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Nikolas Pefanis

Senior Associate - Melbourne

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations for Employees


Nikolas is a Senior Associate in our Employment and Industrial Relations group.

Nikolas represents employees and union members in complex employment disputes involving the termination of employment, discrimination claims, contract claims and general protections claims. Nikolas has also has had the benefit of a year-long secondment to the United Workers’ Union (formerly the National Union of Workers), during which time he worked closely with officials in determining and participating in industrial and bargaining strategies, including conducting associated litigation.

Prior to working for Holding Redlich, Nikolas worked as a research assistant for a barrister involved in prominent industrial and employment litigation.


Nikolas’ recent experience includes:

  • acting for a teacher in relation to a Federal Court claim for non-dismissal disability discrimination by the Department of Education, resulting in a settlement of $75,000, plus legal costs incurred
  • acting for a senior executive in the building and construction industry in relation to a Federal Court claim for of breach of contract and defending a cross-claim by the company
  • acting for nine humanitarian workers, expelled from Nauru by Scott Morrison (then immigration minister) in a complex adverse action claim, which resulted in significant compensation and an apology from the Commonwealth
  • acting for an individual employee in defending a proceeding in the Federal Court in respect of allegations of breach of copyright and confidentiality obligations
  • acting for a union in successfully defending a complex investigation by the Registered Organisations Commission into allegations of breaches of officers’ statutory duties, as contained in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth)
  • acting for a union in successfully resisting an injunction in the Federal Court, which sought to stop a proposed indefinite strike from occurring.

Nikolas has also been involved in many other proceedings in the Federal and Federal Circuit Courts, the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Fair Work Commission, Victorian Magistrates’ Court and VCAT. He is aware that, in most cases, if a good outcome can be obtained without litigation, it is preferable to settle a proceeding without incurring unnecessary expense.