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HSF partner defects to build national’s new practice
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HSF partner defects to build national’s new practice

Mills Oakley has announced a new partner for its workplace relations team, as it launches a new national workplace health and safety practice.

After 16 years at Herbert Smith Freehills, Harold Downes commenced with Mills Oakley today, heading up the launch of the firm’s new practice, which will operate as a national health and safety sub-team within the workplace relations practice.

Mr Downes is experienced in advising on frontend governance, training and strategy, backend regulatory enforcement and workplace health and safety litigation.

His knowledge extends to what he describes as “pointy end” crisis management and incident responses, acting for principals and contractors across listed and unlisted companies.

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Mr Downes is also a lecturer on workplace health and safety at both the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology.

Commenting on his own appointment, Mr Downes said that “Mills Oakley has a strong reputation across a number of key labour-intensive sectors including property, construction, infrastructure and banking.”

“I look forward to supporting our clients in their commitment to health, wellbeing and safety,” he continued, “this aspect of business has become increasingly sophisticated in the last few years and I hope to bring some pragmatic solutions in this area.”

Mills Oakley’s CEO John Nerurker said Mr Downes would “bring an important new dimension to the workplace relations practice for the firm.

“Workplace health and safety are critical elements of any business and particularly in labour-intensive sectors,” Mr Nerurker said.

“Harold’s expertise is a natural fit not just for our workplace relations team, but for our entire firm.”

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