fair Work Act. One source points to his excellent leadership skills, while another explains he is "always a delight to deal with" and is "commercial and pragmatic."

Jamie Wells advised Queensland Treasury Corporation and Energy Queensland on employment aspects of the merger that resulted in the establishment of Energy Queensland. Clients are full of praise for his practice, with one declaring that he "has strong policy judgement and this flows into good understanding of different perspectives and objectives," while another says: "His practical and commercially-focused approach to our matters has resolved our issues swiftly and with significant savings."

Philip Willox remains highly active as a go-to adviser for employment contract, EBA negotiation and WHS matters, as well as maintaining his position as co-leader of the practice group. Sources report that he is "a good leader who manages his team well," is "knowledgeable and practical" and has "the ability to manage all facets of complex industrial disputes."

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Maddocks - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Quality employment law practice with expertise advising public sector clients on enterprise bargaining and industrial relations matters. Particularly visible advising clients from the education sector such as universities, and also recognised for its strong corporate client base. Maintains offices in Sydney and Canberra alongside its traditional Melbourne headquarters and works closely with Victorian local government to advise on bargaining and industrial relations. Karli Evans and Vanessa Andersen join the group as special counsel and partner respectively.

Strengths One client commends the firm for its efforts at relationship-building, declaring: "I am very impressed with Maddocks. They understand our company and its employment needs and work well together with us in finding the best and most practical direction. We also attend their briefing sessions, which have helped keep our knowledge of employment issues current."

A barrister operating in the employment space has this to say: "They're building a good team at Maddocks, they've got a lot of bodies on the ground."

Work highlights Acted for EY in urgent injunction proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia when it was discovered that two former employees had stolen hundreds of documents when leaving to set up a competitor, in breach of restraints.

Advised Costco on drafting of an enterprise agreement and bargaining with unions, along with other issues.

Representing the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in a test case in the Victorian Court of Appeal, defending the state's ability to prosecute employers' failure to pay long service entitlements as continuing offences.

Notable practitioners

Bruce Heddle leads the firm's Sydney practice group and is rated highly by peers as an employment litigator in the WHS and equal opportunity area. He acted for BGC Partners in Supreme Court proceedings to enforce contract and post-employment restraints of trade after the resignation of a senior broker who then took up employment with a competitor.

Ross Jackson is seen by clients as "highly professional, extremely thorough and knowledgeable, customer-focused and responsive," as well as "a very quick thinker who articulates his points extremely well." He represented a major Australian logistics company in its successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim after a long-standing employee of the company was dismissed for misconduct.

Maree Skinner joined Maddocks' Sydney office in May 2018. She is described by clients as a "brilliant negotiator," especially with regard to executive remuneration and the employment-related aspects of company restructurings.

About the Team (content provided by Maddocks)

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Norton Rose Fulbright - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected team advising on the full range of employment issues, including industrial disputes, unfair dismissals and discrimination cases. Especially well regarded for its health and safety expertise. Represents global clients in cross-border matters as well as at a local level, with strength in the public, construction, transport, energy and mining sectors. WHS and immigration specialisms are reinforced through recruitment of recognised experts. Samantha Maddern and Katherine Morris arrive as lateral hires from competitor firms.

Strengths The general quality of the team impresses an interviewee, who notes: "The firm impresses me as a professional, capable organisation with the capacity to provide accurate and timely advice to clients and to successfully conduct litigation based on that advice."

Another source reports: "I mainly deal with the employment relations practice at Norton Rose and I am very happy with them. They have a great reputation at a sustainable price point."

It is a "well-resourced firm with a variety of strong legal practitioners and very good quality of staff," summarises a client.

Work highlights Acted for DP World in proceedings before the Supreme Court of New South Wales to successfully enforce a non-competition restraint relating to an employee who was proposing to work for the client's main competitor.

Advised the Commissioner of Police for the NSW Police Force in a six-day hearing involving discrimination and victimisation claims before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Advised Lendlease on its major employment, competition and antitrust, and bribery and corruption global online training.

Notable practitioners

Aaron Anderson is recommended by peers and clients as a "very good" Brisbane-based work health and safety adviser and advocate. He acted for Wilmar Sugar in bringing the first application for judicial review of a decision of the regulator under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), following prosecution proceedings against the client after the death of a worker at a sugar mill.

Katherine Morris brings more than 15 years' experience in work health and safety matters as she joins the firm from her previous role at Gadens. Her "experience and knowledge of WHS compliance and how cases are handled has proved to be extremely valuable," declares one client, while a second remarks that she is "extremely knowledgeable, very experienced and gives practical and usable advice."

Sarah Ralph enters the table on the strength of excellent market feedback and more than 15 years' experience as an adviser on industrial relations matters for clients in the health sciences, oil and gas, government and other sectors. A source highlights her "very broad industrial relations knowledge, strong presentation skills in front of the Fair Work Commission and strategic approach to providing clear practical solutions to often very complex matters."

Sally Woodward "provided timely, detailed and pragmatic support to define and measure the legal compliance and alignment of our training and the legislative requirements," notes one client from a recent mandate. Lately she represented the Commissioner Police of NSW Police in a discrimination hearing and advised Lendlease on its global online training.

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Allens - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Provides impressive strategies for handling employment issues arising from major corporate transactions and restructures including compliance reviews. Prestigious client base includes many of Australia's largest blue-chip employers. Go-to adviser for litigation mandates involving breach of employment contract, unfair dismissal and discrimination.

Strengths One client gives the organisation an excellent general review, declaring them to be a "top-quality firm in terms of work product, resources and strategic thinking."

Another client says the firm is "outstanding" and has "no weaknesses."

The consistency of the team impresses a third interviewee, who says they found "very good service and expertise across all commercial areas."

Work highlights Advised Australia Post on an investigation into allegations about the behaviour of union officials, the company's treatment of its staff and related litigation.

Acted for Rio Tinto in its response to a former manager who alleged Rio Tinto breached his employment contract, treated him adversely because of complaints he made about his employment and made misleading misrepresentations to him during his employment.

Represented Esso in an unfair dismissal brought by an employee who returned to Australia after an international assignment and refused to work in the new role that was offered to him.

Notable practitioners

Peter Arthur maintains his reputation as a high-quality employment law adviser and litigator and continues to act on high-profile matters for blue-chip clients. He represented Royal Bank of Scotland Group in claims by former ABN AMRO executives for severance and bonus payments and is described by a client as "very experienced, highly strategic and practical in approach, and great to work with."

About the Team (content provided by Allens)

Allens Employment practice is highly respected by key players in the market, with incredible bench strength. Our experienced team provides clients with the full spectrum of workplace relations services throughout Australia and Asia to help minimize workplace issues, protect corporate reputation and promote clients as employers of choice.

We advise clients on the full spectrum of employment, workplace relations and safety legal services, including employment contracts and policies, award compliance, enterprise bargaining and industrial dispute management, restructuring and redundancies, performance management, managing ill or injured employees, investigations, disciplinary action and termination of employment, consultancy agreements, restraint of trade and protecting confidential information, incentive and reward schemes, outsourcing and insourcing, transferring employees, discrimination and sexual harassment, bullying and work health and safety.

We understand that a specific legal solution is not always the best solution - it all depends on the organisation's business objectives. We place great importance on getting to know our clients and their specific business needs in order to formulate the best course of action.

Our trained and accredited mediators can also negotiate union demands and pursue industrial hearings to deal with strikes, bans and picket lines. However, where litigation is unavoidable, our experienced lawyers act promptly to defend clients' interests in court.

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Dentons - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Offers specialist employment and health and safety practitioners with expertise in a wide range of sectors. Demonstrates a strong focus acting on workplace discrimination cases and matters before the Fair Work Commission. As a major global law firm, continues to draw on the consequent resources and cross-referral opportunities to expand client base and reach.

Strengths A happy client says the firm is "professional, current, proactive and acts as a business partner to our company."

Another source praises the group for its "good customer service."

Work highlights Advised the Benevolent Society of Australia on its first ever enterprise bargaining agreement.

Advised Lynch Group on the renegotiation of an EBA applying to various group companies and hundreds of their employees across Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales.

Advising a materials manufacturer, designer and supplier on employment issues around its entry into the Australian market.

Notable practitioners

Mark Sant has extensive industrial relations and employment law experience through work such as his advice to a large pipe manufacturer and supplier on a replacement EBA for their Victorian operations. An impressed client reports that he is "proactive in keeping informed about employment law and what is happening in our industry," while another says he is "very responsive and has great customer service."

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DLA Piper Australia - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Robust national offering, known for its advice to pharmaceutical, banking and mining sector clients on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Clients include major national and international companies with operations in Australia. A trio of lateral hires strengthens the employment team's offering in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Nicholas Turner joins the firm as head of employment for Australia.

Strengths A client reports that they found the team to be "reliable and client-oriented" during their work on a recent matter, concluding that its "a solid performing firm."

"The firm is very organised and professional and puts the clients at the forefront of their work," declares one source.

Work highlights Acted for a major insurer and an insured not-for-profit entity operating in the healthcare industry in its successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim against an insured party which went to a full hearing at first instance in the Fair Work Commission and was subsequently appealed.

Assisted a leading global manufacturer of security systems and solutions in relation to a number of key executive departures.

Continues to exclusively advise Pandora Media in relation to the various employment and workplace relations issues that arise in its Australian operations.

Notable practitioners

Nicholas Turner is a key contact for the practice group.

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FCB Workplace Lawyers & Consultants - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Boutique employment practice renowned for its strength in employee relations. Especially active for construction, manufacturing and education clients on the eastern seaboard, having recently opened an office in Brisbane. Advises large corporations on industrial disputes arising from corporate restructurings, as well as discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. Enjoys support of the wider FCB Group organisation, including HR consulting and business migration practice arms.

Strengths One very happy client states: "I can only speak very highly of this firm and of the particular individuals we have been privileged to work alongside," and goes on to highlight the team's "professional approach and integrity."

Another source reports that "FCB is an extremely impressive firm and have become real experts in educational and employment law," adding: "I think they stand out from the crowd in this space. They have a fast turnaround on work and a real can-do attitude."

Work highlights Acted for the Australian Retailers Association in its pursuit of a reduction in the Sunday penalty rate for retail workers.

