Gilchrist Connell boosts workplace law group

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An insurance-specialist firm has elevated four lawyers in its national employment practices liability/management liability (EPL/ML) team in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Gilchrist Connell said that it is strengthening its EPL/ML practice, which was established more than two years ago, to meet increasing client need. The practice is led by principal Joel Zyngier, who leads the team of principals and senior lawyers across the firm’s offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

Promoted to senior associate is Rosa Raco, who is based in the firm’s Melbourne office. Laura Gaffey and Jessica O’Dell, who are both also in Melbourne, have been promoted to associate. Ellen Davis, who’s based in Sydney, has also been appointed as an associate.

Raco, who joined the firm earlier this year from the University of Melbourne, more than nine years’ employment law experience and focuses solely on EPL/ML. The associates are all experienced in workplace relations and safety law, in addition to their expertise and experience in various practices, the firm said.

The promotions come at a time when the market is experiencing several significant changes.

“The market is seeing fewer traditional industrial disputes, with a rapid and growing shift towards individual employment disputes – in particular general protections applications and discrimination claims,” the firm said in its announcement. “In addition, workplace safety regulators are showing an increased appetite for prosecuting employers, creating a riskier and more complex environment for employers and their insurers.”

Zyngier said that the practice is experiencing an increase in requests for assistance from both insurers wanting EPL/ML expertise and uninsured employers needing workplace relations and safety representation.

The practice itself also applies what it advises clients. Zyngier said that even though it is a national practice group, with Gilchrist Connell being Australia’s only insurance-specialist law firm with offices in every mainland state, the practice enjoys close camaraderie and ensures workplace wellbeing by having regular activities like “virtual coffee” sessions, where the group shares ideas and help members improve.

Rosa Raco

Joel Zyngier

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