Nicola Smith

Senior Principal Lawyer

Nicola was admitted as a solicitor in April 2007 and has practised exclusively in the areas of employment law and industrial relations since December of the same year.

She has extensive experience advising a wide range of clients, both in the public and private sectors, on the full range of employment law matters including managing difficult employees, disciplinary matters, performance management, managing long-term absences including medical retirements and responding to employee complaints and grievances. Nicola also specialises in the conduct of workplace investigations and unfair dismissal claims.

She regularly provides strategic and pragmatic advice to clients with a view to minimising the legal risks that arise in complex and sensitive workplace matters.

  • representing and advising employers in unfair dismissal and adverse action claims, including appearing at hearings before the Fair Work Commission
  • advising on various matters relating to certified agreements and enterprise agreements, including options for terminating agreements
  • investigating allegations of sexual harassment, adverse action and undeclared conflict of interest
  • investigating complaints of alleged bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • preparing show cause notices and penalty letters in disciplinary matters
  • preparing necessary correspondence and briefing notes to facilitate independent medical assessments and ill-health retirements under the Public Service Act 2008
  • representing State Government departments and agencies:
    • at conciliation conferences in discrimination complaints before the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Australian Human Rights Commission
    • at conciliation conferences in unfair dismissal matters before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
    • in anti-discrimination, dismissals and other employment, including instructing at    hearings before QCAT and the QIRC
    • in appeals against Q-COMP decisions to accept applications for workers’ compensation
    • in a discrimination case involving significant issues of precedent, including instructing the Solicitor-General before the Queensland Court of Appeal
  • advising on employment and industrial issues, including on the existence and exercise of statutory powers and functions
  • providing statutory interpretation advice of public service and industrial relations legislation and public service directives
  • negotiating settlements of discrimination complaints, claims of unfair dismissal and workers’ compensation matters, and drafting deeds of settlement in such matters.