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Martin Watts

Senior Associate
+61.2.9513.2553
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Mr. Watts has a focus on employment and industrial law. He advises and acts for both private and public sector clients in relation to a range of industrial issues, including employer obligations arising under federal and state legislation and other industrial instruments, preparing contracts of employment and providing advice in relation to issues such as awards, enterprise bargaining, post-employment restraints and terminations of employment, including unfair dismissal claims and redundancies.

Mr. Watts also focuses on anti-discrimination law, providing advice to clients on their obligations under federal and state legislation and assisting with the resolution of complaints. Where complaints cannot be resolved, Mr. Watts acts for clients in any resulting litigation.

Mr. Watts has extensive experience in privacy law. He provides advice to a range of public and private sector clients on their privacy obligations under federal and state legislation.

Mr. Watts regularly conducts litigation for public and private sector clients across a range of jurisdictions. He has appeared for clients in the Supreme Court of New South Wales (NSW), NSW Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Full Court of the Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Fair Work Commission and NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

Mr. Watts assists clients by resolving a range of employment and industrial disputes in an efficient and cost effective manner, including negotiating resolutions through informal mechanisms such as mediation and conciliation conferences.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Watts was a senior associate at an Australian commercial law firm.

Mr. Watts' background also extends to performing secondments in the Employment Law Unit at the Office of the General Counsel of the NSW Police Force. During one of these secondments, Mr. Watts was acting Manager of the Employment Law Unit for a period of six months.

Achievements

  • Winner of the Macquarie University Law Society Paper Presentation Competition, 2008
  • Winner of Macquarie University Law Society Negotiation Competition, 2007
  • Golden Key Society member

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Law Society of New South Wales member

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Watts has extensive experience delivering training sessions and presentations to clients on a range of employment law topics, including presentations to in-house counsel and human resources professionals on conducting workplace investigations, enterprise bargaining, statutory employment entitlements and work health and safety obligations.

Recently, Mr. Watts held numerous presentations for a client in the mining industry, attending various sites in NSW to deliver training on appropriate behaviour in the workplace, as well as assisting in the rollout of a new policy pertaining to harassment, bullying and discrimination.
  • Providing advice to a public sector client on the drafting of the Government Sector Employment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013.
  • Appearing in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and successfully arguing that a complaint of race discrimination should be dismissed prior to a substantive hearing.
  • Acting for multiple defendants based in Australia and the United States in defending Federal Court proceedings concerning the enforcement of post-employment restraints.
  • Appearing in the Fair Work Commission in relation to an industrial dispute over the terms of an enterprise agreement, successfully defending a claim for payment of overtime.
  • Appearing in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and successfully defending a claim of unfair dismissal.
  • Acting for a private sector client in the Full Court of the Federal Court, successfully overturning a decision made at first instance.
  • Providing advice to a public sector client on the implementation of new contracts of employment and industrial policies following legislative change.
  • Acting for a private sector client based in Japan in relation to their acquisition of an Australian business, advising on the transfer of employment issues arising from the acquisition.
  • Successfully resolved numerous employment related disputes at conciliation conferences and mediations, including several complex and long standing disputes.