Briony Pole
Special Counsel, Perth
I provide strategic, practical solutions to complex human resources problems. I have wide ranging experience but with a particular speciality in industrial disputes and strategy. I am a trusted advisor to my clients and bring a range of employment legal experience to my matters.

I regularly advise clients on their day to day industrial relations, employment and safety matters including enterprise agreement strategy and negotiation, fitness for work issues, disciplinary matters and discrimination issues.

In particular, I have extensive experience in assisting clients across a range of industries with contentious industrial relations matters including enterprise bargaining, right of entry, agreement terminations and industrial action.

I build strong relationships with my clients and get to know their business, so I can ensure my advice is tailored to suit their particular needs.
My experience includes appearing before the Fair Work Commission and Federal Circuit Court in various contested hearings as well as conciliations and conferences.

Career highlights

  • I acted for a University in its successful application to terminate its enterprise agreement. The application, which was the first of its kind in the University sector, was strongly contested by the relevant union and resulted in a number of industrial issues that needed to be continuously managed throughout the litigation process and beyond.
  • I assisted a client to successfully reach agreement with its workforce and the relevant maritime union without any industrial action occurring, following over 12 months of protracted and difficult negotiations and a previous history of unlawful picketing.
  • I advised a client in the essential services sector on its contingency planning which then assisted it to withstand industrial action that occurred following a period of protracted bargaining. I assisted the same client to then successfully reach agreement without substantial concessions being made. I have continued to assist the same client since that time with changing its industrial strategy and improving its industrial relations and employee engagement.
  • I represented a client in the successful defence of an application by a union for stay orders in an industrial dispute in the Fair Work Commission.
  • I advised a large employer association on a multi-party right of entry dispute in the Federal Circuit Court, which was ultimately settled to the satisfaction of all parties.
  • I represented a client in the successful appeal against a majority support determination in the Fair Work Commission.
  • I advised a government owned corporation on a leading case regarding the referral of employees to employer-preferred medical specialists.
  • I advised a large ASX-listed mining company in respect of an investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety into a fatality at one of its sites.
  • I advised a global mining services company in respect of a complex workforce planning matter arising from the required reduction of employee entitlements.
  • I represented a client in the defence of a discrimination complaint by a prospective employee in the State Administrative Tribunal.