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EMPLOYMENT

Osborn Law has a wealth of experience in the constantly changing area of employment law. Our respected team regularly assist clients with:

  • Drafting employment contracts
  • Drafting industrial documentation including subcontractor agreements and enterprise agreements
  • Advising and acting on unfair dismissal claims
  • Advising on compliance with workplace laws including the Fair Work Act 2009 and Modern Awards
  • Appearing at Fair Work Australia
  • Advising employers how to deal with workplace issues including disciplining problem employees, redundancies, harassment and bullying complaints.

We can further provide in house training sessions for client employers to assist on dealing with effective performance management, bullying and harassment claims and workplace investigations.

OUR EMPLOYMENT TEAM
Christie Howson

Solicitor Director Employment & Litigation

Christie Howson brings a wealth of experience to Osborn Law in the constantly changing and ever challenging area of employment law. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Accounting) and has been qualified as a solicitor since 2000.

Christie has practiced extensively in this area for over 18 years and some of the work that she has performed involved the following:

  • Drafting industrial documentation including common law employment contracts, subcontractor agreements and enterprise agreements for a large mining contractor
  • Advising on compliance with workplace laws and in particular, the Fair Work Act 2009 and Modern Award compliance for many industries including manufacturing, black coal, retail, administrative and hospitality
  • Enterprise Agreement negotiations, strategy advice and complying with Fair Work requirements for ratifying
  • Advising on terminating problem employees in order to reduce exposure to an unfair dismissal or general protections claim, including but not limited to performance and conduct issues, redundancy, medical retirement
  • Appearing at Fair Work Australia on behalf of clients to defend unfair dismissal and general protections claims
  • Assisting an engineering client who bought a business to understand the legal obligations of transferring employees
  • Advising a construction client on restraint of trade issues when a senior manager resigned and attempted to solicit clients
  • Appearing in a case for our client which involved in a claim for damages of $750,000.00 in the Federal Court in Queensland for an adverse action claim for breach of the general protections provision of the Fair Work legislation
  • Advising client in the medical field on the use of subcontractor agreements and License agreements
  • Assisting client in the amusement industry to respond to an audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment
  • Provide advice on compliance with Work Health and safety Act 2011

Christie regularly conducts in house training sessions for Osborn law’s client employers to assist our clients and their managers on how to deal with effective performance management, and bullying and harassment claims. She has also conducted workplace investigations into claims.

Christie also worked for 4 years in a national law firm in insurance law where she acted on behalf of workers compensation insurers. This background assists greatly in employment law work when complex workers compensation issues are involved.

In addition to the employment law work, Christie manages major commercial litigation disputes, particularly those in the Supreme Court of NSW but also in the District and Local Courts. Some of the work that Christie has performed involved the following:

  • Appearing in a Supreme Court matter which involved a breach of contract and claim for $800,000.00 in damages.
  • Appearing in the Federal court in an Intellectual Property dispute where are our client alleges that its Intellectual Property rights were infringed upon and also an associated breach of contract case.
  • Appearing in a District Court matter where the damages claimed was $750,000.00 for breach of contract and a claim for damages (due to failed property deals).
  • Appearing in a District court matter where a former subcontractor attempted to poach clients.
Dominic Mather

Solicitor Employment & Commercial

Dominic holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2020 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in February 2021.

Dominic has a particular interest in industrial relations, employment and commercial litigation disputes and corporate and commercial compliance. His experience includes:

  • Instructing, assisting in and advising on employment disputes before the Fair Work Commission and Federal Courts which include general protections and unfair dismissal claims;
  • Advising on compliance with workplace laws and instruments including Fair Work and WHS legislation and Modern Awards including redundancies, termination of employment and discrimination;
  • Advising on employment related risks for corporate and commercial transactions;
  • Drafting and advising on common law, executive and award-based employment contracts;
  • Advising on contracting and licence related relationships and drafting appropriate agreements;
  • Drafting and advising on distribution, manufacture, purchase and supply contracts;
  • Conducting and assisting in workplace investigations;
  • Assistance with enterprise bargaining processes;
  • Advising on general security agreements, loan agreements and other security documents;
  • Advising on requirements for compliance with corporate legislation.

Dominic is a commercially minded and practical solicitor who endeavours to achieve the best outcome for clients by ensuring his advice is not only sound and pragmatic but also tailored for the client needing assistance.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys being with his family and friends, going to the beach, staying fit and eating good food.

Tasha Wolodko-Kouril

Senior Solicitor – Employment & Litigation

Tasha has more than 7 years’ experience in the legal profession. Tasha has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New England and was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 2016.

Tasha began her career working as a paralegal for a mid-sized firm in Sydney. Once admitted, she accepted a role at the same firm as a Solicitor, advising the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in relation to insolvency matters (both personal and corporate) and the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer in relation to debt recovery.

After making the move back to Newcastle following the birth of her first child, Tasha has continued to develop her practice in the areas of debt recovery, home building disputes, insolvency litigation, and the effective use of security of payment legislation.

Tasha’s expertise includes:

  • debt recovery in the Local and District Courts;
  • acting for both builders and homeowners in relation to residential building disputes;
  • acting for liquidators in relation to unreasonable director-related transactions;
  • providing advice in relation to, and where necessary litigating, unfair preference claims,
  • providing advice on the effective implementation of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1989 (NSW)
  • drafting and advising on terms of engagement, terms and conditions of trade, distributor agreements and supply agreements;
  • drafting and advising on general security agreements, loan agreements and other security documents; and
  • drafting and advising on contractor agreements.

Tasha aims to assist her clients in avoiding expensive litigation where possible by providing accurate and timely advice to assist in managing commercial risks, and by engaging other parties at an early stage to explore amicable resolutions to disputes. Tasha places great importance on keeping her clients informed of the costs and likely costs of assisting with their legal issues.

When not in the office, Tasha enjoys spending time with her young family and enjoying a nice glass of red wine – not always in that order.

Sam Bartlett

Law Clerk

Sam is Communications graduate (2019) and is completing his Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle. With a major in News and Digital Media, Sam is experienced in interviewing and empathising when a client brings a problem. He is also passionate about clear communication and delivering solutions with sophistication and simplicity.

Sam is part of the employment and litigation team and is often tasked with undertaking a range of problems which don’t fit under a specific category of law. This has grown him as a versatile thinker, taking on tough questions which are rarely asked, but which can be all important to the client.

In his spare time, Sam is a keen surfer and enjoys exploring new surf spots. He also regularly volunteers at his local church, playing guitar and helping the youth group.