Allison Shannon

Clayton Utz
Partner Melbourne

Allison specialises in all areas of employment and industrial relations law and works closely with both public and private sector clients across a range of industries.

Allison’s practice spans the entire employment relationship from recruitment and engagement to termination and beyond. She has particular expertise in employment and industrial related litigation and dispute work in both the Courts and Tribunals, discrimination (including disability discrimination), sexual harassment, complex complaints management and workplace investigations.

Allison prides herself on being a trusted adviser for her key clients. She takes the time to get to know her clients and their business, which enables her to provide strategic tailored advice.

Notable Work
  • Monash University: Allison has advised Monash University on a range of matters including matters in the Fair Work Commission, disputes under disputes procedures in enterprise agreements, interpretation of industrial instruments, the review and development of contracts of employment, agreements and policies and procedures, restructuring, transfer of business, discrimination and sexual harassment claims, as well as complex international employment arrangements.
  • Regional Express Airlines (REX): Allison has acted for, and has been a trusted advisor for, REX for more than 15 years. Allison provides regular industrial and employment advice including in relation to: enterprise bargaining, disciplinary and termination matters, employment conditions, drafting and interpretation of awards and agreements, enterprise bargaining, and compliance with changes in legislation. Allison has also represented REX in a variety of disputes and claims in the Fair Work Court, State and Federal Courts, including the High Court.
  • Probe Group: Allison advises the Probe Group on a range of general employment and industrial relations matters including enterprise bargaining, disciplinary and performance issues, compliance with industrial legislation, workforce structuring including audits of independent contractor models, restraint of trade and confidentiality matters. Allison has also represented the Probe Group in matters before the Fair Work Commission.
  • Group of Eight Universities: Allison represented the Group of Eight Universities in the four yearly review of the Higher Education Modern Awards. This was a highly complex matter concerning a number of significant changes to the two Modern Awards which if made would have represented a fundamental shift in the regulation of academic employment nationally and would have affected the international competitiveness of Australian Universities.
  • Nexans Olex: Allison provides general employment advice to Nexans Olex and has represented them in relation to claims and disputes in the Fair Work Commission, as well as a significant matter involving urgent interlocutory proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales relating to post-employment restraints.
  • Fletcher Building Group: Allison acted in a complex and sensitive matter in the Federal Court of Australia which involved urgent applications for freezing orders, issuing of subpoenas and Notices to Produce and drafting a complex Deed of Release and Settlement.
  • Spotless Group: Allison is advising and assisting the Spotless Group, a major national employer with over 40,000 employees, with the implementation of a new payroll system including detailed interpretations of modern awards, agreements and other industrial instruments. Allison has also represented and advised Spotless in a variety of proceedings in the Fair Work Commission (and its predecessor the Australian Industrial Relations Commission), including unfair dismissal conciliations, disputes and certified agreement approvals, as well as proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, such as injunctions and general protection disputes.
  • The University of Melbourne: Allison has provided employment and industrial relations advice to the University including in relation to the application and interpretation of industrial instruments, restructuring and transmission of business. Allison has also represented the University in a dispute in the Fair Work Commission relating to superannuation and redundancy payments achieving a successful outcome for the University.
  • Allison has acted for a number of Government agencies and statutory authorities at local, State and Federal level.
  • Country Fire Authority: Allison is representing the CFA in both Fair Work Commission and Federal Court proceedings in relation to the approval of an enterprise agreement. These are complex litigation matters involving ultra vires arguments and statutory interpretation, as well as procedural issues around joinder and expedition. As part of this proceeding, CFA were able to successful defend an application for an interlocutory injunction. In addition to these proceedings, Allison regularly advises the CFA in relation to a range of matters including regulatory compliance, complaints management, disciplinary matters, review of employment contracts and drafting policies, procedures and guidance documents.
  • Australian Building and Construction Commission: Allison has advised and represented the ABCC in relation to compliance and prosecutions under the Fair Work Act and the Building Construction Industry Improvement Act, including a Federal Court Appeal in relation to penalty, a Federal Court proceeding regarding union officials engaging in building industrial action that was unlawful industrial action and a Federal Court proceeding relating to sham contracting. The sham contracting proceeding was a lengthy and challenging proceeding involving many interlocutory applications, and appeals to both the Federal Court and High Court which were successfully defended.
  • Comcover / Australian Taxation Office: Allison advised and represented Comcover in a significant Federal Court proceeding in respect of an adverse action claim brought by an employee against the ATO and senior officials of the ATO, which also involved allegations of misfeasance in public office, negligence and breach of statutory duties.
  • Commonwealth Regulator: Allison acted for the Regulator in prosecuting a prominent employer for underpaying workers when the employer wrongly classified those workers as contractors. The Regulator was successful at first instance in the Federal Court and on appeal to the Full Federal Court. The employer was not granted special leave to appeal to the High Court. Allison had the primary conduct of the matter in each court.
  • Department of Education and Training: Allison represents the DET in relation to complex disability discrimination claims made by or on behalf of students in both the AHRC and the Federal Court.
  • Parks Victoria: Allison has conducted numerous workplace investigations for Parks Victoria and has also provided advice in relation to the interpretation of industrial instruments and applicable legislation.
  • Allison has advised a variety of clients in relation to occupational health and safety compliance and related matters for many years, including representing clients in prosecutions in the Magistrates' Court and disputes in the Fair Work Commission. Allison was also responsible for creating an Occupational Health and Safety Management System for a major employer.
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