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Steve Bell

Managing Partner - Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety (Australia, Asia)
Regional Head of Practice Partner
Melbourne Australia

A leading work health and safety lawyer, Steve advises and represents businesses on all aspects of safety regulation.

Steve co-leads the Asia Pacific Work Health and Safety team. He works with clients to proactively manage risk and defends criminal prosecutions arising from serious workplace incidents. Steve also develops bespoke, strategically aligned contractor engagement and management systems.

Steve provides prompt and practical advice on steps to take immediately following an incident, as well as developing strategies for the efficient management of ongoing regulatory investigations. Steve represents clients at inquests and inquiries and is acutely aware of the impact incidents have, not only on those directly involved, but the wider workplace and company stakeholders.

Steve is sought-after for his common sense, calm and commercial approach to workplace issues. He helps his clients respond to workplace crises in a sensitive, methodical and structured way.

An in-demand speaker, Steve regularly presents to boards and executives, industry forum groups and management committees on emerging issues affecting workplace regulations.

Steve particularly enjoys working alongside clients to develop proactive and practical health and safety compliance strategies.


Steve and his team are ranked by Doyles Guide as a leading individual and leading safety legal practice as well as by The Legal 500 and Best Lawyers.

Other Safety Laws

Steve and his team are recognised experts in emerging areas of ancillary safety litigation, including rail safety and road transport safety laws. They work with clients to assist them to understand these complex regulatory regimes, and develop compliance systems to manage their obligations under them.


Steve holds a law degree from the University of Melbourne (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • developed and implemented effective contractor management systems for the construction of a number of major infrastructure projects
  • advised Australia’s largest logistics business on compliance with heavy-vehicle safety laws
  • acted for a client responding to a coronial inquest and WHS prosecution following a multiple fatality at its workplace
  • advised board members and executive officers on their personal compliance obligations and assisted in the development of work health and safety improvement strategies for the businesses they lead
  • assisted in the development of a comprehensive safety governance framework to protect the Board and executives of a listed company.