Industrial Relations Commission of NSW

Legal advice and representation

Parties may appear before the Commission on their own behalf. However, many people prefer representation by a trade union, employer organisation, legal aid service, lawyer or an industrial relations consultant. Parties may also seek to be represented by a friend, relative or community representative.

Note 1 : in conciliation proceedings you will need to seek the approval of the Commission for your legal representative to appear.

Note 2: in promotional appeals before either the Industrial Relations Commission (public sector appeals) or the Transport Appeal Boards (transport sector appeals) there is no right to representation by an Australian legal practitioner or an agent or otherwise.

Parties may also seek prior legal advice to assist them in representing themselves in the Commission. This is generally a less expensive alternative to having legal representation at the hearing itself. 

Representation and legal advice can be found from a number of sources. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

(Please note the Commission does not suggest or encourage the selection of any particular source.) 


NSW Law Society 

The NSW Law Society provides a Solicitor Referral Service which refers callers - by fax, email or post - to three firms which practise in the required area of law. Each referral is specifically tailored to the client's needs, for example, geographic location, a solicitor who speaks a particular community language, a solicitor who will do a home or hospital visit.

This referral database is not available online. If you wish to seek a referral contact the Solicitor Referral Service 9-12am and 1-4pm Monday to Friday. Sydney metropolitan area call 9926 0300 outside the Sydney metropolitan area 1800 422 713. Email

Community Legal Aid Centres 

If you are looking for legal advice Community Legal Centres (CLCs) may be able to help you. CLCs are independent, non-profit community organisations providing free legal advice, information and referrals for individuals and communities across New South Wales. 

Legal Aid Commission of NSW 

The Legal Aid Commission of NSW provides legal aid and other legal services to disadvantaged people. If more than legal advice is needed, they may be able to provide legal representation.

NSW Industrial Relation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Unit

The Unit helps Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW to understand their rights and responsibilities as employees, managers and employers. It also advises Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders on industrial laws and employment issues.

Women's Legal Resource Centre 

The Women's Legal Resource Centre provides free telephone advice on (02) 9749 5533, as well as referral to solicitors and services.


A website service providing practical resources for people dealing with legal problems in NSW without a lawyer. 

LawAssist gives you:

  • options for dealing with your legal problem without going to court
  • step by step guides to running your own case
  • instructions for filling out court forms
  • samples of completed court forms
  • checklists and frequently asked questions
  • information about fees and other legal costs
  • suggestions about where to get legal help.

LawAccess NSW 

LawAccess NSW is a free service that will help you find information and services best able to assist with legal problems and questions. Telephone 1300 888529 (TTY: 1300 888529) between Monday and Friday 9am - 5pm (excluding public holidays).

Registered Organisations

Index of Registered Industrial Organisations

List of Unions and Employer Organisations registered under the Industrial Relations Act 1996

Last updated:

20 Jul 2023

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