Bruce Hodgkinson AM SC


Year of Admission to the NSW bar


Year of Appointment as Senior Counsel:



Telephone: (02) 9264 6899


Areas of Practice

  • Work Health and Safety

  • Industrial/Employment

  • Inquests and Commissions of Inquiry

  • Appellate

  • Discrimination Law/Human Rights

  • Professional Negligence

  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Administrative Law

  • Equity


Bruce Hodgkinson AM SC is the head of Denman Chambers. Bruce specialises in work health and safety, industrial/employment, contract, regulatory and sports law. In particular, he has been involved in occupational health and safety matters in NSW since the early 1990s. Bruce appears regularly in the State and Federal Courts as well as the State and Federal Industrial Relations Commissions, before the Coroners Court, Administrative Tribunals and Royal Commissions. Bruce has represented and advised Government (Federal, State and Local), corporations, employers, individuals and associations.

Bruce has advised and acted on behalf of many companies in health and safety matters including Westfield, Perilya, BHP Olympic Dam, Rio Tinto, Sandvik, Multiplex, LendLease, Toll, Schwing, St Hilliars, Baulterstone, Patricks, Transfield, Westrac, Sydney Markets, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Essential Energy, Perilya Broken Hill Limited and Ausgrid.

Bruce has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide in the Leading Employment & WHS Senior Counsel list for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.  

In his role as chair of the Cancer Council of NSW (one of Australia’s largest charities) and Director of Cancer Council Australia Bruce has dealt with a wide range of collaborators and stakeholders including governments, institutions, corporations, individuals and volunteers. Bruce has experience in Corporate Governance both as an advisor (in his role as a Barrister) and as a participant in the NFP sector. Bruce chaired the Governance Committee for the Cancer Council of NSW and Cancer Council Australia. During his chairmanship of Cancer Council of NSW Bruce led a board that transitioned from a government based organisation to a commercially based NFP.

In 2018, Bruce became a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to community health through cancer support and awareness programs, and to rugby union, particularly to player welfare.

Selected cases

Coronial Inquiries

Represented Cricket Australia at the Inquest into the death of Phillip Joel Hughes.

Represented SITA Australia Pty Ltd at the Inquest into the death of a worker at the Lucas Heights Centre

Represented the NSW Police Force at the Inquest into the death of William Crews

Work Health and Safety

Inspector Nash v Perilya Broken Hill Limited [2018] NSWDC 28; Inspector Nash v Perilya Limited [2018] NSWDC 29; Perilya Limited v Nash [2015] NSWSC 706

Represented Perilya Limited and Perilya Broken Hill Limited in defending a prosecution brought under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Bruce previously represented Perilya Limited in challenging the scope of the regulator’s powers under section 155 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in the NSW Supreme Court

WorkCover Authority of NSW v Eastern Basin Pty Ltd [2015] NSWDC 92

Represented Eastern Basin Pty Ltd in successfully defending a prosecution brought by the WorkCover Authority in the District Court of NSW

WorkCover (Inspector Battye) v Patrick Container Ports Pty Ltd [2014] NSWDC 171

Represented Patrick Container Ports Pty Ltd in successful defending a prosecution brought by the WorkCover Authority in the District Court of NSW

Bimson, Roads & Maritime Services v Damorange Pty Ltd (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 827

Represented Damorange Pty Ltd in successfully having an severity appeal brought by RMS dismissed

Selected papers/publications

Co-authored ‘Corporate manslaughter: an international perspective’, a Chapter in Gerard Forlin QC and Louise Smail (eds), Corporate Liability: Work Related Deaths and Criminal Prosecutions (Bloomsbury Professional Ltd, 2014).


Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Chair of the NSW Bar Association Industrial, Employment, Health & Safety Committee

Chair of the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA)

Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

Chair of the Cancer Council of NSW (2007 – 2015)

Director of the Cancer Council of Australia (2008 – 2016)