My career as a lawyer in litigation and conflict resolution has given me a unique and highly specialised set of skills for investigations, conflict resolution and coaching. I have spent many years honing the very skills which are at the core of these areas.
Engagement is at the heart of investigations and conflict resolution. I quickly and genuinely connect with people which enables me to conduct in-depth, effective and less stressful investigations and resolution processes. I am an empathetic listener who builds confidence through support, rapport and respect, and through investing effort in explaining process. This gives a sense of empowerment and assures that everyone feels heard and is more willing to be open and provide information. I am assertive when the situation calls for it, assuring all evidence is gathered in a professional manner and the process is controlled to ensure procedural fairness.
I am conscious of the psychological wellbeing of all involved in an investigation and conflict. My work is conducted in a manner which is respectful and thoughtful of each individual involved. I am aware of how stressful investigations and conflicts can be and do my upmost to assure that everyone is given a safe environment where they feel they can share their story. This allows for a free flowing exchange of information, reducing any resistance to communicate all facets of the issue. My care for the parties involved extends beyond the case which in turn can improve morale issues and minimise stress. I keep in mind the mental health of the individual and the morale of the workplace.
I am firm in my obligations as a lawyer. I allow no bias to interrupt my conclusions and I allow no one to damage the integrity of my investigations. I run a tight ship in terms of adhering to principles of natural justice and procedural fairness, and complying with rules.
I have been involved in some of the most complex litigation cases for some of the biggest companies. I have spent many years in court understanding and developing highly specialised skills to successfully obtain information, especially from a reluctant or combative witness. I have learned that finely tuned interview/examination skills are generally far more effective than a combative approach. I have been involved in countless complex court disputes over the finer detail of evidentiary issues and laws. And I am particularly known for my analytical skills and my ability to clearly spot and hone in on the specific key issues and evidence in a case, whilst also seeing the big picture. These are skills which have been refined through many many years of complex litigation and dispute resolution. And they are the very skills that are at the heart of investigations, conflict resolution, coaching and training.
Conducting thorough, respectful and ethical independent workplace investigations.
Workplace investigations, when done well, can be very effective in assisting employers to make difficult employment decisions and get to the bottom of disputes and issues. When not done well, they can be incredibly destructive and can expose organisations to liability.
Organisations that engage me get my expertise from start to finish. I have a unique skill set for investigations having worked for over 20 years as a litigator analysing, advising on and resolving some of the most complex and bitter disputes. I know how to get to the crux of a dispute and focus on the key issues and evidence. I often discover critical obscure and well hidden evidence. I ensure participants feel empowered, supported and respected through the process, which inevitably results in trust, openness and provision of in-depth and consequential evidence.
I stand behind every investigation I undertake and neither myself nor my work will ever be swayed or compromised. I ensure maximum procedural fairness. I provide clear, thorough, high quality reports that can be confidently relied on. I give clear cost estimates at the outset and keep organisations updated throughout.
Areas of expertise include workplace bullying, sexual harassment, misconduct, reportable conduct (child protection), fraud and corruption.
Bringing relief to workplace conflict through empathetic and professional resolution, support and interpersonal growth.
I have 25+ years of extensive complex conflict resolution experience. I believe in the importance of empowering each person involved in a dispute. I ensure each person has a voice and is truly heard, whilst also ensuring they really listen and understand other perspectives. In separate sessions with each participant, I engage, gain trust, empower, listen, challenge and guide. I explore the inevitable psychological issues at play. I discover, analyse and hone in on the real issues at the crux of a dispute (moving aside the fluff and distractions). And through this process it becomes patently clear what the real problem is and how to fix it.
Coaching supports those who have been involved in a conflict, or the subject of complaints (such as bullying), or simply those looking to improve skills, confidence, morale and productivity for themselves and their team. I address issues and behaviours present in the lead up to and during conflict or complaint, with a focus on understanding the perspectives and interpretations all involved. It is intended to be a positive experience, imparting greater skills and awareness of both their own ways of interpersonal communication and those of others. The coaching gives psychological understanding and insight to help those involved move forward in a constructive and empowered manner.
Staff become skilled to be better equipped with workplace issues.
The conflict resolution and coaching are both future focused solutions, minimising repeat behaviours or conflicts and maximising workplace relations, morale and productivity.
Cultural reviews can provide greater insight, and an avenue to resolve, existing disputes or harmful culture. They can also provide a preemptive strategy in managing potential future conflicts as well as providing an overview of the general cultural health of a workplace.
The review process analyses various elements of the workplace, looking at both positives and negatives, to provide an effective way in which procedures, performance and behaviours can be improved, or changes implemented. Reviews enable staff to provide information in a safe and non confrontational environment, allowing them the comfort to voice any points of concern. Reviews can include facilitated discussions between staff and amongst teams, as well as the provision of information with the protection of anonymity. Observations are then assessed to find ways to improve the workplace resulting in staff feeling proactive and empowered.
