5 Wentworth

David Chin

David Chin

+61 2 8815 9119 david.chin@5wentworth.com

Admission Bar (NSW) 2001 Education Mr Chin completed a Master of Studies in Legal Research at the University of Oxford in 1995; and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Economics degrees at Macquarie University in 1994.

Areas of practice and experience

David Chin practices in the law of employment, labour law, occupational health and safety law, discrimination law, administrative law, and commissions and inquiries. He is a co-author of The Modern Contract of Employment, with Ian Neil SC, published by Thomson Reuters Australia. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer in employment law at the University of Sydney.

He commenced at the Bar in 2001.

He appears in a variety of State and federal courts, tribunals and inquiries, both at first instance and at the appellate level.

Before commencing at the Bar, he practiced as a solicitor at Jones Staff & Co (now known as WG McNally Jones Staff) in the areas of employment and industrial law, anti-discrimination and criminal law, and was employed as a legal officer at Unions NSW.

Selected Cases

Charltons CJC Pty Ltd v Fitzgerald (No 3) [2013] NSWSC 1945 (damages for breach of post-termination restraint)

Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia (No 4) [2012] FCA 1411 (abuse of process)

O’Sullivan Partners (Advisory) Pty Ltd v Foggo [2012] NSWCA 40 (discretionary bonus payments)

McDonald v The State of South Australia [2010] HCATrans 25 (mutual trust and confidence)

Industrial law
West v Director-General, NSW Ministry of Health in respect of Western Sydney Local Health District [2014] NSWIRComm 1001 (public sector appeal – statutory interpretation)

Woolworths Ltd v Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association [2013] FCAFC 151 (public holiday entitlements under enterprise agreement)

Hollingsworth v Industrial Court of NSW [2007] NSWCA 209 (reinstatement)

Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union v Forstaff Pty Ltd (2004) 132 IR 326 (trade union representation)


Tristar Steering and Suspension Limited v Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales (2007) 158 FCR 104 (validity of a Ministerial reference inquiry – section 109 inconsistency)

Building Professionals Board v Hans (No 2) (GD) [2008] NSWACTAP 48 (professional misconduct)

Occupational Health and Safety

Inspector James v Paul [2011] NSWIRComm 82 (Appeal against application of s 10 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999)

Inspector Spence v Gauci & Stephensons Cranes Pty Ltd [2011] NSWIRComm 79 (sentencing – crane operations)

Morrison v Liddell Coal Preparation Pty Ltd [2011] NSWIRComm 46 (sentencing – colliery holding)

Lorenzo and Santos v Inspector Peter Hayes [2011] NSWIRComm 54 (Appeal following High Court judgment in Kirk v Industrial Court of New South Wales (2010) 239 CLR 531)

Commissions, inquiries and arbitrations

Operation Acacia – Inquiry concerning mining exploration licences 2013 (ICAC) (appeared for the Commonwealth Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation)

Arbitration before the London Beth Din, Court of the Chief Rabbi (2009)

Investigation into Corruption in the Provision of Security Industry Training 2009 (ICAC) (appeared for the Commissioner of Police)

Re Inquiry into matters relating to the availability of work at Tristar Steering and Suspension Australia Ltd (2007) 161 IR 50 (appeared as junior counsel for the Minister for Industrial Relations)

Selected papers and publications
Books and articles

The Modern Contract of Employment, (with Ian Neil SC), Thomson Reuters Australia, 2012.

“High Court yet to resolve differences regarding Mutual Trust and Confidence” (with Ian Neil SC), Law Society Journal, Vol 48 No 4, May 2010, p 70.

“The State of Section 106” (with M Kimber SC), Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol 21 No 1, April 2008, p 89.

“Transitional arrangements” in Australian Master Workplace Relations Guide, the Work Choices edition, 2nd and 3rd editions, CCH Australia Limited, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“Fairness and Balance in Industrial Bargaining” (with Professor Ron McCallum and Anne Gooley) in M Bromberg and M Irving (eds), Australian Charter of Employment Rights, The Australian Institute of Employment Rights/Hardie Grant Books, 2007.

“Servant or Serf? Severance Pay on Transmission of Business and the Right to Choose an Employer”, Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol 16 No 2, September 2003, pp 172-183.

“Employees or Independent Contractors?”, Law Society Journal, Vol 39 No 11, December 2001.

A Social Clause for Labour’s Cause: Global Trade and Labour Standards, Institute of Employment Rights (UK)/International Centre for Trade Union Rights, London, July 1998.

“Exhuming the Individual Employment Contract: A Case of Labour Law Exceptionalism”, Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol 10 No 3, December 1997, pp 257-279.

Conference papers

“Mutual Trust and Confidence”, paper presented at the 22nd Labour Law Conference, The University of Sydney Law School, Sofitel Wentworth Sydney, 25 August 2014.

“The doctrine of repudiation and the contract of employment”, paper presented at the Australian Labour Law Association seminar, Thomson Lawyers, Sydney, 27 March 2014.

“The Future of Mutual Trust and Confidence in Employment Contracts – Two Controversies”, paper presented at the Law Society of NSW Young Lawyers 2013 CLE Annual One Day Seminar, Hilton Hotel, Sydney, 23 February 2013.

“Dismissal and Damages for Breach of the Mutual Trust and Confidence Term”, paper presented at the 6th Biennial Australian Labour Law Association Conference, Canberra, 16-17 November 2012.

“The Forgottten Class – Independent Contractors in the World of Fair Work: A Media Industry Case Study”, paper presented at the Australian Labour Law Association Conference, Adelaide, 19-20 November 2010.

“Secondary Boycotts and section 45E of the Trade Practices Act”, paper presented at the 6th Annual Industrial Relations Workforce Conference, Menzies Hotel, Sydney, 3-4 December 2007.

“Employment Litigation after ‘Work Choices’: Causes of Action at Common Law”, paper presented at The Combined Legal Centres’ Group Employment Law Evening Seminar, Gilbert & Tobin Lawyers, Sydney, 20 November 2006.

“Transforming the safety net through the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard”, paper presented at the Workplace Relations Law Reform seminar, IIR, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour, Sydney, 20 March 2006.

“The Transition to Work Choices – An Overview of Post-Reform Awards and Agreements”, paper presented at the NSW Young Lawyers Annual Employment & Industrial Law One Day Seminar, Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney, 25 February 2006.


+ 61 2 8815 9100

+ 61 2 9232 8995

5th Floor, Wentworth Chambers
180 Phillip Street, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia

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384 Sydney