employment law

When employees matter

We’re your legal partners

Kott Gunning’s Employment Law and Workplace Safety Team deals with all matters affecting the workplace. Acting for clients of all sizes and across all industries, we take the time to understand the complexities and subtleties of each organisation. Our advice spans issues from enterprise bargaining agreements to unfair dismissal claims and disputes to occupational health and safety obligations, including workplace investigations and WorkSafe prosecutions. We act early and proactively in the case of disputes, and we’re thorough and quick to respond when unexpected issues arise.

We offer innovative alternative billing arrangements such as capped or fixed fees, dependent upon the nature of the legal services required and our client’s unique circumstances.


Our team has extensive experience in drafting employment contracts and policies, advising on enterprise bargaining agreements, and managing award disputes and investigations. We’ve represented clients in all the relevant courts and tribunals.

We regularly provides advice on effectively managing workplace disputes in Federal and State jurisdictions, particularly in unfair dismissal, general protections and contractual benefits claims. We also represent employers and individuals, during the investigations and prosecutions arising from workplace injuries and accidents, before the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal.

Special Counsel Mike Baldwin, an experienced Employment and Industrial Relations practitioner, leads the firm’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 in addition to working as in-house counsel for several international resource companies.

Mike gives advice across all aspects of the employment relationship for clients of all sizes and has highly sought after ER/IR project management and strategic industrial relations experience in the construction, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, education and retail industries. He has been recommended in Doyles Guide of Leading Employment Lawyers since 2015.

Partner Ashley Crisp has more than 30 years’ experience advising and representing large corporations and small businesses spanning OH&S and workplace risk issues, claims and litigation.

Partner Vidal Hockless has extensive litigation experience, providing services to clients in a wide range of industries in relation to OH&S and workplace risk, with particular emphasis on secondary liability exposure and protection.

Partner Stephen Williams has over 25 years’ experience in managing workplace injury claims, from a workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health perspective, including the investigation of serious and fatal accidents. He has a special interest in asbestos related matters.


Kott Gunning’s Employment Law and Workplace Safety Team provides advice to private companies of all sizes, local governments, statutory corporations, not-for-profit organisations, healthcare facilities, sporting organisations and individuals. In particular, we have extensive experience advising the construction, real estate, engineering, resources and building sectors.

Examples of our experience include:

  • Assisting employers with issues relating to repeated poor work performance or allegations of misconduct, discrimination and/or bullying.
  • Advising on existing employment contracts, agreements and policies and also drafting them where required, using internal templates to minimise costs whilst ensuring the documents comply with all relevant workplace laws and place the employer in the most advantageous position possible.
  • Providing advice to employers throughout the process of WorkSafe investigations, and representing directors and employers during compelled WorkSafe interviews.
  • Providing advice to a substantial statutory corporation with respect to the negotiation of its enterprise agreement.
  • Advising a substantial utilities provider with respect to a number of union and employee disputes.
  • Defending WorkSafe prosecutions in the Magistrates Court on behalf of employers across all industries.
  • Advising lessees of commercial property dealing with asbestos-related hazards and risks.
  • Representing large corporate bodies after significant workplace injuries and fatalities.
  • Advising on personal liability of directors and managers arising from the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984.
  • Acting for a statutory corporation with respect to jurisdictional issues arising from its status as a “trading corporation” (which determines whether it is bound by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA)).
  • Appearing in the Supreme Court opposing an injunction application for restraint of a former employee who set up a competing business.

What we do

  • Industrial relations audits
  • Employment contracts, agreements and policies
  • Enterprise bargaining and agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Termination of employment
  • Contractual entitlements and benefits
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Bullying and harassment advice
  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • General protection claims including discrimination