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            DWF has an unrivalled understanding and knowledge of Australian Government legal service requirements at Local, State and Commonwealth levels.  Our sector-focussed approach means we are aware of the inherent needs of Government, their priorities and the outcomes they seek.

            How we can help

            Government is answerable to many stakeholders, such as tax and rate payers, and public service consumers, and so by leveraging this knowledge, we have demonstrated a proven track record of delivering the right results with real value for money for Local, State and Commonwealth Government clients.

            Our relationships with our Government clients have been built on a genuine commitment to client service and centre around a core philosophy of exceeding our client’s service delivery expectations. We can guarantee the provision of high quality legal services due to the secure base of expert lawyers we have across the country, each of whom is committed to ensuring that Government clients are provided with quality and consistent legal advice that also provides real value for money.

            Our senior lawyers have worked for, been instructed by, or are currently representing Government, including: 

            • Mark Hickey, Chairman of Partners specialises in advising on major development and infrastructure projects.  He has acted for the Commonwealth Department of Defence, the Port of Newcastle, the Hunter Development Corporation and the developer on the $200 million Newcastle Bus Interchange project.
            • Matthew Smith, Principal and Head of Employment, Safety and Regulatory has over 25 years’ experience advising Government clients on safety, employment and industrial relations, including the Department of Child Safety in Queensland, the Queensland Department of Education, Queensland Rail, Trade and Investment Queensland, ASIC, Defence, Medicare, CRS, Centrelink, Australia Post, NHVR and Crown Law.  Matthew also previously worked for the Director of Public Prosecutions and for Crown Law.  
            • Hamish Broadbent, Principal has 25 years' experience in Government, having worked at federal departments and undertaken large federal Government consultancy work. Hamish has also represented Australia's 2nd largest local council, City of Gold Coast, for over nearly 20 years in natural disaster risk management, infrastructure failures and insurance claims.  He also currently acts for the Queensland Government Insurance Fund and Queensland Health in defence of hospitals and health services throughout the state.
            • Michelle Dawson, Principal has over 23 years’ experience, including 15 years acting in workplace, employment, contracting and industrial matters for public sector clients, including Queensland and Victorian Local Government and State Government entities.
            • Lex Orange, Principal has over 25 years' experience and is known for his work across Queensland Government building and construction projects.  He has acted for a broad range of State and Local Government and corporate clients on significant infrastructure matters. 
            • Mark Curran, Principal is regularly instructed by Local Councils and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission in employment matters.  He is also experienced in acting for Comcare prosecuting breaches of Commonwealth safety laws.  
            • Goran Gelic, Principal has over 10 years’ experience advising Federal, State and Local Government agencies across construction, infrastructure, road, rail, and water. Goran is also a leading lawyer in the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on construction projects and has worked extensively with Government, designers, operators and contractors in the BIM sector. 
            • Brent Henderson, Principal has 20 years’ experience advising both public and private sector clients on complex construction and infrastructure projects.  Brent advised a Macquarie led consortium on the Gold Coast University Hospital and Carpark PPPs.  He has advised the Victorian Government on its procurement of the Victorian Desalination Project PPP, and the Commonwealth Department of Defence on key infrastructure procurement and upgrade projects. 
            • David Reid, Principal has over 20 years' experience acting in commercial matters for Local Governments.  David has been the lead solicitor on Council panels, working on projects such as advising on contracts for airport construction, advising on commercial terms between Council and sporting promotors, and advising on compulsory acquisition of land. 
            • Phillip Gleed, Principal has significant experience acting for the Victorian Government, having acted for the Department of Education for 10 years in defence of personal injury claims, public liability claims and sexual assault claims.  At his previous firm Phillip was also Government Liaison Principal on the Victorian Government Legal Services Panel for 7 years.
            • Mary Nemeth, Principal has over 20 years' experience in financial services, commercial litigation and insolvency and has acted as Client Relationship Principal for the Commonwealth Government Legal Panel.  She has advised the Department of Human Services and acted on behalf of the Australian Financial Services Authority.  Mary's experience includes acting for the Building Control Commission, Falls Creek Resort Management Board and advising Local Councils. 
            • Scott Stewart, Principal has been an accredited planning and environmental law specialist for over 15 years, with significant experience advising Government clients in both Queensland and Victoria on all aspects of planning and environment law.  Scott has advised VicRoads, the Victorian Government, Port of Melbourne Corporation, the Country Fire Authority, the Department of Education, the then Docklands Authority and VicUrban.  
            • Andrew Ross, Special Counsel advises Queensland State Government agencies on employment issues, safety, risk management, incident response, investigations and defending prosecutions. Andrew held senior roles within Crown Law Queensland before joining private practice.
            • Matthew Giles, Senior Associate advises Government and large corporate clients on all aspects of work health and safety and employment law.  His safety and regulatory experience includes incident response and management, coronial inquests and defence of prosecutions by health and safety regulators.
            • Alexander Wheeler, Senior Associate acts for industry participants in the infrastructure and projects sectors and has significant experience acting for Government owned corporations. Alex advises extensively on project developments with mixed use functions and complex project structures.
            • Alex McLeod, Associate acts for industry participants in the infrastructure, construction and projects sectors including Local, State and Federal Governments, owners, developers, contractors and financiers. He has recently acted for various Government water agencies on a number of significant water infrastructure projects including dam raisings and major pipelines.

