Susan Moriarty

Principal, BA, LLB (Hons)

Susan Moriarty, in her role as political advisor to the then Queensland Attorney-General, was responsible for sponsoring and promoting Queensland’s first civil rights legislation including Freedom of Information, Judicial Review, Street Marching, Anti-Discrimination and Penalties and Sentences laws.

In 1993, she was appointed as a policy analyst to the Freedom of Information and Administrative Law Division. In 1996, she was appointed Principal Legal Adviser to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Karen Walters.

In February 1998, she was promoted to Executive Manager, Human Rights and Administrative Law where she administered the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme on behalf of government.

In May 1999, she left the department to set up her own law firm specialising in workplace bullying in the Queensland public sector. Since then she has worked tirelessly for the rights of her clients.

Susan Moriarty is a well-respected, highly successful senior lawyer specialising in the employment, human rights, anti-discrimination and industrial spheres of law. She has over 20 years’ experience and remains very passionate about securing the best possible outcome for her clients.

Susan’s personal aim is to help her clients reach a timely resolution, allowing them to deal effectively with a difficult and emotional situation and move on to better times.


 

Benedict Coyne

Special Counsel, MSt (IHRL) (Oxford) (Dist. 1) LLB (Hons 1, university medal) (SCU), GDip Leg Prac (ANU), BA (Hist. & Env Ethics) (Murdoch), Dip (Counselling) (Sophia College)

Benedict Coyne is a specialist human rights lawyer and advocate based in Brisbane. He is Special Counsel at Susan Moriarty & Associates and he specialises in Discrimination, Employment and Human Rights Law. Benedict is the immediate past national president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) where he served for two years between 2016-2018. ALHR is a national network of Australian solicitors, barristers, academics, judicial officers and law students who practise and promote international human rights law in Australia.

In 2016 Benedict graduated with distinction from a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. As part of his Masters dissertation Benedict established and co-led the campaign for a Queensland Human Rights Act which after more than four years of campaigning achieved the passage of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). In 2009, Benedict completed his graduate law degree (LLB) at Southern Cross University and was awarded the university medal and numerous other awards for outstanding academic achievement. In 2011 Benedict as Associate to Justice Mordy Bromberg on the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne and had great exposure to employment law and human rights litigation including the famous Eatock v Bolt class action case (Eatock v Bolt [2011] FCA 1103) concerning the application of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) and Benedict assisted in drafting the now seminal RDA judgment.

Benedict is a passionate advocate for human rights both domestically and internationally and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Australian Lawyers Alliance/Amnesty International 2014 National Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award and the 2015 Queensland Civil Justice Award. Benedict was previously employed as Executive Counsel and a solicitors at a prominent Queensland law firm and National Law Firm where he ran wide, varied, innovative human rights litigation and advocacy. Benedict is passionate about obtaining the best outcomes for his client’s and ensuring they are well supported during challenging and complex litigation process. Benedict has successfully provided legal representation, advice and advocacy to clients from diverse backgrounds regarding a wide array of human rights and environmental issues throughout Australia and internationally. In 2018-2019 Benedict was a candidate 2019 federal election in the division of Dickson, running against Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, which became known as the battle between Human rights Lawyers versus Human Rights Destroyer.

Recently, Benedict succeeded in a(nother) David v Goliath battle in a QCAT matter heard in the District Court of Queensland where he acted for a health professional against the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). During his legal career, Benedict has run numerous public interest test cases in the High Court for refugees/asylum seekers, often litigates in high profile human rights cases to protect rights of children, the rights of people with disability and the rights of Indigenous peoples (e.g. deaths in custody inquests and racial discrimination claims). Other examples of cases he runs includes:

  • Adrian Burragubba and the Wangan & Jagalingou Peoples against Adani Mining Pty Ltd;
  • Dylan Voller and Ruby Wharton for their arrests for protesting the 2018 Commonwealth/Stolenwealth Games;
  • Various employment, bullying & sexual harassment complaints for a wide array of employees from company executives to Queensland Police Officers, pharmacists, doctors, architects, Senior Media Advisors, school teachers, university lecturers, university students and many, many more;
  • Racial discrimination cases against Channel 7 Sunrise and Google, Facebook and Apple;
  • Landholders affected by the CSG industry;
  • People on death row internationally;
  • People fighting judicial corruption overseas;
  • People advocating against mass environmental toxic contamination;
  • Representing victims/survivors of institutional child sexual abuse;

Benedict is a co-founder of the international business and human rights consulting group “Synceritas” (co-founded with a number of his Oxford colleagues) and he has worked from time-to-time as a business and human rights consultant. Benedict was previously on the Policy Advisory Committee for the Grata Fund (Public Interest Litigation Fund) and also on the Advisory Panel of Digital Rights Watch. He is a former board member and volunteer for the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and appeared as an advocate for Queensland landholders in the International Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change.

Benedict is an award-winning slam poet and enjoys writing and playing and recording music. He is a passionate historian and previously completed a BA (History, Environmental Ethics) at Murdoch University (WA) and has also completed a Diploma in Holistic Counselling at Sophia College of Counselling. He also enjoys writing poetry, parenting his 10 year old daughter Isabella and new baby daughter Maya, as well as cycling, MTB, surfing, yoga, and reading!


 

Tara Bidgood

Litigation Lawyer, BA, LLB, BEdServ

Tara Bidgood completed her Graduate Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University in 2016 and in August 2017 Tara was admitted as a solicitor and began her career with Susan Moriarty & Associates.

