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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. Elizabeth enjoys giving back to the community through her current role as an Executive Member of the Law Council of Australia 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. Most recently, Elizabeth was recognised in the 2024 Doyle's Guide edition as a leading 'Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Insolvency' lawyer in Canberra.


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


Executive Member, Law Council of Australia, 2022–present
President, ACT Law Society, 2020–present
Director, Law Council of Australia, 2020–2021
Vice President, ACT Law Society, 2018–2020
Government Law Committee, ACT Law Society, 2018–2021
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


06 June 2024 - Knowledge

Commonwealth’s FOI laws: Provisions, challenges and practical advice

#Government, #Data & Privacy, #Corporate & Commercial Law

We analyse the key provisions and challenges of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) and share best practices for government agencies following reviews of the Freedom of Information regime.

21 May 2024 - Knowledge

Victoria’s FOI laws: Provisions, challenges and guidelines

#Government, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Data & Privacy

We analyse the key provisions and challenges of Victoria's Freedom of Information Act 1982 and consider recent guidelines following reviews of the Freedom of Information regime.

25 March 2024 - Knowledge

Doxxing reform: New statutory tort proposed

#Data & Privacy

New legislation addressing doxxing has been proposed by the Australian Government, marking a significant shift in privacy law.

20 February 2024 - Knowledge

New year, new focus: Ethics for Australian Government in-house lawyers


The new year presents an opportunity for government lawyers to reflect on the past 12 months and draw out lessons for meeting their professional responsibilities.

14 December 2023 - Knowledge

Top five trends for Australian Government legal practice in 2024

#Government, #Data & Privacy, #Technology, Media & Telecommunications

With 2024 just around the corner, we look at emerging trends for Australian Government legal practice for the year ahead.

15 November 2023 - Knowledge

Renewed focus on enforcing the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

#Data & Privacy, #Corporate & Commercial Law

The Australian Information Commissioner’s Federal Court proceedings against Australian Clinical Labs Limited demonstrate a shift towards a more proactive approach by the privacy regulator following recent major data breaches.

26 September 2023 - Knowledge

Digital ID Bill 2023 open for public consultation

#Data & Privacy, #Government

The Australian Government has released the Digital ID Bill 2023 for public consultation until 10 October 2023. The proposed legislation aims to provide individuals with a simple, inclusive and convenient method for verifying their identity in online transactions with government and businesses, while protecting the security of their personal information.

19 September 2023 - Knowledge

Five steps for success when adopting legal technology in-house

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications, #Corporate & Commercial Law

Legal technology provides amazing tools to improve client service and efficiency for in-house teams, but it can be hard to know where to start. We share five steps that will set you on the path to success when adopting legal technology in-house.

26 June 2023 - Knowledge

Top 10 tips for participants in the DATA Scheme

#Corporate & Commercial Law, #Government, #Data & Privacy

The National Data Commissioner has registered the first accredited users under the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022. We share 10 tips to help participants prepare their organisation for the DATA Scheme.

27 March 2023 - Knowledge

Independent review into Australian Carbon Credit Units

#Government, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

An independent review into Australia's carbon crediting scheme affirmed that the framework is fundamentally sound, but has made 16 recommendations to increase transparency and public trust.

09 December 2022 - Knowledge

Top five trends for Australian Government legal practice in 2023

#Australian Government, #Government

With 2023 just around the corner, we look at five emerging trends for Australian Government legal practice for the year head.