Samantha Maddern

Samantha has 30 years of experience across a variety of roles in human resources, employee relations and employment law. This experience allows her to provide practical, solutions-focussed advice. She is renowned for helping her clients successfully navigate the complexities and challenges that frequently arise in the modern Australian workplace and to effectively manage workplace risk – both the expected and the unexpected.

Samantha has particular expertise in the oil & gas, mining, tertiary education and construction sectors.

Her clients value her commercial no-nonsense approach, deep legal understanding and insight, and the ease of doing business with her.


Samantha’s expertise includes:


  • Managing the employment relationship from recruitment to termination and everything in between, including disciplining staff for poor performance, misconduct, absence and dealing with mental health issues
  • Workplace restructuring / redundancies
  • Employee entitlements (statutory, contractual and under modern awards and enterprise agreements)
  • JobKeeper-related queries, workplace investigations and whistleblowing complaints
  • Employment issues arising from insolvency, mergers and acquisitions


  • Unfair dismissal, general protections/adverse action claims
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying claims
  • Enterprise bargaining disputes including majority support determinations, good faith bargaining obligations and responding to industrial action
  • Underpayment claims and prosecutions

Recent Projects

  • Acting for a global oil and gas major on a claim in the Federal Court involving multiple allegations of adverse action, sex discrimination and misleading pre-employment representations.
  • Advising a global water, waste and energy company on the employment and industrial relations issues arising from being awarded a major new contract requiring it to take on several hundred new employees.
  • Advising a Western Australian University on its rights and obligations in relation to proposals to respond to the financial impact of COVID-19.
  • Advising a WA-based mining company on how to manage complaints of bullying against the CFO.
  • Investigating allegations of underpayment of cleaning staff employed by a subcontractor and providing advice to a global cleaning services company on the risks arising and best response strategy.
  • Representing a compressed air and power generation provider in the Federal Circuit Court to defend a general protections claim in which the Applicant sought in excess of $500,000.
  • Advising an education provider on its rights and obligations arising from proposed restructures that would lead to several forced redundancies.
  • Successfully defending an unfair dismissal application by a Senior Executive of a Commonwealth-funded unincorporated joint venture by establishing the Executive had resigned and was not constructively dismissed.

Professional Memberships / Accreditation & Activities

  • Recognised Lawyer, Employee Benefits Law and Labour & Employment Law, The Best Lawyers Australia
  • Recommended Lawyer, Employment Law, Doyles Guide
  • Recommended Lawyer, Labour and Employment, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Member, Women in Oil & Gas
  • Member, Industrial Relations Society of WA
  • Certificate IV Workplace Training


  • Listen to Samantha on ABC RN ‘Life Matters’ discussing recent calls for changes to the Fair Work Act allowing employees to have a ‘Right to Disconnect’ here

Special Counsel

Elizabeth Moran

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