Cultural reviews can be engaged for specific issues providing information, assistance and support to staff and management to implement improved practices. Reviews are encouraged to prevent issues escalating into formal complaints, resignations or legal claims.
For an overall audit of general organisational health, cultural reviews assess systems of communication, underlying dysfunctions or tensions, morale and any points of concern.
Providing comprehensive procedural reviews and tactical training for implementation of efficient systems when dealing with workplace conflict, investigations, reporting and compliance.
Procedural reviews assess the techniques and systems implemented by organisations when dealing with conflicts, internal investigations and the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
Training sessions are delivered to improve processes, knowledge and outcomes.
Various topics are covered under the umbrella of investigations, including interview skills, collecting and managing evidence, report writing and procedural fairness.
Training is also applied to risk management, conflict resolution and in particular, the systems and compliance of the Reportable Conduct Scheme, including recognising red flags, when to report and obligations surrounding reporting.
Other legal areas of training include media law, consumer law and defamation.
I have known Sally Scott for several years. Sally provided commercial legal and investigative advice to our national business. In addition to bringing her commercial litigation, HR and process knowledge to assignments, she brought exceptional business acumen. She was always professional, collaborative and genuinely concerned for all parties involved. Her involvement gave the investigative process the credibility that was so critical. Importantly, it was a pleasure to work with her and I could not have been more pleased with the work she performed.
- Former Head of Legal, Risk and Regulatory Affairs, Caltex Australia
I am very pleased to commend Sally and her work to those wanting a reliable and knowledgeable professional to support their organisation. Sally worked with us at a time when we needed insight and discernment, and she was able to provide that strongly for us. She also worked respectfully and confidentially with a range of employees across our organisation, building confidence in those with whom she engaged
- School Principal
I on behalf of the Board wish to thank you regarding your independent investigations that we requested you do for us. The Board all agreed your thoroughness and professionalism was excellent and well executed. We could not have asked for anything more.You took a non-judgmental attitude and approach and as I said conducted a vigorous and detailed investigation. Your research, investigations, following up and reporting is to be highly endorsed. We have no hesitation in calling upon you again should a situation evolve or recommending you and your professional services to anyone.
Sally is a very clear thinker and has a strong ability to evaluate evidence and explain outcomes in a simple and manageable way. Sally is extremely reliable to get to the bottom of tricky matters and can use her wealth of experience to interview witnesses and help with practical outcomes.
I found working with Sally to be an absolute pleasure. She is able to take the pressure off me and run with a matter in a timely, efficient and solutions driven manner. Her legal background assists in this. I would highly recommend her to any organisation in need of an investigation, mediation or training.
“It is the best of this type of report that I have read, very thorough and professional” – Executive Director (emergency services organisation)
“You just get so much information out of people. Everyone talks to you.” – HR Manager (emergency services organisation)
“Your report was excellent. If only all the reports we received were as good.” – Child reporting Commission
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working together on this matter. You can be sure that going forward, we will continue to use and utilise your wonderful services in workplace related investigations… Again, thank you again for all of your assistance. It is much appreciated!” – Lawyer
“Many thanks for this work Sally. We have really appreciated the way you have done this, particularly the way you have made each person feel so supported and empowered. Thank you.” – School Principal
“Please pass on our gratitude to Sally for conducting the investigation in such a thorough and timely manner… If there were ever the need in the future for us to engage an Investigator we would not look past Sally.” – CEO (sporting organisation)
“Many thanks for all the work you have put into the reports you have forwarded. Your thoroughness and detail is really appreciated.” – School Principal
“Greatly appreciated…Once again we really appreciate the work and your efforts.” – Chairman (educational organisation)
“I really appreciate what you’re doing and I was so comfortable with you and could have talked for hours to be honest! Thank you so much again!” – Complainant
“Thank you so much Sally. You have been a great support and I’m super thankful for your continuous updates of this investigation.” – Complainant
“Thank you so much for all your hard and thorough work. It was a crappy situation and it was made that little bit easier by you. It’s impressive how you manage to be professional and friendly at the same time.” – Complainant
“Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. I really appreciate your hard work and support. Looking forward to an outcome and resolution.” – Complainant
“You were so kind. Not at all what I was expecting from this process. Thank you” – Respondent
“I so appreciate your professionalism in handling this whole situation. It’s been a difficult time and yet your empathy and caring nature has been so encouraging.” – Respondent
“Thank you for your efforts, even though we are extremely disappointed by the outcome.” – Complainant
Thank you for creating such a safe and welcoming environment where I felt comfortable talking about everything! I am so very grateful! Thanks for all the wonderful words of encouragement Sally! You have made this process a million times easier than what I envisioned it would be!” – Complainant
“You’ve done an amazing job. Thank you for being so supportive, I know it’s your job, but this kind of stuff is a lot easier when the person I have to talk to about this kind of stuff is super nice and supportive. Thanks again Sally!” – Complainant