Wright, Sarah

Senior Executive Lawyer

Sarah is part of AGS’s Dispute Resolution In-house counsel team. Sarah specialises in advocacy and appears mainly in Federal Courts and Tribunals, predominantly in the areas of administrative, employment, entitlements and information protection law, as well as in regulatory and professional discipline matters. She accepts briefs across Australia from a range of firms. Sarah conducts appeals in Federal Courts both led and unled (including unled at the Full Court level), as well as appearing unled in trials in Federal Courts primarily involving claims of discrimination and breaches of the Fair Work Act.  Sarah consistently appears unled in the AAT in a range of complex matters, and also in related judicial review and appeal proceedings.

Sarah is part of the counsel team representing the Commonwealth before the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide (RCDVS), bringing to the role her expertise in public law including LPP, Parliamentary Privilege and Public Interest Immunity Claims on Cabinet, National Security and Defence grounds.

Sarah’s experience at AGS since 2003 is supplemented by her other experience working at the United Nations in Jordan, in private practice at Ashurst Australia and as a Navy Officer. Sarah received several honours and awards in her legal studies including the Jean Rogerson Honours Studentship (awarded to the top 5 Honours students) and the Alan White Scholarship.

Relevant experience

Sarah’s recent appearances as counsel:

  • Commonwealth Representation before the RCDVS (Cth Royal Commission, variously led and unled)
  • Comcare v Simeoni (Full Federal Court (FCAFC) - appeal from the AAT, unled); Wonson v Comcare; Ford v Comcare; Wills v Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Skills Quality Authority, AIBTI v ASQA (FCAFC - appeals from the AAT and costs, led)
  • Australia Institute of Business & Technology - International Pty Ltd v ASQA; ASQA v AAT and Productivity Partners Pty Ltd (FCAFC - judicial review, led).
  • Hartikainen v MRCC; Heales v Comcare; Pito v Comcare; Cove v Repatriation Commission; Rus v Comcare; (FCA - appeals from the AAT, unled); King Eeducational Service Pty Ltd v CEO of ASQA (FCA - stay application, unled)
  • Walker v Repatriation Commission (FCA - judicial review, unled)
  • Site Skills Group Pty Ltd v AAT and Site Skills Group Pty Ltd v AAT (No 2) (FCA - Judicial Review and costs, led),
  • Keightley v ONI (FCFCOA - Fair Work Act contraventions, unled), Chambers v BOM (FCFCOA - Fair Work Act contraventions, ACL, tort, unled), Spies v AFP, Jakube v Cth (FCFCOA - discrimination, unled), (FCCT - discrimination, unled), Leach v Commonwealth (FCA  - discrimination, deeds and equitable claims, unled),
  • Medical Board of Australia and Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia v Thompson; Medical Board of Australia v Al-Naser; Speldewinde v Medical Board of Australia; Medical Board of Australia v Hocking (ACAT and QCAT including appeals and interlocutory applications - professional discipline, unled).
  • Igbinoba v Cth (FCFCOA - PII issues, unled), Baronian v Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (NSW District Court - subpoena, unled).
  • Cully v ANAO (FWCFB appeal – unfair dismissal, unled), Kaalverink v Defence Housing Australia (FWC - unfair dismissal, unled); CPSU v Cth (FWC - disputes under enterprise agreement, unled)
  • Trades College, Brighton Pacific, AIBTI v ASQA (AAT – 2+ week trials involving merits review of regulatory decisions, unled)
  • Sprice, DMQM, Upston, Messengers, Kelly, WMZC, Watson, Mitchell, and Whitlock v Comcare; White v ACT;  Fuller, Grayson, LPJD, Palmer v MRCC; Cove, Eversham v Repatriation Commission, Stamatopolous and Rietwyk v Linfox (AAT – compensation and entitlements, unled).