Rebekha Pattison

Rebekha is the ACT Woman Lawyer of the Year – Private Practice and specialises in administrative and public law, statutory interpretation, regulatory investigations and general commercial disputes. Rebekha is a trusted advisor to a number of federal government departments as well as private sector clients, particularly those operating in highly regulated industries (such as telcos and utilities).

Rebekha has particular experience representing the Commonwealth government in litigious administrative law matters having worked extensively for Innovation and Science Australia (part of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources) in defending applications for review in the AAT and has run a number of applications for judicial review under both the ACT and Commonwealth Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Acts (including in the High Court).

Rebekha also has experience providing advice on complex issues of statutory interpretation and also regarding proposed legislative amendments for public and private sector clients, along with not-for-profit organisations.  She has developed numerous sets of guidance material for government departments when implementing new, complicated regulatory regimes.

Rebekha also has particular expertise in assisting private sector clients managing and responding to regulatory investigations, including dealing with the ACCC and advising in respect of compliance activities.

Rebekha also has specialised experience advising on privacy, secrecy and information security issues for government departments, multinational corporations, small businesses and non-for-profit organisations.  Privacy and information security is a key focus for Rebekha, who regularly provides training to clients on privacy and other data protection laws, and assists with regulatory investigations in these areas.

Recent Matters

  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources: Acted for the Department in defending applications for review of decisions of Innovation and Science Australia under the Industry Research and Development Act before the AAT for the past ten years.
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources: Closely involved in the development of the Department’s positions and strategic approach under the R&D tax incentive, including preparing internal and external policy documents about applying the relevant regime, and delivering training workshops to assessors across Australia.
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources: Involved in the Federal Court challenge under the Race Discrimination Act in respect of the highly sensitive proposal to select a site for a nuclear waste management facility.
  • Private Sector Client: Involvement in a significant, multi-year investigation by the ACCC into suspected breaches of a regulatory instrument. As part of this matter, Rebekha has worked intimately with the client over a number of years (including in house as part of the project team) assisting this organisation to understand the scope of its obligations and developing recommendations for remediation where non-compliance was identified.
  • Telstra: Regularly advising Telstra about its regulatory obligations, including under the Telecommunication Act, and its privacy/ data security requirements. Rebekha has also been involved in responding to numerous investigations by the ACCC.
  • Nikias Nominees: Carriage of a high profile ADJR Act application in relation to the development of a shopping centre on behalf of the developer. This matter proceeded through the ACT Supreme Court, ACT Court of Appeal and the Applicants were granted special leave to appeal to the High Court on the question of standing.
  • Department of Defence: Key team member that handles the portfolio of claims brought against the Department relating to institutional abuse.
  • Icon Water: Carriage of the portfolio of Icon Water claims where employees allege that were incorrectly advised that they were not eligible to join Commonwealth superannuation and are now seeking damages.
  • Australian National University: Successfully defended an injunction brought by a public interest group in respect of a development at the ANU, based on a challenge to the development application under the ADJR Act.
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources: Led the KWM team in preparing a comprehensive handbook for Biosecurity Officers in simple language and that was easy to use, but which comprehensively explained their powers (along with their limits and pre-requisites) under the newly enacted Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) (Biosecurity Act).
  • Services Australia (previously the Department of Human Services): Regularly advises the Department on sensitive issues involving Centrepay, as well as in relation to leasing disputes and intellectual property.


  • Solicitor - King & Wood Mallesons - 2010 – 2014
  • Senior Associate – King & Wood Mallesons 2014 – 2020
  • Partner – King & Wood Mallesons – 2020 - present
  • Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Law (First Class Honours), Australian National University - 2005 - 2009


  • Member, ACT Law Society
  • Member, ACT Government Law Committee


Legal insights

Further to our alert published on 5 June 2020, the Attorney-General issued a statement on 22 July 2020 confirming that the Commonwealth will not be appealing the decision of Rares J of the Federal...

24 July 2020

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