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James Simpson

Partner - Workplace and Employment

By taking a practical and strategic approach to his practice, James focuses on solving complex problems for clients. As a workplace and employment expert, James is driven by his curiosity and strives to deliver efficient solutions. He enjoys examining and evaluating matters to find the best outcome for clients.

James leads Hamilton Locke’s workplace and employment practice. His experience spans across advisory and litigation in employment and labour law. This includes complex employment litigation, organisational restructuring, industrial relations management, international workplace law, Equal Employment Opportunity (EOO) and discrimination, work health and safety, and major workplace investigations.

Recognised in the Chambers Global Guide, clients have noted James as an “incredible strategic brain” and “prowess as a litigator on complex workplace matters.” He has also been recognised in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide, with clients noting he is “strategically brilliant with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.” 

James was previously the head of KPMG’s workplace and employment law group. Prior to joining KPMG, James was a partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler and head of its workplace advisory group. He was also a member of the employment and industrial law group at Clayton Utz.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Employment Law; Industrial Relations; Discrimination; Work Health and Safety

 

AWARDS

  • Chambers & Partners Global Guide, Ranked Lawyer – Employment, 2015 – 2016
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide, Recognised Lawyer – Labour and Employment, 2015 – 2016
  • Best Lawyers (Global Business Edition) – Occupational Health and Safety Law, 2020
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association Legal Benchmarking Report - Best Lawyer, 2010

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • BCom LLB – University of Newcastle

 

SELECTED REPRESENTATIONS

  • Successfully defending two international clients in Australia's first major case on the application of Australian employment laws to overseas employees.
  • Successfully defending sham contractor proceedings brought against a multinational organisation by 17 independent contractors.
  • Leading a major cross-organisation project for a large government department on work health and safety compliance.
  • Leading a complex employment vendor due diligence for a multi-billion dollar transaction.
  • Successfully resolving a number of claims of unlawful discrimination against an ASX200 company.
  • Successfully resolving industrial disputes across a number of sites for a major Australian manufacturer.