image of Caroline BushCaroline Bush

Clayton Utz Partner , Canberra T +61 2 6279 4029

Caroline Bush is acknowledged by peers as one of Australia's Best Lawyers in Government and Public Law. An experienced litigator, she acts for numerous Australian Government clients in administrative law and commercial disputes, and has a strong understanding of the model litigant rules.

She has acted in a variety of merits reviews and judicial review proceedings and offers an industry-recognised understanding of the practical realities of administrative decision-making.

Together with her strong knowledge of current public law issues such as complicated regulatory issues, freedom of information and privacy, Caroline offers pragmatic advice with a demonstrated commitment to service delivery. Her extensive skills in dispute resolution and a sound understanding of the special needs of Government give her clients the confidence that results will be delivered.

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Government Services

Freedom of information

Caroline's FOI experience includes the provision of advice and assistance in relation to FOI decision-making as well as the conduct of contested FOI matters before the AAT.

  • Commonwealth Government Agency: Caroline supervised the conduct of the successful defence, before the AAT, of a high-profile FOI decision made by the client in circumstances where the applicant was well known in the media and the application had drawn attention on social media and within the traditional media. The vast majority of the client's claimed exemptions were upheld by the Tribunal in circumstances where large numbers of documents and exemptions were involved.

See Government Services

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Caroline has a broad range of litigation experience and she routinely acts for both private and public sector clients in a wide range of contentious matters, including commercial and liability disputes. Her experience for her government clients includes the resolution of complex procurement and commercial disputes.

She has acted in many hundreds of contentious matters in various forums. Her technical litigation skills are of the highest standard and ensure that the best possible results are achieved in litigated matters. She has significant experience in the successful conduct of alternative dispute resolution processes and, for her Australian Government clients, a keen understanding of the Model Litigant Obligation.

  • Commonwealth Government Agency: Caroline acted in relation to a judicial review application to the Federal Court seeking review of a decision concerning the issue of a licence to a large commercial entity. The docket judge determined that an expedited final hearing before the Full Court was required in light of the significant issues that arose for determination in the proceedings. The Full Court's judgment was handed down in our client's favour less than a month after initial instructions were received.

See Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Administrative and Public Law

Caroline has over 20 years' experience acting for and providing advice to Australian Government agencies in the defence of merits and judicial review matters in various Federal Courts and Tribunals. Her experience includes the defence of high-profile and sensitive administrative decisions for a wide range of agencies.

Her advice in relation to decision-making processes and statements of reasons is pragmatic and reflects her practical approach to complex administrative law issues.

Caroline also acts for private sector clients seeking to challenge administrative decisions.

  • Commonwealth Government Agency: Caroline acted for a Commonwealth Government Agency in judicial review proceedings before the Federal Court seeking to challenge approval of a particular action under relevant legislation. A negotiated outcome was reached with the applicant to allow it to exercise its internal review rights in relation to the decision. Caroline provided legal advice during the conduct of that decision-making process on internal review.
  • Private sector clients: Caroline routinely acts for commercial clients in relation to a wide range of applications made to the ACT merits review forum, the ACAT, which seek review of decisions of ACT Government agencies (including taxation and valuation decisions and constructions rectification orders).

See Administrative and Public Law


Caroline provides a full range of information law services. Her experience includes providing advice for both private and public clients in relation to obligations under the under the Privacy Act as well as the preparation of Privacy Impact Assessments and the management of privacy complaints.

See Privacy

Cyber Security

See Cyber Security


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