Jenny Firkin Qc

Jenny Firkin QC

Bar roll 2002 Silk 2018
  • Commercial Law Employment & Industrial
  • Public Law Tort Law
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Jenny Firkin QC practises in all areas of Industrial, Employment and Discrimination Law

Jenny also has significant experience in class actions and royal commissions and inquiries.  Most recently in the Workpac Class Actions, the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry and the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Jenny is an experienced appellate advocate, regularly conducting appeals under the Fair Work Act in the High Court of Australia and the Full Federal Court.  She is instructed by State and Commonwealth governments, regulators, the private sector, associations, and individuals in all Australian States and Territories.  Jenny is currently ranked as a leading senior counsel in Doyle’s Guide to Employment Law Barristers for Australia and Victoria.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Labour Relations Law from the University of Melbourne.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science from Monash University.  Jenny is the Chair of the Victorian Bar’s Equality and Diversity Committee and a Member of the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation

Contact

Correspondence
Chambers & Clerk

Aickin Chambers
Room 08 Level 16

200 Queen Street 
Melbourne VIC 3000 

View map

Jane King

03 9225 8558

Expertise

Commercial Law
  • Appellate
  • Class Actions
  • Contractual Disputes
Employment & Industrial
  • Employment Contracts
  • Industrial Disputes
  • Public Sector Appeals
Public Law
  • Civil & Human Rights
  • Discrimination
  • Judicial Review
Tort Law
  • Commissions & Inquiries
  • Inquests

Qualifications

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws (Hons)(Melb)

Bachelor of Science (Monash)

Grad Diploma Labour Relations Law (Melb) 


Admitted

Victoria

Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia 

Recent Cases

Class Actions

Petersen v WorkPac Pty Ltd [2019 – ongoing], Federal Court class action regarding the classification of casual employees

Renyard v WorkPac Pty Ltd [2019 – ongoing], Federal Court class action regarding the classification of casual employees

Kelehear v Stellar Personnel Brisbane Pty Limited & Ors [2019 – ongoing], Federal Court class action regarding the classification of casual employees

Kamasaee v Commonwealth of Australia [2016- 2017], Supreme Court class action regarding regional processing on Manus Island

Rowe v SPI Electricity Pty Ltd [2013 – 2015], Supreme Court class action arising out of the Murrindindi bushfire on Black Saturday

Matthews v SPI Electricity Pty Ltd [2010 – 2014], Supreme Court class action arising out of the Kilmore bushfire on Black Saturday

Royal Commissions and Inquiries

COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry [2020]

Royal Commission into Violence Abuse Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability [2019]

Employment, Industrial & other commercial matters

Fair Work Ombudsman v Hu & Ors [2020] HCATrans 11, Special Leave application to the High Court concerning accessorial liability and pieceworker rates

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (The Monash Freeway Widening Case) [2020] FCA 1727, contraventions of ss.499 & 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (rights of entry)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (MV Portland Case) (No 2) [2020] FCA 1138, construction of an enterprise agreement

The Hon. Christian Porter MP, Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations v Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2019] FWCFB 6255, Appeal concerning the statutory construction of the term ‘discrimination’ in s.195 of the Fair Work Act 2009

Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2019] FWC 1922, application for referral to the Federal Court

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations; Minister for Women – Application for review of a decision [2019] FWC 1228, application for a stay

Application by the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2019] FWC 106, opposing approval of enterprise agreement containing discriminatory terms

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union v Paper Australia Pty Ltd T/A Australian Paper [2018] FWCFB 2011, Appeal from order under s.425 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (suspended protected industrial action)

Ezy Accounting 123 Pty Ltd v Fair Work Ombudsman [2018] FCAFC 134, Full Federal Court Appeal concerning accessorial liability

Godfreys Employee Collective Agreement [2018] FWCA 6804, termination of enterprise agreement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (The Parliament Square Case) (No 2) [2018] FCA 1201, penalties for contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (The Parliament Square Case) [2018] FCA 1080, contraventions of s.500 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (rights of entry)

Application by the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2018] FWC 3220, Fair Work Commission application to intervene

Fair Work Ombudsman v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (MV Portland Separate Question Case) [2018] FCA 956

Regional Express Holdings Limited v Australian Federation of Air Pilots [2017] HCA 55; [2017] HCATrans 178, High Court Appeal concerning the statutory construction of s.540(6) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (union standing to pursue civil penalties)

Regional Express Holdings Limited v Australian Federation of Air Pilots [2017] HCATrans 105, Special Leave application to the High Court

Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union v Boeing Australia Component Repairs Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 2392, dispute arising under enterprise agreement regarding the proper construction of the re-classification clause

Nel v Western Health [2016] FWC 3666, opposing extension of time for general protection proceedings

Regional Express Holdings Ltd v Australian Federation of Air Pilots (2016) 244 FCR 344; [2016] FCAFC 147, Full Federal Court Appeal concerning the statutory construction of s.540(6) of the Fair Work Act 2009

Regional Express Holdings Ltd v Australian Federation of Air Pilots [2016] FCA 367, Federal Court Application for Leave to Appeal

Hegarty v Commonwealth of Australia [2016] FWC 117, dispute arising under enterprise agreement with respect to the Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Quest South Perth Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors (2015) 256 CLR 137; [2015] HCA 45, High Court Appeal regarding the statutory construction of s.357 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (sham contracting)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Quest South Perth Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors [2015] HCATrans 193, High Court Special Leave Application

Pepe v Platypus Asset Management Pty Ltd (2013) 46 VR 694; [2013] VSCA 38, Supreme Court Appeal regarding an executive contract dispute

Pepe v Platypus Asset Management Pty Ltd (2011, unreported), Supreme Court application for a Mareva Injunction

Pepe v Platypus Asset Management Pty Ltd (No 2) [2011] VSC 2, Supreme Court executive contract dispute (costs)

Pepe v Platypus Asset Management Pty Ltd [2010] VSC 603; (No 2) [2011] VSC 21, Supreme Court executive contract dispute

Quinn v Overland [2010] FCA 799, Federal Court application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain suspension of employment

Forbes v The Secretary to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2010, unreported), Appeal to the Disciplinary Appeals Board under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006

The Australian Workers’ Union v Western Port Pipe and Mechanical Services Pty Ltd [2010] FWA 2864, statutory construction of the Commission’s power to compel production of documents

Nash v HyGain (2005, unreported), Supreme Court application for an interlocutory injunction to enforce restraint of trade

Shark Fin Burwood Pty Ltd v Ducgo Pty Ltd [2003] VSCA 20, Supreme Court Appeal regarding damages for breach of contract

De Angelis v De Angelis (2003) 7 VR 331; [2003] VSC 83, Supreme Court application to strike out family testator maintenance claim

Abiye v General Motors Acceptance Corporation Australia [2003] VCAT 1170, Consumer Code application

Raschilla v General Motors Acceptance Corporation Australia [2002] VCAT 1653, Consumer Code application

Discrimination

Bashour v Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited [2017] FCA 163, discrimination claim (costs)

Suleyman v The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly & Anor (2013, unreported), application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court Court of Appeal from a discrimination claim

Jennings v Department of Education & Early Childhood Development (2012, unreported), Application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court from a discrimination claim

Jennings v Department of Education & Early Childhood Development [2012] VCAT 131, pregnancy discrimination claim by a teacher

Harley v Commonwealth of Australia [2011] FMCA 197, application for appointment of a Court expert in discrimination proceedings

Suleyman v The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly & Anor [2011] VCAT 2305, claim of discrimination on the basis of political activity by an electorate officer

Harley v Commonwealth of Australia [2010] FMCA 1029, application for trial of a separate question in discrimination proceedings

Mik v Hilakari & Ors [2009] VCAT 902, strike out application of a discrimination claim concerning a student association

Tarpey v State of Victoria [2009] VCAT 410, strike out application of a discrimination claim by a parent

Dickie v State of Victoria & Ors [2009] VCAT 713, racial discrimination claim by a teacher

Pitt v OneSteel Reinforcing Pty Limited [2008] FCA 923, Federal Court application for leave to appeal the decision to dismiss discrimination proceedings

Mangan v Melbourne Cricket Club [2006] VCAT 792, sex discrimination claim (costs)

Mangan v Melbourne Cricket Club [2006] VCAT 73, sex discrimination claim concerning “Ladies’ tickets”

Golten v Pink Healthcare Services [2005] VCAT 825, sexual harassment claim

Taylor v Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League and Football Victoria Ltd [2004] VCAT 158, sex discrimination claim by female footballers

Stockdale v Colliers Jardine (Vic) Pty Ltd & Anor [2003] VCAT 590, strike out application of an age discrimination claim

Smith v Football Victoria Ltd [2003] VCAT 936, application for interim order to restrain the prevention of girls from participating in the Junior Football league

Boxall v Chisholm Institute of TAFE [2003] VCAT 125, application for interim order to restrain termination of employment

Memberships

Victorian Bar Equality and Diversity Committee - Chair

Law Council of Australia Equal Opportunity Committee - Member