March 4, 2024
Doyle's Guide

Editorial Commentary – Employment & Workplace Relations, Queensland 2014

In our 2103 editorial commentary we pointed heavily towards the generational change and emergence of a band of younger practitioners who we beginning to play significant roles in the Queensland employment market.  Now, some 15 months since our last review, this pool of younger practitioners has splintered somewhat with some substantially improving their position Cameron Dean and Michael Moy at McCullough Robertson as well as Rohen Cullen at Franklin Athansellis Cullen), others managing to hold the fort in difficult market conditions (the teams at Norton Rose Fulbright, Clayton Utz and DLA Piper) and others having left the market altogether (Joanna Glynn at Corrs Chambers Westgarth).

While Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills remain in our first tier, within this band they now sit below Minter Ellison who, by way of Dan Williams “technical brilliance” and “great legal mind”, now sit atop the Queensland market.

In other market developments:

  • Former Queensland Rail General Counsel Nick Le Mare joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth in January this year, effectively filling the gap left by the departure of Joanna Glynn.  While it’s still too early to determine Le Mare’s full market impact and therefore the positioning of Corrs the high-regard held for Le Mare during his time in-house at both Queensland Rail and Virgin sees most peers predicting him to flourish.
  • The mid-tier firms who have entered or bolstered their market positions by way of lateral hires do not, as yet, appear to have made any significant impact on the market generally.
  • There is talk of US employment specialist firm Seyfarth Shaw continuing to expand its Australian operations, specifically by way of the establishment of a Brisbane office. The firm has already managed to secure work within the Queensland market and, if the quality of their lateral hires equal the standard they have set in southern markets then the firm’s arrival would make substantial waves.

On the employee side the departure of Maurice Blackburn’s Terri Butler (as the Member for Griffith in the House of Representatives) effectively left the impressive duo of Charles Massy and Luke Forsyth at Hall Payne as the only dedicated applicant lawyer team in Brisbane.  Maurice Blackburn has recently responded to this by relocating the highly regarded Giri Sivaraman to its Brisbane office (from Sydney).

Mention should also be made of a number of practitioners whose principal focus is Occupation Health and Safety.  A number of our Preeminent and Leading lawyers operate effectively within this space (as well as gneral employment and industrial relations matters) however the likes of Aaron Anderson (Norton Rose Fulbright), Cameron Dean (McCullough Robertson) and Alan Girle (Spare Helmore) were all highlighted as standouts in this area.



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