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Big four recruits industrial relations specialist


A big four firm has appointed a top employment lawyer to its partnership, as COVID-19 brings industrial relations issues to the fore.

By Cameron Micallef 11 minute read

EY has announced the appointment of Sarah Ralph as a partner in its employment law team.

Ms Ralph, a former partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, will commence in her new role at EY Law on 1 September.

Being an industrial relations and employment specialist, Ms Ralph’s advice to employers is informed by her past experience working in the Victorian government, manufacturing and labour hire sectors.


According to EY, her experience includes employment compliance issues, redundancy and restructuring, industrial disputes and enterprise agreements, and Fair Work Ombudsman and Australian Building Constructions Commission investigations and prosecutions.

EY Law Oceania law leader Kirsty Keating said Ms Ralph’s appointment comes at a time where demand for advice on employment issues has never been stronger.

“We are delighted to welcome Sarah into our growing Employment Law teams within EY Law, particularly with her strong reputation and credentials in IR and employment issues,” Ms Keating said.

“COVID has meant that employment and IR issues have never been more complex, so we are very pleased that Sarah will be able to offer her excellent specialist knowledge, experience and expertise to our clients at this time.

“Our employment lawyers have never been busier, teaming with EY’s Strong People Advisory, Forensics and Transactions teams to deliver all aspects of employment law services to EY’s clients.”

Ms Ralph, whose clients include major health and pharmaceutical companies, and organisations in the manufacturing, transport, construction and technology sectors, as well as government, said she was looking forward to making the move from a traditional law firm to the big four firm.

“I am excited to join EY, where I will be part of an integrated team of professionals from across different areas of expertise, providing advice and support on the issues that affect businesses,” Ms Ralph said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work with expert teams and to access world-leading specialist skills and experience across EY in this very challenging and complex environment.

“My approach has always been to understand the client’s business and their risks, and to provide forward-looking solutions that navigate the many complexities of employment law. With the depth of knowledge and skills of EY globally, clients have unrivalled access to support across EY’s business areas, that traditional law firms simply cannot provide. I am very excited to be a part of the EY offering.”

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