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One of the most experienced litigators in Australia, Howard Harrison is Managing Partner of Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers. Not only does this mean that Howard manages a team of 75 lawyers across three locations, but he also represents the firm nationally and internationally.

An expert in litigation, compensation law and church law, he publishes and presents papers domestically and overseas.

Howard has extensive experience in royal commissions and commissions of inquiry. He understands how stressful these experiences can be and he and his team are experts in providing the client with a holistic solution.

Howard’s experience has also provided the platform for engagement on key policy issues, particularly relating to tort reform and church law issues.

Howard has a strong commitment to assisting the not-for-profit sector. He is the practice group leader of the not-for-profit litigation group. Howard serves on a number of boards and advisory committees within the not-for-profit sector, and has significantly contributed to the firm’s ongoing commitment to social justice issues.

Howard was awarded the Edmund Rice Bicentenary Medal for “extraordinary support given to the Mission of the Christian Brothers”.

Areas of Practice:

  • Commercial litigation and dispute resolution
  • Not for profit work
  • Public Inquiries, Royal Commissions & Special Projects


  • Primerus Network
    Published 03 Mar 2014
    I'm pleased to announce that Carroll & O'Dea has joined Primerus, a network of more than 200 law firms in 130 cities and 40 countries around the world.
  • First Speaker for 2014 - Dr Don Weatherburn, Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
    Published 26 Feb 2014
    Dr Don Weatherburn, Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, will be our first guest speaker for our 2014 Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar program.
  • Seasons Greetings
    Published 23 Dec 2013
    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
  • Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers – Co2 Emissions Reduced
    Published 09 Dec 2013
    AusLSA is an alliance of 45 Australian law firms that choose to adopt sustainable practices. The Partners of Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers joined in 2012 with the goal of implementing environmentally friendly practices to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint.
  • Diversity & Inclusion
    Published 31 Oct 2013
    On 3 October Carroll & O’Dea established its first Diversity & Inclusion Group. The group is open to all members of the firm and proposes to examine issues relevant to diversity, flexibility and inclusion among staff.
  • White Barnes Solicitors join Carroll & O'Dea
    Published 26 Aug 2013
    White Barnes and Carroll & O'Dea joining forces means we can offer an expanded service to clients in Western Sydney
  • Stolen generations litigation in NSW; and news on the NSW State Legal Conference in August
    Published 10 Jul 2013
    Maithri Panagoda a Partner at Carroll & O'Dea has written an article in the most recent edition of Precedent, the magazine of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, on Stolen Generation Litigation in NSW.
  • Tuesday Lunchtime Speakers July 2013
    Published 27 Jun 2013
    Some interesting speakers will be visiting the firm in July to speak as part of our regular Tuesday Lunchtime program
  • Next Tuesday Lunchtime Speaker
    Published 09 Apr 2013
    John Della Bosca the National Campaign Director for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), will visit our firm on the 16 April 2013 to talk about this new legislation.
  • Newcastle to get new $94 million dollar court house - across the road from Carroll & O'Dea
    Published 27 Feb 2013
    Due to open in 2014 Newcastle's new 7 storey multi-million dollar court house will set a new benchmark for justice facilities in one of Australia's busiest court precincts.
  • Workcover Independent Review Office (WIRO)
    Published 26 Feb 2013
    The Workcover Independent Review Office (WIRO) was established by the Government in 2012 as part of the reform of the State’s workers compensation system. We will continue to work hard on behalf of our clients to obtain the best available outcomes for them in this changing world, and to have the most up to date information to assist them with.
  • Reforms to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip Insurance Scheme
    Published 21 Feb 2013
    The report 'Reforms to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip Insurance Scheme' released by the Motor Accidents Authority this month should give us all pause for thought.
  • Legal Seminar Charity Law
    Published 11 Feb 2013
    In late 2012 we held a legal seminar on Charity Law at the Australian Catholic University.
  • Charity Law: Live Legal Issues for Religious, Educators and Churches @ ACU
    Published 19 Oct 2012
    As mentioned in an earlier blog post in January this year, the not-for-profit sector is experiencing a period of unprecedented change. To examine some of the legal issues our Not for Profit Group has organised a half day seminar on Charity Law.
  • Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Bill 2012
    Published 19 Jul 2012
    The revised legislation around the new charity regulator, the ACNC, is following extensive public and targeted feedback and will have important consequences for charities.
  • Grappling With Technology
    Published 28 Jun 2012
  • Moral Leadership
    Published 06 Jun 2012
    Refugee & Asylum Seeker Issues
  • Cyber- Bullying - Issues for Schools
    Published 05 Jun 2012
    Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools. Legal, Psychological and Technical Implications. How Can You Protect Your School? Schools confronted with allegations of bullying will be faced with a range of issues and may require support from a number of exterior agencies and professional service providers.
  • Not-For-Profit Newsletter May 2012
    Published 18 May 2012
    Update regarding: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission; the "In Australia" test; ASIC's National Business Names Registration Service; Sturt v Bishop of Newcastle; ASIC v James Hardie Industries; and Virgin Group's space scholarship program.
  • Recent News
    Published 03 May 2012
    Recent news about our next lunchtime speaker, developments in Wollongong, and our participation in AusLSA.
  • New Team Joins Firm - Carroll & O'Dea Business Lawyers
    Published 28 Mar 2012
    Effective 1st April
  • Tuesday Lunchtime Speakers
    Published 16 Mar 2012
    John Menadue AO is booked as our next Tuesday Lunchtime Speaker. He will talk on the current controversy around refugees and human rights and some of the key takeaways from his book "Things you Learn Along the Way"
  • Mick Sheils Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia
    Published 09 Feb 2012
    Mick Sheils, Special Counsel at Carroll & O'Dea has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work in industrial relations.
  • Developments in the Not for Profit area and the year ahead
    Published 30 Jan 2012
    2012 promises to be a year of change in the Not for Profit area. The Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) is to commence operation by 1 July 2012.The ACNC will be responsible for regulation and reporting of the not-for-profit sector.
  • Not for Profit Newsletter - January 2011
    Published 20 Jan 2012
  • Ethical Leadership
    Published 28 Oct 2011
    This month the firm will be hosting Julian Burnside QC as part of our Tuesday Lunchtime Speakers Series. The topic is “Ethical Leadership; Unpopular Causes”. Lawyers such as Burnside do play an important part in the community in advocating on the difficult human rights and similar issues which are always arising.
  • Tuesday Lunchtime Speaker Series
    Published 10 Oct 2011
    A break with tradition - the lunchtime speaker this month will be on MONDAY 31st October. Lunchtime Speaker Series “Ethical leadership; unpopular causes” - Julian Burnside QC
  • The Taree Terrier
    Published 19 Sep 2011
    Carroll & O'Dea has enjoyed a long association with cycling. The 'Taree Terrier', Phillip Grenfell, recently grabbed two stage wins in Victoria.
  • RUOK Day
    Published 06 Sep 2011
    Thursday, 15 September 2011, is National RUOK Day.
    We are pleased to support this initiative and the ongoing battle to reach out and connect with friends and colleagues who may be struggling with depression or similar illness.
    For many people ‘work’ is an important form or space in which to communicate and seek help. We would expect to be aware of a colleague in difficulty and would want to help but not inappropriately intrude if at all possible.
  • Autumn Newsletter
    Published 13 May 2011

Key Professional Achievements:

  • Howard has a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.
  • He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1979.
  • He joined Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers in 1979, was made a partner in 1984 and became Managing Partner in 2007.
  • He is accredited as a specialist in personal injury by the Law Society of NSW and has served on a number of professional committees.