Advised Dowell Windows in relation to the enterprise agreement process at its manufacturing facility at Bayswater in Victoria, with related issues around claims from union bargaining representatives.

Represented USG Boral in an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission brought by an ex-employee who had been dismissed following a number of safety breaches at USG Boral's Port Melbourne manufacturing and distribution facility.

Notable practitioners

Campbell Fisher continues in his role as the firm's managing partner and manages the firm's suite of industrial relations and employment matters across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. He led the team in its work on Sunday penalty rates for the Australian Retailers Association and is highly regarded as a litigator.

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Johnson Winter & Slattery - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded team based in Sydney and Melbourne, recognised for its excellent track record in employment disputes, and also retained by major international clients to advise on the employment aspects of corporate restructurings. Represents clients from a range of sectors, including media, education and transport. Acknowledged for its excellent training seminars and presentations covering workplace investigation and IR strategy as well as EA planning workshops. Louise Russell and Lucienne Mumme both join the firm from Thomson Geer.

Strengths A high-profile client reports that "Johnson Winter & Slattery is an excellent law firm. The lawyers are always accessible and provide timely, strategic advice. In litigation matters, they have the right mix of lawyers to do different levels of work required."

Another source endorses the group as "excellent, efficient and good value for money."

Work highlights Acted for Seven Network and Seven West Media in relation to a high-profile dispute with former employee Amber Harrison involving numerous accusations including alleged expense fraud on corporate credit cards and alleged sexual harassment.

Successfully defended Macquarie University in appeal proceedings brought before the Federal Court by Dr Murry Salby over the termination of his employment with the university.

Successfully acted for Yarra Valley Snackfoods to defend proceedings commenced by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union to attempt to negotiate for a collective bargaining agreement.

Notable practitioners

Louise Russell joins the team to continue her work as special counsel advising on a variety of workplace relations issues, EBA negotiations and WHS matters. In a matter involving novel arguments, she acted for Yarra Trams in relation to proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court involving claims of false imprisonment and breach of enterprise agreement and the Fair Work Act.

Jan Dransfield has more than 20 years' experience advising clients in sensitive workplace relations matters. Clients are exceedingly happy with her work, with one noting that she "understands our commercial drivers and objectives and is a true partner with us" and that "she is an excellent litigator and handles complex litigious matters calmly and strategically," while another reports that she is "easy to deal with, knowledgeable and commercially astute."

Ruveni Kelleher leads the firm's employment group while also maintaining a busy practice acting for clients such as Seven West Media, Macquarie University and Yarra Valley Snackfoods in high-profile litigious proceedings. A client relates that she has a "very impressive, professional and pragmatic approach, which is right for my business."

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Lander & Rogers - Employment Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Covers the full spectrum of employment law matters for a range of government, education and retail clients in Australia's eastern states. Particularly active and visible in discrimination and adverse action claims, handling matters before the courts and other dispute resolution forums. Provides support to clients in dozens of countries around the world by drawing on membership of the TerraLex Global network.

Strengths A long-standing client declares: "I think the firm has a great culture. They have grown a lot since I first knew of them. Their strengths are in their responsiveness to customers, their relationship building and understanding of customers' businesses and needs and of course their great legal knowledge and skills."

"I have only great things to say about Lander & Rogers. The advice is top-quality and always in a usable format that is fit for the purpose sought, and their client service is amazing," notes another interviewee.

The group's business nous impresses a client, who says: "There is a strong understanding of the need to give timely, pragmatic and commercial advice."

Work highlights Successfully defended West Gippsland Healthcare Group after it was sued in the County Court of Victoria by a surgeon who was suspended following a dispute regarding work methods.

Acted on behalf of the Victorian Department of Education and Training and three current DET employees in defending an application by a former DET employee alleging unlawful discrimination in employment on grounds of race, sex and employment activity and victimisation in breach of the Equal Opportunity Act, and racial vilification.

Acted for the Director of the ABCC in civil penalty proceedings against the CFMEU and individual respondents alleging contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Notable practitioners

Stephen Jauncey is considered to be "a genuine leader in this field," notes a client, adding that "both factually and legally he is meticulous in his advice, litigation and advocacy" while "his attention to detail means that he is also a very capable advocate and negotiator."

Tony Woods remains a trusted industrial relations adviser for New South Wales government clients and advised Transport for NSW on employment issues related to its call for expressions of interest for an operator of a new light rail and the existing bus and ferry services in Newcastle. "No one knows the transport industry as well as Tony. He is the go-to person for all things rail," declares one interviewee, while others report that he is "always a delight to work with on some extremely stressful subjects" and is "very responsive to urgent requests with tight deadlines."

Julian Riekert acted for the Country Fire Authority of Victoria in a significant dispute relating to a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement with the United Firefighters Union to cover its operational employees at 35 integrated stations. A peer acknowledges that he "has been a very distinguished practitioner for many years" in the workplace relations space, while clients say that "he's a real expert in employment law matters and offers pragmatic and cost-conscious advice" and that "his strengths are his ability to get to the heart of an issue quickly."

Daniel Proietto leads the workplace relations and safety group and advises on a variety of matters, such as unfair dismissal claims for Coles and Reece. Numerous clients enthuse about his service and quality of advice, with one deeming him to be "friendly and approachable and very responsive to e-mails and phone calls," and reporting that "he trusts his people to do a good job while providing supervision and oversight, and provides advice in plain English in an easily accessible format in a timely manner."

