Qualification(s): LLB (Hons), BA
Giri Sivaraman is a Principal at Maurice Blackburn. He is the head of the firm’s Queensland Employment law department based in Brisbane, which is listed by the highly respected Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession as one of two top tier law firms for employees in Queensland. He is part of the National employment law practice recognised by the respected Doyle’s Guide as the only first tier legal practice for employees in Australia.
Giri is recognised as a preeminent lawyer for employees in Queensland by Doyle's Guide and he is a member of the Law Society of Queensland employment law subcommittee. He is also a LSQ accredited specialist in workplace relations and a Law Society of NSW accredited specialist in employment and industrial law.
Giri has 15 years’ experience providing a full range of legal services to executive and employment law clients including CEOs of ASX 200 listed companies, the CEO of a prominent NGO, the CEO of a large software developer, executives in the financial and banking sectors, medical professionals, senior public servants, senior marketing executives and incorporated associations.
Giri sees clients throughout Queensland and provides advice and legal representation in all areas of employment law including workplace bullying, employment contracts, redundancy, restraint of trade, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, adverse action, and unfair dismissal. He is also experienced in representing employees including very senior executives who are the subject of workplace investigations and disciplinary processes. Giri has negotiated a number of significant out of court settlements, and notes that the vast majority of his cases are successfully settled without going to court. He is conscious of the discretion required when dealing with people’s livelihood and reputation, noting that legal action is not often something a client will want splashed across the front page of the major newspapers. His significant cases include:
- headed the pro bono scheme for underpaid 7-Eleven workers run by Maurice Blackburn
- bringing one of the first successful adverse action cases under the new Fair Work Act representing an aircraft engineer who had his work rights breached
- representing Aid/Watch in the High Court, successfully challenging the Australian Taxation Office’s decision to deny it charitable status. This case significantly altered Australian tax law and enabled many charities to retain their charitable status
- successfully resolved breach of contract claim for CEO of multinational software company
- winning a discrimination case on behalf of a Senior police officer dismissed for discriminatory reasons
- defending and assisting the CEO of an ASX 200 company in response to serious allegations of harassment, and
- appeared before the Commonwealth Government Parliamentary Inquiry into corporate avoidance of the Fair Work Act.
Giri’s influence as a thought leader in employment law in Australia is also well recognised. He addressed the Commonwealth House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment on the need for new anti-bullying laws, and was delighted to see those laws enacted in 2014. He was also invited to make submissions to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Bullying at NSW WorkCover, and is a regular contributor to public debate on employment issues. He also helped provide the seed which grew to establish Unions 4 Refugees in Queensland.
Memberships and awards
- Preeminent Employment Lawyer in Queensland - Doyle's Guide 2019, 2018, and 2017
- Leading Employment Lawyer in Queensland and Australia - Doyle's Guide 2016
- Recommended Employment Lawyer - Doyle's Guide 2014 & 2015
- Deputy Chair of the Law Society of Queensland employment law subcommittee
- Queensland Multicultural Advisory Council to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs
- Queensland Law Society member
- Multicultural Development Australia Ltd board member