Maurice Blackburn and the ASU
Maurice Blackburn lawyers will go the extra mile to get you the compensation you deserve. If you are injured at work or have suffered loss, I recommend Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. They are the experts in personal injury law and will get you the best possible outcome.
Maurice Blackburn champions the same values and causes as the ASU. Their lawyers have successfully fought to improve workers’ rights and to achieve fairness in the workplace. Maurice Blackburn is the preferred legal advisor for our union.
While the firm has a strong reputation in work and road injury compensation, they can also help you with a range of other services including financial advice or will disputes, medical negligence, asbestos related diseases and superannuation and insurance matters. As a union member you can benefit from a range of free legal services, including a free initial consultation and a standard will.
The ASU is proud to stand alongside Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who has successfully represented thousands of our members. If you need legal advice or assistance, please contact the ASU on (03) 9342 3400, or contact Maurice Blackburn directly.
Victorian Branch Secretary
Maritime Union of Australia
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About Maurice Blackburn
Fairness is a universal right, not just for the chosen few.
If the right to be heard, be free, be safe or be equal is compromised for one person, then we risk everyone’s rights, too. Because a society that’s unjust to others, is a society that’s unjust to all. From the time we were founded by trade unionist and lawyer Maurice Blackburn in 1919, we have had a strong commitment to workers’ rights and social justice.
In 1919, Maurice Blackburn – a man whose sense of civil liberty was ahead of his time – set the course for social justice in Australia. In the time since, his law firm has contributed to some of Australia’s most influential legal decisions, from the 40-hour week and equal pay for women and Indigenous workers, to the fight against patenting of human genes and the largest class action settlement in Australian history. And the legacy grows as we continue to protect the exploited, free the wrongfully detained and hold the big names to account. Although we’ve been leading the charge for over a century now, as far as we’re concerned, the fight for fair has only just begun.
We’re for the little guy. We believe everyone deserves access to justice regardless of their financial means, whether they’re an individual or a group of shareholders.
We recognise that our clients put their trust in us to make the most of their shot at justice. So we work as a team to fight for a fair result for our clients. It’s the right thing to do.
It’s one thing to understand what someone is going through when the chips are down. It’s another to feel genuine compassion. At Maurice Blackburn we treat our clients and our colleagues like real people. We care about each other, and we’re not afraid to take thing personally.
Every day, Maurice Blackburn people are faced with a job that’s as complex as it is challenging. Good. We’ve never been afraid of the tough stuff. We approach hard work and big cases with a restless tenacity that is truly unique amongst our peers.
We have delivered thousands of compensation settlements for Australians who have suffered workplace accidents, or been victims of negligence and unfair practices. We believe that fairness is a universal right, not just for the chosen few. That’s why we fight for the rights of everyday Australians.
- Employment & industrial
- Public place injury
- Road injury
- Superannuation & insurance claims
- Medical injury
- Wills & estates
- Work injury
Asbestos is a natural mineral fibre which was used in more than 3,000 Australian building products from the 1940s until 1985, including asbestos or fibro cement sheeting and heat-resistant clothing. Exposure to asbestos fibres and dust can result in diseases, which usually don’t reveal symptoms until decades later. Maurice Blackburn has a team of dedicated asbestos lawyers who can help people suffering from asbestos-related diseases make a claim for compensation.
What do we do ?
We assist people who have developed diseases as a consequence of being exposed to noxious substances, including dusts, gases, and fumes, usually in respirable form.
The people we assist have been exposed to noxious substances in a variety of contexts, including occupationally (such as workers who manufactured or worked with toxic substances) and non-occupationally (such as home owners who performed home renovations with building products which contained asbestos).
What types of diseases can you suffer from?
- We bring claims on behalf of clients who suffer from a range of conditions including:
- Pleural/peritoneal Mesothelioma: a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust.
- Asbestos related pleural disease: a non-malignant condition caused by exposure to asbestos dust.
