Mike Baldwin

Special Counsel
Employment Law and Workplace Safety

Commencement Date:
Bachelor of Laws, University of NSW (2004); Master of Industrial Relations, University of Western Australia (1993); Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University Canberra (1986)
Admission Details:
Supreme Court of Western Australia (2013), Supreme Court of Queensland (2005); Supreme Court of ACT (2005); High Court of Australia (2016)
Areas of Expertise:
Employment Law, Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety (OH&S)

Mike leads Kott Gunning’s Employment and Workplace Safety practice. He has over 20 years of experience as a Workplace Relations lawyer and Industrial Relations (IR) professional.

Mike has top tier legal and employer association experience (AiG, MBA) in addition to working as in-house counsel for several international resource companies.

He gives advice across all aspects of the employment relationship for clients of all sizes and is experienced across multiple industries including construction, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, education and retail.

Mike’s core areas of expertise include:

  • ER/IR project management in large, remote LNG, Mining and Construction projects
  • Designing and implementing sophisticated industrial relations strategies within unionised and non unionised industries
  • Termination of employment (unfair dismissal, general protections, breach of contract claims)
  • Advocacy in industrial tribunals, district and federal courts
  • Workplace investigations
  • Award interpretation
  • Leading Enterprise bargaining negotiations
  • Performance management and HR Business Partnering
  • Strategic IR and employment law
  • Management of industrial disputes
  • Workplace change and organisational restructure
  • Occupational health and safety
  • And more recently, the legal aspects of cyber security, including managing personal reputations under new mandatory data breach reporting laws.

Specific examples of Mike’s experience include:

  • Enterprise bargaining and dispute resolution management (Tribunal and Federal Court), OH&S, (including advocacy) on two of the largest and most complex global LNG projects (Gorgon and Inpex).
  • The provision of strategic legal, IR/ER advice to the building and construction industry including builders, project managers and sub-contractors across the civil, commercial, sub-contractor and residential construction sector.
  • Managing all IR/ER matters for a contract workforce of approximately 350 on the BHP Mt Newman Iron Ore expansion construction project (Newman Hub) – the largest Iron Ore mine in WA.
  • Strategic advice to Anglo Coal during the six month coal strike of 2006.
  • Introducing urine testing into Anglo Coal’s fitness for work regime across its Australasian coal assets.
  • Litigating numerous industrial disputes, general protection claims and breach of contract matters in the industrial and federal courts.
  • Member of the Freehills team advising Patrick’s during the 1998 MUA Waterfront dispute.


Mike has been recommended in Doyles Guide of Leading Employment Lawyers since 2015.

Memberships and Affiliations:
  • Law Society of Western Australia
  • IFAP
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