Law Advisory Council | Law

Law Advisory Council

George WilliamsDeanUNSW Law
Elizabeth BroderickPrincipalElizabeth Broderick & Co
Nicholas CarneyPartnerHerbert Smith Freehills
Nicole GreenManaging Partner, Partner - Projects, Infrastructure & ConstructionMinter Ellison
Rebecca Gilsenan (Chair)PrincipalMaurice Blackburn
Cassandra GoldieChief Executive OfficerAustralian Council of Social Service
Tim GordonPartnerGilbert + Tobin
Philip HarveyPartnerKing & Wood Mallesons
Ian McGillPartnerAllens
Alistair McKeoughManaging DirectorWhittens & McKeough
James NguyenHead of LegalTEG Pty Ltd
Edward SantowHuman Rights CommissionerAustralian Human Rights Commission
Michael SirmaiRegional General ManagerLower North Shore & Northern Beaches Consumer Bank, Westpac Group
Grant SmithSenior Managing Director, Head of Infrastructure AssetsMacquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick & Co

Law Advisory Council

Elizabeth has brought together captains of industry, governments and Defence Force chiefs to address gender inequality in Australia and beyond.

As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality.

A key advocate for Australia’s paid parental leave scheme, Elizabeth influenced changes to regulations to increase the numbers of women at decision-making level, and to elevate the voices of women in marginalised communities.

She also established and convenes the globally recognised ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy, enlisting a ‘who’s who’ of powerful male leaders to tackle workplace gender inequality. Her review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force led to sweeping cultural reforms. She is a powerful and influential voice in the struggle for gender equality, enlisting both women and men as agents of change.

Elizabeth is Special Adviser to the Executive Director of UN Women on Private Sector Engagement, and Co-Chair of UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group. She is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Board, the Australian Rugby Union Board, and formerly a member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council. She is Senior Advisor to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner on cultural change.

In 2016, Elizabeth was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and was named 2016 NSW Australian of the Year. She holds Honorary Doctorates of Law from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, and the University of Technology Sydney. 

Nicholas Carney

Herbert Smith Freehills

Nicholas Carney

Mr Nicholas Carney is a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills.
Nicholas has significant experience acting for government and the private sector on complex infrastructure transactions and major procurements. Nicholas is a member of the UNSW Council and presiding member of the UNSW Risk Committee. Nicholas is also a director of the Foundation Board of the State Library of New South Wales.
Nicholas graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.

Nicole Green

Managing Partner, Partner - Projects, Infrastructure & Construction
Minter Ellison

Nicole Green

Nicole is currently the Managing Partner for the Sydney office of Minter Ellison, and also a Partner in the Projects, Infrastructure & Construction Division of Minter Ellison. 

Nicole has over 20 years’ experience in legal aspects of infrastructure, construction, engineering and project development. She focuses on both high profile infrastructure developments (both economic and social) and large scale commercial and residential developments, including urban renewal.

She has expertise working with public private partnerships, infrastructure procurement and delivery, and major property development, providing strategic and commercial advice, together with a focus on risk management and stakeholder engagement.

Nicole has been involved in numerous significant infrastructure and development projects that have changed and enhanced our cities including New Perth Stadium PPP, various road PPPs and other major road projects such as the Pacific Highway upgrades, the redevelopment of King Street Wharf over a 13 year period, Barangaroo and the refinancing of Port Botany, Port Kembla and the Port of Newcastle. 

Rebecca Gilsenan 

Maurice Blackburn


Rebecca Gilsenan

Rebecca is Principal of law firm Maurice Blackburn. Her practice focuses on class actions in the areas of price fixing, failed investment schemes and product liability.

Some of Rebecca's major cases include:

  • a class action against Amcor Ltd and Visy Board Pty Ltd resulting in $95m settlement
  • a series of class actions regarding failed heart devices
  • landmark litigation for a child immigration detainee against the Commonwealth and detention centre operators regarding the child's treatment in immigration detention
  • a constitutional challenge in the High Court
  • a class action regarding investments in a property trust, and
  • a group action for investors in a failed property investment scheme.
Rebecca also acts for Greenpeace Australia Pacific Limited; carries out work for the firm’s Social Justice Practice; is the Director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre; and Director of Guthrie House, supported accommodation for people entering and exiting the criminal justice system. 

