I advise in the areas of family law, employment law, and wills, estates, and family provisions.  I accept briefs from lawyers, companies, unions, businesses and organisations.  I accept urgent briefs and electronic briefs, and will hold a face-to-face or telephone conference after hours if necessary.

Once briefed, I provide advice by telephone, email, letter, or in a face-to-face conference.  In the initial stages of legal representation, my advice includes the following:

 

  • The law relevant to the client’s legal dispute or issue
  • Ethical considerations for the lawyer and the client
  • Further information or documents needed from the client
  • Information and documents needed from the opponent
  • Content of correspondence to the opponent or their lawyer
  • Options available to the lawyer and the client
  • Options available to the opponent
  • Best way to proceed to aid resolution and minimise legal costs
  • Offers of settlement that should be made
  • Offers of settlement that could be accepted
  • Process of and preparation for and conduct at mediation or conciliation
  • Content of a final written agreement

 

Once a matter has progressed to litigation, my advice includes the following:

 

  • The law relevant to the parties’ legal dispute
  • Ethical considerations for the lawyer and the client
  • Court processes that can be expected including time and costs
  • Further information or documents needed from the parties
  • Drafting correspondence and legal documents
  • Drafting interlocutory applications in urgent issues including children or preservation of assets
  • Disclosure and discovery of parties’ positions
  • Other options available to the parties
  • Best way to proceed to avoid hearing and minimise legal costs
  • Reasonable offers of settlement
  • Attendance at further mediation or conciliation
  • Preparation for and conduct at the hearing
  • Content of a final written agreement or appeal

Case Study 1

I was contacted by an experienced solicitor seeking advice in relation to a family provision application.

 

The client’s parent had only just passed away, and the client was aware that the will did not make any provision for him.  Being briefed early enabled me to evaluate the client’s case, options, and the likely outcome of each option.  I was able to advise the solicitor and the client on the process that takes place, time frames, and costs.

 

I then provided a written advice on whether contesting the will on the basis of incapacity was the better option, or whether the client should make a family provision application.  My advice was based on thorough research of comparable recent decisions.  My instructing solicitor was able to consider the advice with the client, and the option I recommended.

 

The client provided instructions based on my advice.  Although an application had to be made to court, the parties settled at a court ordered mediation.  The matter did not have to go to a final hearing.  The client commented that being advised early on about the various options, likely outcomes, time delay, and costs, allowed him to choose the option that minimised costs and preserved family relationships.

Case Study 2

I was contacted by a union representing a worker who was dismissed from employment.  The worker claimed that the dismissal was unfair.  Once I read the brief, I held a telephone conference with the client and the union representative.  I provided advice on the process of litigation in the commission, and the likely outcome of the client’s case.  Over the course of the next few days, I advised the union on the content of the application and settled the draft which was filed.

 

Four weeks later I represented the client and the union at an ordered mediation.  The client considered the advice I provided on whether she could receive a higher settlement from the commission than the offer that was being made by the employer.  The client chose not to accept the offer that was made by the employer.  The case proceeded to a hearing.

 

I met the client and the union representative in the commission prior to the hearing and discussed any final offers that the client might like to make.  Counsel representing the employer also arrived well prior to the hearing and asked to have discussions with a view of settling the matter.  Through the counsel, the employer made a final offer 5 minutes before the hearing was to commence.  My client was very pleased with the offer as it was very close to what I advised the commission had ordered in similar cases, and accepted the offer.

 

The client stated that she was very pleased that she did not have to be cross-examined as this was causing her significant anxiety.  The parties signed a settlement deed.  The client started a new position the following month.

Testimonials

Grace had no problems explaining the legal aspects of the case to our member … in a way he was able to understand. …. Our member was completely at ease knowing that his case was in the hands of someone who had taken the time to listen to him and to get a full understanding of the issues.  At all times, Grace was friendly, professional and took the time to ensure our member understood how the law applied to his case, kept us up to date with preparation and gave clear and concise instructions when further material or information was required.  Having identified all of the issues critical to the case, Grace then thoroughly assessed and explained the prospects if the matter were to proceed to our member in a way he could understand.  Throughout the settlement discussions, Grace ensured our member understood what was being put and provided full and frank advice on all of the settlement options which were explored.

Margarita Cerrato
Industrial Officer

I sincerely appreciated Grace’s availability and attentiveness to my enquiries when I seek advice.  She quite often goes out of her way without being requested to do so, to provide an Advice by email.  She displays a sound knowledge not only of the issues but also legislation and case law.  Grace is “user friendly” and I appreciate her availability, quite often at short notice.

Andrew Rouyanian
Principal

I approached Grace as I was looking for a barrister who was approachable and had a wealth of knowledge. The legal advice that Grace has provided to our firm and clients has been exceptional.  With a practical approach, Grace is able to explain complex legal issues in a way that is easy for our clients to understand.  Her experience and depth of knowledge is clearly evident and I highly recommend engaging Grace in family and estate matters.

 

Megan Piccardi
Solicitor