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Rachel Drew

LLB (Hons), BA

Partner - Brisbane

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations & Safety, Immigration Law


Rachel is a highly experienced workplace lawyer specialising in employment & industrial relations issues, including industrial bargaining, workplace disputes, Federal Circuit Court & Fair Work Commission litigation, employee misconduct investigations, professional misconduct defence, business sponsorship and migration, defamation disputes, work health and safety, contract disputes, discrimination, managing discipline and dismissal, and transmission of business. 

Extensive industry experience in government, education, medical & allied health and construction & resources sectors. 

Certified professional member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Registered Migration Agent specialising in successful business visas.


  • workplace law
  • workplace misconduct and employee conduct investigations
  • Federal Circuit Court & Fair Work Commission disputes
  • business migration
  • industrial relations
  • public sector employment
  • work health and safety investigations.

Rachel has been named in the 2014 to 2020 editions of Best Lawyers in Australia for the area of Labour and Employment Law. She has also been included in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 Publication for Corporate/M&A.


Rachel’s key experience includes the following:

Employment and Industrial Relations

Preventing and resolving disputes, and representation of clients, in a range of State and Federal courts and industrial commission and tribunals, on matters including:

•  public sector employment issues

•  contractual claims

•  interpretation of industrial instruments

•  professional misconduct and dismissal issues 

•  discrimination and harassment complaints.

Workers’ compensation

  • managing more than 100 WorkCover claims each year, representing both workers and employers in the Industrial Magistrates Court and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission at the review and appeal level
  • advising employers on WorkCover claims including obtaining factual evidence, advising on the correct level of compensation payable and rehabilitation obligations
  • acting for the Queensland Teachers Union and the Queensland Independent Education Union, representing many members in workers’ compensation claims and before the Medical Assessment Tribunals of WorkCover Queensland.

Work health and safety

  • prosecuting on behalf of Queensland Government Departments for work health & safety breaches, including all witness preparation, interlocutory applications and trial management 
  • representing employers and various levels of management in response to work health and safety incidents, including attending investigation interviews, responding to Infringement Notices and representation in court prosecutions.

Equal employment and opportunity

  • representing clients in the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, QCAT and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Professional Bodies Registration Compliance and Disciplinary Issues

  •  advising professionals in relation to issues arising out of insurance coverage, professional registration and allegations of misconduct.


25 March 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

As the threat of COVID-19 continues to escalate, local governments across Australia have taken swift action to combat the virus, including recent legislative changes to elections and planning laws. In this article we examine some of those measures and other implications for Councils.

16 September 2019 - Knowledge

Care to share? Medicare’s new Shared Debt Recovery Scheme

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Medical practices beware! Medicare’s new Shared Debt Recovery Scheme requires secondary debtors to share in debts identified as a result of Medicare audits.

25 January 2019 - Knowledge

A lack of capacity to work can be a manifestation of a mental disability

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Employers who are concerned about an employee’s capacity to work need to take care when taking management action against them if they are suffering from an illness or disability.

14 January 2019 - Knowledge

New National Employment Standards entitlement to family and domestic violence leave

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Following recent changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), all employees can now take unpaid leave in order to deal with family and domestic violence. Previously, family and domestic violence leave was only available to employees covered by industry and occupation awards.

05 November 2018 - Knowledge

Preventing the HR hangover: Vicarious liability and the office Christmas party

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Businesses can be held to be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees at office Christmas functions. We set out some practical steps that your organisation can take to avoid the legal headaches that the silly season can bring.

18 September 2018 - Knowledge

The importance of proper training for employees

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The ACT Court of Appeal has recently upheld a Supreme Court decision to overturn an award of nearly $100,000 in damages for personal injuries in circumstances where it determined the employer provided adequate training to its employees.

10 September 2018 - Knowledge

Employee conduct outside of workplace increasingly a reason for termination

#Workplace Relations & Safety

It is increasingly common for remedies to be sought by employees who have lost their jobs due to their conduct utside of the workplace. A series of recent cases have highlighted the need for employers to proceed carefully when dealing with these situations. These cases also demonstrate that such conduct can, in many circumstances, be inconsistent with employment obligations.

13 August 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Healthcare? – 13 August 2018

#Construction & Infrastructure

Cosmetic clinics are promoting lip fillers and encouraging women to pay for them using unregulated "quick and dirty" credit services such as Zip Pay in a practice the Medical Board vows to crack down on.

30 July 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Healthcare? – 30 July 2018

#Construction & Infrastructure

Dr Bartone said there had been a groundswell of concern from AMA members, the broader medical profession, and the public about the 2012 legislation framing the My Health Record, particularly Section 70, which deals with the disclosure of health information for law enforcement purposes.

23 July 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration Law? – 23 July 2018

#Immigration Law

With modern slavery legislation at federal and state levels being introduced in Australia, and regulations and guidelines under development, here are the three most common questions and answers on this topic to help you build smarter supply chains.

25 June 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration Law? – 25 June 2018

#Immigration Law

Migration Amendment (Visa Application Charges) Regulations 2018 – These regulations amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to make changes to visa application charges (VACs) for certain visas. In particular, the regulations increase first instalment VACs for a number of visas. On 1 July 2017, most VACs were indexed in accordance with the 2017-18 forecast consumer price index (CPI). The regulations increase the majority of VACs so that they are increased by the 2018-19 forecast CPI.

12 June 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration Law? – 12 June 2018

#Immigration Law

Migration (IMMI 18/015: English Language Tests and Evidence Exemptions for Subclass 500 (Student) Visa) Instrument 2018 The instrument specifies the required levels of English language proficiency applicants must have to meet the criteria for the Subclass 500 (Student) visa (6 June 2018).

05 June 2018 - Knowledge

Work, health and safety: A matter of life or death?

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The tragic death of four visitors to the Dreamworld theme park and two workers at Eagle Farm racecourse in late 2016 has led many to question our current work health and safety laws.

30 May 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration Law? – 30 May 2018

#Immigration Law

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) is given Royal Assent: Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 22 May 2018.

16 May 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration? - 16 May 2018

#Immigration Law

Dual citizenship crisis: four MPs resign after court rules Katy Gallagher ineligible: A high court decision ruling Labor senator Katy Gallagher ineligible to sit in parliament has triggered four MPs - including three Labor MPs - to resign over dual citizenship issues.

09 May 2018 - Knowledge

Holding Redlich’s expert guide to the 2018 federal budget

#Corporate & Commercial Law

Our experts analyse the key budget announcements and outline the essential takeaways for business in areas including transport, superannuation & financial services, construction & infrastructure, property, technology, media & communications, workplace relations, immigration, planning & environment, and taxation. 

02 May 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Immigration? - 2 May 2018

#Immigration Law

BFXK and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Migration) [2018] AATA 886 VISA CANCELLATION – mandatory cancellation – character test – criminal record – primary and other considerations under Ministerial Direction No. 65

24 April 2018 - Knowledge

A recent case has highlighted the importance of keeping detailed employee records in cases of dismissal.

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In the recent unfair dismissal case of Mr Vijayan Kothandan v Transdev Melbourne Pty Ltd T/A Transdev [2018] FWC 2110, the Fair Work Commission found for the employer in circumstances where the employer had kept detailed employee records as to the employee’s incapacity to perform the inherent requirements of his role as a bus driver.