Michelle Cowan

GradDipLP, LLB(Hons)

Michelle Cowan is an experienced workplace relations lawyer who has advised both employer and employee groups in state and federal jurisdictions. She has expertise in establishing strategic employment standards and in managing workplace disputes in social enterprises and NFPs.

Michelle’s legal experience is augmented by her many years of direct management experience in large retail organisations, managing all aspects of the employment lifecycle for large groups of employees. She has the practical experience to provide pragmatic advice about how to navigate the complexities and risks that exist in the area of employment relations. Having worked in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Michelle is skilled in assisting employers navigate matters in that jurisdiction, such as workers compensation, long service leave and wage disputes for private employers not covered by the Fair Work Act.

Michelle has a particular interest in workplace bullying and has assisted employers investigate complaints, manage bullying conduct and negotiate resolution of employee bullying applications.

Michelle has considerable experience in:

  • Preparing employment contracts;
  • Advising on award interpretation;
  • Advising on employee entitlements;
  • Drafting, implementing and applying workplace policies;
  • Conducting workplace investigations;
  • Advising on managing ill and injured employees;
  • Advising on employment disputes;
  • Advising on employee performance management;
  • Discrimination in employment;
  • Advising on termination of employment;
  • Conducting bullying investigations; and
  • Representation in the FWC for unfair dismissal and bullying applications.

Michelle gets to the core of the issue and advises on the options available to employers to manage a situation, so they can adopt a strategy that they feel comfortable with and that will meet their organisational objectives.

Industry Expertise

Michelle is a specialised workplace relations lawyer with experience in:

  • Advising on application of employment related legislation;
  • advising application of modern awards;
  • employment contracts advice;
  • drafting employment contracts and individual flexibility agreements under modern awards;
  • Bullying and harassment advice and investigations;
  • Preparing WorkCover employer responses;
  • Advising on employment matters in both State and Federal employment jurisdictions;
  • Workplace Health and Safety;
  • Worker’s compensation.


  • Queensland Law Society
  • Industrial Relations Society Queensland


  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice
  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Solicitor of the High Court of Australia

Please feel free to contact Michelle on michelle.cowan@activelaw.com.au or ph 3160 0000 if you would like to discuss any matter with her.