Fiona Black

Assistant Crown Solicitor

Fiona manages one of three Workplace Law Teams in Crown Law and provides expert legal advice and representation in public sector employment law, industrial and discrimination matters and discipline processes.

Fiona has specialised in public sector employment law since 2004 and has worked exclusively for public sector agencies during her career. Fiona completed a two-year articled clerkship with the Crown Solicitor of Queensland before moving to the UK where she worked for Treasury Solicitors in London specialising in employment tribunal work and vexatious litigant applications. Fiona rejoined the Workplace Law Team at Crown Law in 2008.

Fiona advises and represents various government agencies on the most complex employment and discrimination matters including:

  • management of complex discipline and employee management processes
  • managing ill employees, including ill-health retirement
  • all aspects of the Public Service Act 2008 and Industrial Relations Act 2016
  • advice on complex statutory interpretation and legislative amendment
  • response to Workers’ Compensation claims and advice on work health and safety obligations
  • workplace interchange arrangements, employment contracts and statutory appointments
  • complex anti-discrimination and sexual harassment claims
  • all claims before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, including industrial disputes, unfair dismissals, general protections, stop bullying orders and public service appeals
  • advice on workplace investigations
  • employee complaints and grievance processes
  • advice on workplace change and redundancy.

Fiona's significant matters include:

  • Advice in relation to the application of s. 3 of the Judges (Pensions and Long Leave) Act 1957 and the calculation of the judicial pension of a retiring judge. The conclusions in Fiona’s advice were upheld by the Supreme Court in Tutt v State of Queensland [2013] QCA 59.
  • A claim filed in the Supreme Court for damages for reprisals, including dismissal, under s. 43 of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994. The claim settled out of court on a confidential basis.
  • A highly-sensitive unfair dismissal matter relating to a death in custody. The applicant was a Corrective Services officer who had been dismissed for misconduct in relation to his failure to properly monitor live CCTV footage, which showed one prisoner killing another prisoner. The matter was part-heard when the applicant discontinued his application for reinstatement.
  • An unfair dismissal matter relating to the storage and dissemination of a significant amount of pornographic material. The claim settled out of court on a confidential basis.