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Gilbert + Tobin - Employment Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected firm handling a range of workplace issues for employers and high-profile executives. Frequently retained by international companies to advise on employment issues arising from significant corporate restructurings. Client list includes major corporate names in the technology, broadcasting and banking sectors.

Strengths A client values the team's responsiveness, remarking: "It's important to me to have a main point of contact. Someone that I can call when needed and who understands our business and what we need immediately. Gilbert + Tobin provide this."

The innovative approach of the group impresses another source, who note: "Gilbert + Tobin is at the forefront of reinventing the services that a law firm provides. The firm allows its clients useful resources - including a mobile app for precedents - online CPD courses and relevant seminars on the hot topics on technology such as blockchains. This is a fairly innovative firm."

Another simply says: "I've been very impressed with Gilbert + Tobin over the years."

Work highlights Acted for APN Outdoor Media Group on employment arrangements for key executives arising from APN's AUD1.6 billion merger of equals with oOh!media.

Advised on employment aspects of Quadrant Private Equity's AUD400 million acquisition of Fitness First from Oaktree.

Advised an ad hoc committee of noteholders to Emeco on the employment aspects of Emeco's AUD686 million merger with Orionstone Holdings and Andy’s Earthmovers.

Notable practitioners

Dianne Banks wins praise from clients for her "very pragmatic and practical" advice on employment and industrial relations. "I truly believe that Di is the best lawyer that I have had the privilege to work with," declares one interviewee, adding that she "has the ability to operate as a true business partner when I have sought her counsel." She represented Pegela Rural Enterprises in a prosecution by SafeWork NSW after the fatality of a contractor.

About the Team (content provided by Gilbert + Tobin)

Employment is mission critical. Get it right and you have a shield - get it wrong and you hand over a sword. Managing contracts, compliance, policy, performance and change is ever more complex and time consuming. Disputes can be costly, unexpected, emotionally charged and publicly sensitive.

At Gilbert + Tobin, we take ownership of your problems. We advise on the best commercial solution for your situation, not just the legal generalities. Our starting point is the specific needs of your business and your people. We work with you to foresee the issues and plan ahead.

In a crisis, we’re there to help you to respond quickly and effectively. We’ve managed many clients through it - sidestepping the pitfalls to reach the best possible outcome in the most cost-effective way. We see court action as a last resort. We’re experienced in all forms of alternative resolution and, if litigation is unavoidable, you’re in the hands of leading practitioners.

We work with Australian and multinational companies, government bodies and other organisations, as well as senior executives.

Our services include: contracts; employment policies and procedures; workplace compliance; workplace agreements; employee performance issues; employment aspects of M&A transactions; workplace health and safety; and workplace investigations.



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HWL Ebsworth Lawyers - Employment Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected employment law practice with sound litigation capabilities and a focus on insurance and aviation clients. Growing reputation for advising on workplace relations and known for providing workplace training programmes.

Notable practitioners

Mark Howard and Erica Hartley are key contacts for the practice group.

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Squire Patton Boggs - Employment Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Solid employment group covering the full range of issues, including WHS, investigations and litigation. Advises a range of mining, manufacturing, education and local government clients, especially in the Western Australian market. Also benefits from international connections afforded by global firm network and local practitioners qualified in the UK and South Africa.

Strengths The team is praised for its organisational skill by clients, who report that "they are able to provide excellent-quality service and advice in a timely manner and have good access to resources, providing the ability to spread the workload."

"My impression of the firm has been excellent, from the US team to the UK and now Australia. Everyone that I've encountered has been great," declares a client.

The team has "strong ER and IR experience," in the eyes of another source, who is impressed that the team is "willing to work above and beyond to meet deadlines and commercial needs."

Work highlights Acted for Murdoch University to run a significant investigation into claims of serious misconduct by the vice-chancellor of the university.

Defending Technip Oceania in a safety prosecution related to its diving operations off Western Australia.

Advised Sherwin Williams on the demobilisation of approximately 250 of its staff members across Australia.

Notable practitioners

Bruno Di Girolami co-leads the practice group and is described as "very detailed and organised" by a client, who goes on to praise his "excellent knowledge of employment law and investigations" and says he is "always available when required and is willing to go above and beyond to get the job done." He represented Metso Australia after a senior executive brought claims against it for alleged breach of employment contract following his termination of employment.

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Senior Statesperson

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Russell Allen makes the transition from partner to consultant and continues to lead the firm on work such as Chevron's claim for damages against the Maritime Union of Australia flowing from unlawful industrial action taken by stevedoring employees of Patrick Stevedores at the Australian Marine Complex in the Henderson suburb of Perth in 2012. A source at the Bar notes that he continues to be "doing a lot of good work," particularly in the energy and resources space.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Richard Bunting brings decades of experience in the Australian industrial relations space to his role as a senior consultant, with particular expertise in executive employment issues. He was part of the team that advised South32 on employment law aspects of its demerger from BHP Billiton.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Helen McKenzie was a consultant to the team that advised the University of Sydney on employment aspects of its organisational restructure, and a related dispute. She is viewed as one of the leading experts on employment aspects of company restructurings, particularly in the airline industry.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Adrian Morris co-leads a team advising on the review of aspects of the Black Coal Mining Industry Award by the Fair Work Commission as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards. He is acknowledged as a leading name in the employment law market, with one client declaring that he "has provided great insight and value in relation to work on our EBAs" and "has a certain amount of gravitas about him which is very valuable."