- Pneumoconiosis: a broad category of dust-induced lung diseases which included: Asbestosis; Bagassosis; Bauxite Fibrosis ("Shaver’s Disease"); Berylliosis; Byssinosis; Coalworker's Pneumoconiosis ("Black Lung Disease"); Hard Metal Pneumoconiosis; Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis ("Farmer's Lung"); Mixed-Dust Fibrosis; Siderosis; Silicosis; Silico-tuberculosis; and Stannosis.
- Occupational Lung Cancers: various forms of Lung Cancer caused by exposure to noxious substances in an occupational setting.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: a broad category of lung diseases which includes: Bronchiectasis; Bronchiolitis; Chronic Bronchitis; and Occupational Asthma.
If you or someone in your family has been injured as a result of an aircraft accident, Maurice Blackburn's aviation law experts will give you the best chance of making a successful plane crash compensation claim. Our experienced aviation lawyers will identify the best way to make your claim, and can initiate overseas legal action on your behalf.
What is an aviation or aviation-related matter?
If a matter has any potential defendant or factual element involving aviation, or the airline industry, then it is an ‘aviation or aviation-related’ matter.
This includes death and injury cases involving:
- ‘aircraft’ defined as: A commercial domestic or international airline, foreign airline, scenic flight operation, charter flight operation, aeromedical flight operation, private flight operation, skydiving, aerial craft used for work such as crop-dusting, aerial spraying or spotting, mustering, ultralight and recreational/home built aircraft such as ‘RA-Aus’ registered aircraft, experimental aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft (drones) as well as fixed wing aircraft
- where the death or injury occurred at the airport or aerodrome terminal, while embarking the aircraft, onboard, or while disembarking the aircraft (including situations where a passenger is transferring flights)
- any country or pairings of countries (for example, a slip and fall on an aerobridge while embarking a plane at London, for a flight to Dubai)
- situations where the only loss may be psychological, and
- enquiries from relatives of those lost in air disasters and crashes (even where they would not traditionally be thought of as the ‘next of kin’ for the purposes of a dependency claim)
It also involves:
- injuries or significant financial losses brought about by flight delays or cancellations
- matters arising from breaches of or insufficient safety and security at airports or on aircraft (eg terrorist acts at airports)
- injuries and grievances due to discrimination or lack of services for customers with specific needs (eg wheelchair access on a domestic flight), and
- death or injuries in airports.
Aviation law has no geographic limitation. The facts in question may have happened in any state in Australia, or any country in the world, but still should be considered aviation or aviation-related.
Aviation claims can involve elements of workers compensation and associated law – for example, if the injured person was travelling for work, or was an operating member of the flight crew, or even where an employer has chartered a flight to allow its workers to conduct operations such as aerial spotting or transporting people or goods.
Maurice Blackburn’s employment lawyers have a proven track record in providing advice and representation on a wide range of complex legal issues, from negotiating the terms of employment contracts, to enforcing bonus schemes and discretionary entitlements. That’s because our employment law division is recognised nationally as Australia’s leading executive employment law practice.
What do we do?
We provide advice on all aspects of the employment relationship. Some of the areas that we provide advice in relation to include:
- Advice on new or varied contracts of employment, for example a new job or a promotion;
- Workplace bullying;
- Discrimination, for example due to mental illness;
- Workplace investigations;
- Unsatisfactory performance and/or misconduct allegations;
- Sexual harassment;
- Parental leave and return to work arrangements;
- Adverse action, for example someone who has been treated badly or dismissed because they made a complaint in the workplace;
- Redundancy pay and entitlements;
- Negotiated exits from employment;
- Deeds of release for example when the employment relationship concludes;
- Restraint of trade after employment;
- Professional disciplinary proceedings; and
- Misleading and deceptive conduct.
If you have any question on Employment and Industrial Law please see your union for a referral.
You have the right to be safe when you’re in a public place. If you have been hurt as the result of another person or organisation’s negligent behaviour, you may be able to make a public liability claim for compensation.
Public liability law covers a wide range of circumstances where you may have been injured, or where someone close to you has died, due to the negligent acts of a third party. If you have been hurt in a public place, such as a shopping centre, a park, or even on the footpath, through no fault of your own, then you may be able to make a public liability claim.
