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Deacons hires OH&S expert

Deacons hires OH&S expert

Deacons has secured an occupational health, safety and security leader with the appointment of Barry Sherriff as a partner in its national team.

DEACONS has secured an occupational health, safety and security leader with the appointment of Barry Sherriff as a partner in its national team.

Sherriff was one of three experts appointed by the Federal Government and tasked with developing a model for harmonised national workplace safety laws.

Sherriff join as an OHS practice at Deacons this week just ahead of the firm’s merger with international legal practice Norton Rose.

“The timing is not coincidental,” said Don Boyd, Deacons’ chief executive partner.

“The merger offers a fantastic opportunity to grow our OHS practice, particularly in Asia. This is a developing area of law and Australia is leading the way.”

It is an area that is coming under focus here at home as well, said Michael Tooma, the leader of Deacons’ OHS practice.

“The model laws currently being debated represent the most significant change to OHS laws in this country for more than 30 years---they’ve been more than 5 years coming and are being closely followed by businesses.”

“To have one of the architects of those laws join the team puts us in a tremendously strong position and gives our clients an advantage when it comes to trying to understand the impact on their business.”

Sherriff said he sees his move to Deacons as providing enhanced scope to continue his involvement in moving OHS law and practice forward in Australia.

“This is an exciting and important time in OHS in Australia. I was drawn to Deacons by the strength of its team nationally, the opportunity to work with acknowledged thought leaders such as Tooma, and the approaching global opportunities.

“The Deacons’ team will provide the strongest base for us to assist business to meet the challenges and reap the benefits of the new laws – most importantly to improve safety in workplaces around the country.”

Sherriff joins Deacons partner Mike Hammond, who has been practicing in OHS for over 12 years and recently advised on one of the most high profile workplace accidents in Australian history, the 2006 ANZAC Day rockfall at Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania.


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