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Graeme Smith continues to be admired for his formidable skill in handling Australia's highest-profile industrial disputes. He acts in a consultant role at the firm and is recommended by interviewees for his expert knowledge of the market and relationships within it.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

K&L Gates

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Steven Amendola continues to be acknowledged by peers as a "very good practitioner" with a "very good reputation" in strategic dispute resolution and industrial relations. He joined K&L Gates's Melbourne office from Ashurst in October 2017.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

MinterEllison

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jim Fox " is a legal expert but also has a pragmatic, business-focused approach which gives confidence and credibility when working with him," reports an impressed interviewee. As well as leading the department he also advises on some of Australia's most high-profile contentious industrial relations matters and is singled out by an energy sector source as "a tremendous lawyer."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ian Humphreys leads the firm's work for Capcoal in defence of adverse action proceedings brought by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) before the Federal Court after Capcoal made the decision to restructure and make redundant a number of positions. Peers report that he is a "really good operator" on industrial relations and employment law matters, while a client says of a recent prosecution: "He managed that fantastically."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Henry Skene is held in the highest regard by his peers, who describe him as "an exceptional lawyer" and "a real heavy-hitter," as well as his clients, who report that he "continues to provide strategic and practical advice. He understands the practical commerciality of running a business and the need to balance this while operating within the legal framework." He represented Programmed in novel proceedings in the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission which sought to stop bullying of Programmed workers during the 2016 CUB brewery dispute.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Clayton Utz

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Graham Smith is held up as "a doyen of the sector" by his peers, having spent around 30 years advising major corporations and government bodies at all levels on workplace relations. He regularly appears in proceedings before Fair Work Australia and has provided advice to ExxonMobil and the Group of Eight universities on industrial relations issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

MinterEllison

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Dan Williams continues to grow in stature as an industrial relations expert through work such as his successful representation of Teys Australia Beenleigh before the Federal Court, following protracted industrial disputes regarding conditions and enterprise bargaining with the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union. A source remarks that "his knowledge of that area of law is second to none," and that he is "also a very good advocate who holds his own even against barristers."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Gilbert + Tobin

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Dianne Banks wins praise from clients for her "very pragmatic and practical" advice on employment and industrial relations. "I truly believe that Di is the best lawyer that I have had the privilege to work with," declares one interviewee, adding that she "has the ability to operate as a true business partner when I have sought her counsel." She represented Pegela Rural Enterprises in a prosecution by SafeWork NSW after the fatality of a contractor.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Paul Brown is based in Sydney and advises clients on the full gamut of employment and industrial relations issues for companies operating in a broad range of industries. He is warmly praised by clients, one explaining: "He's had some cracker results for us. He's one of the leading industrial specialists in the country," and another explaining: "His advice from an HR perspective is second to none."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Paul Burns joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth's Melbourne office from Herbert Smith Freehills in April 2018. A solicitor peer cites him as "one of the elite operators in Australia," while prominent clients declare him to be "a very authentic and humble individual who engenders a very comfortable and engaging environment" and "a true technical expert with a strong client focus."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Michael Coonan " remains an incredible support and fount of knowledge for us to refer to," reports one client, going on to praise him for his "consistent delivery of sound, commercial and pragmatic advice." He draws on more than 30 years of experience advising on and litigating industrial relations matters in the resources, infrastructure and construction sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Chris Gardner specialises in workplace strategy and enterprise bargaining negotiations and has been advising Victoria International Container Terminal in the setting up of its employment terms and conditions including the creation of an enterprise agreement. Clients report that he "continues to demonstrate a deep understanding of the particular challenges our business faces and applies his professional expertise to help us solve our problems," and "gives clear advice, does not overstate the potential outcomes and is diligent in his addressing of issues in a fast manner."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

King & Wood Mallesons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Andrew Gray is recognised for his high-quality employment and WHS work, such as his representation of SunRice in an investigation into a fatality at one of its sites and subsequent review of its safety governance systems. One client praises him for "his depth of knowledge of all aspects of employment law and our commercial constraints," "his willingness to act as a partner" and "his availability at short notice," while another reports that he is "very easy to work with and offers very pragmatic advice."

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Band 2

Lander & Rogers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Jauncey is considered to be "a genuine leader in this field," notes a client, adding that "both factually and legally he is meticulous in his advice, litigation and advocacy" while "his attention to detail means that he is also a very capable advocate and negotiator."

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Band 2

MinterEllison

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Gareth Jolly led the Australian Building and Construction Commission in its prosecution of the CFMEU and union officials and delegates after a work stoppage at the Barangaroo construction project. He is a renowned employment litigator and regularly appears before the Fair Work Commission, the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

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Band 2

King & Wood Mallesons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Murray Kellock co-heads the firm's employee relations and safety practice and leads the team on a variety of matters involving the Fair Work Act. One source points to his excellent leadership skills, while another explains he is "always a delight to deal with" and is "commercial and pragmatic."

