John Payne


“Imagination allows you to find solutions others haven't thought of.”

About John Payne

Principal John Payne has been with Hall Payne since the firm’s inception in 1991. As one of Queensland’s most experienced and respected industrial relations lawyers, John has spent more than 30 years helping organisations with their diverse legal needs.

John identifies firstly as a trade unionist, and then a lawyer, and brings these principles to his practice. “I look after community sector organisations such as incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee and trade unions,” says John. “There’s not many of us about – it’s a confined area of expertise.”

Over three decades as a lawyer John has attained an impressive track record and national reputation. His expertise is highly sought across Australia, working with organisational clients in corporate governance, industrial relations, constitutions and structures. “I’m called in to answer the complex questions.”

John is also experienced at drafting sophisticated employment instruments, contracts, merger agreements and operating agreements.  He has previously lectured in workplace health and safety law.

Looking back, John says he became a lawyer to “to get a better understanding of how you deal with injustice.” These days he mentors the firm’s young lawyers and says imagination is the biggest difference between good, or great, lawyers. “Imagination allows you to find solutions others haven’t thought of.”

John is a director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Queensland, the secretary of the Industrial Relations Society of Queensland and a board member with an Indian charity, The Child Labour Schools Company.

In his spare time, John enjoys building cars, decks and working on other DIY projects.


Doyles Award Leading Employment Lawyers 2019

Leading Employment Lawyer (Employee & Trade Union Representation) – Queensland 2019
Doyles Guide 2019


Leading Employment Lawyers (Employee & Union Representation) – Australia, 2018
Doyles Guide 2018
Leading Employment Lawyers (Employee & Union Representation) – Queensland, 2018
Doyles Guide 2018

Contact Details

South Brisbane Office
Ground Floor, 27 Peel Street
South Brisbane QLD 4104


  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Arts
We have 9 offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.