Shelley Johnson

Special Counsel

D: +61 (0) 2 9376 1159



A seasoned workers’ compensation specialist, Shelley has dedicated her career to this area of law, joining HBA in late 2019.

Prior to joining us Shelley spent 10 years with Sparke Helmore , initially starting in the Sydney Commonwealth Compensation Team acting on behalf Comcare, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and licensees under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.  She also spent time in Sparke’s  Melbourne office where she continued to practice in federal workers’ compensation in addition to upskilling in the Victorian workers’ compensation jurisdiction acting for various self‐insureds, including Coles/Wesfarmers, Ford and Qantas.

Shelley holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University (1999) and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in mid 2000.



Since her admission, Shelley has had extensive experience handling matters on behalf of both workers and self-insureds.  Throughout her career, she has acted on behalf of licensees including Telstra, Australia Post and National Australia Bank.  She also has experience in Seafarers jurisdiction, under the Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 and dust diseases.

Shelley is sought-after by clients to provide claims management advice and advocating on their behalf in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court.  Shelley’s results speak for themselves with one of her most notable achievements being the high-profile case of Telstra Corporation Ltd v Hannaford [2006] FCAFC 87 (before the Full Federal Court): a decision which set an important precedent in the workers’ compensation space, now commonly referred to as  “the Hannaford principle”.


Why clients like her …

Shelley is efficient, responsive and approachable. She is widely known for her advocacy and negotiation skills leading to considered and strategic advice and the best legal outcomes. Shelley will be the first to tell you that while she enjoys the excitement of litigation, she is mindful that many claims require more creative solutions.




Practice Areas

Workers’ Compensation (federal)