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Band 2

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Rob Lilburne continues his Perth-based practice, drawing on more than 20 years of experience as a key adviser on labour relations and safety issues. His expertise is especially valued by resources industry clients such as INPEX, which he recently assisted in negotiations with the Australian maritime unions to implement their private dispute settlement process.

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Band 2

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Darren Perry is the firm's Australian managing partner and department head, and advised Patrick Stevedores on its collective bargaining negotiations with the Maritime Union of Australia. A source at the Bar declares that he is "the market leader in Sydney" for industrial relations work, while a solicitor peer acknowledges him as "a very good practitioner."

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Band 2

K&L Gates

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Gerard Phillips is recognised for his broad practice encompassing the labour relations and WHS spheres and was recently part of the team that represented an aged care provider in relation to a fire at a nursing home which resulted in the death of a number of residents and significant damage to the home. Peers report that he is "well regarded" in the market, and a major client notes: "I have been very impressed with his knowledge during the matters he has been involved in."

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Band 2

MinterEllison

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Amanda Watt is regarded as a go-to adviser for sensitive and complex workplace relations matters, as in her recent representation of Victoria's Department of Education and Training in negotiations to replace the enterprise agreement governing the employment of more than 30,000 government teachers and staff. A client declares that she is "a very good negotiator" who "gets to the heart of the problem" and is the "epitome of a trusted adviser."

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Band 2

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Woodbury is regarded as "personable, easy to deal with and knowledgeable" by a client while also being endorsed by peers as "a really good practitioner." He maintains his position as the firm's global practice head for employment as well as leading the group in work such as EBA negotiations and dispute proceedings for Qantas and the University of Sydney.

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Band 2

Lander & Rogers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Tony Woods remains a trusted industrial relations adviser for New South Wales government clients and advised Transport for NSW on employment issues related to its call for expressions of interest for an operator of a new light rail and the existing bus and ferry services in Newcastle. "No one knows the transport industry as well as Tony. He is the go-to person for all things rail," declares one interviewee, while others report that he is "always a delight to work with on some extremely stressful subjects" and is "very responsive to urgent requests with tight deadlines."

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Band 3

Allens

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Peter Arthur maintains his reputation as a high-quality employment law adviser and litigator and continues to act on high-profile matters for blue-chip clients. He represented Royal Bank of Scotland Group in claims by former ABN AMRO executives for severance and bonus payments and is described by a client as "very experienced, highly strategic and practical in approach, and great to work with."

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Band 3

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jack de Flamingh is hailed by one client as a "very commercial and pragmatic" employment lawyer who "conscientiously works to resolve matters efficiently and cost-effectively while still maintaining a high quality of service," and whose "advice is considered in its approach and takes into account commercial imperatives as well as the legal issues." He continues to advise Weir Minerals Australia on a range of industrial, employment and WHS matters.

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Band 3

Clayton Utz

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Saul Harben continues to lead the firm's national workplace relations, employment and safety team while still maintaining an active practice, such as his advice to Aphrodite Gold following the removal of the CEO/company secretary and the managing director. A source relates that he is "efficient, knowledgeable, and knows how we operate and the outcome we typically want."

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Band 3

Maddocks

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Bruce Heddle leads the firm's Sydney practice group and is rated highly by peers as an employment litigator in the WHS and equal opportunity area. He acted for BGC Partners in Supreme Court proceedings to enforce contract and post-employment restraints of trade after the resignation of a senior broker who then took up employment with a competitor.

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Band 3

People + Culture Strategies

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Joydeep Hor is the managing principal of People + Culture Strategies and continues to be regarded as a valued adviser and thought leader in the workplace relations space. He assists a variety of high-profile clients with the resolution of contentious workplace matters as well as providing advice and training.

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Band 3

Maddocks

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ross Jackson is seen by clients as "highly professional, extremely thorough and knowledgeable, customer-focused and responsive," as well as "a very quick thinker who articulates his points extremely well." He represented a major Australian logistics company in its successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim after a long-standing employee of the company was dismissed for misconduct.

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Band 3

Jennifer Patterson

MinterEllison

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jennifer Patterson maintains a niche practice in discrimination law as well as acting for a variety of clients on the broader spectrum of workplace relations mandates. She is singled out by one client as a "proficient and talented lawyer," while another goes so far as to say: "In terms of quality I have not seen anyone better."

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Band 3

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Price is regarded as a skilled employment litigator and recently acted for the Australian Building and Construction Commission in prosecution proceedings against the CFMEU in connection with alleged industrial action. A source reports that he is "always available and provides reliable, timely, solid and consistently high-standard advice," adding that "nothing is a problem and he always reacts in a considered but customer-centric fashion, as well as being legally sound."

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Band 3

Johnson Winter & Slattery

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Louise Russell joins the team to continue her work as special counsel advising on a variety of workplace relations issues, EBA negotiations and WHS matters. In a matter involving novel arguments, she acted for Yarra Trams in relation to proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court involving claims of false imprisonment and breach of enterprise agreement and the Fair Work Act.

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Band 3

Dentons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Mark Sant has extensive industrial relations and employment law experience through work such as his advice to a large pipe manufacturer and supplier on a replacement EBA for their Victorian operations. An impressed client reports that he is "proactive in keeping informed about employment law and what is happening in our industry," while another says he is "very responsive and has great customer service."

