Damien has more than 5 years of experience in private practice and as an in-house government lawyer.
His experience advising government clients spans a broad range of matters, predominantly contentious, including review of administrative decisions and acting as a commercial litigator.
Damien’s non-contentious experience includes providing general statutory interpretation and advising on the implementation and administration of statutory schemes such as privacy and procurement. He also has experience acting for government and private sector clients in commissions, inquiries, coronial inquests, and orders for production of documents, including subpoenas and standing orders of Parliament.
Damien has gained valuable insights and experience while on secondment and as an in-house lawyer to State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies including: Department of Health; Services Australia; The Land and Housing Corporation and TAFE NSW. Damien has additional experience working for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, providing legal strategy as well as assisting in the development of project documentation and the conduct of litigation required to enable the progress of major infrastructure.
Damien also has moderate fluency in written and spoken Spanish.
Assisting in drafting amendments to be made to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the National Consumer Credit Protection Regulations 2010.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Assisting DVA in the preparation of briefs for mediated settlements of historical abuse claims. In preparing these briefs, Damien considered all the material available, and the claimants’ statutory declarations, to balance the competing evidence and recommend settlement figures to take to mediation.
Department of Health
Assisting the Department in managing complaints to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, including in determining what information can be taken into account, and what compliance action may be taken. Damien has also provided advice on approvals and complaints for the purposes of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), and statutory interpretation of the National Health Act 1953 (Cth) in the context of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Department of Home Affairs
Assisting the Department in representing the Minister for Home Affairs at the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court in relation to migration and citizenship matters. Damien’s work involved providing initial advice on prospects through to running matters at a final hearing. Damien also has experienced advising and representing the Minister in merits review matters before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Department of Education and Training
Assisting the Department in managing compliance issues with providers under the VET FEE-HELP scheme, advised the Department on the relevant outcomes arising pursuant to forensic investigations, and assisted in settling disputes with current and former VET FEE-HELP providers.
Advising federal government clients on matters involving the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the application of the Australian Privacy Principles. These include assisting clients to manage the privacy implications of data breaches involving personal and sensitive information, and assisting clients to understand the methods available to them to collect data from their clients. Damien has also advised New South Wales government clients on the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW), and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).