- Appointed Senior Counsel: 2003
- Admitted as a Barrister: 1987
- University of Sydney LLM
- University of Sydney LLB
- University of Sydney BA
- BarADR Approved Mediator
John Fernon SC
John is an experienced counsel who has advised and appeared across many areas of the law and is a leading expert in Employment and Industrial law.
Since 2012, he has been recognised each year in the annual Doyles Guide as “Pre-eminent”, “Leading” or “Recommended” Senior Counsel in Employment Law and/or Work, Health & Safety in NSW and/or Australia along with ongoing recognition by his peers in the AFR Best Lawyers guide.
With more than 30 years’ experience at the Bar and 19 years as Senior Counsel, John maintains a solid practice and regularly appears for a broad spectrum of clients across a range of Federal and State jurisdictions, including industrial tribunals. He has represented clients involving commercial, equity and administrative law disputes, as well as claims made under contracts of employment and the the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), workplace safety and common law claims for both plaintiffs and defendants in the Dust Diseases Tribunal.
Complementing his practice as a barrister, John also regularly appears in mediations on behalf of clients where he deploys a strategic and measured approach to the resolution of their disputes.
Areas of Practice
- Employment and Industrial Law
- Equity Law
- Commercial Law
- Administrative Law
- Dust Diseases
- Common Law / Personal Injury
- OH&S/Work Health and Safety
- Restraint of Trade
- Class Actions
Articles, Cases & Publications
John has over 30 years experience appearing for clients in hearings and appeals in a wide variety of jurisdictions.
Cases in which he has appeared include:
Lipa Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Mariam Jarouche  FWCFB 101
Sydney International Container Terminals Pty Limited t/as Hutchison Ports v CFMMEU  FWCFB 87
Janala Pty Limited (No 3) v Hardaker  NSWSC 446
BGC Securities Australia Pty Limited v Shillington  NSWSC 611
Jack v Corestaff NT Pty Ltd  FCA 1005
Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Limited v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union  FCA 1645
Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Limited v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union  FCA 451 (2 April 2019).
SafeWork NSW v Cosentino Australia Pty Limited  NSWDC 47 – a case involving a prosecution under s 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
BGC Partners (Australia) Pty Limited v Hickey  NSWSC 90; (2016) 259 IR 318 – a case concerned with whether a former employee was bound by a restraint of trade provision.
Transport Union of NSW v Staples Australia Pty Limited  NSWIRComm 11 – a case concerned with the powers of a Commissioner under the Industrial Relations Act 1996.
Tipto Pty Limited v Yuen  NSWSC 1086 – a case concerned with whether a former employee was bound by a restraint of trade provision.
WorkCover Authority of NSW v Visy Paper Pty Limited –  NSWDC 284 – a case to determine penalty for offence under Work, Health and Safety Act 2011.
Smith v Comcare  FCA 811; and on appeal  FCAFC 24 – a case concerned with whether a worker was entitled to compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the proper approach of Comcare to determine entitlement to compensation.
Fair Work Ombudsman v Valuair Limited (No 2)  FCA 759; (2014) 224 FCR 415 – a caseconcerned with whether the Modern Award applied to work performed in Australia by cabin crew engaged overseas.
Australian and International Pilots Association v Qantas Airways Limited  FCA 32 –case concerned with whether there was ‘adverse action’ under the Fair Work Act 2009, implication of terms under an employment contract and construction of an industrial agreement.
Richardson v Oracle Australia Pty Limited (2014) 223 FCR 334;  FCAFC 82 – a case concerned with ‘indirect discrimination’ and assessment of damages under the Australian Human Rights and Commission Act 1986.
State of New South Wales v Talovic (2014) 87 NSWLR 512;  NSWCA 333 – an appeal from an award of damages by the District Court for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and trespass where detained under the Mental Health Act 2007.
Fair Work Ombudsman v Jetstar Airways Limited  FCA 33 – a case concerned with breach of a Modern Award and penalties.
National Union of Workers (NSW) v HP Distribution Pty Limited  FCA 139; (2013) 210 FCR 250 – a case concerned with the construction of an enterprise agreement under the Fair Work Act 2009.
Smith v Comcare  FCA 502 and on appeal  FCAFC 65; (2013) 212 FCR 335 – a case concerned with whether a worker was entitled to compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the proper approach of Comcare to determine entitlement to compensation.
Yum Restaurants Australia Pty Limited v Full Bench of Fair Work Australia  FCA 1315 and on appeal  FCAFC 114 ; (2012) 205 FCR 306 – a case concerned with the jurisdiction of Fair Work Australia.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.