Areas of Practice
Sarah’s principal practice areas span human resources law, employment and discrimination advice and litigation, workplace legal training and investigations into employee misconduct and bullying, and alleged breaches of the Reportable Conduct Scheme (administered by the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People).
Her clients are in the government, professional/legal services, education and retail sectors. As a trained mediator, Sarah has a particular interest in early intervention to resolve conflict.
Sarah frequently presents papers on employment law developments at professional conferences. She enjoys collaborating with others and training senior executives on topics such as how to have difficult conversation with staff and managing workplace flexibility. Sarah was named in Best Lawyers in 2022 in the categories of Employee Benefits Law and Labour and Employment Law.
Experience and expertise
Recent examples of work undertaken by Sarah include:
- Conducted multiple complex investigations over 28 years including most recently one involving a large multi-national organisation and multiple parties and allegations, and under the Victorian Reportable Conduct Scheme.
- Advised local government councils in relation to the best approach to managing conflict, disputes and general governance issues.
- Provided advice to the Board of an Association in relation to disputes between directors and management.
- Advised a not for profit in relation to the fraudulent behaviour of an employee and instructed the workplace investigator retained to investigate.
- Advised on the terms and conditions of executives and award covered staff, about the best approach to termination which includes applying Justitia’s difficult conversations framework.
- Presenting Justitia’s “Appropriate Workplace Behaviours” training to multiple clients in the government and corporate sectors.
- Retained by law firms to conduct multiple workplace mediations and investigations where the issues pertain to senior personnel, complex or sensitive issues.
- Developed and delivered an interactive training programme for supporting and training workplace investigators, which runs twice a year.
Professional and community engagement
Sarah was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Australia (2022) for her work in Employee Benefits Law, and, Labour and Employment Law.
The prestigious Doyle’s Guide recognised Sarah as one of Victoria’s leading employer-focused Victorian employment lawyers for both 2022 and 2023. In 2022, Sarah received the Lawyers Weekly Mentor of the Year Award. Sarah is a former director of the US Association of Workplace Investigators and founded the Australasian chapter. In 2017-2018 Sarah was a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, co-lecturing in a Masters subject on investigation and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre of Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne.
Sarah has previously chaired an education board within a network of seven schools, and been a director of a different school board. Sarah is also an accredited mediator.
In 2022 Sarah was recognised by the Arts Faculty at the University of Melbourne with a Leadership Award for outstanding contribution and innovation in the legal profession through promoting equal opportunity for women and the founding of Justitia.