I have been a lawyer since 2001, having worked for five years for a small firm and then for just under ten years at a medium-size firm.
I have acted across many industries, for clients of all sizes, including individuals, small-to-medium firms, large corporations and statutory corporations.
I have acted in litigation in most jurisdictions, including trials/hearings in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, District Court, Magistrates Court, State Administrative Tribunal, Fair Work Commission and Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
I strive to turn what can be a complicated, impenetrable and frustrating legal system into something which can be both understood and utilised to achieve the best possible result for the client. Sometimes that means taking a subtle approach – other times, quite the opposite. I don’t overwhelm clients with long-winded letters full of technical legal argument (unless that’s what you want!). I just give clear, practical, definitive advice and focused, effective representation.
When not working I can usually be found watching movies or sport, reading sci-fi, thriller or horror novels and sometimes writing novels myself. I am fascinated by science and technology (and have a long-redundant degree in computer science) and, on the rare occasions that I find the time, enjoy hiking and travel.
I have been a lawyer since 2006, working for over 11 years at a medium-size firm.
I have a broad range of experience in commercial dispute resolution, having acted for private clients, statutory corporations, SMEs and large corporations, including financial institutions. I regularly appear in the WA (Supreme, District and Magistrates) Courts, the Federal Court, the State Administrative Tribunal, the Fair Work Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission. During the last 2 years I have spent a lot of time investigating serious workplace incidents, providing Safety advice and defending employers in WorkSafe prosecutions.
Despite my broad experience base I spend more than half my time working on contentious estate matters. This includes Family Provision Act claims and proof of will proceedings. I have appeared for plaintiffs, defendants and executors on a myriad of Family Provision Act claims, a number of which have raised complex questions and overlapped with other areas of law. I have helped resolve quite a few matters involving issues of paternity and DNA, which seems to be a more and more common issue. I regularly present professional seminars in this area as it is of particular interest to me.
I am a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”), the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. I am recognised in Doyles Guide as one of five leading practitioners in Western Australia in Wills and Estates Litigation. You can read more about this by going direct to the Leading Wills & Estates Litigation Lawyers – Perth 2016.
My aim in any dispute is to find proactive solutions to problems, guided by the client’s individual financial needs. In the context of Family Provision Act claims, I am conscious that sometimes the biggest challenge is managing the matter in such a way as to preserve, as far as possible, family relationships. I am also particularly careful to manage and communicate expectations at an early stage, aiming to bring as much certainty as possible in an uncertain environment.
When I am not working I am usually travelling to remote parts of Western Australia to compete on my horses. I also volunteer my time on various boards, including the Committee of Management of the WA Council on Addictions Inc. (trading as Cyrenian House) and the West Coast Team Roping Association Inc.
I was admitted in May 2017, after what felt like a lifetime of study. During my years at law school, I volunteered at the Employment Law Centre of WA and worked part-time at a medium-sized law firm.
Following graduation, I worked at a mid-sized firm where I was able to gather a range of experience in a short amount of time. Although I worked in general litigation, it became apparent to me early on that my passions were employment and industrial law as well as contentious estate litigation. Both require a level of personal and emotional understanding between lawyer and client that may not be present in other areas of law, which is part of why I enjoy them so much, but is also why they are so crucial to get right.
I have represented a range of clients in employment proceedings, including local governments, local branches of international and national companies and individuals. I have acted for both employees and employers in the Fair Work Commission and the Western Australian Industrial Magistrates Court. I have represented individuals prosecuted by WorkSafe and assisted in other, larger workplace safety investigations.
In my other area of particular interest, contentious estate matters, I have assisted in complex matters concerning issues of paternity and DNA for the purposes of the Administration Act 1903 (WA) as well as assisting major charities in Family Provision Act claims.
I think the most important step in any legal action is finding out what the client truly wants to achieve. That allows a good lawyer to be honest and up-front about cost and manage expectations, and sets up a good communication relationship between the two.
When I am not working, I am usually eating some kind of Asian food, or exercising to try and counteract it. My now-forgotten undergraduate degree in English and History has left me with a love of books that will never leave me, so I try to make the time to read things that are not related to the law. I have also been lucky enough to travel a lot, particularly to Central and Eastern Europe, South East Asia and Japan.