Until recently, Rebecca was a weekly contributor and blogger with the Daily Telegraph and Ten Breakfast television show, providing advice on day-to-day legal issues.

Rebecca was awarded a Bachelor of Social Work and Law in 1999.

Cassandra Goldie

Chief Executive Officer
Australian Council of Social Service

Cassandra Goldie

Cassandra has been CEO since July 2010. With her extensive public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights, she has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged and civil society in major national and international processes including most recently through the G20 as Deputy Chair of the Civil Society20 and Chair of the Global Infrastructure Working Group (2014), as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s National Panel on Economic Reform (2013), the Ministerial Roundtable on Superannuation (2012/13) and the National Tax Forum (2011).

Cassandra has worked globally as a human rights advocate, including through the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UN Habitat. Prior to joining ACOSS, she was Director of the Sex and Age Discrimination program at the Australian Human Rights Commission, where she played a central role in major gender equality reforms, including Australia’s first paid parental leave, reforms to sex discrimination and pay equity and ASX corporate governance standards. She also has grassroots legal practice experience both as a legal aid lawyer and as Director and Principal Solicitor of the Darwin Community Legal Service in the Northern Territory, which won the National Human Rights Award for Community Service during her leadership.

Cassandra has a PhD from UNSW and is an Associate of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. She has a Masters of Law from University College London, where she was awarded the Cheng Cheng Nan Prize for Public International Law, and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Western Australia. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cassandra was recognised as one of the Inaugural Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence in 2012. She was selected as an AFR/BOSS True Leader in 2013 and voted one of the Impact 25 Most Influential People in the Social Economy in 2014.

Tim Gordon

Gilbert + Tobin

Law Advisory Council

Tim is a partner at Gilbert + Tobin, working in the Corporate Advisory group.

Tim’s experience in corporate advisory and corporate transactions includes advising listed and unlisted companies and Australian and offshore private equity fund managers in relation to mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings, corporate restructurings and recapitalisations and business and share sale processes.

Best Lawyers recognise Tim as a leading lawyer in Equity Capital Markets. Tim has completed a Master of Laws in Corporate and Commercial Law at the University of New South Wales and also received undergraduate qualifications in Law and Commerce (Finance) from the University of New South Wales. Tim co-authored the Australian chapter in the 2011 to 2015 Corporate Governance Review and the 2014 and 2015 Shareholders’ Rights Global Guide. Tim was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2005.

Tim is also on the management committee of the Refugee Advisory & Casework Service (RACS).

Ian McGill


Ian McGill

Ian is a corporate and regulatory lawyer who specialises in media, telecommunications and technology industry transactions, policy and regulation, with particular emphasis on broadband and telecommunications industry regulation, mobile telephony, pay television and IT led business transformations.

Ian's corporate work is focused on corporate governance, commercial advice and technology transactions in the telecommunications, defence and pharmaceutical sectors.

Ian is ranked in Chambers 2016 as a leading lawyer in TMT (Band 1 in Media and Band 2 in Telecommunications). Based on peer reveiw, Ian is listed in The International Who's Who of Regulatory Communications Lawyers (2005 to 2015).

Ian holds a BSc/LLB from UNSW Australia and an LLM from Virginia.

Philip Harvey

King & Wood Mallesons

Philip Harvey

Philip is a partner in the Sydney office of King & Wood Mallesons where he specialises in capital markets, banking and finance and bank supervision and regulation.

Issues on which Philip regularly advises involve transaction structuring (particularly in connection with capital raisings), all aspects of the Australian and international debt capital markets, including interest withholding tax, the issue of hybrid and convertible instruments and bank supervision and regulation. Philip is generally involved in the broader King & Wood Mallesons Banking & Finance practice.

Philip is ranked in Chambers Global 2014 in the area of Capital Markets: Debt, with clients stating that he is “very commercial and really on top of the markets, and very knowledgeable," adding “I would recommend him".  

He regularly lectures for the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and Monash University on debt capital markets and hybrid securities.

Philip holds an LLB from UNSW (1999).

Alistair McKeough

Managing Director
Whittens & McKeough

Alistair McKeough

Alistair McKeough is the Managing Director of Whittens & McKeough, a Sydney based boutique law firm specialising in corporate and commercial law, mining and resources law, litigation and property, with a particular focus on small-cap ASX listed companies. Before founding Whittens & McKeough, Alistair was an Associate to a Federal Court Judge and worked at Freehills.

