About Us

We work collaboratively with our clients to build strong, sustainable relationships. Our team is committed to delivering consistent high standards of service, and we understand the importance of accessibility. Working with us, you'll enjoy open communication, meaning well scoped, properly resourced and effectively managed matters.

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Latest News

Maddocks makes tech savvy move with special counsel appointment October 26, 2016

Wednesday 26 October 2016 Maddocks has appointed experienced information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) lawyer Brendan Tomlinson as a special counsel. Brendan brings to the firm vast experience, having worked at corporate law firms and … Continued

Latest Article

The storm unleashed by the cloud – navigating the risks of improper device use in the workplace October 19, 2016

The Fair Work Commission (Commission) has awarded $10,000 to a dismissed general insurance manager who downloaded and stored hard core pornography, including footage of himself performing sex acts, on his work issued electronic devices.1 Providing … Continued


“Considered to be the best in the business and are always very courteous with a focus on long-term relationships”

Chambers Asia 2016

The complete team

The Maddocks Employment, Safety & People Group is a large and successful employment law team in Australia. With six partners, one special counsel and a strong team of senior associates within our team of more than 30 lawyers, we have the depth and breadth of experience to service the full spectrum of employment law needs of businesses, corporations and all three tiers of government.

Our partners and senior lawyers have strong experience across all areas of employment law including: industrial relations, enterprise agreements, termination of employment, employment contracts, anti-discrimination and occupational health and safety. Our broad and deep experience is teamed with the Maddocks hallmark of unpretentious, personalised and accessible service.

The Maddocks Employment, Safety & People Partners are a team of dedicated, skilled, reliable practitioners, who are commended for their accessibility, longevity and commitment to Maddocks. “We are a team that is here to stay and continue to put our clients at the centre of everything we do” – Ross Jackson, Partner

We know our industry

We are at the forefront of workplace issues, in particular working with the Fair Work Act 2009. We regularly train, present and write for industry and government on topical issues, such as good faith bargaining. We anticipate issues and develop strategies for managing risk well before they become a concern for our clients. We add value to our clients by being pro-active in the advice we give.

We understand government, we also understand corporates

Our credentials in government are exceptional. For example, we are a leading supplier of legal services in employment law to the State of Victoria and its various departments and statutory authorities. We also advise the majority of Victoria’s local governments. In New South Wales, our work for the Department of Health reflects our growing profile in that state. Darren Gardner leads our Sydney-based team for public sector work . Our leadership in government is demonstrated through the high profile and sensitive work we carry out for government clients, including our Federal government clients. Ross Jackson is our team leader for the public sector.

But we are much more than just government focussed. The unique strength of our team is built on a mix of public sector knowledge coupled with a strong understanding of the commercial imperatives that drive the private sector. Our experience working with the private sector is the fastest-growing component of our Employment, Safety & People practice.

We ensure that our work is always directed towards helping our clients achieve their business objectives. We know that a workplace that uses best practice in managing its people is a productive, competitive workplace and an employer of choice. We have helped many small to medium enterprises and emerging businesses to achieve just that. Through the provision of a virtual helpdesk, we have helped clients, including “household name” major corporates and all levels of government, manage not only legal compliance and risk management issues, but have assisted them to develop strategies and blueprints for achieving best practice.

Our approach

We recognise that prevention and resolution of issues demands more than just a legal perspective. It means:

  • Gaining a thorough knowledge of the way your organisation works
  • Taking the time to visit your organisation and getting to know your people
  • Developing clear solutions that suit your culture and organisation’s aims
  • Keeping you informed of all potential personal and corporate liabilities
  • Guiding you through all available courses of action – promptly, practically and professionally – to the preferred solution

Our way of doing business

  • We never over service
  • Our advice is practical and adds real value
  • We always look for a cost effective solution consistent with your strategic objectives
  • We work alongside you to implement your business plan
  • We are accessible, unpretentious and ethical

Examples of our work

  • Representing employers in unfair dismissal and general protections claims.
  • Representing respondents in defending all forms of discrimination complaints in both Federal and State jurisdictions.
  • Developing industrial relations strategies and action plans for dealing with unions and groups of employees to achieve an employer’s strategic objectives.
  • Undertaking negotiations on behalf of employers in conferences and representing employers in the Fair Work Commission under dispute resolution clauses in enterprise agreements.
  • Drafting, negotiating and advising clients on making enterprise agreements including advising on compliance issues (better off overall test, mandatory and unlawful terms) and good faith bargaining strategies.
  • Advising on rights and obligations under modern awards, enterprise agreements and common law employment agreements (including transitional instrument issues, and implied terms of contracts).
  • Drafting letters of employment and complex senior management employment contracts.
  • Advising on and representing employers in dispute resolution (including in common law litigation in the Supreme and Federal Courts) arising out of breach of contract claims.
  • Advising employers on effective performance and conduct management procedures and actions, taking into account the organisational values of the employer, with the objective of minimising claims arising out of any resultant termination of employment.
  • Developing policies providing for equal opportunity compliance during recruitment and in employment, and prohibiting discrimination, harassment and bullying.
  • Advising employers on regulator investigations and enquiries.
  • Guiding employers through their legal obligations when a notifiable incident occurs, including risk management initiatives to avert prosecution under OHS laws.
  • Advising employers on the extent of their responsibilities to rehabilitate injured workers.
  • Assisting employers to navigate a path through overlapping workers compensation, safety, anti-discrimination and unfair dismissal laws.
  • We have significant experience representing clients at various courts, tribunals and commissions including the Fair Work Commission, Federal Court and various anti-discrimination tribunals, where if appropriate, we appear as advocates for our clients, thus saving them the costs associated with briefing Counsel.

Commitment to HR Managers and Leaders

Maddocks is the Alliance Partner in “Employment, Safety and People Law” for TalkPoint. Since 2003, TalkPoint (through the provision of peer groups and Master Class training) continues to reinforce the capability of HR Leaders. For more information about TalkPoint, please see www.talkpoint.com.au.


Our team has most recently been recognised in the following legal listings:

  • Doyle’s Guide 2015
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2015/2016 – Ranked for Employment
  • Chambers Asia 2014
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2014/2015 – Ranked for Employment
  • Best Lawyers 2014
  • Doyle’s Guide 2014
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2013/2014 – Ranked for Employment – “Maddocks is a sound and trusted adviser’ that provides ‘creative and effective solutions’.