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Alice DeBoos

Practice Area Leader — Labor, Employment & Workplace Safety
+61.2.9513.2464
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Ms. DeBoos is a Practice Area Leader of the global Labour, Employment and Workplace Safety practice and sits on the firm's global Management Committee. She is an experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer who focuses on advice and litigation in employment law and industrial relations. She provides advice on all manner of issues relating to the employment relationship including labor relations, discrimination, termination of employment and the management of difficult employee issues. This includes the provision of strategic advice in relation to employment structures and industrial relations planning and management..

Ms. DeBoos is also an experienced litigator regularly representing clients in tribunals and superior courts in employment, industrial relations and restraint of trade/restrictive covenant cases. She regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission on the full range of individual and collective matters.

Ms. DeBoos' clients include large employers across a number of industries, including government, construction, infrastructure, transport, banking and finance, electricity and aged care. Ms. DeBoos focuses on providing clients with strategic and commercial advice in relation to managing workplace issues, partnering with clients to assist in obtaining outcomes which suit their business.

Ms. DeBoos has worked inhouse which has provided her with a unique set of skills, coupled with an invaluable insight into the expectations and practical application of the legal advice she provides to her clients.

Ms. DeBoos takes a practical approach to the delivery of workplace relations advice and understanding of a client's industry and business. She is also an experienced trainer regularly designing and delivering training programs and sessions for clients. This includes managing the legal aspects of employment and people management as well as industrial relations skills and compliance programs. 

Professional Background

Ms. DeBoos worked at a national law firm for a number of years. Prior to this she has worked in legal and employee relations roles inhouse, including managing the legal aspects of workplace relations and safety for a major construction company.

Achievements

  • Recognised in the 2017 and 2016 Chambers Asia-Pacific (Australia) Legal Directory Rankings for Employment.
  • Included on the 2016 Chambers Asia-Pacific list of recognised Employment lawyers
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Australia (2013, 2014 and - 2017 2015) for Labour and Employment Law
  • Listed as a 'Leading Employment Lawyer - NSW' in Doyle's Guide (2015 - 2018)
  • Listed as "Pre-eminent Employer Lawyer -  Doyles Guide 2018

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Industrial Relations Society of NSW member
  • Australian Human Resources Institute member

Speaking Engagements

Ms. DeBoos is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars in workplace relations and human resources, including the firm's Law@Work workshops. She is requested by external conferences to speak on the full range of employment issues such as termination of employment, equal opportunity and discrimination, as well as the management of relationships at work.

Additional Information

Ms. DeBoos is regularly asked for comment in the national press and has been published in The Australian and The Australian Financial Review. Ms. DeBoos has been widely published in human resources industry publications. Recent examples include:
  • 'The Law on Harassment is Simple: Businesses Must Condemn it', The Australian Financial Review, 1 December 2017
  • "When Office Romance Goes Pear-Shaped", The Australian Financial Review, 5 May  2017
  • "Building Industry Needs Better Foundations in Law", The Australian Financial Review, 10 July, 2015
  • "Toyota Seeks Double Time for Sundays", The Australian Financial Review, 16 December, 2013
  • "Hopes Perception Will Become Reality", Lawyers Weekly, 10 October, 2013
  • "MLC case: beware the gravy train" The Australian Financial Review, September 26, 2012
  • Prosecuting the CFMEU for contempt of court for picketing in contravention of a Federal Court Order (Bovis Lend Lease Pty Ltd v CFMEU FCA 194).
  • Acting for a major construction companies in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia to obtaining injunctions to prevent unlawful industrial action, recover civil penalties and damages from two construction industry unions (Lend Lease Property Management & Construction v CFMEU and Anor [2012 FCA 1273] and Baulderstone Queensland Pty Ltd v CFMEU & Anor [2012 FCA 520])
  • Designing and delivering industrial relations compliance training to over 800 employees of a major company.
  • Drafting and negotiating collective industrial agreements and employment contracts for employers in a wide range of industries, including devising strategic industrial relations plans.
  • Acting for a major logistics company in devising and implementing a strategy to manage its complex industrial relations frameworks and agreements over a five year period. This involved aligning the needs of the business over that period with achievable and innovative change in collective agreements and employment structures.
  • Defending a major retail bank in a Federal Court of Australia application under the Sex Discrimination Act by a female executive.
  • Undertaking complex workplace investigations involving harassment, bullying and fraudulent activity.
  • Acting for the employer in a successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim brought by an employee which upheld the employer's right to dismiss for serious safety breaches (Carrick v Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Limited [2012] FWA 4480).
  • Advising and appearing for a significant maritime industry client in unfair dismissal proceedings brought by one of its past employees. The matter involved conciliation proceedings, conference before a Fair Work Commission Member, hearing and an appeal. The proceedings were complex in nature as the applicant employee sought to merge the boundaries of Commonwealth legislation and Western Australian state legislation in order to sustain their argument.
  • Acting for the Commonwealth Bank (CommSec) in the successful defense of an anti-bullying application made by an employee (Aly v Commonwealth Bank/CommSec).
  • Acting for Essential Energy in a successful appeal to the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in relation to the interpretation of an enterprise agreement [2015] FWCFB 1981.
  • Acting for Essential Energy in relation to the termination of its enterprise agreement and related matters, culminating in a workplace determination issued in December 2016 by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission.