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Nick Ruskin

Fax +61.3.9205.2055
Fax +61.8.9216.0901
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Mr Ruskin is a partner in the Labour, Employment and Workplace Safety Practice. He approaches workplace issues in an efficient, forthright and practical way. His enthusiasm for these areas of law is a hallmark of his practice. Mr Ruskin has a preference for resolving disputes rather than engaging in unnecessary, technical and usually dissatisfying long game litigation.

His experience lies in healthcare, education, the public sector, retail and service industries with particular expertise in employment claims including workplace complaints and investigations, termination and discrimination law claims, labour disputes and advocacy before Tribunals.

He has been engaged from time to time as an external consultant to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, New York and Bangkok and has addressed an ILO forum at the United Nations on Australian labour standards.

He is active in human resources circles. He was Convenor of the Employee Relations Interest Group of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) (Victoria) for over two decades. He was awarded the 2013 AHRI Medal for services to the human resources sector.

Mr Ruskin is a regular and popular speaker and commentator at professional conferences on labour relations and employment law.

He was a member of the Legal Profession Reference Group, an advisory body to the President of the Fair Work Commission, Justice IJK Ross.

Professional Background

Prior to legal practice, Mr. Ruskin worked as labour relations practitioner for several organisations and regularly appeared before industrial tribunals.

Before joining K&L Gates, Mr. Ruskin was a partner and national practice leader of a leading employment law practice in Australia and New Zealand.


  • "Leading" Employment Lawyer in Doyle's Guide
  • "Best Lawyer - Employee Benefits Law and Labour and Employment Law" in Best Lawyers Peer Review
  • Listed in the Experts Guide to the World's Leading Labour & Employment Lawyers
  • Listed in Who's Who Legal as a "Global Leader" in Labour & Employment and a "National Leader" in Labour, Employment and Benefits

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member of Australian Human Resources Institute
  • Law Institute of Victoria 
  • Probono lawyer to several organisations 

Speaking Engagements

Mr Ruskin is a regular contributor to human resources and legal journals and is on the editorial panel of the legal publication Inhouse Counsel.
  • Acting for the Federal Government in a number of cases including Amcor Limited v Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union [2005] HCA 10.
  • Advising Victoria University on issues relating to transformative changes, successfully advocating in arbitration before the Fair Work Commission.
  • Acting for call centres in industrial and employment disputes.
  • Appearing for leading law firms in the Fair Work Commission about the scope of industrial regulation.
  • Representing a leading retailer in a contentious employment dispute.
  • Appearing for medical research institutes in the Fair Work Commission in successfully opposing the award coverage of institutes under higher education awards.
  • Representing vehicle parts manufacturers during industrial disputation.
  • Representing mining and energy companies in general protections proceedings.
  • Representing Universities in test cases before industrial and anti discrimination tribunals.
  • Engaged by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva to co- draft the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/ AIDS and the World of Work.
  • Representing a high profile public figure in a much publicised sexual harassment claim.
  • Representing a large employer in one of the largest self-reported underpayments claims in Australia