Professional representation in the Fair Work Commission

In Stephen Fitzgerald v Woolworths Limited [2017] FWCFB 2797 a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has held that in proceedings in the Commission

  • where permission to represent is required (usually for conferences, conciliations or hearings) (see sec 596, Fair Work Act 2009) , and the Commission does not grant permission for a person to be represented by a lawyer or paid agent, the representative will no longer be allowed to remain in the conference or arbitration to assist their client
  • lawyers and paid agents must notify the Commission of their commencing or ceasing to act with diligence
  • the above may have a significant impact on the way the Commission calculates costs, although it did not express the principles upon which that discretion would be impacted; and
  • the decision cannot and does not prevent a lawyer or paid agent representing their clients in relation to correspondence, written applications, written submissions or the preparation of other documents in relation to a matter before the Commision