Maurice Blackburn appoints social justice practice head

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Maurice Blackburn has appointed Jennifer Kanis as the firm’s new social justice practice head. She succeeds principal Jacob Varghese, who will become the firm’s CEO next month.

Kanis, who joins the firm as a senior associate, comes from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, where she was director for advocacy and campaigns. She was also a Labor MP in the Victorian Parliament from 2012 to 2014, and a senior legal advisor at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights commission.

Currently a board member of Victoria Legal Aid and Melbourne Health, Kanis was previously council member of the City of Melbourne and a senior associate at Holding Redlich. She began her career as a teacher at Glen Waverly Secondary College.

Kanis, who has extensive experience as an industrial lawyer, said the role at Maurice Blackburn lets her bring together her passions for the law, advocacy, and politics. She will lead a practice that takes on a wide variety of cases, mostly pro-bono, that focus on unfair treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Jennifer Kanis

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