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Michael Stutley

Fax +61.8.9216.0901

Mr. Stutley concentrates his practice in the areas of migration law, employment law, industrial relations, major incidents and workplace safety. He represents national and international clients in all areas relating to employment and industrial related action, including equal opportunity and occupational safety and health.

Mr. Stutley is also a registered Migration Agent with the Australian Government Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARN1386907).

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates in early 2011, Mr. Stutley began his career at an international law firm in 2006.

In 2017, Mr. Stutley completed a secondment as General Manager Industrial Relations with an international client of K&L Gates in the labour hire industry.


  • Listed in Doyle's Guide Leading Workplace Health & Safety Lawyers, Recommended (2018)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Legal Practice Board of Western Australia
  • Industrial Relations Society of Western Australia 
  • Law Society of Western Australia
  • Asiatic and Latin American Renewable Energy Group
  • Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI)

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Stutley has lectured in the unit of Human Resources Management Law at Murdoch University's School of Law.

Additional Information

Mr. Stutley also has admissions to the:
  • Fair Work Commission
  • Industrial Relations Tribunals and Commissions (State and Federal)
  • Advising clients on migration strategy, including international recruitment, expatriation and repatriation, sponsorship, nomination and visa applications, migration agreements and submissions to the Department of Home Affairs and the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • Advising clients on industrial relations and employment issues, including industrial relations strategy, bargaining, and managing and resolving industrial disputes.
  • Advising clients on human resources issues, including employment contracts and policies, terminations of employment, managing independent contractors, equal opportunity and discrimination issues, privacy and confidentiality, executive contracts and remuneration, and resolving workplace disputes.
  • Advising clients on employment aspects of commercial transactions and business restructures, including complex due diligence reporting on large acquisitions.
  • Advising clients regarding contested terminations of employment, unfair dismissal, breach of employment contract claims, discrimination, bullying and harassment claims and restraint of employment.
  • Advising clients on incidents involving workplace fatalities and injuries, including assisting clients to comply with their safety and health obligations and to manage issues arising following workplace incidents.
  • Advising clients on regulatory requirements, managing stakeholders, conducting investigations, inquiries, prosecutions and civil litigation.
  • Advising clients on various safety and health issues, including legal compliance, regulatory notices, audits and reviews, contractual issues dealing with safety, the interaction between safety and workplace relations, fitness for work and managing ill or injured employees.


  • Representing and providing strategic advice to a global client in the leisure and hospitality industry on the development of workforce strategies that aligned with its business operations in Australia, in particular assisting with migration strategies and permanent and temporary visas.
  • Advising an international contracting company in the offshore oil and gas industry on taxation and employee entitlement implications of using a workforce that includes temporary employees working in Australia.
  • Providing strategic advice to an international client in the offshore telecommunications and logistics industry regarding employees working in Australia and advising on the best way to prevent industrial issues arising.
  • Assisting an international client in the agriculture industry to migrate a General Manager to Australia to establish an Australian subsidiary, including:
    • advising on visa options and migration strategy
    • obtaining an approved business sponsorship with the Department of Home Affairs so it could nominate a position
    • completing the visa application process.
  • Providing representation and advice to a client in the health care industry regarding Australian Border Force monitoring and auditing. Successfully defending the client against any penalty, sanction or administrative action.


  • Successfully negotiating a discrimination claim against an Australian national labour hire company in the Australian Human Rights Commission and Federal Circuit Court to achieve a significantly reduced settlement.
  • Successfully challenging an application for an unfair dismissal claim made by a former employee against a global information technology company, which resulted in the applicant's claim being dismissed prior to hearing.
  • Advising and appearing for a client in the Australian maritime industry in unfair dismissal proceedings brought by one of its past employees. The matter involved conciliation proceedings, a conference before a Fair Work Commission member, a hearing and an appeal to the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission and an appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. We were successful in all instances.
  • Presenting monthly equal employment opportunity training courses for a client in the motoring industry to ensure all employees are aware of their obligations in the workplace.

Industrial Relations

  • Representing a client in the construction industry in negotiations with employees and appearing on its behalf in the Fair Work Commission in relation to its most recent enterprise agreements.
  • Appearing and conducting complex Federal court proceedings involving multiple parties on behalf of a client in the Australian maritime industry. Our advice also included briefing counsel, ongoing communication with the client's teams and stakeholder management.
  • Assisting one of the world's largest mining companies on the negotiation and drafting of its enterprise agreement, including advising on:
    • negotiation strategy
    • internal and external communications
    • drafting agreement clauses
    • advising on the impact of various clauses on the company's long term industrial relations strategy and potential dispute resolution strategies that may be required.
  • Representing and advising the management team of a Western Australian manufacturer in relation to enterprise bargaining, including negotiations during the bargaining process and its communications with the Australian Workers Union and employee bargaining representatives.
  • Advising a client on a successful application to obtain extended return to work orders from the Fair Work Commission to stop industrial action taken by employees.
  • Successfully defending a client in the Australian maritime industry against an application in the Fair Work Commission by the Maritime Union of Australia that alleged our client was engaging in unlawful industrial action.


  • Providing on site support, conducting investigations and preparing defences to prosecutions in the aftermath of fatal incidents involving workers at two aggregate manufacturing sites in Western Australia.
  • Conducting an audit and business review of a national construction industry client's operations in preparation for the introduction of new transport legislation.
  • Advising a client in the aged care industry on incident response and crisis management. Our advice included preparation of internal and external communications relating to the incident, witness interviews, and advising on their rights and responsibilities in a way that minimises the possibility of prosecution.