Anna Elliott

Anna M. Elliott

Partner

Anna Elliott specialises in the area of workplace relations and provides advice, representation and corporate support to clients in all aspects of employment and industrial relations law, both contentious and non-contentious.

Anna provides commercial solutions-driven advice for clients in a broad range of industries, including media and entertainment, financial services, recruitment, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, construction, professional services and government agencies. Her particular areas of expertise are advising on restrictive covenant issues, corporate transactions and restructures, employment litigation and discrimination, harassment and bullying issues. 

Prior to joining Squire Patton Boggs in Sydney, Anna practised in the workplace relations practice in the firm’s London office and in leading commercial firms in Sydney.

Anna supports a number of the firm’s global clients with their employment issues in Australia, as well as leading a number of her own client relationships. She also works closely with colleagues and clients in managing employment needs across Asia Pacific.

Anna is particularly skilled in advising on employment and industrial aspects of large scale corporate transactions including acquisitions for private equity funds, management buyouts as well as providing advice on complex corporate restructures and other change management programmes. 

She has extensive litigation experience and regularly appears for clients in Australian courts and industrial tribunals (particularly in relation to restrictive covenant issues).

She also has in-depth discrimination law experience and has conducted workplace investigations into employee complaints and allegations of misconduct, discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation. 

Anna is a member of the Law Society of New South Wales. She frequently speaks at internal and external seminars for clients and industry professional bodies on topics related to labour and employment, and industrial relations issues.

Explore

Employment Law – General

  • Drafting and negotiating terms and conditions of employment for local, national and international clients.
  • Drafting various policies and procedures, including social media, information technology usage, drug and alcohol and workplace health and safety policies.
  • Advising on award compliance and agreement making.
  • Providing advice on pre-employment processes, performance management, managing grievance complaints and absences due to illness or injury, privacy issues and termination of employment, including misconduct and redundancy.
  • Assisting international corporations with all employment aspects of establishing operations in Australia. This includes drafting template contracts of employment, policies and procedures, and providing general advice on recruiting and managing staff, and advice on compliance and regulatory requirements.
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of general protections, restrictive covenants and other employee claims in Fair Work Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales, Federal Court and the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Representing clients on implementation and enforcement of post-termination restraints.
  • Assisting on all employment-related aspects of complex corporate transactions, including advising on outsourcing and the application of transferring business laws, management buy-outs, and negotiating terms and conditions for senior management including retention strategies.
  • Advising on large-scale restructuring and redundancy programs for local and global corporations.

Employment Law – Specific  Examples

  • Advising a UK-based financial services company on its acquisitions in Australia, including the application of Modern Awards, transfer of business laws, privacy issues regarding cross-border transfer of information, terms of employment and entitlements, post-termination restraints and retention, and exit strategies for key management. 
  • Advising a private equity client on its employment issues relating to a proposed share purchase of a national financial services company. 
  • Advising a private equity client on a large-scale restructure and redundancy program for a national retail portfolio company. Work involved advising on the consultation process and employee entitlements, which included considering pre-Modern Award entitlements in four states, and advising on strategies for senior executives including drafting Deeds of Release.
  • Representing a national company in relation to a general protections claim in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne which was brought by a former employee against four respondents, including senior management. The claim involved adverse action, discrimination and unlawful termination and is in the process of being settled. 
  • Representing a government agency in New South Wales on a complex discrimination claim brought by a current employee in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney. Work included dealing with insurers and addressing concurrent performance management and union issues. The matter was settled at court mediation with a favourable outcome for the client. 
  • Advising a global recruitment agency on enforcing post-termination restraints following a team move to a competitor which involved multiple breaches of ongoing obligations. This achieved the client’s objectives and resulted in the former team restricting their activities with their new employer.

Industrial Relations

  • Advising a large Australia-based media company in relation to Modern Award coverage, classification of employees, addressing employee and union complaints, and preventing underpayment claims.
  • Assisting a national manufacturing company on its proposed closure of a manufacturing site by developing a communication and consultation plan for employees and their union representatives.
  • Advising a large construction company on union rights of entry laws.

Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Law

  • Being appointed as an independent investigator for media, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies on numerous internal complaints in the workplace relating to bullying, harassment, discrimination and employee fraud which were successfully resolved and prevented legal proceedings.

Education

  • Nottingham Trent University, L.P.C., 1999
  • University of Bristol, LL.B., 1998

Admissions

  • New South Wales, 2008
  • England and Wales, 2002

Recognitions

  • Recommended in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 in Labour and employment, Australia
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 in Employment, Australia.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Conducting Workplace Investigations”, College of Law, February 2015.
  • Speaker, “Employment Issues in Business Transactions”, College of Law, March 2015.
  • Speaker, “The Impact of technology on work and acquiring talent”, The Global Recruiter Asia Pacific Summit, September 2015.
  • Speaker, “Protecting Your Business When Staff Leave,” Australian Commercial Lawyers Association, August 2012.
  • Speaker, “Protection of Business Assets Which may Walk out of the Door with Senior Employees,” University of New South Wales CLE, March 2012.
  • Speaker, “Social Media - Risks to Your Business,” Institute of Internal Auditors, 2011.
  • Speaker, “The Great Debate: Recruiting and the use of social media,” Randstad, November 2010.
  • Speaker, “The Fair Work Act,” The Knowledge Shop, May/June 2010 in Sydney, Newcastle and Adelaide.

Publications

  • Mentioned, “Pay deductions must be by the book, warns lawyer”, Shortlist, March 2016.
  • Author, “Changing the Game: Social Media and Recruitment,” Randstad’s Great Debate, Human Capital Magazine, February 2011.
  • Mentioned, “Weighing up the Ethics of Snooping,” Australian Financial Review, Workspace, November 2010.

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