Alistair specialises in complex commercial matters and disputes requiring careful strategic planning and he has extensive experience in contract, commercial equity and corporate law. He represents some of Australia’s highest profile business people and has acted on some of Australia’s highest profile commercial litigation. As well as commercial work, Alistair’s practice encompasses appearing before Royal Commissions and ICAC and he has defended clients against actions by all of ASIC, ACCC, ATO, Workcover and the EPA.

Alistair also sits on several company boards, and is Company Secretary to several public companies.

Alistair holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from UNSW. 

James Nguyen

Head of Legal
TEG Pty Ltd

Law Advisory Council

James graduated from UNSW in 2004 with a BCom(Finance)/LLB.

Having started his career in employment law at DLA Piper, he then moved into banking and finance before moving in-house at NAB and Rabobank. Currently he is Head of Legal at TEG, which includes Ticketek, TEG Live, TEG Dainty, TEG Analytics and others.
James served as vice-president, deputy chairman of the UNSW Law Alumni Network Committee from 2013 to 2015 during which time he originated the idea of the annual Ngoc Tram Nguyen Scholarship Dinner. A highlight of the Law School calendar year, the annual dinner has helped raise over $200,000 allowing the Ngoc Tram Nguyen Scholarship to grow from one scholarship to the current four. James is also presently a member of UNSW’s Alumni & Engagement Committee, a management committee member of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service and has recently been appointed Chairman of the Westmead Hospital Foundation.
James was a joint-recipient of the UNSW Young Alumni of the Year Award 2014.

Edward Santow

Human Rights Commissioner
Australian Human Rights Commission

Law Advisory Council

Edward is the Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The AHRC is Australia’s independent national human rights institution.
As Human Rights Commissioner, Ed’s role is to promote human rights by operating at the intersection between government, business and civil society. The focus of Ed’s work is to protect longstanding human rights recognised at common law and international law. These include: equality; freedom of expression and association; and procedural fairness.
Ed has particular expertise in human rights, administrative and constitutional law, discrimination and freedom of information.
Ed is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at UNSW, and serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Australia Pro Bono Centre.
From 2010-2016, Ed was the chief executive officer of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC). PIAC is a leading Australian non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.
Ed was previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School and a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. He has worked at the Australian Law Reform Commission, in a Sydney law firm and as associate to the Hon Justice Heydon AC QC of the High Court.
In 2009, Ed was presented with an Australian Leadership Award.

Michael Sirmai 

Regional General Manager, 
Lower North Shore & Northern Beaches Consumer Bank, Westpac Group

Law Advisory Council

Prior to his current role, Michael most recently served as Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive, Consumer Bank and before that to the CEO of the St. George Banking Group (which included the St. George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and RAMS brands).

Michael previously practised law, as a securities/capital markets lawyer in the Westpac Group’s Treasury and in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton. He started his career in M&A and corporate advisory at Gilbert + Tobin.

Michael is the Chair of Milk Crate Theatre, a member of St Vincent's Health Australia Regional Advisory Council and the Starlight Children’s Foundation NSW Advisory Board, and is involved with other arts and philanthropic bodies.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws, both from UNSW.

Grant Smith

Senior Managing Director, Head of Infrastructure Assets
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Law Advisory Council

Grant has 20 years’ experience at Macquarie where he has worked in infrastructure, private equity and special situations investment.

Grant currently works in the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets division (“MIRA”) where he is the Head of Infrastructure in Australia, responsible for approximately c.A$5 billion in equity under management, across listed and unlisted funds and separate managed accounts.

Prior to his role in MIRA, Grant was an Executive Director in the Principal Investment Area (“PIA”) of Macquarie Capital between 2002 and 2007. The PIA is responsible for managing Macquarie Capital’s global principal investment portfolio. During Grant’s tenure, the PIA acquired, managed and disposed of over A$7 billion in direct equity investments, on behalf of Macquarie, in the toll roads, airports, telecoms, water, rail, power and regulated assets sectors. During this time, Grant also functioned as Macquarie Capital’s head of strategy, where he worked closely with Nicholas Moore (now Chief Executive and Managing Director of Macquarie Group).

In 2001, Grant completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at INSEAD in France.  Between 1996 and 2001, Grant spent 5 years as an M&A adviser in Macquarie Corporate Finance in Sydney across both private and public M&A transactions.

Grant holds a BCom/LLB from UNSW.