Industrial Relations

MinterEllison has one of the best true industrial relations practices in Australia – combining full national coverage with a depth of industrial relations experience in each of our offices, an impressive blue chip client base and a lengthy track record, which includes representing our clients in some of the most significant industrial disputes and negotiations in Australia in the past 30 years.

We are more than a mere employment law practice which claims industrial relations expertise. We have proven expertise in advising clients in highly unionised industries — such as banking, building and construction, education, energy and resources, food, government, manufacturing, media, stevedoring and transport.

Our well established client base speaks for itself – and includes Abigroup, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, Australia Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, AGL, Boeing, Campbell Arnott's, several Commonwealth Government agencies, DP World, Fairfax, Linfox, News Limited, Peabody Energy, PepsiCo, Queensland Government agencies, Seven Media, SingTel Optus, Thales, several Victorian Government agencies, Westpac and Xstrata. Many of our clients are very large businesses for which high quality, principled industrial relations is mission-critical.

We regularly represent clients before The Fair Work Commission and other tribunals and in the courts – including in industrial disputes and arbitrations; enterprise bargaining; industrial action (in the courts and tribunals) and prosecutions for breach of industrial laws and instruments.

We also have a full advisory practice – providing strategic industrial relations advice and advice on compliance with industrial laws to domestic and international clients. Our experience has helped us develop a capacity to think strategically and tactically in complex industrial relations situations.

One important distinguishing features of our practice is our pragmatic approach: we are mindful of practical realities and longer term relationships with employees and unions, and work with our clients to achieve their objectives. Although we do not shy away from a fight, we do not litigate for the sake of it. Nor do we advise our clients to adopt risky ‘one size fits all’ industrial strategies, instead we seek to work behind the scenes to advance our clients’ interests.

IAG’s CGU and Suncorp’s Vero agreement with NTI to create - Marine Protect: Powered by NTI

Advised CGU Insurance Limited on its agreement with AAI Limited to refer each party's existing marine insurance business to NTI to create Australia’s leading marine insurance specialist – Marine Protect: Powered by NTI. NTI is a joint venture owned and underwritten 50/50 by CGU and AAI.

Port Botany and Port Kembla Transaction

Advised the New South Wales Government (NSW Treasury) on the refinancing of Port Botany and Port Kembla in NSW. The project was unique, involving the contemporaneous refinancing and long term lease of two major Australian ports. Our role included extensive legal analysis of the existing assets and businesses and the regulatory landscape; recommending a transaction structure; drafting special transaction legislation; asset restructuring; preparing extensive interrelated transaction documents; tender process and negotiations; and implementation under legal project management. The project was complex and very significant for NSW, with the transaction widely considered to establish a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution.

$800m Discovery Point mixed use development

Acting for a wholly owned subsidiary of Frasers Property Australia (formerly Australand Holdings Ltd) on the A$800 million Discovery Point development at Wolli Creek in New South Wales. This 8-hectare mixed use development will feature residential apartments, commercial offices, an integrated retail centre and extensive public and private parklands. We are advising on procurement and OH&S strategies, drafting pro-forma and project specific documentation (such as consultancy agreements and design and construct contracts), assisting in the preparation of the tender conditions, advising on the tendering process and compiling documentation for tender.