About

JoshBornstein_Portrait_JenClarkDesign

Josh Bornstein is an employment and industrial relations lawyer who heads the National Employment & Industrial Law practice at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

He is a director of the Australia Institute, a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Future Work. He is also a member of the Victorian Racing Tribunal and Deputy Chair of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

In April 2020, he was appointed a member of the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee of the federal government’s National Covid-19 Coordination Commission.

Josh was the inaugural President of Tzedek.org.au, an advocacy organisation for victims of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community in Australia.

Josh was recently awarded the “Workplace Relations Partner of the Year 2019” at the Lawyers Weekly Awards.

He has been ranked as Victoria’s top employment lawyer for employees by Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession between 2013-20 – a ranking based on peer review within the legal profession.

He has represented wharfies, banking executives, journalists, the Victorian Government Ombudsman, trade unions, broadcaster Ross Stevenson, publisher and CEO Louise Adler, former Melbourne City Councillor Tessa Sullivan, Lord Mayor Sally Capp, health and legal professionals, the State of Victoria, GetUp, The Wilderness Society, Greg Combet, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Essendon Football Club and numerous media professionals including writers Marieke Hardy and Clementine Ford.

He writes about politics, economics, law, technology, mental health and the labour market in publications including The Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Age, The Saturday Paper, The ABC online and Meanjin. He is also the author of a chapter on the fissuring of work in The Wages Crisis In Australia, published by the University of Adelaide Press in 2018.  He is currently writing a book to be published by Text Publishing.


 “When the forces of darkness are on your back, you want Josh at your side” –  Julian Burnside

“Saint Josh of the Wharfs” (sic.) – Andrew Bolt

“In the world of lawyers, Josh is a maverick. In the world of mavericks, Josh is a lawyer.” – Catherine Deveny

 “A cheeky bastard.” – Lawyer Steven Amendola, the preferred lawyer of Peter Reith and Eric Abetz

 “Another prissy, censorial Leftist who can’t handle dissent from his privileged, rent-seeking view of the world.” – Mark Latham
(years before I successfully sued him on behalf of journalist Osman Faruqi, for defamation.)