Claire is a highly experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer, with particular expertise in day-to-day employee relations and associated litigation, enterprise bargaining, industrial disputes, workplace conduct matters and complex investigations. Having spent the first 14 years of her career in operational human resources and industrial relations roles, Claire is uniquely placed to understand the daily challenges faced by human resources practitioners. She enjoys building strong relationships with her clients, and through those connections she attains a deep understanding of their particular challenges. She then draws on her extensive experience to deliver pragmatic advice and useable procedural guidance which human resources practitioners can immediately disseminate to their internal clients, adding significant value to their organisations.
‘Claire Brown is a standout. She is a great communicator. On top of being a wonderful lawyer, she has worked in people and culture and is uniquely placed to understand the pressures and demands that come with that.’
– Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023
Claire’s client base ranges from large multi-national organisations to smaller employers across an array of industries, with particular expertise in the higher education and health care sectors. She regularly delivers training on topics such as Respect@Work obligations and measures to ensure a safe and respectful workplace, including how to conduct internal investigations and bystander training.
Examples of Claire’s work include:
- conducting and advising on complex confidential investigations involving allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour or sexual harassment by senior employees for universities and other higher education institutions
- advising a client in the beverage manufacturing sector in a range of industrial matters including enterprise bargaining, unlawful industrial action and enterprise agreement disputes
- advising a disability service provider regarding a restructure of its operations, including advising on regulatory compliance
- advising a client in the health sector on enterprise bargaining including representation in bargaining disputes before the Fair Work Commission, and
- developing a strategy for a client in the construction sector to address its Respect@Work obligations, including reviewing policy, briefing organisational leadership and delivering bystander training
Based in Melbourne, Claire travels across Australia to assist clients on the ground and regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission, State and Federal anti-discrimination tribunals and State and Federal Courts.
Claire is a member of Victorian Women Lawyers and has been an active member of the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria for more than 15 years, and was part of the Executive Committee of the Society for a number of years.