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Elizabeth Carroll


Elizabeth is an award-winning lawyer with over 20 years’ experience, specialising in public and administrative law. She regularly advises on statutory interpretation, privacy, freedom of information, litigation, legislative drafting, compliance and regulatory issues. She has an in-depth understanding of the needs of government clients, having successfully led the legal teams at three Commonwealth agencies, most recently as Chief Legal Counsel at IP Australia. She enjoys giving back to the community through her current role as President of the ACT Law Society and brings particular expertise relating to professional standards and probity matters. Elizabeth has a strong track record of client service and delivery on innovative legal projects, supporting clients to harness the benefits of technology while addressing privacy and accountability issues.

Elizabeth received the ACT Law Society’s Government Law Award in 2016. In 2020 she was named General Counsel of the Year in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, and Government Lawyer (as well, her team was Government Team of the Year) in the Lawyers Weekly Corporate Counsel Awards 2020. Elizabeth was also included in Australasian Lawyer’s In-house Leaders List 2020, and was listed in Managing Intellectual Property Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in IP in 2019.


Elizabeth’s experience includes:

  • advising on IP rights legislation and managing litigation in the Federal Court and High Court regarding cutting-edge issues, such as the capacity to patent ideas created by AI
  • acting as Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks and managing litigation within the Trade Marks Tribunal and Design Tribunal
  • advising on the Outcomes Based Directions Project which involved the first application of amendments to the IP legislation allowing use of AI in decision making, including implementing a governance framework, drafting supporting legal instruments and assessment against the legislative requirements
  • advising on Smart Trade Mark, a blockchain initiative which creates a digital fingerprint for trade mark owners to prove the authenticity of products exported around the world. The Project won three Innovation Awards and is the basis for the National Rugby League’s “Trust Badge” used on its official merchandise
  • providing legal support to TM Link, an internationally-linked trade mark database used by IP offices and researchers around the globe. This database is a world-first data product instigated and hosted by IP Australia, working with international partners 
  • advising on open data projects such as IPGOD (Intellectual Property Government Open Data), IPGOLD (Intellectual Property Government Open Live Data) and IPNOVA (Intellectual Property Neural Open-data Visualisation and Analysis)
  • advising the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board and Disciplinary Tribunal on professional standards, Code of Conduct and privacy issues including a review of the Trans-Tasman Attorneys Regime
  • conducting reviews of decisions in relation to the National Competitive Grants Program for the Australian Research Council
  • providing advice on the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 (Cth) and the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth)
  • managing AAT and Federal Court litigation regarding registration of agricultural and veterinary chemicals
  • developing and implementing the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s Compliance and Enforcement Strategy and chairing the agency’s Enforcement Committee
  • advising on the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement
  • coordinating the preparation of the Basin Plan 2012 (Cth)
  • managing the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) defence of the Lee and Gropler v Commonwealth and MDBA High Court constitutional challenge to the Water Act 2007 (Cth)
  • advising the MDBA on procurement, contracts and grants relating to scientific and economic research
  • acting for the Department of Finance and Department of Defence on various Federal Court litigation and probity matters
  • providing specialist advice on the Northern Territory Emergency Response during its initial implementation
  • acting on over 15 complex AAT and Federal Court social security appeals
  • representing News Limited/Michael McKinnon of The Australian newspaper in High Court of Australia proceedings relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) including acting as instructing solicitor during the proceedings
  • acting for Airservices Australia on over 25 native title proceedings and advising on interpretation of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).


Australian Institute of Administrative Law


President, ACT Law Society, 2020–present
Director, Law Council of Australia, 2020–present
Vice President, ACT Law Society, 2018–2020
Government Law Committee, ACT Law Society, 2018–present
Councillor, ACT Law Society, 2017–present
Australian Pro Bono Centre Inhouse Steering Committee, 2020–2021
Australian Research Council Appeals Committee, 2019–2020
Chair, Australian Government Legal Network (AGLN), 2015–2019
Board member, AGLN, 2012–2019

Upcoming Seminars