People: Rachel Bernasconi, Partner

Photo of Rachel Bernasconi, Partner

Rachel Bernasconi

Partner

Sydney
Direct: +61 2 8256 0416
Mobile: +61 419 975 849
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Rachel Bernasconi is a partner of Seyfarth Shaw Australia specialising in employment, labour law and discrimination matters.

Rachel’s clients have described her as “magnificent: highly pragmatic and very commercial”, “an excellent lawyer who gives digestible advice in a practical and structured form”, and “a real standout lawyer". Rachel is recognised by Chambers and Partners, Doyles Guide, and Best Lawyers.

Rachel works across a broad range of industries including travel, aviation, road transport, pharmaceutical, aged care, manufacturing and labour hire.

She has taken a lead role representing some of Australia’s leading companies in their high-profile industrial disputes. She has also worked closely with large corporates, and government business enterprises to:

  • Develop and implement strategic industrial arrangements and collective bargaining strategies 
  • Reduce industrial and legal risks associated with major business restructuring 
  • Manage and resolve complex industrial disputes and deal with industrial action 
  • Manage discrimination and sexual harassment complaints and proceedings 
  • Defend litigation in numerous Australian jurisdictions. 

Rachel has: 

  • Acted for Qantas in the much-publicised dispute with the Transport Workers’ Union, including: preparing for, and responding to, protected industrial action; advising on the lockout of ground staff; and acting in the subsequent compulsory arbitration proceedings before Fair Work Australia which was the first contested workplace determination proceedings under the Fair Work Act 2009. The determination was widely regarded as a comprehensive victory for Qantas
  • Advised a large employer on managing the industrial risks, including EBA compliance and adverse action risks, of multiple large-scale restructuring and outsourcing proposals designed to improve business efficiency and reduce costs
  • Advised and assisted a road transport company to develop and implement contingency plans for protected industrial action involving strikes, bans and limitations
  • Advised and appeared in proceedings resulting in the termination of protected industrial action on health, safety and welfare grounds
  • Represented a leading service provider in the structuring of enterprise agreement arrangements enabling it to provide a highly competitive but stable service offering to its customers
  • Provided strategic advice to a government enterprise on options for transforming the way it dealt with long-term ill and injured employees
  • Acted for a large transport company in successfully defending breach of enterprise agreement proceedings with significant implications for future business restructuring
  • Successfully defended Federal Court proceedings commenced by a union seeking declarations as to coverage of an enterprise agreement which, if successful, would have imposed significant restraints on business flexibility
  • Successfully resolved a contentious senior executive termination for a not-for-profit organisation without resort to litigation
     

Rachel recently completed short courses in strategy and, management  and negotiation at Harvard University. 

Rachel Bernasconi is a partner of Seyfarth Shaw Australia specialising in employment, labour law and discrimination matters.

Rachel’s clients have described her as “magnificent: highly pragmatic and very commercial”, “an excellent lawyer who gives digestible advice in a practical and structured form”, and “a real standout lawyer". Rachel is recognised by Chambers and Partners, Doyles Guide, and Best Lawyers.

Rachel works across a broad range of industries including travel, aviation, road transport, pharmaceutical, aged care, manufacturing and labour hire.

She has taken a lead role representing some of Australia’s leading companies in their high-profile industrial disputes. She has also worked closely with large corporates, and government business enterprises to:

  • Develop and implement strategic industrial arrangements and collective bargaining strategies 
  • Reduce industrial and legal risks associated with major business restructuring 
  • Manage and resolve complex industrial disputes and deal with industrial action 
  • Manage discrimination and sexual harassment complaints and proceedings 
  • Defend litigation in numerous Australian jurisdictions. 

Rachel has: 

  • Acted for Qantas in the much-publicised dispute with the Transport Workers’ Union, including: preparing for, and responding to, protected industrial action; advising on the lockout of ground staff; and acting in the subsequent compulsory arbitration proceedings before Fair Work Australia which was the first contested workplace determination proceedings under the Fair Work Act 2009. The determination was widely regarded as a comprehensive victory for Qantas
  • Advised a large employer on managing the industrial risks, including EBA compliance and adverse action risks, of multiple large-scale restructuring and outsourcing proposals designed to improve business efficiency and reduce costs
  • Advised and assisted a road transport company to develop and implement contingency plans for protected industrial action involving strikes, bans and limitations
  • Advised and appeared in proceedings resulting in the termination of protected industrial action on health, safety and welfare grounds
  • Represented a leading service provider in the structuring of enterprise agreement arrangements enabling it to provide a highly competitive but stable service offering to its customers
  • Provided strategic advice to a government enterprise on options for transforming the way it dealt with long-term ill and injured employees
  • Acted for a large transport company in successfully defending breach of enterprise agreement proceedings with significant implications for future business restructuring
  • Successfully defended Federal Court proceedings commenced by a union seeking declarations as to coverage of an enterprise agreement which, if successful, would have imposed significant restraints on business flexibility
  • Successfully resolved a contentious senior executive termination for a not-for-profit organisation without resort to litigation
     

Rachel recently completed short courses in strategy and, management  and negotiation at Harvard University. 

Education

  • B.Com., University of Sydney

  • LL.B., University of Sydney

Admissions

  • An Australian legal practitioner admitted in New South Wales (2000)