Penny Thew

Call 2005


Called to the Bar in 2005, Penny is highly regarded for her expertise in all aspects of employment and discrimination law, contractual disputes and restraints of trade. With over 23 years’ experience in advocacy, advising and dispute resolution, Doyle’s Guide has consistently recognised Penny as a recommended leading employment law barrister.

In 2024, Penny was awarded Commercial Barrister of the Year 2023 in the CorporateLivewire Global Awards. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Penny appears in all courts and is admitted to appear in the High Court of Australia.

In addition to her practise as a barrister, since 2017 Penny has been appointed a part-time Tribunal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, having been reappointed for further terms in 2019 and 2024. Penny has performed a secondment with the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, tutored in Civil Practice for the Law Faculty of the University of Technology, Sydney and was retained as the employment law legal adviser to the NSW Bar Association. In 2015, Penny drafted the Bar Association’s inaugural Model Best Practice Guidelines on the prevention of bullying, harassment and discrimination, endorsed by Bar Council and adopted by over 51% of the NSW private Bar.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Penny was a policy advisor to the Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner (with what is now the Australian Human Rights Commission) and practised for over five years as a solicitor in employment and workplace relations law.

Penny is regularly called upon to deliver seminars and papers on employment and discrimination law compliance issues, including for the NSW Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW, and has co-authored submissions for the Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia to the Productivity Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Penny holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Labour Law and Relations from the University of Sydney. She has completed an Advanced Advocacy Course from the University of Oxford (Keble College).

Principal Areas Of Practice



Select Matters (Unled)

  • Sutfam Holdings Pty Limited v Greer & Anor [2023] VCC 2421

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