Elizabeth O’Shea


Key practice areas: Public Interest Litigation
Qualifications: BA, LLB (Hons)
Location: Melbourne (VIC)

Elizabeth O'Shea is responsible for Maurice Blackburn's Social Justice practice working on cases which address issues of community concern and further the public good.

Lizzie has extensive experience and expertise in the area of employment and industrial relations. During her time at Maurice Blackburn, she has worked on discrimination and unfair dismissal matters and assisted in a test case challenging a provision in Workchoices that allowed an employer to dismiss an employee and advertise their job at a lower rate of pay.

Lizzie has also worked at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva monitoring compliance with conventions pertaining to labour standards. She worked specifically on provisions relating to gender and racial equality in the workplace. She provided technical legal assistance to member countries drafting their labour codes and attended the International Labour Conference in 2009.

After her time in Geneva, Lizzie undertook a voluntary internship in Louisiana, USA with a capital defence office working with indigent prisoners on death row. She assisted prisoners in drafting Federal Petitions on a range of legal and procedural issues and saw first hand the importance of effective legal representation for those in society who are traditionally disenfranchised.

Lizzie returned to Melbourne to work in the Social Justice practice and is passionate about righting perceived injustice and addressing issues that are of a broad community concern. Maurice Blackburn's Social Justice practice was formed with a commitment to taking on cases of political and social significance. The practice provides access to justice for people who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. The firm conducts social justice litigation on behalf of refugees, workers who have been underpaid, and persons who have been unfairly targeted by national security legislation.

Lizzie is also Chair of the volunteer human rights not-for-profit media organisation Right Now.