Denise O’Reilly

Principal Lawyer

Denise has over 20 years’ experience advising businesses about workplace issues – ranging from large corporates during her time with Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills), to smaller sized businesses after first relocating to the Gold Coast, and now with a broad range of her own clients from start-ups to listed companies.

She believes this experience has helped her and her team hone their communication skills irrespective of whether they are speaking with people from big or small organisations. She enjoys being able to offer the premium opportunities and solutions often only utilised by larger corporates with businesses of all sizes.

Denise has particular expertise in industrial relations, employment related litigation, diversity and workplace health and safety and admits to being ‘borderline obsessional about industrial relations’: “I devour articles relating to developments in the law and use that to constantly keep my clients up to sped with what’s happening out there’.

She enjoys working collaboratively with her clients and her work is very much relationship-driven rather than transactional. Denise: “There is a strong focus on educating our clients as we go through the process of working together. This means that as they learn through the process they need us less and become more confident and comfortable dealing with employment issues because of that increased knowledge.”

Denise is originally from country Tasmania, having grown up in a big family on a small farm in the Tamar Valley (you can see the scar on her neck if you look closely…).  She is now a Mum of two rowdy young boys, a lover of wine, food, travel and politics.

Annalise Thompson

Senior Associate

Annalise has practiced exclusively in employment law since her admission in 2015, in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast. She is passionate about assisting businesses (of all sizes and varieties) in managing and minimising risks, and in doing so, developing positive, ongoing commercial relationships with clients.

Annalise has significant litigation experience, primarily in dismissal-related and post employment restraint matters. She regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission, as well as in Federal Court/Federal Circuit and Family Court proceedings. Annalise also provides advice in relation to any potential employment-related disputes, contractual matters, compliance with modern awards or enterprise agreements, employee entitlements, and work health and safety obligations.

In her free time, Annalise can most often be found at the beach or enjoying a beverage. Having grown up in California and Japan before relocating back to Australia, Annalise has a particular penchant for Californian wines and Japanese beers.

Jessica Osborne


Jessica has completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Bond University and first began working for O’Reilly Workplace Law as a trainee student whilst completing her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Since Jessica’s admission to practice in 2021, she is committed to growing her experience in the field of workplace law with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for employers in as stress free a way as possible.

Having grown up in a family business Jessica understands the struggles facing employers and enjoys working collaboratively alongside clients to assist them to achieve their desired outcome whilst managing any potential risks and obstacles that may arise.

Outside of the work week Jessica can be found relaxing on her family farm in the company of cows, dogs and books.

Nicole Orzecki

Executive Assistant and Administration Manager

Nicole is completing a Bachelor of Laws from University of New England whilst working for O’Reilly Workplace Law. She has a keen interest in employment and industrial relations and is especially passionate about working with businesses in a dynamic and interesting practice area.

Nicole’s background is in the health and medical industry and includes owning and operating an Optical practice with her partner. She also moonlights as a pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for wellness and stress management.

Outside of work, Nicole loves to travel and enjoys art, films, books and a buttery chardonnay.

Chanel Assafiri

Legal Secretary

Chanel is a focused and driven member of our administration and reception team. She is currently studying to be a building designer whilst working at O’Reilly Workplace Law.

Chanel provides support across all departments, particularly accounts, helping to ensure that our lawyers can service our clients to the best of our ability

In her spare time Chanel can be found in the kitchen whipping up delicious baked goods or outdoor on a leisurely walk.