James Stephens

Principal Solicitor
Area of law:
Information management, privacy and data protection, Commercial, contracts and procurement, Native title

James' practice focuses on commercial projects, privacy, data protection and native title. James advises on a broad range of commercial matters including procurement processes and funding arrangements. He has drafted complex contracts and specialised templates to reflect State and Commonwealth regulatory schemes, ranging from the funding and procurement of education and vocational training services, multiparty litigation settlements and the procurement of goods and services for prisons.

James also has in-depth expertise in enabling clients to share the information they need with other agencies and non-government bodies in the rapidly developing areas of privacy and data protection. In 2015 and 2016 James worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services as the lead party in preparing the first information usage arrangement under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 to assist it in protecting women and children from family violence. Since then, James has continued to work extensively in this area.

James' native title experience includes working as instructing solicitor on all four consent determinations of native title rights in Victoria made by the Federal Court and on the Kurnai Clans trial, only the second contested native title trial in Victoria. James also assisted in the negotiation and drafting of the landmark agreement in 2013 to successfully address land justice for the Dja Wurrung People of central Victoria. James appears for the State at Federal Court directions hearings, and mediations and arbitration hearings at the National Native Title Tribunal.

James' practice in both native title and information sharing has given him an expert understanding of how to conduct effective cross departmental liaison and how government processes interact with the management of significant cases and projects.

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