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Peter Punch

Peter Punch


Phone: (02) 8226 7369

International Phone: (+61 2) 8226 7369

Location: Sydney


In practice for more than 35 years, Peter is widely acknowledged in the profession to be a highly effective employment and workplace relations lawyer. He has been nominated by his peers to be included in the Legal Who’s Who in Australia, a publication that highlights the pre-eminent practitioners in each specialty of the law.

Peter is Special Counsel in the Employment and Industrial Relations Group at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers. Peter’s expertise covers all aspects of employment and workplace relations law, including unfair dismissal, drafting and interpreting employment contracts, registered organisations/ trade union law, industrial disputes, award and agreement interpretation and enforcement, enterprise bargaining, discrimination in employment and work health and safety.

Over the course of his career, he has acted for and advised all parties in workplace relations – employers, employees, unions, employer bodies, government and not-for-profit organisations.

Since joining Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers, he has been involved in a number of major test cases, concerned with establishing enduring principles of workplace law.

Peter has been an active participant in the workplace legal community. He was a foundation member of the Australian Labour Law Association and a member of its National Committee in 2010 and 2011.

He is widely regarded as an authority on workplace law and has been author, editor or contributor to a number of books on employment and workplace relations law including Australian Industrial Law, the Master Workplace Relations Guide and the Australian Labour Law Reporter.

In 2012, Peter acted for the Administrator of the Health Services Union East, in what was a unique set of circumstances in the history of trade union law in Australia.

Peter has also acted for clients in and appeared before various public or special inquiries over the years including the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Peter works part time for the firm on special projects particularly in the areas of registered organisations/ trade union law, while pursuing further academic studies.

“My clients can have complex problems. What they want from me is a path to the best possible result, avoiding or minimizing costs, contention and litigation. That is what I am about.”

Key Professional Achievements

  • Peter has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of NSW and a Master of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney.
  • He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in 1982 and a solicitor of the High Court of Australia in 1988.
  • He joined the firm in 1983. He was a Partner for 30 years, from 1988 to 2018. 
  • Member of the Accredited Specialist’s Advisory Committee, which assesses applicants to the Scheme, from 1994 to 2013, and Chair of the Committee from 1999 to 2013.
  • Listed in the 2024 Doyle’s Guide as a ‘Recommended’ practitioner in the area of employment (Employee & Trade Union Representation) – NSW.
  • Listed in the 2023 Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession as a ‘Leading’ practitioner in the area of employment (Employee & Trade Union Representation) – NSW.
  • Listed in the 2022 Doyle’s Guide as a ‘Preeminent’ practitioner in the area of Leading Employee & Trade Union Representation NSW.
  • Peter is an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Law by the NSW Law Society.

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