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Band 3

Michael Tamvakologos

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Michael Tamvakologos acts for Telstra in relation to multiple executive hiring and termination matters and defence of litigation in the Fair Work Commission concerning the correct classification of a group of employees. He continues to make an impression on the market, with a major client lauding him as an "excellent IR and HR lawyer" and adding: "I've never come across anyone in that space as good," while a leading member of the employment Bar proclaims: "I've rarely seen such excellent technical work."

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Band 3

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

John Tuck heads the firm's national employment, workplace relations and safety group and is especially well regarded for his work for government bodies such as the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, which he advised on major enterprise agreements. One interviewee notes that he is "very client-focused, and genuinely tries to always support the needs of his clients and to deliver tailored, customised solutions," while a peer reports that he "continues to do well in government work."

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Band 3

King & Wood Mallesons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jamie Wells advised Queensland Treasury Corporation and Energy Queensland on employment aspects of the merger that resulted in the establishment of Energy Queensland. Clients are full of praise for his practice, with one declaring that he "has strong policy judgement and this flows into good understanding of different perspectives and objectives," while another says: "His practical and commercially-focused approach to our matters has resolved our issues swiftly and with significant savings."

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Band 3

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Anthony Wood is hailed by clients who say he is "extremely knowledgeable in his areas of legal expertise" and is "able to convert legal principles and meanings into practical workplace solutions." He advised Toyota in its investigation into alleged misconduct by its supervisors and leads the practice group's national training programmes.

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Band 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Miles Bastick remains regional head of employment for Australia and Asia as well as leading teams to advise on numerous contentious matters involving executive terminations. He has more than 20 years of experience in employment and safety matters and continues to be highly regarded by his peers.

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Band 4

Rachel Bernasconi

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Rachel Bernasconi is a skilled adviser on discrimination and industrial disputes and recently represented ANZ in defending disability discrimination proceedings commenced in the Federal Circuit Court by a former employee. "Her advice is sound, pragmatic and commercial," notes one satisfied client, adding that "she provides solutions and is willing to look outside the square," while another client names her as a "very experienced senior partner who is proactive and sensible."

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Band 4

PwC Australia

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Bryony Binns moves to PwC Australia from her previous position at Baker McKenzie. One source announces that she is "personable, thorough and puts matters into context," while another dubs her "a top-notch labour lawyer" who provides "tremendous help with good practical advice with a good balance between risk, reputation and commercial impact for the business."

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Band 4

Clayton Utz

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Hedy Cray leads the firm's Brisbane employment law practice and is endorsed by a client as "undoubtedly an expert in employment law," whose "response time and service in bringing about successful outcomes is of the highest standard" and whose "practical written advice is thorough and relevant." Her excellence as an onsite workplace relations trainer is widely acknowledged, as is her skill as a litigator.

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Band 4

K&L Gates

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Alice DeBoos is "fantastic," declares a client, before adding: "I have worked closely with her and she is able to quickly understand the issues at play and provide different options and strategies, and then drive for results." She leads the practice group from Sydney and has lately advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on compliance with local employment laws across the many different countries in which it operates.

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Band 4

Bruno Di Girolami

Squire Patton Boggs

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Bruno Di Girolami co-leads the practice group and is described as "very detailed and organised" by a client, who goes on to praise his "excellent knowledge of employment law and investigations" and says he is "always available when required and is willing to go above and beyond to get the job done." He represented Metso Australia after a senior executive brought claims against it for alleged breach of employment contract following his termination of employment.

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Band 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jan Dransfield has more than 20 years' experience advising clients in sensitive workplace relations matters. Clients are exceedingly happy with her work, with one noting that she "understands our commercial drivers and objectives and is a true partner with us" and that "she is an excellent litigator and handles complex litigious matters calmly and strategically," while another reports that she is "easy to deal with, knowledgeable and commercially astute."

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Band 4

FCB Workplace Lawyers & Consultants

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Campbell Fisher continues in his role as the firm's managing partner and manages the firm's suite of industrial relations and employment matters across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. He led the team in its work on Sunday penalty rates for the Australian Retailers Association and is highly regarded as a litigator.

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Band 4

Harmers Workplace Lawyers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Michael Harmer of Harmers Workplace Lawyers has more than 35 years' experience in the Australian workplace relations space as an adviser on high-profile contentious matters. As chair and firm founder he continues to win praise from clients, who report that he "stands out due to experience and knowledge," has "excellent legal knowledge that is current with the latest legislation and outcomes," and "gives clear and cogent employment law advice about management strategy."

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Band 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ruveni Kelleher leads the firm's employment group while also maintaining a busy practice acting for clients such as Seven West Media, Macquarie University and Yarra Valley Snackfoods in high-profile litigious proceedings. A client relates that she has a "very impressive, professional and pragmatic approach, which is right for my business."

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Band 4

Stephen Kemp: Employee Relations Lawyer

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Kemp departs his role as head of Jackson McDonald's employment department to begin his own Perth-based boutique. Sources note that he is "very thorough in all aspects of his work" and "very determined in expressing his arguments," while also being "articulate in delivering advice."

