Special Counsel

Kate Appleyard

Having worked in workplace law for over 10 years, Kate has a demonstrated track record working with a range of clients including local government, mining, oil and gas, maritime, real estate and not for profit clients on a range of high level and complex advices. Kate maintains a focus on clients’ commercial needs, delivering sharp and ‘to-the-point’ advice in a timely and cost effective fashion.

She has expertise advising on industrial disputes and litigation, workplace investigations into bullying and harassment claims, equal opportunity law, workplace training and workplace dismissals. Kate has particular experience in advising on and litigating general protections (adverse action) and unfair dismissal claims, as well as post-employment restraints in Western Australia.



  • Advice on statutory obligations and modern award coverage (including entitlements)
  • Preparation of employment contracts and policies and procedures
  • Defending unfair dismissal and general protections (adverse action) claims
  • Executive terminations and post-employment restraints (including Corporation Act 2001 (Cth) and ASX-Listing Rules obligations)

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

  • Undertaking legally privileged workplace investigations into allegations of bullying, discrimination and harassment
  • Providing advice and representation in relation to claims of sexual harassment and all discrimination related issues in the workplace
  • Drafting and reviewing policies and procedures relating discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Preparing and conducting workplace training into workplace discrimination and harassment

Industrial Relations

  • Strategic industrial relations and workforce restructuring advice
  • Enterprise agreement making
  • Managing unions and industrial action

Recent projects

  • Providing advice to a local government body on the grounds and process to summarily dismiss the CEO for serious misconduct in a landmark matter (including council procedures).
  • Undertaking a number of confidential workplace investigations for local government bodies and companies (including allegations of corruption).
  • Defending Federal Circuit Court proceedings alleging underpayment of employees in the real estate industry working on a commission-only basis.
  • Representing and defending a range of general protection (adverse action) proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court for resources companies.
  • Defending restraint proceedings including counter-claims raised in the proceedings.
  • Drafting and advising on whistleblower obligations arising from recent amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Professional Memberships / Accreditation & Activities

  • Accredited Mediator, NMAS




Rachael Sutton