            Local Government

            Our Government sector team advise Local Councils in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in employment, insurance, corporate, commercial, construction and financial services matters.  DWF have the necessary understanding of Council needs and processes, as well as the experience working with Council officers and other stakeholders to ensure effective and meaningful legal assistance is provided.  

            DWF are currently on the individual legal services panel for three Councils in Queensland:

            • Gold Coast City Council;
            • Lockyer Valley Regional Council;
            • Cairns Regional Council 

            DWF are pre-approved suppliers in Local Government Association of Queensland's (LGAQ) Local Buy Legal Services Panel.  In addition, DWF (Australia) are also one of only two legal service providers for Local Government WorkCare (LGW) operated by LGAQ through Jardine Lloyd Thompson.  As such, we have represented the interests of nearly every local Council in Queensland, showing our versatility and ability to adapt and respond to individual Council’s needs. 

            Members of our Government sector team have previously been Key Personnel on legal services panels for Douglas Shire Council, Redland City Council, Rockhampton Regional Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Brisbane City Council.  We have also advised City of Parramatta Council.  

            State Government 

            DWF are on legal panels for large State and quasi-Government organisations including WorkCover Queensland and Queensland Health (Queensland Government Insurance Fund).  We have advised state entities such as the Workers Compensation Regulator (formally Q-Comp) and Powerlink (Qld Electricity Transmission Corporation Limited) / Stanwell Power Station.

            Members of the DWF team have conducted a significant coronial inquest for the Department of Child Safety in Queensland and advised the Department of Education on safety matters including a serious matter involving injury to a child.  We acted for Queensland Rail in the defence of several serious safety incidents including a multiple fatality. Our lawyers have been Key Personnel on legal services panels for Seqwater, Linkwater, Allconnex, Gold Coast Water, Main Roads, Queensland Treasury Development Panel, Department of Energy, Energex, CS Energy, Defence, Department of Transport and Main Roads and UnityWater.  Members of our team have acted for a Queensland Government Department on delivery of the $500 million Government Wireless Network Project and for a Queensland Government department on the $1.6 billion duplication of the Gateway Bridge and upgrade of the Gateway.  

            Our team have advised Victorian State Government and Victorian Government funded organisations including VicRoads, the then Docklands Authority, VicUrban, Port of Melbourne Corporation, the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board and the Country Fire Authority.  Members of our team have advised the Victorian Department of Education and have previously been appointed to the Victorian Government Legal Services Panel.  Our lawyers have acted for the Falls Creek Resort Management Board and the Building Control Commission and have advised Australia Pacific Airports Melbourne.

            In New South Wales members of our team have acted for NSW Treasury in relation to development of energy projects, for Cobbora Holding Company on the development of the Cobbora Coal Project, and for the NSW Government owned Macquarie Generation prior to the entity being sold to AGL.  Our lawyers have also advised Landcom, Newcastle Port Corporation and Hunter Development Corporation on a range of project and infrastructure matters. 

            Our insurance team also act on behalf of many large licensed self-insurers, including Toll, Echo, CSR, Wilmar, and Arnott's.  Through the Queensland WorkCover panel appointment we act for Thiess, Leightons, Hutchinsons Builders and Veolia Environmental Solutions. 

            Commonwealth Government 

            As an experienced legal advisor to Government, we understand the unique risks and issues as an organisation that is publically and politically accountable for its actions.  DWF lawyers have significant experience providing advice to Commonwealth Government and large multinationals. DWF Lawyers have acted for Crown Law, NHVR, Defence, Medicare, ASIC, CRS and Centrelink. Members of our Government sector team have previously been appointed to legal panels for the Department of Human Services and the Australian Financial Security Authority. 

            Members of our team also have significant experience advising Australia Post, Telstra, GIO Australia, ADI Limited, Comcare and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in all aspects of Administrative Appeals Tribunal litigation.  

            Our team has significant and long-held experience providing legal services to Government clients in accordance with the Commonwealth Legal Services Directions, both current 2017 and former 2005.

            Mark Hickey

            • Chairman (Asia Pacific)

            Matthew Smith

            • Principal Lawyer // Head of Employment, Safety & Regulatory (Australia)

            Hamish Broadbent

            • Principal Lawyer

            Lex Orange

            • Principal Lawyer

            Michelle Dawson

            • Principal Lawyer

            Brent Henderson

            • Principal Lawyer

            Goran Gelic

            • Principal Lawyer

            Mark Curran

            • Principal Lawyer

            David Reid

            • Principal Lawyer

            Scott Stewart

            • National Head of Property, Planning & Construction

            Mary Nemeth

            • Head of Litigation & Insolvency (Australia)

            Andrew Ross

            • Supervising Lawyer

            Matthew Giles

            • Senior Associate

            Alexander Wheeler

            • Senior Associate

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