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Michelle Dawson

Principal Lawyer, Melbourne

Michelle is a Principal Lawyer in DWF (Australia)’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team and is an Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations. She splits her time between our Melbourne and Newcastle offices.
+61 (2) 4088 8604

+61 478 330 087

Michelle Dawson | Principal Lawyer | DWF Australia


With over 23 years’ experience in the legal industry, 15 of which are in workplace relations law, Michelle is renowned for her provision of practical and outcome-focused advice and representation for her clients. Michelle’s practice is predominantly in the employment and industrial relations areas and she has significant experience providing advice to clients on all legal aspects of employment, workplace and anti-discrimination. Her clients include employers across a range of different sectors, including the Victorian Water Sector, conservation and research, not for profit, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, transport and energy.

Michelle’s particular areas of expertise include:

  • employment and post-employment disputes and litigation, including:
    - dismissal;
    - general protections;
    - adverse action; 
    - restraints;
    - confidential information;
  • privileged workplace investigations;
  • equal opportunity and anti-discrimination;
  • bullying;
  • sexual harassment;
  • restructuring and redundancy;
  • employment agreements;
  • enterprise agreements;
  • contractor arrangements and agreements;
  • general human resources legal risk assessment and management; and
  • developing and delivering human resources policy and workplace compliance training.

When she is not working, Michelle is kept busy by her 3 children and her fitness and fashion addictions.


  • In 2018, Michelle was a finalist in the Partner of the Year category of the Lawyers Weekly Annual Women in Law Awards.


  • Law Society of New South Wales;
  • Law Institute of Victoria; and
  • Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialisation Scheme – Workplace Relations Advisory Committee.


Sweeping changes to annualised salaries: will your business be ready? September 2019.

Before the whistle blows: Is your whistleblower policy ready for the 1 July changes? June 2019.

Full Bench confirms the Fair Work Commission’s broad anti-bullying powers, April 2019.

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