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Brendan O'Brien

Partner

Sydney

+61 2 9234 4617

Brendan has significant experience in administrative law and litigation, Commonwealth military and workers’ compensation, dust diseases litigation, general insurance litigation and dispute resolution and public inquiries.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Brendan’s clients include Commonwealth government departments, agencies and a government business enterprise, as well as national employers and insurers.

Brendan has extensive experience in compensation claims in the Commonwealth jurisdiction in which he has advised and acted for government agencies and self-insured employers in matters before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and on appeals in the Federal Court of Australia and High Court of Australia.

Brendan also has significant experience in Commonwealth military compensation and veterans’ entitlements cases in relation to which he has also acted in the AAT.

Brendan has advised Commonwealth departments, agencies and regulatory bodies on a wide range of administrative law issues from freedom of information and privacy to natural justice and merits and judicial review. Brendan has also acted in merits review proceedings in the AAT and on judicial review applications to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and on appeals to the Federal Court of Australia.

Brendan also has broad experience in litigation in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW and in relation to the claims resolution process under the Dust Diseases Tribunal Regulation 2013.

Brendan’s general insurance liability experience includes acting for the Commonwealth, NSW government and state owned corporations, as well as private corporations, in relation to claims for workplace injuries, medical negligence and claims for damage to property.

Brendan has also been involved as a senior lawyer in public inquiries and a Royal Commission.

Brendan also regularly provides in-house training and seminars on recent legal developments and strategies for management of litigated and non-litigated cases.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Brendan’s accomplishments include:

  • Advising and acting for various Commonwealth government departments and agencies, employers and insurers in merits review proceedings in the Compensation Division of the AAT. Acting on appeals to the Federal Court of Australia seeking review of decisions made under the SRC Act.
  • Advising and acting for the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission in relation to applications made in the AAT for review of decisions made under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRC Act). Advising and acting for the Repatriation Commission in relation to applications made in the AAT for review of decisions made under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.
  • In 2016, acted in proceedings in the High Court of Australia in relation to an appeal on the proper construction of the phrase “injury (other than a disease)” under s4(1) of the SRC Act. That case, which reinforced the important distinction between a “disease” and an “injury (other than a disease)” under the Act, has also been consistently cited and applied in various workers’ compensation and other jurisdictions throughout Australia.
  • Since 2015, has regularly appears at hearings in the AAT in Commonwealth workers’ compensation and military compensation proceedings
  • Advising and appearing for the relevant Minister in relation to judicial review applications to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and on appeals to the Federal Court of Australia, as well as in merits review proceedings the Migration Division of the AAT, relating to migration and refugee matters
  • Acting for NSW government agencies and state owned corporations and private corporations in relation to litigation in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW
  • In 2014, he was involved as a senior lawyer in a case study for the Royal Commission inquiring into public and private institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The particular case study, which was heard in April 2014, examined the response of Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia to allegations of child sexual abuse.
  • In 2011 and 2012, he was involved a senior lawyer in an inquiry, commenced on behalf of the Minister, into allegations of sexual and other abuse within Defence.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Diploma of Law, 1998, LPAB

Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales