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David Woodman

David Woodman



  • Employment
  • Industrial Relations
  • Government
  • Administrative Law

WSG Practice Industries




David is in the Human Resources and Industrial Relations Group. He has over 10 years of experience acting for large public and private sector organisations in relation to the full range of employment and industrial relations matters, with a particular focus on enterprise agreement negotiations, industrial disputes and the implementation of organisational restructures. He is an experienced litigator with extensive experience in successfully defending (or otherwise resolving) high profile litigation against both organisations and their senior executives.

In recent years, David has worked on a number of high profile and/or strategically significant privatisations, private sector sales and restructures. This included acting for the Victorian Government in relation to the highly successful transaction involving the lease of the Port of Melbourne to the private sector. His expertise in relation to projects of this nature extends to providing both legal and strategic advice regarding the implications of transactions and structural changes from an employment perspective.

David's clients appreciate his ability to ensure that sound legal advice translates into clear, practicable business solutions.

Recent work:

Port of Melbourne Privatisation
Advised the Department of Treasury and Finance (Vic) in relation to legal and strategic matters associated with the transfer of employees in connection with the highly successful lease of the Port of Melbourne to the private sector.  David also provided advice to the Western Australian Government in relation to proposed  transactions in relation to proposals to lease of a number of ports in Western Australia

Enterprise agreement negotiations
Extensive experience advising a broad range of public and private sector clients in relation to legal and strategic matters associated with enterprise agreement negotiations with highly unionised workforces (including the management of protected and unprotected industrial action).  Recently, this has included advising the Australian Tax Office, the Department of Defence (Cth), the Department of Education and Training (Vic), Yarra Valley Water, VicForests, WorkSafe, Patties, EnergyAustralia and Eastern Melbourne Private Health Network.
Sale of business, restructures and workplace change
Regularly advising large employers in relation to the share/asset sales and the implementation of significant restructures and/or workplace change in the context of highly unionised workforces.  This advice focuses on the development and implementation of transaction/project strategies and plans that minimise the risk of disruption to an employer's business and maximise the prospects of the proposed changes gaining traction with employees/unions as quickly as possible. 

Defending/resolving high profile litigation against employers and their executives
Extensive experience successfully defending (or otherwise resolving) high profile litigation against both organisations and their senior executives.  This has included advising EnergyAustralia on the successful defence (both at first instance and on appeal to a Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia) of one of the most high profile employment claims in recent years in which a former executive brought proceedings under the general protection provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) seeking millions of dollars in compensation (Kate Shea v EnergyAustralia).    


Areas of Practice

Administrative Law | Employment | Government | Industrial Relations

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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