Ms. Patricia Lowson

Phone: (02) 8239 3299lowson
Fax:      0292370821

Date of Admission

  • Called to the NSW Bar: 1997

Areas Of Practice

  • Administrative
  • Civil & Human
  • Rights/Discrimination
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Industrial/Employment
  • Inquests and Commissions of Inquiry
  • Occupational Health and Safety Prosecutions
  • Statutory Tribunals
  • Trade Practices and Competition
  • Wills and Probate


  • BA Hons – Australian National University – 1986
  • LLB – University of Melbourne – 1995

I studied law at the University of Melbourne with the intention of becoming a barrister.  I was admitted to the New South Wales bar in February 1997 and practised for 12 years from HB Higgins Chambers, representing unions and individuals in a range of employment and industrial matters, including work health and safety prosecution.

During this time I appeared twice in the High Court as junior counsel in matters involving discrimination law (State of New South Wales v Amery & Ors [2006] HCA 14) and the jurisdiction of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (Commissioner of Police v. Eaton [2013] HCA 2NSWCA 30).

I consider my greatest achievement was persuading the Full Bench of Fair Work Australia (now the fair Work Commission) to accept gender-based undervaluation and obtaining pay increases of up to 45% for the undervalued female-dominated workers in the social and community services sector, representing the Australian Services Union in one of the few recent work value cases in the Fair Work Commission – Equal Remuneration Case [2011] FWAFB 2700 and Equal Remuneration Case [2012] FWAFB 5184.

In 2012 I decided to expand the areas of my practice and moved to 8 Garfield Barwick Chambers, where I have appeared in family provision claims, probate disputes, disciplinary matters involving health practitioners, and family law proceedings, as well as continuing to appear in employment matters for both applicants and respondents, including in SafeWork prosecutions.  I regularly appear in a range of jurisdictions (sometimes with a junior) including the NSW Supreme Court, District Court, Coroner’s Court (including as counsel assisting), Federal, Federal Circuit and Family Court, Fair Work Commission, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

A sample of recent and significant judgments and decisions are as follows:


Medical Council of New South Wales v Lee [2017] NSWCA 282 – statutory interpretation – interlocutory stays not available under the Health Practitioners Regulation National Law (NSW) 2010 (with Strickland SC)

Public Service Association and Professional Officers’ Association Amalgamated Union of New South Wales v Secretary of the Treasury [2014] NSWCA 112 – judicial review finding error in exercise of jurisdiction by Industrial Relations Commission

Reynolds v Bonnici [2017] NSWSC 828 – ademption of gifts in family provision proceedings

Estate Kouvakas; Lucas v Konakas [2014] NSWSC 786 – abuse of process in probate proceedings

Children’s Guardian v BQJ [2016] NSWSC 869 – appeal from NCAT decision granting a Working with Children Clearance

Belan v National Union of Workers – New South Wales Branch [2018] FCAFC 239 – limit of protections against self-incrimination under the Royal Commissions Act 1902

Official Trustee in Bankruptcy & Galanis and Anor [2017] FamCAFC 20 – standing of the trustee in bankruptcy under the Family Law Act 1975

C v Commonwealth of Australia [2015] FCAFC 113 – defence force workers not covered by general protections in the Fair Work Act 2009 (with C. Birch SC)

Notaros & Houlis [2014] FamCA 1254 – family law property dispute

Health Care Complaints Commission v Goyer [2019] NSWCATOD 121 – prosecution of health practitioner for professional misconduct

SafeWork NSW v K & R Fabrications (W’Gong) Pty Limited [2019] NSWDC 238; Safework NSW v K & R Fabrications (W’gong) Pty Limited (No. 2) [2019] NSWDC 457 – defended SafeWork prosecution resulting in $75,000 penalty out of possible maximum of $1.5million