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Nick Duggal

Partner

Melbourne

+61 3 8399 6193

Nick leads our national Workplace practice. Having practised in the field of workplace law throughout his career, he has an excellent understanding of time and cost pressures facing employers, insurers and government. This deep insight makes him a highly sought after adviser, providing workplace solutions that span multiple legal disciplines and are responsive, pragmatic and commercial.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Nick acts for a diverse range of longstanding clients, ranging from start-up and small family-owned enterprises through to major insurers, multinational and publicly listed companies, statutory authorities, government departments, schools, hospitals, IT firms, financial institutions, industry associations, medical defence organisations, building and construction companies, councils and professional service firms. His broad experience extends to practising in London for a major European firm. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick has been a visible market presence on the frontline of assisting both Health organisations and commercial businesses manage both the dual health and economic impacts of the crisis.

The depth of Nick’s experience and client relationships has led to the diversification of his legal practice across a range of complementary streams. For example, Nick advises and represents schools on the full range of legal issues affecting their students (including discrimination, child safety and enrolment issues), he assists all tiers of Government on administrative law issues affecting the management of all types of Government officials, regularly representing insured Doctors in AHPRA investigations and advising on Director and Shareholding disputes. Nick is also the General Counsel and a Board member for a well-known Australian sporting club, where he appears at sporting tribunals.

In addition, Nick regularly speaks on employment issues, including at workplace training, industry forums and in the mainstream media.

Nick provides innovative and strategically focused advise across the full breadth of workplace and interrelated legal issues, including on employment contracts, executive, director and shareholder issues, workplace policies and training, Award and Enterprise Agreement interpretation and preparation, complex tripartite labour-hire arrangements, disciplinary processes, workplace restructures, transmission of business (including due diligence and multi jurisdictional corporate transactions) , industrial disputes, dismissals, carrying out investigations on behalf of employers and Government departments, advising on all aspects of workplace occupational health and safety, workplace bullying related matters and post-employment obligations.

He also represents parties in all forms of employment-related litigation across federal and state industrial tribunals and courts. He has exhaustive experience acting for employers, Government entities and insureds in litigated claims at both a state and federal level including unfair dismissal, general protection and discrimination, underpayment (including class actions), breach of contract, breaches of industrial instruments, misleading and deceptive conduct, urgent injunction applications, litigation concerning the independent contractor/employee distinction, WorkSafe prosecutions, Judicial Inquiries, Councillor Conduct Applications.

As the national workplace leader, Nick works closely with his interstate counterparts to ensure national clients can be provided with a seamless and closely integrated workplace legal service.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Some recent examples of his work are:

  • Innovative and urgent advice to high number of employers on workforce management wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the institution of temporary reductions in pay and/or hours, stand downs, consultation and redundancy processes, advice on Government restrictions and JobKeeper access and right of entry
  • Overseeing the firm’s appointment to the pilot program of the Fair Workplace Ombudsmen COVID-19 Employer Advisory service, including the provision of advice to a large volume of employers accessing the service
  • Advising a high volume of insured Doctors and their insurer on their engagement of services as part of the “Public in Private” agreement between the Victorian State Government and Private Hospitals
  • Acting on behalf of a prominent Victorian Council in a high profile dispute between councillors, including the urgent preparation of a Councillor Conduct Application involving a high volume series of complex workplace bullying and conflict of interest allegations
  • Acting on behalf of a “buy no, pay later” financial institution in in the review and updating of all of their workplace materials and associated advice in preparation for a high profile IPO
  • Conducting workplace investigations on behalf of multiple Federal Government departments involving allegations of potential serious misconduct
  • Carrying out an investigation on behalf of a multinational IT firm in respect of utilisation of their internal systems by an employee to defraud their clients
  • Successful overturning of proposed restrictions by AHPRA and the DHHS on an insured Doctor’s operation of a mobile health service
  • Assisting various major independent schools with child safety reporting obligations, defence of claims and management of reputational issues

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, 2001, Deakin University
  • Bachelor of Laws, 2001, Deakin University

Memberships

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Adviser – National Centre Against Bullying
  • Board Member – South Melbourne Football Club