Michael Cochrane Senior Associate

Michael is a Senior Associate with our Workplace Relations & OHS team, and practices all aspects of employment and workplace relations law. Prior to joining KHQ, Michael was a Senior Associate at a leading medium-sized law firm based in Melbourne, where he headed its Employment & Workplace Relations practice for a number of years, and also advised on a broad range of commercial/transactional matters.

Michael has experience acting for clients in a diverse range of industry sectors including consulting, recruitment, IT services, construction, mining, transport & logistics, retail & supply, manufacturing and education.

Michael’s areas of expertise include:

  • all aspects of employment law
  • industrial relations, including enterprise bargaining, approvals and disputes
  • terminations, including the planning of termination of employment strategies
  • employment litigation, including adverse action, unfair dismissal and contractual disputes
  • performance management strategies and workplace investigations
  • employment contracts and workplace policies
  • restructuring, redundancies and transmission of business
  • post-employment restraints, confidentiality and IP obligations
  • employee share option plans and bonus schemes
  • Fair Work Act and Award/Agreement compliance, interpretation and enforcement
  • employee entitlements and FWO investigations
  • discrimination and EEO
  • OH&S
  • workplace training, and
  • commercial/transactional advisory, agreements and disputation – including shareholder disputes.

Clients respect Michael’s sound, practical legal solutions and his commercial approach to all matters. He regularly appears at the Fair Work Commission, in State and Federal courts, VCAT and in other jurisdictions. He is a member of the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria, and has published various articles online and in legal journals, and regularly provides updates on ‘hot topics’ in employment and workplace relations matters.

Latest News & Insights

4 yearly review of Modern Awards – our Q2 update

Posted By on 24/09/18 at 5:03 PM

By Michael Cochrane (Senior Associate), Josephine Mammone (Trainee Lawyer) and Stephanie Koumbarakos (Trainee Lawyer) There has been much discussion about the macroeconomic picture of our workplace relations system in recent times with the gig economy, “wage theft”, the ACTU’s “change the rules” campaign, enterprise bargaining trends – and of course that leadership circus in Canberra … Read more

Out of the shadows – FWC representation

Posted By on 1/08/18 at 10:05 AM

A recent ruling of the Fair Work Commission full bench in Ross Kennedy v Qantas Ground Services Pty Ltd [2018] FWCFB 4319 has cast some further light on the tough stance taken on legal representation in the “shadow lawyers” decision ruling last October ultimately finding that even larger employers which employ HR or in-house lawyers … Read more

Tough gig for workers

Posted By on 17/07/18 at 2:05 PM

By Michael Cochrane (Senior Associate) and Stephanie Koumbarakos (Trainee Lawyer) In May 2018, Greens MP, Adam Bandt introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Making Australia More Equal) Bill into parliament.  The bill is targeted at gig economy workers (also known as “sharing” economy workers), such as Ubereats drivers and Deliveroo bicycle riders. Currently, these workers are considered … Read more

Uber still not an employer (according to FWC), but for how long?

Posted By on 16/01/18 at 9:02 AM

Late last month an Uber driver was unable to convince the FWC that he was an employee for the purposes of unfair dismissal protection.  DP Gostencnik categorically rejected the applicant’s argument that a recent 2016 UK Employment Tribunal case which found an Uber driver was a “worker” should be applied in Australia noting that the legislation … Read more

Gardening leave period included in restraining senior exec for 6 months!

Posted By on 1/09/16 at 9:15 AM

The NSW Supreme Court has again re-affirmed that gardening leave periods will be considered in assessing the overall reasonableness of post-employment restraints. In DP World Sydney Ltd v Guy [2016] NSWSC 1072, Justice White held that a restraint period of 3 months, which followed an earlier gardening leave period of 3 months was valid and … Read more

Redundancy & redeployment obligations – agency labour workers

Posted By on 21/06/16 at 9:41 AM

Do redundancy and redeployment obligations extend to considering work performed by agency labour workers? Yes they can! The commonly accepted orthodoxy up until 2014 was that only vacant internal positions needed to be considered for the purposes of redeployment opportunities inside the company or an associated entity when establishing the ‘genuine redundancy’ defence to unfair … Read more