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Tell me law - 4

Fran O'Brien QC and Matthew Karakoulakis

In the 4th episode of tell me law we continue our conversation with Fran O’Brien QC as she prepares to retire from a brilliant career as a barrister practicing in employment and industrial relations. She is also an expert in discrimination law. In this episode Fran O’Brien confides that one of her strengths is to tell her clients what they need to hear not what they want to hear.

In this part of our conversation, Fran O’Brien QC shared some information about the most memorable stories of her career.

One particular case that still resonates for her is the matter that’s commonly known as the he Rivers Litigation abundantly covered in the media. Like 99% of sexual harassment cases this matter settled outside of court.

This was one of Fran Ob'Brien'smost gratifying cases as she managed to put forward a type of evidence that’s rarely used, “Similar fact evidence”, resulting in the case being settled in the course of a weekend instead of dragging on for several days.

One lesson Fran O’Brien learnt from her career is that even after settling parties often believe they have either paid too much or have received too little.

She says that one of he roles as a barrister was to temper her clients' expectations and risks. Her motto was to always tell her clients what they need to hear not what they want to hear.

Fran O’Brien encourages Indigenous youth to embrace the legal profession where thery can lead gratifying careers.

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