Chris has had a long and distinguished career providing legal advice to Commonwealth agencies, Ministers and agency heads. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in government law, administrative law, regulatory law, statutory interpretation and litigation and dispute resolution. He is known for his practical approach to problem solving which is informed by a close understanding of the policy and political environment and seeks often innovative solutions which minimise risks to clients.
During his career he has held a number of senior legal roles within Commonwealth departments and agencies, most recently, as the General Counsel/First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health
Advising on litigation in the AAT, Federal Court and High Court for more than 30 years. Most recently, Chris spent 7 months on secondment at the NDIS, managing and advising on AAT cases.
Legislation interpretation and regulation
Chris has extensive experience advising regulators, on legislative interpretation and regulatory actions, most recently APVMA and the Clean Energy Regulatory, but before that, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Aged Care, ARPANSA, and APRA, amongst others.
Statutory interpretation and advising government has long been a major part of Chris’s practice, ranging from recent advice on the National Health Act and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, to advising on the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act and (amongst other things) ‘secrecy’ provisions in wide range of Commonwealth legislation.
Investigations and investigative reports have been a recurrent area of work for Chris, ranging from his time working with investigators with the now ACCC, to investigations of sensitive matters with the chief auditor at Department of Health, to investigations of allegations for Airservices Australia more recently.
Advising on administrative decision making, including drafting show cause letters, statements of reasons and the like, and advising on the best strategy to making good and defensible decisions in a robust process which is likely to withstand review.