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Band 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Anthony Longland works from the firm's Perth office as a key adviser and advocate on major industrial disputes, as well as more general employment work. He is seen as a go-to practitioner for clients in the resources and oil and gas sectors, and acted for BHP Billiton Nickel West in a dispute over the right of officials of the CFMEU to enter upon BHP's premises.

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Band 4

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jennie Mansfield advises clients across a wide range of industries on employment and workplace relations matters. One source declares that they "would recommend her off the top of my head straight away," while another says: "Her knowledge of the market as well as her mastery of Australian employment law is invaluable to us. She is trusted counsel who operates at all levels within the organisation and is a trusted go-to person for our CEO."

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Band 4

Michael Michalandos

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Michael Michalandos acted for Trilogy and its directors in proceedings commenced against it by Crowe Horwarth and Findex relating to the enforcement of post-employment restrictions following the departure of three key executives from the multinational firm. He gets rave reviews from a client who says he was "a standout" on a recent matter and "provided robust, commercial, practical, timely and sensitive advice that went beyond mere legal advice."

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Band 4

McCullough Robertson

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Michael Moy co-leads the workplace relations department of Brisbane-based firm McCullough Robertson and acts on major industrial matters for clients including Queensland Health and One Key Resources. One interviewee asserts: "He's pragmatic, personable and can explain difficult concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. He's a good lawyer to have on your side, understands our industry in great depth and has an approach which makes you feel like his only client."

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Band 4

Stephen Nettleton

Ashurst

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Nettleton has nearly 30 years of experience advising clients on issues including enterprise bargaining, union right of entry, termination of employment and redundancy, as well as WHS matters. One client names him as "probably a standout for me," while a peer endorses him as a "very good practitioner."

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Band 4

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Sarah Ralph enters the table on the strength of excellent market feedback and more than 15 years' experience as an adviser on industrial relations matters for clients in the health sciences, oil and gas, government and other sectors. A source highlights her "very broad industrial relations knowledge, strong presentation skills in front of the Fair Work Commission and strategic approach to providing clear practical solutions to often very complex matters."

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Band 4

Lander & Rogers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Julian Riekert acted for the Country Fire Authority of Victoria in a significant dispute relating to a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement with the United Firefighters Union to cover its operational employees at 35 integrated stations. A peer acknowledges that he "has been a very distinguished practitioner for many years" in the workplace relations space, while clients say that "he's a real expert in employment law matters and offers pragmatic and cost-conscious advice" and that "his strengths are his ability to get to the heart of an issue quickly."

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Band 4

Jones Day

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Adam Salter of Jones Day maintains a broad practice covering employment law, M&A transactions and other general commercial work. An interviewee reports that his "breadth of experience is obvious in the practicality of his advice," while another says he "always impresses with his professionalism, efficiency and speed in providing advice and his ability to understand the legal issue in the context of our business."

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Band 4

KPMG Law

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

James Simpson joins KPMG Law this year to lead the workplace and employment law practice. He is an experienced adviser and litigator and has a strong reputation for his combination of technical nous and outstanding client service.

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Band 4

Maddocks

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Maree Skinner joined Maddocks' Sydney office in May 2018. She is described by clients as a "brilliant negotiator," especially with regard to executive remuneration and the employment-related aspects of company restructurings.

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Band 4

King & Wood Mallesons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Philip Willox remains highly active as a go-to adviser for employment contract, EBA negotiation and WHS matters, as well as maintaining his position as co-leader of the practice group. Sources report that he is "a good leader who manages his team well," is "knowledgeable and practical" and has "the ability to manage all facets of complex industrial disputes."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Sally Woodward "provided timely, detailed and pragmatic support to define and measure the legal compliance and alignment of our training and the legislative requirements," notes one client from a recent mandate. Lately she represented the Commissioner Police of NSW Police in a discrimination hearing and advised Lendlease on its global online training.

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Up and Coming

Clayton Utz

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Abraham Ash is based in the firm's Sydney office and maintains a broad practice across employee contract negotiation, unfair dismissal and WHS issues. He acts for a variety of government and private sector clients, and is endorsed by a prominent client as being "commercially focused and super responsive."

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Up and Coming

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Rohan Doyle continues to consolidate his practice as a Brisbane-based partner through high-quality work on enterprise bargaining and industrial disputes, such as his action for Qantas in bargaining for replacement enterprise agreements covering Qantas's aircraft maintenance operations. One source remarks that he is "a very well-regarded practitioner," while another says he is "technically very strong."

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

K&L Gates

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Duncan Fletcher maintains a busy Perth-based practice representing clients in industrial relations and other employment matters such as contracts, WHS issues and discrimination. He acted for Kentz in relation to a test case involving the interpretation of a clause in enterprise agreements applying to thousands of employees of the USD54 billion Gorgon LNG Project.

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Up and Coming

Lander & Rogers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Daniel Proietto leads the workplace relations and safety group and advises on a variety of matters, such as unfair dismissal claims for Coles and Reece. Numerous clients enthuse about his service and quality of advice, with one deeming him to be "friendly and approachable and very responsive to e-mails and phone calls," and reporting that "he trusts his people to do a good job while providing supervision and oversight, and provides advice in plain English in an easily accessible format in a timely manner."

^ See whole ranking table