Working with government brings some of our most interesting and challenging assignments. Gadens acts for government agencies and statutory authorities at all levels, including the Commonwealth (as a member of the Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel), State Governments (including the Queensland Government Whole-of-Government Legal Services Panel) and many local and regional councils, including some of Australia’s largest.
Our dedicated Government Services Group includes a team of experienced, top-tier lawyers drawn from our various practice groups, who assist public sector clients to manage their often complex and strategically important requirements. This Group includes lawyers with first-hand experience working in government.
At Gadens, we pride ourselves on clear, practical and forthright advice. We help public sector clients make defensible decisions, manage risk, undertake transformative projects, implement and refine policy, deliver essential services, and promote and defend the public interest. We understand transparency, accountability, probity and ethics. And we recognise that good government stewards the rule of law.
Our dedicated Government Services Group includes a team of experienced, top-tier lawyers drawn from our various practice groups, who assist public sector clients to manage their often complex and strategically important requirements.
The group includes lawyers who previously worked in government legal teams, including the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), various State Government Departments and local councils.
Each member of the team has considerable experience advising public sector clients and understands public interest responsibilities.
As a member of the Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel (and the predecessor Legal Services Multi-Use List since its inception), Gadens has a long-standing history and established track record advising on constitutional matters relating to Australian trade and commerce, defence, foreign affairs, taxation, banking, communications and customs.
With over 10 years’ experience acting for the ATO and other Commonwealth agencies and statutory bodies including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) and Office of the Australia Accounting Standards Board (AASB), we have developed a thorough understanding of the political environment in which government departments, agencies and statutory authorities operate including the relevant legislative frameworks, constitutional law and administrative law processes.
Our expertise encompasses statutory interpretation, Federal and Supreme Court merits review and judicial review proceedings, advising in relation to reviews, inquiries and commissions of inquiry, legislation drafting, development and amendment, and all aspects of litigation including reviewing evidentiary briefs, advising in relation to numerous investigations, prosecutions and disciplinary proceedings including conducting appeals at the Federal and High Court level.
Gadens regularly advises various State governments and statutory agencies across Australia, particularly in the development, education, health, transport and housing sectors and in matters of public law.
Gadens is appointed to the Queensland Whole of Government Legal Services Panel and is one of the major suppliers of legal services to the Queensland Government. This includes Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Queensland Health, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Department of Environment and Science, Department of Education and Training, Minister for Economic Development Queensland, Department of Transport and Main Roads, and Queensland Building and Construction Commission. Gadens also advises a number of opt-in agencies such as government-owned corporations and universities.
Gadens has also represented a variety of other state entities such as Energy Safe Victoria, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), the Legal Services Board and WorkSafe Victoria.
We are also experienced with public interest disclosure obligations, whistle blower protection, financial accountability obligations and the particular legislative requirements affecting government-owned entities. Additionally, we are at the forefront of new developments affecting government, such as the soon-to-commence Queendland Human Rights Act 2019, which will impose new cultural and compliance obligations on public entities.
Our Government Services Group publishes a regular Public Law Tracker, which reports on key legal issues and developments affecting the public sector at the State level. You can subscribe here.
In our quest to support the communities in which we work, Gadens has partnered with all types of local government authorities, statutory bodies and institutions and as a result remains appointed to the panels of a number of local Councils in regional and rural communities across all states.
Local government clients include City of Brisbane, Bayside City Council, City of Ballarat, City of Gold Coast, City of Ipswich, Logan City Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, City of Port Phillip, Balonne Shire Council, Rockhampton Regional Council, Townsville City Council, Redland City Council and Redland Investment Corporation.
As the local government sector is impacted by legislative developments as well as political, social and economic factors, local councils, bodies and institutions require a legal partner that not only keeps ahead of these developments but also has significant experience across various areas of law.
We are at the cutting edge of assisting Councils to manage community funds and assets and in advising on the establishment and operation of investment corporations.
Our experience and expertise encompasses advising on work approvals and license approvals, governance, administrative law and statutory interpretation, infrastructure agreements, council rate issues, building for council purposes, advice relating to the application of local government laws, contract administration and procurement, employment and risk management strategies, occupational health and safety, public law, freedom of information and privacy in addition to the full range of dispute resolution matters.
We have particular expertise advising councils and elected officials on transparency and accountability matters, including on anti-corruption matters, electoral laws compliance and fundraising issues.
Gadens is heavily involved in local government associations nationwide, including the Local Government Association, Local Government Managers Association, Australian Local Government Women’s Association and the Planning Institute of Australia.
Our Government Services Group publishes a regular Local Government Law Tracker, which reports on key legal issues and developments affecting the public sector at the State level. You can subscribe here.