Trent Forno
Partner, Brisbane
I am an employment law specialist who is passionate about working with clients to devise best-practice strategies for managing risk.

The majority of my experience is in employee relations and safety, where I have acted for both public and private sector clients. I have also worked with insurers to manage workers compensation, general liability and professional indemnity claims. As the leader of our Management of Injured Workers' practice in Queensland, I am focussed on providing an integrated solution to a claim which incorporates any considerations surrounding the workers' ongoing employment.I have experience in all areas of employment law, including drafting employment contracts, advising on terms and conditions, performance management and disciplinary processes. I also handles all forms of employment litigation including unfair dismissals, discrimination, breach of contract and adverse action claims. 

In addition, I have experience in advising employers at the front end on risk management and compliance matters and also has extensive experience in assisting employers in responding to workplace accidents, including attending interviews with the Inspectorate and defending prosecutions.

I am also heavily involved in pro bono and not-for-profit work through the firm’s Community Investment Program.

Career highlights

  • Peabody Energy – Appearing as advocate for Peabody Energy in successfully defending an unfair dismissal claim involving a serious safety breach by one of its former coal mine workers at its Metropolitan Colliery.
  • Mount Isa Mines Limited (a Glencore company) – Acted in opposing a judicial review application of a decision of the Industrial Court to dismiss a safety prosecution against MIM and other defendants. The matter proceeded to the Court of Appeal on a case stated basis and subsequently to the High Court of Australia. A non-confidential settlement was reached on the basis that the prosecution against MIM be permanently stayed and therefore the High Court appeal did not proceed.
  • BHP – Advising in relation to various workers’ compensation claims, both statutory and common law.
  • BHP – Defended an application by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union challenging BHP’s drug and alcohol testing regime at one of its Queensland coal mines
  • Wesfarmers, Glencore, Arnott's and Queensland Rail – Acting for numerous self-insured employers in defending both statutory and common workers' compensation claims.
  • Tarong Energy – Managing a serious electrical incident, including the subsequent prosecution which resulted in a successful plea in mitigation.
  • Brisbane City Council – acted in recovering a significant sum of misappropriated money and stolen property following an employee fraud
  • Queensland Health – acted in the first prosecution under the Radiation Safety Act 1999 (Qld)
  • A subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. – defended an unlawful dismissal claim in the Federal Court of Australia arising out of the production of a major motion picture
  • Defended a major health and safety prosecution in the mining industry, involving an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia
  • Advised self-insured employers under the workers compensation scheme, including Arnott’s Biscuits Limited, BHP Billiton Limited, Glencore, Queensland Rail, Toll Group and Wesfarmers Limited
  • Acted for a wide range of pro bono clients, including Australia’s CEO Challenge, LawRight and Brisbane Youth Service Inc.