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Slater and Gordon appoints leading industrial lawyers to employment practice

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Slater and Gordon has appointed some of Australia’s foremost employment lawyers to lead the firm’s 80-year old industrial practice.

Phil Pasfield has been with Slater and Gordon since 2001 and brings almost 40 years’ experience to his new role as the National Industrial Practice Group Leader.

Meanwhile, Geoff Borenstein will join the firm from the Electrical Trades Union to lead Slater and Gordon’s Victorian industrial practice as a Senior Industrial Lawyer.

Slater and Gordon stalwart Mick Sayers has also been promoted to Principal Lawyer, with more than 20 years’ experience across the firm’s workers compensation, union and employment practices.

Acting Head of General Law Ben Hardwick said the trio would form the key leadership group that would guide Slater and Gordon’s industrial practice into the future.

“Slater and Gordon started its life as the firm for the Railways Union in 1935 and has helped shape the Australian industrial landscape throughout the 80 years since then,” Mr Hardwick said.

“Phil was admitted as a lawyer in 1978 and has been involved in a number of major industrial cases throughout his career, including the Constitutional challenge to the Workplace Relations Act in 2006 (Work Choices Case) and he also represented a number of unions before the Trade Union Royal Commission.

“Geoff is widely regarded as one of Victoria’s best union lawyers, with experience on both sides of the equation at industrial law firms and also within unions themselves.

“He has provided advice and acted in respect of many major industrial disputes, including the recent Carlton United Breweries dispute, and has premier vision regarding the future of this space.

“Our team is widely regarded as leaders in industrial law and the further appointments of lawyers of this calibre will ensure workers’ rights are protected and advanced for the next 80 years.”

Mr Borenstein welcomed his new role and said the appointment carried special historical significance for him and his family.

“My father, Herman Borenstein, joined Slater and Gordon in the early 70s and laid the foundations for the firm’s current industrial practice,” Mr Borenstein said.

“Now, 40 years later, I’m thrilled to be following in his footsteps by joining such a dedicated and experienced team.

“This is an important time for Australian workers and the accessibility of innovative and high quality legal services will play a crucial role in the protection of their rights into the future.”


Slater and Gordon Industrial Appointments

Phil Pasfield
National Industrial Practice Group Leader

Phil Pasfield is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading industrial lawyers.

Based in Sydney, Phil has been practising as a lawyer for almost 40 years. He joined Slater and Gordon in 2001.

Phil has been involved in a number of major cases arising out of industrial disputation including:

  • The Constitutional challenge to the Workplace Relations Act (Work Choices Case)
  • Representing a number of unions before the Trade Union Royal Commission
  • The Hunter Valley Coal Mine Dispute

Geoff Borenstein
Practice Group Leader

Geoff Borenstein has been practising for approximately 20 years and is widely regarded as one of Victoria’s best union lawyers.

Geoff has conducted legal proceedings and provided strategic legal advice in respect of many major industrial disputes, including the recent Carlton United Brewery dispute.

Geoff’s father, Herman Borenstein, joined the firm in the early 1970s and established Slater and Gordon’s current industrial practice. He went onto become (and remains) one of Australia’s leading industrial barristers.

Mick Sayers
Principal Lawyer

Mick Sayers was admitted as a lawyer in 1994 and joined Slater and Gordon shortly after.

He has extensive experience across workers compensation and employment law and most recently, he has been working closely with the CFMEU in Slater and Gordon’s union member services team.

Over the years, Mick has assisted thousands of CFMEU members and their families in a wide variety of matters including working closely with families in the aftermath of workplace fatalities. He also defended the CFMEU and many of its officials and stewards during the first wave of ABCC prosecutions.