Practice area(s): Employment law services
Location(s): Melbourne
Qualification(s): BA, LLB (Hons)

Josh Bornstein is a Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, based in Melbourne. He is the national head of the firm’s Employment Law department. In May 2019, Josh was named Workplace Relations Partner of the Year at the annual Lawyers Weekly Awards. 

Rated by Doyle's Guide as Australia's leading employment lawyer for employees between 2013-2019, Josh has 20 years’ experience as an employment lawyer, advising professionals in the private and public sectors throughout Australia and overseas. His clients have included: senior executives, the Victorian Government Ombudsman, broadcaster Ross Stephenson, publisher Louise Adler, former Melbourne City Councillor Tessa Sullivan, the State of Victoria, legal, health, education and financial services professionals, the Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Super and the Essendon Football Club. 

Josh is a skilled and strategic advisor and litigator with extensive experience regarding: employment contracts, restraint of trade, sexual harassment, workplace investigations, adverse action, unlawful discrimination, redundancy, workplace bullying, and industrial disputation. He is vigilant about the protection of his client’s health and reputation.

Josh is listed by the renowned Expert Guides as among the best employment lawyers in the world. His legal achievements include:

  • Obtained the reinstatement of Rohan Brown, the Deputy Principal of Trinity Grammar School after the controversial decision to sack him in 2018
  • Successfully settled defamation proceedings against Mark Latham on behalf of journalist Osman Faruqi 
  • Settled an unlawful discrimination class action against the Commonwealth for $100 million
  • Represented the Victorian Government Ombudsman in a workplace investigation
  • Represented the Chief of Staff to a Victorian Government Minister whose workplace bullying complaint was investigated and upheld
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement for an unpaid bonus for a senior executive
  • Obtained court orders preventing a hospital terminating the employment of a Nursing Unit Manager in 2015
  • Represented Essendon Football Club in ASADA's investigations during 2013-2014
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement for a senior, long serving employee, after first taking urgent court action to prevent his employment being unlawfully terminated
  • Acted for the Fair Work Ombudsman in its prosecution of an employer who failed to offer a suitable position to an employee returning to work from maternity leave
  • Confidentially resolved the cases of two female air traffic controllers in Federal Court proceedings who alleged prolonged sex discrimination and severe workplace bullying

Memberships & accreditations

  • Law Institute of Victoria Member
  • Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law Advisory Board Member (University of Melbourne) 2004 - ongoing
  • Workplace Relations Section Executive Committee Member 2007-14
  • Maurice Blackburn Director 2004 - ongoing
  • Australian Journal of Labour Law Editorial Committee Member 2012 - ongoing
  • Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board Deputy Chair 2013 - ongoing
  • Australia Institute Director 2016 - ongoing
  • Centre for Future Work Advisory Committee 2016 - ongoing
  • Centre for Enployment and Labour Relations Law Advisory Board 2016 - ongoing
  • Tzedek President 2012-14
  • Per Capita Director 2008-2014
  • State Trustees Director 2010-2012

Awards