Tara works directly with Susan Moriarty across a spectrum of jurisdictions such as the Fair Work Commission, Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Australian Human Right Commission, Anti-discrimination Commission Queensland, Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court. Being mentored closely from Susan Moriarty has accelerated her emergence into Litigation as a Lawyer and has for some time been running her own matters from the initial consultation, including liaising with the client’s employer, negotiating with Respondent solicitors, negotiating settlements, attending conciliation conferences, mentions and directions hearings, drafting documents for the relevant jurisdictions from the inception of proceedings to the hearing and instructing Counsel.

Tara has been an active social justice advocate since starting her graduate law degree.  She initially volunteered with Marrickville Legal Centre in Sydney for some 6 years.  Marrickville Legal Centre is a legal icon in Sydney for its historic foundations in social justice work in the Sydney area, running test cases and offering free legal advice and some representation to vunerable people in the community.

In 2015 Tara was invited to be on the subcommittee that orchestrated the 40th Anniversary of Community of Legal Centres NSW because of her previous marketing and business development experience.  Tara was given the creative and professional responsibility to organise much of the gala Cocktail Party auction prizes, venue, negotiating sponsorship and special legal speakers such as Mr Deng Adut – former child solider/refugee now lawyer.  Also in attendance was Mr Julian Burnside QC AO and members of the NSW Judiciary and High Court Justice Virginia Bell who began her career at Redfern Legal Centre in the 1970’s.


 

Vladimir Pejovic

Associate, BA, LLB, GDip Leg Prac

Vladimir was admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 2014. He commenced his legal career as the Associate to Industrial Commissioner Neate at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) where he developed an avid interest in Employment Law, Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Relations law. During his time as an Associate, Vladimir observed cases being prosecuted from a judicial perspective which has provided him valuable insights into how cases are prosecuted behind the courtroom doors.

Following his work as an Associate, Vladimir worked at the Workers’ Compensation Regulator (formerly Q-COMP) as a Review Officer, where he wrote quasi-legal decisions about WorkCover decisions. His role as a Review Officer affirmed his expertise in Workers’ Compensation Law and considering medico-legal evidence in his written decisions.

Vladimir also worked at Suncorp undertaking the preparation, estimation, quantum and negotiation of CTP claims valuing up to half a million dollars. He developed significant experience in analysing medico-legal reports, negotiating quantums with barristers and lawyers, quantifying personal injury claims, preparing matters for litigation and resolving disputes.

Prior to working at Susan Moriarty & Associates, Vladimir worked as a Solicitor at Peak Services Legal (a law firm principally owned by the Local Government Association of Queensland). As a solicitor Vladimir provided legal and practical advice on Employment Law matters. In his role, he assisted remote and regional councils throughout Queensland to be able to resolve legal issues in an appropriate manner. Additionally, he was responsible for launching formal, legally privileged investigations of employee misconduct and formulating detailed reports to be used in the show cause process, ranging from minor disputes between parties to official corruption in conjunction with the CCC. Vladimir also had the wider responsibilities as a Solicitor including arbitrations at the QIRC, negotiating Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA’s) and assisting conciliation and arbitration of unfair dismissal applications at the QIRC.

Vladimir brings his wealth of experience and knowledge in Employment Law (as well as Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injuries law) in undertaking his role as an Associate at Susan Moriarty & Associates. He is a dedicated, friendly and passionate legal professional who works hard to assist clients with their cases.

Further to his invaluable legal expertise, Vladimir speaks six languages, is an avid history buff and a fan of modern pop culture.


 

Janet Walters

Senior Industrial Advocate, BA (Hons) Political Science, Industrial Relations, Government & English

Janet Walters has 28 years’ experience in employment relations and has worked in senior and executive roles for government, Not-For-Profit organisations and large corporations.

Over the past 5 years she has worked in her own consultancy business and has guided employees and employers through complex employment matters including General Protections (Adverse Action) matters, unfair dismissals, workplace discipline, workers’ compensation and workplace disputes. She is a seasoned advocate with significant experience in the Fair Work Commission, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, the Human Rights Commission (formerly the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission) and the Federal Human Rights Commission.

Janet has ‘on the ground’ experience in industrial relations at the coalface and has expert and extensive knowledge of federal and state industrial relations jurisdictions. She is a strategic thinker who can provide advice to employees on their workplace rights across a significant range of employment situations. With a passion for social justice and an acute sense of the imbalance of power in workplace, she represents employees with a confidence and intellect gained from many years in the industry.


 

Sharifah Al-Edrus

Solicitor, LLB, BSc Business (Hons), Dip in Law & Management

Sharifah Al-Edrus completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Tasmania and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland in November 2019.

She started with the firm as an intern in June 2019 and became a permanent member of the Susan Moriarty & Associates team after being admitted.

Her prior professional experience include human resources and corporate secretarial practice in Singapore.


 

Kate Stewart

Law Clerk

Kate Stewart joined the team at Susan Moriarty & Associates in September 2018.  Prior to this Kate developed and realised her interest in the law working as a legal assistant with barristers for several years.

She is on track to complete her Bachelor of Laws in 2019 and to be admitted as a solicitor in 2020.

In 2018, Kate volunteered at the Caxton Legal Centre and gained some experience in dealing with consumer issues, discrimination and employment law. Her experience at Caxton Legal Centre illuminated her passion for social justice issues.

Kate is passionate about empowering employees with knowledge about their legal rights and ensuring that their stories are heard.