Emily Aitken

Call 2022

Background

Emily has over a decade of combined experience at the New South Wales Bar and as a Senior Associate in the International Employment Law team of top-tier international law firm, Seyfarth Shaw LLP. At the Bar, Emily regularly appears in State and Federal jurisdictions in a range of employment and industrial, work health and safety, heavy vehicle and discrimination matters. She also accepts briefs in broader commercial law matters.

Emily’s client base ranges from government agencies, ASX and overseas listed companies, to small and medium-sized corporations and individuals. She has a real depth and breadth of experience in her core areas of practice and has a deep understanding of the broader regulatory culture and environment. Emily acts in matters that are the subject of a full range of claims available under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), as well as employment claims based in contract, work health and safety prosecutions, reviews of statutory notices, prosecutions brought under the Heavy Vehicle National law, and coronial inquests.

Emily is valued for her pragmatism, diligence and thorough preparation of matters, as well as her collaborative approach to resolving matters with her instructing solicitors and clients. She is a highly experienced barrister who works closely with clients often from the point of notification of an incident, to the end of litigation, and is instrumental in achieving successful outcomes.

Emily’s expansive practice in her core areas has seen her appear for clients in trial proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales, District Court of New South Wales, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and before the Fair Work Commission. She also appears in sentencing proceedings in the District Court of New South Wales and Local Court of New South Wales and in Coronial Inquests and Inquiries and in interstate jurisdictions. When led, Emily appears with pre-eminent Silks and senior juniors. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology).

Speaking Engagements

Select Matters (Unled)

  • Zahran v IDA Design Group Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 3024
    Appearance for the Respondent in the Fair Work Commission in respect of the Respondent’s jurisdictional objection to the Applicant’s unfair dismissal application. Jurisdictional objection upheld.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator v Dickenson Corporation Pty Ltd [2023] (unreported)
    Appearance for the Defendant in sentencing proceedings in the Tweed Heads Local Court in respect of prosecution for a breach of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. 
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator v Titan Cranes & Rigging Pty Ltd [2023] (unreported)
    Appearance for the Defendant in sentencing proceedings in the ACT Magistrates Court in respect of prosecution for breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. 
  • Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre Pty Ltd T/A Genesiscare South Australia v Health Services Union South Australia/Northern Territory Branch [2023] (settled prior to full hearing)
    Appearance for the Applicant in proceedings before the Fair Work Commission seeking orders to suspend protected industrial action pursuant to section 424 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
  • Wu v Sammi (Aust) Pty Ltd [2023] (settled prior to full hearing)
    Acting for the Respondent in claim alleging unlawful adverse action and under payments in breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) commenced in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia.
  • Transport for New South Wales v Coastal Transport Services Pty Limited [2023] (unreported)
    Acting for heavy vehicle operator in appeal of suspension of heavy vehicle registration made to the Local Court of New South Wales.
  • Sarkis v Wright Pools (NSW) Pty Limited (ongoing)
    Acting for the Respondent in a general protections claim commenced in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
  • Baker v Sydney Convicts Rugby Club Incorporated; Baker v Eames (ongoing)
    Acting for the Respondents in proceedings commenced in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal alleging breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).
  • SafeWork NSW v Mennen Constructions Pty Limited (ongoing)
    Acting for the Defendant in prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW alleging a breach of duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
  • SafeWork NSW v Mghder (ongoing)
    Acting for the Defendant in prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW alleging a breach of duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

Select Matters (Led)

  • Blackwood v Northern Beaches Council [2022] NSWIRComm 1052 (led by P Thew of Counsel)
    Appearance for the Respondent in the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW in an Unfair Dismissal Claim regarding a dismissal that arose from the Applicant’s refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Application dismissed. 
  • SafeWork NSW v Walgett Shire Council [2023] NSWDC 70 (led by M Shume of Counsel)
    Appearance for the Defendant in sentencing proceedings in respect of prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW for a breach of duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
  • SafeWork NSW v Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd [2023] NSWDC 580 (led by B Hogkinson AM SC)
    Appearance for the Defendant in sentencing proceedings in respect of prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW for a breach of duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
  • Department of Public Prosecutions v Unity Mining Pty Ltd (ongoing) (led by S Russell of Counsel)
    Acted for the Defendant in sentencing proceedings in the Magistrates Court of Tasmania alleging a breach of duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (Tas).
  • SafeWork NSW v Western Sydney Local Health District (ongoing) (led by B Hogkinson AM SC)
    Acting for the Defendant in a prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW alleging a breach of duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
  • SafeWork NSW v Western Sydney Local Health District (ongoing) (led by B Hogkinson AM SC)
    Acting for the Defendant in prosecution commenced in the District Court of NSW alleging a breach of duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
  • Mount v Dover Castle Metals Pty Ltd (ongoing) (led by G Fredericks of Counsel)
    Acted for the Respondent in a claim commenced in the Federal Court of Australia alleging unlawful adverse action in breach the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
  • CD 187/2022: Inquest into the death of Rozalia Spadafora (ongoing) (led by Maria Gerace SC)
    Acting for an interested party in the coronial inquest into the death of Rozalia Spadafora in the ACT Magistrates Court.
  • Morrison & Anor v Cedar Mill Events Pty Ltd & Anor (ongoing) (led by Jamie Darams SC)
    Acting for the Applicants in a claim for breach of contract and breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in the Federal Court of Australia.
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