Who we are
Our Government practice operates nationally, with an enhanced capability in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. We act for over 30 Commonwealth departments, agencies and entities and rank as a Top 10 provider of legal services to the Commonwealth.
Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the Commonwealth operating environment, including the requirements of the Legal Services Directions, APS Values and Code of Conduct and relevant statutory and policy frameworks. We are known for our expertise in assisting Government clients to develop processes in relation to procurement, funding agreements and public/ private sector partnerships, as well as our expertise in high volume advice and litigation.
We also act for a range of state government and local government departments and entities.
What we do
We provide pragmatic, legally sound and value for money solutions to our government clients across five key legal areas:
- Government Workplace, Industrial Relations and Compensation: delivering high level, strategic and complex workplace relations, employment and safety related advice
- Government Public and Administrative Law: advice and litigation services to government clients nationally on all aspects of public law
- Government Corporate and Commercial: providing advice in relation to contracting, funding, IP, communications technology, tax and a wide range of other areas
- Government Property and Environment: including leasing, acquisition and divestment
- Government Litigation: including high volume advice and litigation, royal commissions and public enquiries.
Government Workplace, Industrial Relations & Compensation
Our Government Workplace, Industrial Relations and Compensation team has extensive experience in delivering high level, strategic and complex workplace relations, employment and safety related advice to a range of Commonwealth departments and agencies including the AFP, the Australian Taxation Office, Airservices Australia, Comcare, Comcover and the Department of Defence.
We provide advice and support to Commonwealth employers regarding issues associated with dealing with underperformance and misconduct and, if efforts to manage these behaviors are unsuccessful, advice regarding managing the risks associated with termination of employment on these bases, including where the employee has an ongoing medical condition.
Our experience also includes dealing with all aspects of unfair dismissal, adverse action, bullying and harassment and discrimination claims, including advising on how such claims can be resolved so as to avoid protracted litigation and, where this cannot be achieved, litigating in respect of these claims in the Fair Work Commission and the Federal courts.
Government Public & Administrative Law
Our Government Public and Administrative law team specialises in providing advice and litigation services to government clients nationally on all aspects of public law. We routinely provide legal advice on a range of public and administrative law issues including statutory interpretation, administration and governance, privacy and information access and disclosure. We also conduct judicial and merits review litigation services, including on a volume scale, for various Commonwealth departments and agencies nationally.
Government Corporate & Commercial
Our Government Corporate and Commercial team provides advice in relation to contracting, funding and other agreements, grant administration, program implementation and delivery, procurement, intellectual property, communications technology, taxation, privatisations and corporatisations, public sector and corporate governance and probity. We are known for our ability to leverage our extensive commercial and government experience to develop strategic, pragmatic solutions for our clients.
Recent matters include:
- Advising in the transformation of the Australian Government’s engagement, procurement and contract processes for whole of government contracting (ICT), involving highly innovative and expert new ways of thinking to develop scalable, fit for purpose procurement methodologies and contract design
- Providing probity advice for a $220m, multi-round program by the Australian Government, including supporting the design and implementation of a highly complex, novel and sensitive evaluation guidelines and process.
Government Property & Environment
Our Government Property and Environment team acts for a wide range of government clients with national property and environment (including planning) needs. As a result, our team has a highly developed understanding of the legislative and policy framework in which government property transactions take place, and the processes involved. We have particular experience assisting government clients with their leasing needs, both for office and special purpose premises.
This experience includes tailoring documents such as the Commonwealth National Lease for a particular leasing transaction, as well as amending landlord-generated documents to reflect an acceptable allocation of risk from a government tenant perspective. We also have extensive experience assisting government clients with the divestment of surplus government properties, as well as the acquisition and development of new properties for particular government purposes.
Our Government Litigation experts have extensive experience in conducting litigation associated with complex and large scale disputes. Our team of experienced practitioners allows us to address a range of issues across various disciplines and conduct effective document management in class actions, royal commissions and public inquiries.