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Alanna Fitzpatrick

Special Counsel
Fax +61.7.3233.5900

Ms. Fitzpatrick is an experienced employment, industrial relations and workplace safety lawyer.

She is experienced in dealing with a wide range of employment matters including executive employment issues, performance management, grievances, disciplinary matters, discrimination and termination of employment. Ms. Fitzpatrick has a particular focus on assisting employers to manage ill and injured employees and restraint of trade matters.

Ms. Fitzpatrick is a commercially focussed and pragmatic litigator. She has assisted clients to litigate individual and collective disputes in the Fair Work Commission as well as disputes and regulatory prosecutions in the Federal Circuit Court and Supreme Court of Queensland. These include applications for unfair dismissal claims, general protections claims, actions by senior executives and post-employment restraint matters.

Ms. Fitzpatrick has a strong focus on workplace health and safety, providing front-end compliance advice as well as assistance in managing workplace incidents and prosecutions.

Ms. Fitzpatrick has advised her clients on all types of workplace investigations and undertakes workplace investigations, particularly those relating to bullying allegations and sexual harassment.

Ms. Fitzpatrick has advised companies in various industries including aviation, construction, energy and resources, medical and pharmaceutical, retail, higher education, government departments and government owned corporations.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Fitzpatrick worked in the employment team of a large national Australian law firm.

Professional Background

Ms. Fitzpatrick has worked at top tier and national mid-tier legal practices in Brisbane with a specific focus on employment, industrial relations and workplace safety law.

Prior to commencing in private legal practice, Ms. Fitzpatrick worked for the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations where she developed employment legislation and policy and was involved with the management of internal employee issues.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Fitzpatrick is an experienced trainer and regularly presents seminars and training on a broad range of employment related issues including workplace investigations, managing ill and injured workers and bargaining. She has developed and implemented a strategy to minimise industrial action during negotiation of collective agreements for a range of clients in the building, finance and manufacturing industries. Ms. Fitzpatrick has also prepared and presented a workplace training program to more than 200 long term employees designed to implement significant cultural change.
  • Advising a government owned corporation regarding the management of competing safety risks. The advice considered the obligations of the GOC and developed a strategy to ensure optimal management of risks and the discharge of executive officer liabilities under the Work Safety and Health Act 2011.
  • Provided advice, framework and policy for a Queensland organisation to manage the return to work and termination of workers who were ill and injured as a result of both work and non-work related injuries. The advice considered obligations under state and federal discrimination law, the Fair Work Act 2009, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, the Work Safety and Health Act 2011 and the operation of an income protection scheme.
  • Advising a government owned corporation about drug and alcohol testing on construction sites and the interaction between its obligations under the Work Safety and Health Act 2011 and the obligations of the principal contractor appointed to manage its construction projects.
  • Undertaken an employment due diligence project for a large Chinese institutional investor purchasing a Queensland Resort, advising of material risks associated with the existing employment and workers' compensation arrangements.
  • Acted for a labour hire employer in the oil and gas industry successfully defending an unfair dismissal claim on the basis that the employee who was a highly paid safety advisor was not covered by a Modern Award.
  • Acted in a variety of employment-related litigation matters and appeared in dispute resolution proceedings for a publicly-listed mining company who commenced proceedings against a former executive alleging breaches of employment and fiduciary duties in factually complex multi-party proceedings.
  • Managed a major project to redraft and implement new employment contracts for a large multi-enterprise organisation which included delivering a tailored full-day training course to all managers in the organisation.
  • Assisted a large Queensland Regional Council to undertake a restructure by providing advice, strategic direction and new employment contracts for the newly appointed staff. Successfully represented the Council in a number of employment related claims following the restructure.
  • Managing internal investigations into serious misconduct resulting in criminal charges.
  • Successfully conducting litigation before the federal court in relation to the termination of senior executives.