Todd Woodland
Special Counsel, Sydney
With close to two decades' of top tier experience, I provide clients with strategic advice on a wide range of workplace issues and work with them to develop practical solutions to complex legal problems. I have particular interest and expertise in managing major work health and safety (WHS) incidents and issues. I regularly advise and represent medium and large employers from a wide range of industries including building and construction, mining and energy and resources, infrastructure, banking and finance, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

Whether it's working with national or global organisations on employee relations, industrial relations, WHS issues (including managing major safety incidents and defending prosecutions) and executive remuneration, or advising them on the workplace aspects of important corporate transactions, I focus on ensuring that legal issues are identified before they become problematic and that strategies are in place to manage the issues going forward.

Career highlights

  • A multi-national financial services corporation: Primary advisor on all aspects of employment law to Australian operations, including strategic advice about annualised salary regime in ‘modern awards’, contracts, unfair dismissal and adverse action claims. Appearing in successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim.
  • A national data network: Advising on employee relations and WHS issues. Primary advisor on Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) policies and procedures. Successfully defending an unfair dismissal claim, including preparing cross examination of witnesses and written submissions..
  • A coal producer: Managing a major safety incident and defending associated prosecution. Negotiating one of the first enforceable undertakings entered into with the NSW Resources Regulator and thereby avoiding a criminal conviction. Preparing a template rural licence agreement to ensure that the client has appropriate contractual protection in relation to WHS management when leasing out land to farmers for grazing. Supporting the Human Resources team in its 2-year project to overhaul its employment and safety policies and procedures.
  • A multi-national Australian investment bank: Preparing a successful submission to SafeWork NSW to avoid prosecution following a major safety incident. Advising and training to Board and senior management in relation to managing WHS and HVNL issues and risks associated with agricultural assets.
  • A national telecommunications provider: Advising on employee relations issues in relation to outsourcing arrangements. Advising about managing WHS issues in relation to Hybrid Fibre Coaxial network and negotiations with Ausgrid.
  • Various clients, including those operating in the building and construction, pharmaceuticals, IT and retail/fashion industries: Primary advisor on a wide range of employment and industrial issues and managing associated risks. Defending employment litigation in Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, Fair Work Commission and Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • One of the largest global suppliers of industrial and environmental machinery: Conducting legal compliance review of draft enterprise agreement. Advising about enterprise agreement interpretation issues, employee disputes, contracts and managing risks in proposed termination of employment.
  • A waste management company: Managing the company's response to a workplace fatality and the associated investigation by SafeWork NSW. In preparing responses to statutory notices and submissions to SafeWork, we were successful in avoiding any prosecution of the directors. Currently defending the prosecution against the company and two other officers in the District Court.
  • A mining company: Advising on a number of separate Resources Regulator investigations into alleged WHS breaches by the company and its officers. This has included assisting witnesses in interviews and preparing responses to statutory notices on behalf of the company and its officers. We have been successful in avoiding any WHS prosecution or fines for the company and officers.
  • A large national broadcasting company: Preparing comprehensive WHS contractor management plans for the TV network and general operations, tailored to reflect the particular associated risks and hazards and systems in place to manage them.