IEL Elite


Pre-eminent standalone practice



MinterEllisons Workplace Business Unit is spread between offices across Australia – including Adelaide, allowing the firm to better service clients in the mining industry. Trent Forno leads the team from Brisbane.

The groups impressive track record in headline-grabbing employment or industrial relations cases sees it regularly appointed by foreign firms – including major international players – to advise on the Australian aspects of cross-border mandates.

MinterEllison provides a brilliant service to our clients who need help in Australia.

Liz OKeeffe in Adelaide and Jennifer Veiga in Brisbane were promoted to partner in 2022, further strengthening the team.  


The unit covers the gamut of employment and industrial relations issues in Australia, from employee contracts through to outsourcing, M&A, disputes, industrial action, and restrictive covenants.

As part of this, the team regularly acts on major cases that have the potential to significantly impact how employers manage or remunerate local workforces moving forward.

For example, partner Harriet Eager in Sydney led the representation of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in proceedings filed by the Financial Sector Union (FSU) relating to pension contributions on annual leave loading payments – with ramifications for all employers who offer annual leave loading.

In another standout mandate, Victoria-based partner David Woodman led the advice to Deliveroo on several cases relating to the recognition of its riders, including appealing a decision by the Fair Work Commission that an ex-Deliveroo rider was an employee.

Assisting clients with labour relations is another forte of the team’s. For example, a group led by Brisbane-based partner Dan Williams advised Peabody Energy on a successful collective bargaining strategy to increase flexibility in staffing at one of the clients mines, where a significant majority of employees are members of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).

The firm also offers a dedicated Workplace Investigations Unit, led by Veiga, to help clients navigate related challenges. This includes investigations relating to whistleblowers, sexual harassment allegations, and workplace accidents.

Assisting clients defend health and safety prosecutions is an additional key focus for the team. For example, partner Kathy Reid – who leads the team in Perth – advised Horizon Power on the update to its safety policies and procedures to ensure compliance with new regulation in Western Australia.

MinterEllison also has a dedicated migration group in Brisbane, which is increasingly called on to assist with filling local talent gaps. In addition to the employment side of immigration issues, the group is also able to assist with the tax and corporate law aspects of visa applications, compliance, and workforce mobilisation.


  • Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Catholic Education Office
  • Lendlease
  • Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres
  • Australia Post
  • Woolworths
  • Insurance Australia Group
  • Aussie Skips Recycling
  • Thales
  • Gold Coast Hospital and Health

Other key names

Profile provided by MinterEllison

About MinterEllison

MinterEllison is a top-tier, full-service, international legal and business advisory firm, regarded as one of Asia-Pacific's leading law firms. We operate in every capital city in mainland Australia, as well as New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, China and the UK through a network of integrated and affiliated offices. With more than 200 partners and 900 legal staff, our teams collaborate across all geographies to provide trusted, seamlessly integrated solutions to our clients.

What sets us apart is that we’re driven by a strong sense of purpose: we create lasting impacts with our clients, our people and our communities. Our culture is built on the foundations of trust, integrity and fairness. But what really drives us is that we’re here for the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of our clients. We think beyond the law and offer multidisciplinary teams who each bring an industry or sector focus, providing clients with innovative and lasting solutions.

We have been independently recognised amongst the world’s best for our strong technical skills, as well as our ability to deliver commercially practical solutions that assist clients in achieving their business objectives.

MinterEllison's Employment Team

MinterEllison's Workplace team is recognised as one of the leading employment law practices in Australia. Our team has played important advisory and advocacy roles in some of Australia's most high-profile and law-defining matters.

Our clients benefit from our ability to provide holistic advice across the full spectrum of workplace issues. As well as day-to-day employment and industrial support, we have dedicated teams supporting our clients with:

  • Workplace investigations and mediations
  • Work, health & safety and crisis management
  • Global mobility and migration
  • Remediations and employee entitlements

This unique offering enables us to add true value to 'day to day' operations, as well as helping our clients to achieve their long-term strategic objectives.

We act at the forefront of trends and we align our advice and offering to match societal needs and changes given their large-scale impact on our clients' workforces. Notably we have launched a Respectful Workplaces team, supporting clients to review and improve workplace culture, as well as implementing important legal and regulatory changes, for example in relation to the Sex Discrimination (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021.

As Australia's largest workplace team, we understand the need to take action quickly and strategically. With over 120 dedicated employment experts, including 19 partners, our strength and breadth means we can mobilise immediately and ensure backup resources are always available as required. Our geographical coverage, with boots on the ground in every major capital city, allows us not only to be physically present, wherever and whenever needed, but also enables us to provide impartial and independent support from business as usual matters if desired.

Our clients also benefit from our deep industry knowledge and expertise, including in:

  • Financial Services: We have extensive experience in the banking, finance and insurance sector and far more involvement than any other legal provider with the Finance Sector Union. We are a key advisor to all of the four major banks and the major insurers.
  • Education: We have been trusted advisors to the full range of institutions and regulatory bodies across the national education sector for many years. We have more than 30 years of experience working with schools, higher education institutions, and government departments and agencies.
  • Construction: We advise a range of property and construction clients on employment and industrial matters, including the Building Code.
  • Energy and resources: As a sector, energy and resources is particularly sensitive to the peaks and troughs of the broader economy so people-related issues are dynamic and particularly strategic, and safety is paramount. We act for some of Australia's largest energy and mining employers across the full spectrum of workplace issues.
  • Government: As a key advisor to the public sector (at state and commonwealth level), our team brings a deep, extensive knowledge of the regulatory framework and context in which government operates.
  • Transport and logistics: We act for a variety of transport operators across a range of modes of transportation, with industry leading aviation safety, rail safety and heavy vehicle safety expertise.
  • Media: We are the pre-eminent employment law advisors in the media industry, a sector that faces ongoing technological disruption and consequential restructuring.
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