Maurice Blackburn welcomes new head of social justice

27 March 2017
Leading law firm Maurice Blackburn has welcomed Jennifer Kanis as the new head of its renowned social justice practice.

Ms Kanis joined the firm this month from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, where she was the director of advocacy and campaigns.

Prior to that, she was a Labor MP in the Victorian Parliament from 2012-2014. She has extensive experience as an industrial lawyer, and has also worked as a teacher.

Maurice Blackburn chairman Steve Walsh said the firm was thrilled to have someone with such diverse experience heading its social justice practice.

“Jennifer joins Maurice Blackburn as an accomplished lawyer and advocate with valuable experience in policy and community development as a parliamentarian,” Mr Walsh said.

“She has a long record of standing up for those less fortunate, which is central to the values of Maurice Blackburn.”

Ms Kanis said she was pleased to be returning to the law after a focus on advocacy, campaigning and policy in recent years.

“This role brings together my passions for the law, advocacy and politics,” Ms Kanis said.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the world of legal practice, and working to ensure Maurice Blackburn continues as Australia’s leading social justice law firm.”

Maurice Blackburn’s social justice practice takes on a wide variety of cases, mostly pro-bono, that challenge unfair treatment on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Current cases include fighting for the rights of injured asylum seekers, taking on the pokies industry, and seeking justice for young people mistreated in youth detention.

Ms Kanis has joined Maurice Blackburn as a senior associate. She took over management of the social justice practice this month from principal Jacob Varghese, who is moving into the chief executive officer’s role in April.

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