Ian is an experienced workplace lawyer specialising in employee relations, work health and safety (WHS) and coronial inquests. He provides practical and pragmatic advice to help employers effectively manage complex legal issues arising in the workplace.
What he does
Ian assists clients to effectively manage issues and develop strategies that look at the bigger picture and mitigate potential flow-on effects (such as public relations, commercial arrangements, insurance and regulatory compliance). He commonly advises on matters involving discrimination, long-term absenteeism, bullying and harassment, fitness for duties, dismissal disputes, industrial instrument interpretation, restraint of trade, policy and procedure development and WHS investigation, prosecution and enforceable undertakings.
He is an active contributor to our workplace publications and frequently participates in our pro bono and community initiatives (including in his capacity as a voluntary director with a metropolitan community legal centre and a not-for-profit disability support service.
Ian has recently relocated to Perth (from Sydney) in the interests of continuing to support his national client base while also expanding his networks on the west coast.
Who he works with
Ian has a diverse client base spanning government (local, state and Commonwealth) and statutory corporations and authorities, as well as organisations in the labour hire, insurance, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, telecommunications, construction, mining and resources and transport industries. He works closely with senior executives, human resources, WHS and insurance claims officers and in-house legal counsel.
What his clients say
"Ian Bennett is a highly intelligent, practical and intuitive lawyer. He has a proven strength in establishing strong and collaborative relationships that quickly establish trust in his advice and guidance." – Rachel Steele, Employee Relations Manager, Woolworths Limited
"I was impressed by Ian's tireless dedication, hard work and insight. I appreciated that he took the time to understand the intricacies of our business' operations and processes. I felt that Ian cared and was committed to getting the right outcome for us." – Grace Tombolato, Director, GTE Workplace Management Pty Limited
Winner in the Workplace Relations category of the 2016 Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards
Ian holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and History), Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Newcastle.
While working at Sparke Helmore, Ian has also attained a Certificate IV in WHS Management.
Life before Sparkes
While completing his tertiary studies, Ian worked as a volunteer law clerk at a community legal centre and as a research assistant for a Sydney-based barrister. He was also employed in a part-time capacity as a paralegal in a general law practice.
Ian became part of Sparke Helmore's graduate program in February 2011, completing rotations in the Insurance (CTP/Public Liability Major Claims) and Commercial (Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution) practice groups before permanently joining the Workplace team.
Life outside of Sparkes
Ian is a keen traveller who takes every opportunity to visit and explore new places. He also enjoys middle distance running so you can find him running around the city on most lunch breaks. Where possible, Ian combines these interests. In 2014, he organised and completed a charity event where he ran circuits in each of Australia's capital cities to raise funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.