Member Profiles

Contact Details

Leigh Howard
Castan Chambers

Level 18
460 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel: (03) 9225 7103

Leigh practises in industrial relations, regulatory and public law.

He is briefed nationally for industrial relations work and has experience in all types of applications under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). His work in this area is routinely recognised by Chambers and Partners, Doyle’s Guide, the Legal 500 and the AFR’s Best Lawyers.

His public and regulatory practise extends to consumer, financial services, occupational health and safety, environment, discrimination and human rights. He has particular experience in civil penalty proceedings and white collar crime, and has acted for and against Australia’s most prominent regulators. He is known for his excellent grasp on statutory construction, constitutional, judicial review and regulatory enforcement principles.

Prior to the bar Leigh was a Senior Associate at Clayton Utz. He has also previously been a judge’s associate, a tutor in constitutional law at La Trobe University, and an editor of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia. He is a director and company secretary of List G Barristers.

“Leigh is highly engaged, exercises impeccable judgement throughout the litigation process, and is always commercial and practical, looking for the best holistic outcome for the client. He has a great demeanour, is approachable, very responsive, and puts clients at ease” – Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific Guide, 2023.

Notable industrial and employment cases

  • Re Commonwealth of Australia represented by the Department of Home Affairs [2019] FWCFB 143 (workplace determination arbitration, led by P O’Grady KC and S Meehan)
  • Regional Express Holdings Ltd v AFAP (2021) 290 FCR 239 (adverse action, coercion, threats, led by B Walker SC)
  • Wipro Limited v State of NSW & Anor [2022] NSWCA 265 (long service leave, overseas employment, led by Y Shariff SC)
  • Infosys Limited v State of Victoria (2021) 64 VR 61 (long service leave, overseas employment, led by P Hanks KC)
  • Elisha v Vision Australia [2023] VSCA; [2022] VSC 754 (psychiatric injury, breach of duty, breach of contract, led by B Myers KC and G Worth)
  • Regional Express Holdings Ltd v AFAP (2017) 262 CLR 456 (standing, led by M Follett)
  • Barber v Goodstart Early Learning (2021) 305 IR 38 (vaccination test case)
  • Glover v Ozcare (2021) 306 IR 349 (vaccination test case)
  • Heldberg v Rand Transport (1986) Pty Ltd (2018) 280 IR 93 (misleading and deceptive conduct, reasonable notice, incorporation of policy, bonus scheme)
  • Visy v AMWU & Ors [2018] FCA 1799 (unprotected industrial action, coercion, adverse action, led by J Snaden)
  • Re Minister for Industrial Relations for the State of Victoria [2016] FWC 8826 (section 424 termination, l?ed by F Parry KC)
  • Esso Australia v AWU (2016) 245 FCR 39 (unprotected industrial action, coercion (as instructing solicitor))

Notable public and regulatory cases

  • Lendlease v ABCC (2022) 175 ALD 415 (implied freedom of political communication, constitutional facts, led by J Bourke KC and M Follett)
  • ASIC v AMP Superannuation Ltd & Ors [2022] FCA (unconscionable conduct, fees for no service, led by C Truong KC)
  • Ashby v Commonwealth (2022) 402 ALR 208; (2021) 386 ALR 23; [2021] FCA 830 (PGPA Act, act of grace payment, jurisdictional error, delegation, led by J Davidson)
  • ASIC v AMP Financial Planning & Ors [2022] FCA 1115 (fees for no service, led by C Truong KC)
  • Geappen v ASIC [2020] AAT (FoFA adviser duties, led by B McTaggart SC)
  • Goodstart Early Learning Ltd v VWA [2019] SCV (judicial review of a refusal to enter into an enforceable undertaking)
  • FWO v Pioneer Contracting Services Pty Ltd [2019] FCAFC (accessorial liability, s 550 FW Act, led by R Doyle SC)
  • Winters v Fogarty [2018] FCA 1669; [2020] FCA 220; [2020] FCA 315 (discrimination, abuse of process, estoppel, unconscionability, deeds, accord and satisfaction, led by P O’Grady KC)
  • Burgess v Director of Housing & Anor [2014] VSC 648 (Charter of Human Rights and Responsibiltiies, public housing (as instructing solicitor))

Notable publications

  • Howard, L, “Victoria’s new general environmental duty: a comparison with its OHS forefather” (2019) 23(1) Local Government Law Journal 1
  • Howard, L, “The new penalties doctrine and its application to employment contracts” (2020) 49(3) Australian Bar Review 461
  • Howard, L, “Corporate crime and officer liability under WH&S legislation now in harmony: But will it please the ear of the indemnified and insured?” (2013) 31(7) Company and Securities Law Journal 437
  • Howard, L, “Industrial action as a means to compel employers to commence bargaining” (2013) 26(2) Australian Journal of Labour Law 214