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Luke is a Partner in the Mills Oakley Not-for-Profit team in Brisbane and has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. Luke was a Partner at Mills Oakley in Sydney until late 2009, when he left the firm to found Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian. At Salvos Legal Luke headed up the Corporate & Commercial team, together with being the firm’s Managing Partner. Luke returned to Mills Oakley as a Partner in November 2017.
Luke has developed a particular expertise assisting institutions in responding to claims of child sexual abuse under a restorative justice framework and in accordance with best practice principles identified by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In this regard, Luke appeared as a legal advisor in a number of public hearings before the Royal Commission, he participated in many of the Royal Commission’s roundtables (both public and private) for the development of policy positions and has appeared before the Australian Senate Committee and worked with the Commonwealth Redress Taskforce in its design of the National Redress Bill (which is anticipated to provide assistance in justice outcomes for approximately 60,000 Australians). Luke is regularly briefed by major institutions in the most sensitive and significant claims and assists in their delicate resolution in a trauma-informed way. Additionally, Luke acts for survivors of abuse in claims against government institutions, assisting them to obtain either common law or redress justice outcomes compassionately and giving them assistance in finding healing in their lives.
For over 10 years Luke has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers representing victims of human trafficking and labour exploitation. Luke has advised in and run a variety of cases across a range of jurisdictions and novel areas of law, to help victims obtain justice through civil proceedings against their offenders. In 2015, Luke acted for the successful plaintiff in Jane Doe v Linda Howard, Australia’s largest ever verdict in a case of human trafficking, obtaining an award of damages in excess of US$3.5m. Luke is at the forefront of the development of the (imminent) Australian Modern Slavery Act and assists Australian organisations in their preparations for compliance with this new and important law.
Luke holds a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University. Luke was named one of Australia’s Best Lawyers for Non-Profit/Charities Law in the 2018/2019 Best Lawyers list for the third consecutive year and was recognised as one of the 10 Most Innovative Lawyers in the Financial Times Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2016 awards. He was included in Pro Bono Australia’s ‘Impact 25’ most influential people in the Australian social sector in 2015. In 2013, Luke was awarded Managing Partner of the Year in the Australian Law Awards, he was Australia’s Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2012 and in 2010 he received an Anzac of the Year award for service to the legal profession and the community.