What do we do
The public liability practice assists anyone that has sustained injuries other than at work or in a motor vehicle accident. There are various circumstances in which a public liability claim may be pursued, including:
- slips and falls in supermarkets or other retail outlets
- dog attacks
- falls on public or private property
- police and other assaults
- boating accidents
- playground accidents
- injuries sustained in sporting activities, where the sporting premises are in disrepair or poorly maintained
- residential accidents.
If you have been hurt as the result of a motor vehicle or road accident, Maurice Blackburn’s dedicated team can fight for you. We will do everything possible to ease your burden during these difficult times. Our road accident lawyers can help you make a compensation claim, whether you're a car or truck driver, passenger, motorcycle rider, cyclist or pedestrian. Our highly experienced personal injury lawyers understand every aspect of the road accident legal system and know how to get you everything you're entitled to and need. You also have varying rights in different states when travelling on public transport, and if you collide with public transport.
What do we do?
The road injuries practice assists clients that have sustained injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Such accidents can include:
- collisions between motor vehicles
- injuries to passengers in motor vehicle collisions
- pedestrians hit by a motor vehicle
- cyclists hit by a motor vehicle or the opening door of a motor vehicle
- motorcyclists hit by a motor vehicle.
Superannuation is not only available when in retirement, but can provide an income source if you have to stop work because of injury or sickness. This can be particularly important where the injury or sickness is not covered by a compensation scheme.
Maurice Blackburn has the largest and most successful superannuation and insurance practice in Australia and can assist clients with early access to superannuation, or claiming disability benefits, income protection and life insurance.
Our lawyers help clients track down their super and take on cases on a no win, no fee basis.
We also have the largest general insurance claims practice in Australia, and can help you with your flood, fire, motor vehicle or travel insurance claim. If you are unhappy with the way your claim is being handled by the large insurance firms, contact one of our skilled insurance lawyers for advice.
You have the right to trust your doctor to look after you properly. If your health care professional, hospital or other facility breaches what’s known as their duty of care, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
At Maurice Blackburn we have Australia’s leading medical malpractice team, dedicated to helping you get your life back on track. No matter what you are up against, Maurice Blackburn will fight to protect you. Laws relating to medical negligence vary between states and territories, but generally Australian law allows a person to claim for compensation if they have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of negligent medical treatment.
What We Do
We assist people who have been injured as a result of negligence on the part of a health service provider such as a hospital, doctor, dentist, pharmacist or allied health professional.
Laws relating to medical negligence vary between states and territories, but generally Australian law allows a person to claim for compensation if they have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of negligent medical treatment.
Medical negligence claims can involve:
- Emergency medicine;
- Misdiagnosis of medical conditions (for example after a pap smear, breast screenings or other diagnostic test);
- Drugs and Drug reactions; or
- Cosmetic surgery
Will disputes are increasingly common, especially given the changing and complex nature of Australian families. A Will dispute does not need to be a battle – it’s about working with all involved to bring about an acceptable outcome. When a person makes a Will, they have the right to decide who will inherit their assets after they die. But there are also laws to protect people who receive an unfair entitlement in a Will. At Maurice Blackburn, 98% of our Will dispute cases are settled without the need to go to court.
Whether you are thinking of challenging or contesting a Will, or if you are the executor or beneficiary of a Will that is being challenged, Maurice Blackburn’s highly experienced Will disputes lawyers can assist you
What do we do?
The Wills & Estates team can assist in the following areas:
- Challenging Wills where the client has received little or no benefit.
- Challenging Wills that are the result of duress, undue influence or lack of capacity.
- Acting for executors in defending Wills against a challenge.
- Acting for beneficiaries whose entitlement is threatened by a challenge to the Will (whether the client is an individual or a Not For Profit organisation).
- Recovery of estate funds that have been misappropriated.
- Obtaining grants of Probate and Letters of Administration for deceased estates.
- Applications for statutory Wills where the Will maker needs a Will but does not have the capacity to make one.
If you've had an accident or if your health and wellbeing have been affected in the workplace, you may be eligible to make a claim for workers’ compensation. This also applies to any injuries happening at, or as a result of work, and any pre-existing injury, illness or disease worsened in the workplace.
