Penny Thew was called to the Bar in 2005 and regularly advises and appears in employment, discrimination and commercial law matters for corporate, government and individual clients. Penny is also a part time Tribunal member in the Consumer and Commercial Division of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Penny’s particular expertise includes all matters arising under the Fair Work Act, claims involving restraints of trade, contractual disputes and discrimination law. Penny in addition accepts briefs and appears in succession and possession matters, and litigation involving disposition of assets, and regularly appears in private mediations.

Before being called to the Bar, Penny practised as a solicitor in the areas of employment and discrimination law between 2000 and 2005, acting for corporate and government clients, as well as employer associations, and in 2004 undertook an internship with the International Labour Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Penny is an editorial committee member of Bar News, the journal of the Bar Association, and has been a member of the Bar Association’s Diversity and Equality Committee since 2013. Penny regularly advises and presents on workplace compliance issues for employers and legal practitioners for the New South Wales Bar Association, the Law Society of New South Wales, College of Law, the ODPP, NSW Parliamentary Counsel, law firms, private organisations and industry bodies. Penny holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, a Masters of Labour Law and Relations from the University of Sydney and completed the Advanced Advocacy Course at the University of Oxford as a representative of the New South Wales Bar Association.

While completing her degrees, Penny worked as a policy advisor for the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and was a representative of the former HREOC at the NSW Pay Equity Inquiry in 1998 on a pro bono basis.

Penny is a keen horse rider and dragon boater and does both when she can.


Focus Areas + Select Cases

Zreika v Royal [2019] FCAFC 82 (led by Dr Chris Birch SC; successfully defending against five of six appeals and largely successful in the sixth in relation to transfers of shares and real property)

Royal v Nazloomian, in the matter of Royal [2019] FCA 555 (successfully set aside bankruptcy notice)

Lake Maintenance (NSW) Pty Limited v Todd Hadley Pty Limited & Ors [2019] NSWSC 297 (led by Dr Chris Birch SC; successfully defended application for determination of a separate question in professional liability proceedings)

Mine Subsidence Board v Frank and Louisa Kozak [2017] NSWSC 421 (appeared for successful statutory authority obtaining possession orders in long running dispute)

Curry v Curry [2017] NSWSC 461 (appeared for successful plaintiff obtaining possession orders)

Royal v El Ali [2016] FCA 782; Royal v El Ali (No 2) [2016] FCA 1156; Royal v El Ali (No 3) [2016] FCA 1573; Royal v El Ali (No 4) [2017] FCA 299 (led by Dr Chris Birch SC; successfully obtained relief and consequential orders, as well as lump sum costs on a joint and several basis, against eight corporate and individual respondents in two separate proceedings rendering multiple fraudulent share and property transactions void)


King v PIA Mortgage Services Pty Ltd & Ors [2018] FCCA 3426. Appeared for the successful employee in a general protections and Australian Consumer Law claim.

Johnston v Ainslie Football Club Limited (Discrimination) [2018] ACAT 104. Appeared for the successful club in defending against a disability discrimination claim.

Manuel Maciel v Lynch Admin Services Pty Ltd T/A Lynch Group [2017] FWC 4914. Appeared for the successful employer in an unfair dismissal claim.

Hinder v The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust (No 3) [2017] NSWCATAD 16. Appeared for the successful employer in a disability discrimination claim.

Cheng v Western Pursuits Trust Trading as Vauxhall Inn [2016] FCCA 3275. Appeared for the successful employer in a general protections and discrimination claim.

Lotfizadeh v University of Western Sydney [2016] NSWCATAD 205. Appeared for the successful university in a disability discrimination claim.

Concierge Travel Group Pty Limited v Ryan (24 December 2015 SC 2015/372185 per Stevenson J). Appeared for the successful employer obtaining injunctive relief in a restraints of trade proceeding.

Formula Chemicals Pty Limited v Gee (10 December 2015 SC 2015/331079 per White J). Appeared for the successful employer obtaining injunctive relief in a restraints of trade proceeding.