Maurice Blackburn (law firm)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Maurice Blackburn
Maurice Blackburn oilpainting1942 (cropped).jpg
Headquarters Sydney, Australia
No. of offices 28[1]
No. of employees 1,000+[2]
Key people Steve Walsh (Chairman)
Greg Tucker (CEO)
Date founded 1919
Founder Maurice McCrae Blackburn
Company type Limited liability partnership
Slogan "We Fight For Fair"

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, (formerly Maurice Blackburn & Co and Maurice Blackburn Cashman), was founded in 1919 by Maurice Blackburn.[3] The firm is an Australian plaintiff law firm, having represented clients in a number of high-profile cases since its establishment.

The firm acts for people who have been injured or allegedly badly treated through the actions or inactions of others. The firm specialises in cases involving class actions, workplace injury, medical negligence, road accidents injuries and asbestos. The firm has acted in class actions for groups, individuals, shareholders and businesses who had suffered loss due to illegal corporate behaviour, product liability, environmental negligence and other forms of mass wrong.


Maurice McCrae Blackburn[edit]

The firm was established by Maurice McCrae Blackburn in 1919 in Victoria, a former Australian Labor Party politician and socialist lawyer. The firm initially acted for working men and women in industrial disputes.

Blackburn died on 31 March 1944.

Maurice Blackburn Cashman[edit]

in the 1990's Maurice Blackburn & Co (as it was then known) merged with Cashman & Partners, a firm founded in Sydney by academic and barrister Peter Cashman.

Maurice Blackburn Commercial[edit]

In early 2006, Maurice Blackburn Commercial was established with the aim of providing for the commercial needs of clients in the union and corporate sectors.[citation needed]

Practice areas[edit]

The practice areas of the firm have changed considerably since its establishment. The firm first began representing workers in industrial disputes but today covers a broader range of practice areas including:

  • Personal Injury
  • Class Actions
  • Employment and Industrial Law
  • Superannuation and Insurance
  • Financial Disputes
  • Dust Diseases
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Public Liability
  • Aviation Law
  • Medical Negligence

Major cases[edit]

Since its establishment Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have acted in a number of cases, including:

  • The 40-Hour Working Week Case - in conjunction with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Maurice Blackburn fought for shorter working hours;
  • MUA Waterfront Dispute Case - represented maritime workers against the Commonwealth Government during the waterfront dispute in 1998;
  • The GIO Class Action - the first shareholder class action win in Australian legal history;
  • Centro Class Action - the biggest class action settlement in legal history;[4]
  • Mohammed Haneef Case - defended Dr. Haneef against false charges of terrorism in 2010 and later acted on his behalf in a defamation matter;[5]
  • The Gene Patent BRCA1 Case - a ruling that saw the High Court rule that a mutated gene that causes cancer cannot be subject to a patent under Australian law;[6]

Former staff[edit]

  • Maurice McRae Blackburn, Firm Founder, Former Labor MP and Former Independent Labor MP
  • Nicola Roxon, Former Commonwealth Attorney-General and Federal Labor MP
  • Terri Butler, Federal Labor MP
  • Peter Cashman, Barrister and Academic at the University of Sydney
  • Eugene Arocca
  • Murray Watt, Former Queensland Labor MP and Australian Senate candidate
  • Honourable Justice Bernard Michael Murphy, Justice of the Federal Court of Australia[7]
  • John Norman Button, Former Labor Senator for Victoria[8]
  • John Cain Jnr, Former Victorian Government Solicitor[9]


External links[edit]