David Catanese


Qualifications: LLM (Workplace & Employment Law), LLB, BSc (Psychology), PDLP


David is a Partner in the Hall & Wilcox Employment and Workplace Relations team predominately based in Melbourne. He is an expert in employment law in both private sector and Government contexts.

David acts for large, medium and small enterprises, the Commonwealth and State Governments, high net worth individuals and pro bono clients.  He operates in all relevant jurisdictions regarding employment, industrial relations, anti-discrimination and occupational health and safety matters, and regularly conducts litigation in the Fair Work Commission, Federal and State Courts, VCAT and before other professional tribunals and boards.

David routinely advises clients on employee complaints and grievances, workplace investigations, governance issues, restructures, policy development and training (including anti-discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying policies) and Executive employment matters.

David has a wealth of both private and public sector legal experience, having worked in private sector law firms, as a lawyer for the Commonwealth and as Managing Principal Solicitor for a State Government. David understands commercial imperatives as well as the unique statutory and policy environment relevant to Government clients.

David has a practical and goal-oriented approach to both providing front-end advice and the conduct of litigation. He focuses on understanding his clients’ interests and taking a strategic approach to achieve them


  • Advised McKenzie Group Consulting Pty Ltd in acquiring specific assets from Hendry Group Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed).
  • Assisting clients to develop workplace policies, procedures and training, including regarding appropriate workplace behaviour, bullying, workplace surveillance, OHS and much more.
  • Advising clients on employee disciplinary action and termination of employment, and acting for clients in unfair dismissal, general protections and State and Commonwealth anti-discrimination jurisdictions.
  • Advising on sensitive and high profile employee, Executive and statutory office holder workplace investigations and separations.
  • Acting for clients in the health, construction, manufacturing, energy, resources and hospitality industries, and in emergency services and the public sector, regarding enterprise bargaining and industrial action.
  • Advising and representing clients the subject of OHS investigations, and acting for clients in defence of OHS prosecutions in State Courts.
  • Acting for Governments to stop industrial action that threatens the welfare of the population or to cause significant damage to the economy.
  • Acting for insurers in Employment Practices Liability (EPL) claims.

Latest thinking

Employment & Workplace Relations | 27 May 2024

What is the future for the use of restraints of trade for employees in Australia?

We look at the changes to restraints of trade for employees around the world and considers what’s next for Australia.

Related event

Public Law National Webinar Series 2022

Event Details

1.00pm - 2.00pm