Australia: Labour & Employment 2017

In this chapter, 40 of the country’s leading labour, employment and superannuation specialists are singled out for their excellence. The featured employment lawyers represent and advise management and corporate HR teams on all aspects of labour, employment and industrial relations law, while those superannuation specialists are recognised for their expertise advising funds and corporate clients on the full range legal, regulatory and tax issues related to pension funds.

Most Highly Regarded
Labour & Employment
1. John Cooper Herbert Smith Freehills, Melbourne
2. John Tuck Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Melbourne
3. Steven Amendola Ashurst, Melbourne
4. Graeme Smith Herbert Smith Freehills, Melbourne
Superannuation & Pensions
1. Michael Vrisakis Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney
2. Michelle Levy Allens, Sydney

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS co-leads our research in this area with an impressive six listings.
The “superb” John Cooper stands out as one of the premier employment lawyers in the country. He boasts over 30 years’ experience handling both contentious and non-contentious employment matters as well as industrial relations.
Thought leader Graeme Smith is an eminent figure in the market who is well known for his vast experience dealing with some of the country’s most significant industrial disputes.
Michael Vrisakis is recommended for his superannuation expertise, drawing high praise from one respondent who notes: “I will certainly recommend him; he is highly regarded and extremely active in the industry.”

ASHURST also achieves six listings in this chapter illustrating the strength in depth of its labour and employment team.
Steven Amendola is a highly rated practitioner and boasts a well-established employment law practice that covers industrial relations and high-profile disputes.
The “exceptional” Stephen Woodbury is global head of the firm’s employment group and regularly advises clients on a broad range of employment law issues from industrial bargaining and disciplinary issues to litigation.
Adrian Morris is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience advising clients from a diverse range of sectors on employment issues and industrial relations.

CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH follows closely behind with five nominations.
Practice leader John Tuck impresses market commentators with his wide-ranging employment practice covering workplace issues and disputes.
CEO John Denton is a well-known name in the domestic market thanks to his extensive experience handling workplace relations for large corporates.
Michael Chaaya leads the financial services regulatory team and is a key name in the Australian superannuation and pensions space.

CLAYTON UTZ is home to three candidates. The firm’s team counts a number of public sector bodies among its clients and is particularly well known for handling discrimination, bullying, and health and safety issues.
Abraham Ash specialises in advising government and corporate clients on employment law, workplace safety and industrial relations. He is also a top-tier litigator, regularly representing corporate clients in disputes with former executives.
Graham Smith is a well-recognised name in the Australian market. He is known for representing key domestic and international clients on employment regulations, enterprise bargaining and workplace strategies.
Stuart Pill is also recognised in this chapter for his impressive practice.

Three leading names at MINTERELLISON are highlighted for their expertise in the field.
The “highly regarded” Maged Girgis draws praise for his impressive superannuation practice that has seen him advise some of the country’s largest private and public superannuation funds on a range of issues.
Jim Fox is commended for the breadth of his expertise. He regularly advises clients on the full gamut of employment law issues, from industrial relations through to hard employment law and litigation.
Brisbane’s managing partner William Thompson is a highly rated tax specialist with considerable experience advising retail superannuation funds.

At ALLENS in Sydney, Michelle Levy is a strong name in the Australian superannuation market. According to one source, “She is highly thought of and very active on the larger mandates.”
Wendy Rae is also recognised for her extensive experience advising pension fund managers on a range of transactional issues, including public M&A, competitive bid processes and public asset sales.

International firm SEYFARTH SHAW is renowned for its world-class expertise in employment law. Two of its practitioners are nominated in this chapter. 
Managing partner of the firm’s Australian offices Darren Perry is considered “an outstanding lawyer” by sources who note that he is particularly adept when handling termination disputes and class actions.
Henry Skene is a market-leading practitioner with a widely respected practice that focuses on workplace relations strategy.

Regional player KING & WOOD MALLESONS stands out in the Asia-Pacific market for its excellent labour and employment offering.
Nathan Hodge is “a definite inclusion” thanks to his experience advising on some of the most significant superannuation fund mergers and transfers in the market in recent years.
Ruth Stringer is recognised for her fantastic work advising clients on variable annuities.

Australian independent THOMSON GEER is home to two prominent lawyers in the Australian superannuation space.
Scott Charaneka heads the firm’s superannuation and wealth management practice and is the lawyer of choice for a number of prominent public and private sector financial institutions.
Stanley Drummond is a major name in the market known for his considerable expertise and insight on the legal and regulatory framework governing superannuation funds.

DLA PIPER’s Peter Charteris is a standout figure in the Australian superannuation space, having advised some of the country’s large industry funds on transactional matters.

John Berrill at BERRILL & WATSON is a seasoned superannuation specialist with over 20 years’ experience representing plaintiffs in related claims.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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