Chris came to the bar in 1992. He took silk in 2015.
Prior to coming to the bar Chris worked as a junior associate to Sir Gerard Brennan in the High Court of Australia in 1990. He then worked as associate to Judge John Hassett in the County Court in 1991.
He has been involved in a number of the leading employment/industrial cases over the last 15 years. He appeared in:
ACTEW Corp Ltd v Pangallo (2002) 127 FCR 1: A case concerning the interaction between administrative law rights and award rights. He appeared as junior to J Purnell SC in the Supreme Court of the ACT, the Full Court of the Federal Court on appeal and in the High Court where his client successfully resisted the grant of special leave.
AIG v AFMEPKIEU (Emwest) (2003) 130 FCR 524: A case concerning the capacity of industrial organisations to take industrial action during the currency of a certified agreement in support of claims not dealt with in the certified agreement. Chris appeared as junior to M McDonald (as he then was) on behalf of the Australian Industry Group.
Electrolux Home Products Pty Ltd v Australian Workers' Union (2004) 221 CLR 309: This is the leading authority on the requirement that matters sought to be included in certified agreements (and in respect of which protected industrial action may be taken) must pertain to the employment relationship. Chris appeared as junior to F Parry QC on behalf of the Australian Industry Group.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Finance Sector Union of Australia  FCA 1048 (2006) 154 IR 467: A case concerning whether shareholder action organised by an industrial organisation involved coercion in breach of the Workplace Relations Act 1996. Chris appeared as junior to H Dixon SC on behalf of the Commonwealth bank.
Andrew Cruickshank v Priceline Pty Ltd  AIRC 1005 (14 December 2007): Authority on whether the termination of employment can be characterised as a redundancy when the employer still wants the job to be performed but wants it performed by somebody engaged at a lesser remuneration level. Chris appeared for Priceline.
Village Roadshow Limited - re Appeal against the decision (PR974111) of Commissioner Hingley  AIRCFB 35: A Full Bench Decision, in which the Minister intervened, on the obligation to redeploy in cases of redundancy. Chris appeared for the appellant, Village Roadshow. M Bromberg SC (as he then was) appeared for the applicant. T Ginnane SC (as he then was) appeared for the Minister.
Barclay v The Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education  FCA 284 (2010) 193 IR 251: Chris appeared in this matter leading A McNab (as he then was) before Tracey J. The construction of the Fair Work Act 2009 they put forward was accepted by Tracey J. It was consistent with the construction adopted by the High Court in Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education v Barclay  HCA 32 (7 September 2012).
Barclay v The Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education (2011) 191 FCR 212: Chris appeared in this matter leading A McNab (as he then was). The construction of the Fair Work Act 2009 that they put forward was accepted by Lander J. It was consistent with the construction adopted by the High Court in Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education v Barclay  HCA 32 (7 September 2012).
Jemena Asset Management (3) Pty Ltd v Coinvest Limited (2011) 244 CLR 508: Chris appeared in this matter as junior to A J Myers QC. They were opposed to P Hanks QC and S Moore. The case concerned whether there was a section 109 inconsistency between federally registered certified agreements and the State legislation supporting the construction industry long service leave scheme.
Qantas Airways Ltd v Transport Workers' Union of Australia  FCA 470 (2011) 280 ALR 503; Chris appeared in this matter as junior to F Parry QC. They were opposed to A Hatcher SC (as he then was) and M Gibian. The case concerned an action for damages brought by Qantas against the TWU for losses flowing from a fourhour nationwide stoppage of work engaged in by baggage handling staff in March 2009. Damages and penalties in excess of $700,000 were awarded. The appeal against this decision was dismissed by the Full Court of the Federal Court: Transport Workers' Union of Australia v Qantas Airways Ltd (2012) 199 FCR 190. The TWU was refused leave to appeal to the High Court: Transport Workers' Union of Australia v Qantas Airways Limited  HCATrans 192.
More recently Chris appeared in (in reverse chronological order):
AGL Loy Yang Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & Hardy  FWC 432 (the AGL Overtime Ban Industrial Action Decision)
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria v CFA (Discovery ruling)  VSC 573 (29 September 2016) and the associated decisions:
Volunteer Fire Brigades Vic Inc v CFA (No 3)  VSC 621 (18 October 2016)
Volunteer Fire Brigades Vic Inc v CFA (No. 2)  VSC 613 (10 October 2016)
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union-Mining and Energy Division v AGL Loy Yang Pty Ltd  FWCFB 6332 (21 September 2016) (the AGL PARBO Appeal)
Application by Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FWC 4364 (1 July 2016) (The AGL PARBO Case)
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FCAFC 169
Halici v KDR Victoria Pty Ltd T/A Yarra Trams (No.2)  FCCA 1391 (16 June 2016) (dealing with the tort of false imprisonment in the work environment)
“Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union” known as the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) v Viva Energy Refining Pty Ltd  FWCFB 1770 (14 July 2015)
Fonterra Brands (Australia) Pty Ltd v “Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union” known as the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU)  FWCFB 3912 (22 June 2015)
Fonterra Brands (Australia) Pty Ltd v “Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union” known as the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU)  FWCFB 3423 (27 May 2015)
Regulski v State of Victoria  FCA 206 (13 March 2015)
Zafiriou v Saint-Gobain Administration Pty Ltd  VSCA 331 (15 December 2014)
National Tertiary Education Union v La Trobe University  FCA 1330 (8 December 2014)
Paul Heath v National Australia Bank Ltd t/as National Australia Bank (NAB)  FWC 3944 (17 June 2014)
Australian Rail, Tram & Bus Industry Union v KDR Victoria Pty Ltd Trading as Yarra Trams  FCAFC 24 (18 March 2014)
Australian and International Pilots Association v Qantas Airways Limited (No 2)  FCA 109 (19 February 2014)
Zafiriou v Saint-Gobain Administration Pty Ltd  VSC 377 (24 July 2013)
Chris presents the advocacy course conducted by the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria along with Brian Lacy, a former Senior Deputy President of the AIRC. He has been involved in the presentation of this course for over ten years. The course is run in conjunction with the Fair Work Commission on an annual or biannual basis. It involves two three-hour lectures and two day-long Saturday sessions held at the Fair Work Commission.
In conjunction with the Australian Labour and Employee Relations Association and the Fair Work Commission, Chris and Brian commenced presenting this course nationally. The course has been presented in Perth on two occasions and one occasion in both Adelaide and Canberra. Chris and Brian have been asked to go back to both Perth and Adelaide later this year.
In 2012 Chris was nominated by the Australian Bar Association to be one of the two representatives from the bar on the Fair Work Commission Unfair Dismissal Users' Group. Chris participated as a member of this group until this year.
Between 2012 – 2015 he featured on Doyle’s guide as one of the pre-eminent members of the junior industrial bar in Victoria.
In 2016 he was one of the Doyle’s recommended Queens Counsel of the industrial bar of Victoria.
In 2017 he was named as one of Doyle’s pre-eminent Queens Counsel of the industrial bar of Victoria.