What do we do?
The work injuries practice assists workers that have sustained injuries at work, or whose health has been adversely affected by their work, to make a claim for compensation. The ability to claim may also extend to injuries sustained during normal breaks, such as morning tea or lunch time, and in some states it is possible to claim for injuries sustained on the way to/from work. We also assist workers’ families to make a claim where a worker dies due to a work-related injury or disease.
What can be claimed?
- There are various items that may be claimed on a statutory basis in respect of a work-related injury, including:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital expenses
- Personal and household expenses
- Occupational therapy
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Weekly benefits, if the worker unable to work as a result of their injuries
- A lump sum payment (dependent on level of permanent impairment, date of injury and applicable law).
In addition to the items that may be claimed under the applicable statutory scheme of the State or Territory, it may be possible to sue for additional compensation under common law, if the injuries are the fault of the employer or any other person, and subject to the applicable law of the State or Territory.
Sexual, physical and institutional abuse
If you have suffered from sexual, physical or institutional abuse, no amount of financial redress can take away the pain caused. In many cases of institutional abuse the injuries can be severe and long-lasting, often staying with survivors throughout their lifetime. However, you may be entitled to compensation to support you.
Abuse claims lawyers
Our expert abuse claims lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated team understand the difficulties you are facing, and will make sure the process is as simple as possible.
Specially trained in trauma-informed practice, our lawyers and support staff will approach your claim in a respectful, discrete manner to ensure your specific needs are met.
We have experience managing claims for clients who were subjected to abuse within organisations including churches, church- and state-run institutions, public and private schools, youth and sporting clubs, foster homes, reformatory schools and prisons.
Maurice Blackburn media team
Principal Lawyer, Office Leader, Road injury, Work injury
(03) 5221 1152
Special Counsel, Dust diseases, Workplace diseases, Work injury
(03) 9605 2700
Office Leader, Principal Lawyer, Work injury, Road injury
(03) 9794 0403
Office Leader, Principal Lawyer, Road injury, Work injury
(03) 8314 1200
Office Leader, Principal Lawyer, Road injury, Work injury
(03) 5444 4969
Office Leader, Senior Associate, Road injury, Work injury
(03) 5720 1511
Senior Associate, Office Leader, Road injury, Work injury
(03) 9469 6607
National Head of Personal Legal Services, Superannuation, Wills and estates, Insurance
(03) 9605 2792
National Head of Public Liability and Consumer Protection, Public place injury, Consumer protection, Childhood abuse
(03) 9605 2884
National Head of Wills and Estates Law Section, Wills and estates
(03) 9045 6922
Benefits for being an ASU member
Find out what our specialist lawyers can do for you
As a member of the MUA you have the bonus advantage of having Maurice Blackburn in your corner. We have a 100-year history of fighting for Australians to get a fair go. And we have fought alongside and on behalf of trade unions every step of the way. That's almost a century of providing successful and innovative legal advice to trade unions across Australia, covering workplace disputes, industrial action, good faith bargaining, breaches of awards and agreements, and union right of entry matters.
With a hundred years' experience under our belts, we’ve become experts at protecting and enhancing union members' rights. Which is why we are Australia's leading trade union law firm. We've been working together with the MUA for many years championing the rights of everyday people and defending workers' rights.
As a member of the MUA your membership gives you access to:
- free telephone advice regarding Personal Injuries
- a free half hour consultation with one of our Industrial and Employment lawyers if referred through the MUA
- free first consultation for all Personal Injury services
- 'no win, no fee'* for all Personal Injury services
- discounted fees for Personal Injury services
- an office close to your location
- the creation of a free standard Will for you and your partner
- access to our asbestos register.
Our specialist team of lawyers can be relied upon to:
- be available when you need us and rapidly respond
- perform reliably and dependably
- use our unparalleled geographic spread of offices throughout Australia
- keep you updated with developments on the legal landscape which may have implications for your members, their risk exposures, and for your organisation
- achieve the highest volume of media coverage if necessary
- avoid any conflict of interest, or even the appearance of possible conflict
- remain loyal and discreet in our dealings with you.