Andrew Smyth

With 30 years’ experience working in and managing business, Andrew Smyth is sought after by industry and commerce for his specialist knowledge in structuring, regulatory compliance and business succession planning and SMSFs.

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Andrew Smyth

Andrew Smyth

Partner

ABOUT ANDREW SMYTH
Managing Partner

Andrew is the managing partner of the firm, and the partner in charge of the litigation section of the firm. He has practiced extensively in all areas of litigation, particularly commercial disputes, family law, and estate litigation. He is deputy chair of the Queensland Law Society Litigation Rules Committee.

Andrew’s practice focus is Estates, Trusts, Superannuation and Estate Planning.  He is an author of the Australian reference text “Estate Planning”, published by LexisNexis.

Andrew provides specialised assistance to commercial clients, business owners, and entrepreneurs, advising on and documenting arrangements for Asset Protection, Trusts, Estate Planning, Complex Wills, Superannuation and Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (aka LRBA or Instalment Warrants). He also advises both clients and members of the legal profession about the legal issues arising at the intersection between the Law and Information Technology.

With over 30 years’ experience working in and managing business, Andrew Smyth is sought after by industry and commerce for his specialist knowledge in structuring, regulatory compliance, business succession planning and SMSFs.  

Andrew value adds to his clientele with technology and cybersecurity expertise.  Recognised by industry for this expertise in this field, he regularly advises the legal profession and commercial clients on conducting business in the complex cyber world.

Andrew is a regular presenter at legal and accounting industry seminars on legal topics of current interest and importance. 

QUALIFICATIONS
  • 1994 - Admitted, Solicitor of the High Court of Australia
  • 1992 - Admitted, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 1991 - Bachelor of Laws
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
  • Co-author "Estate Planning", published by multinational legal publisher, LexisNexis
  • Presenting seminars on legal topics since 2013 for:
    Queensland Law Society
    Television Education Network
    Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA)
HONOURS & AWARDS
  • Red Cross - Award for ongoing support of their will day program 2003 - 2013
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Member - Queensland Law Society
  • Member - Queensland Law Society's Litigation Rules Committee - a body which addresses issues arising with the operation of the Queensland Court process;
  • Member - Society of Trust and Estate Practioners
  • Member - Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia;
  • Member - Australian Legal Practice Manager's Association (ALPMA)
  • Justice of the Peace

Sarah Galvin

From Brisbane to Kent County, England, back to sunny Queensland, Sarah has amassed over 20 years legal experience, locally and internationally. In that time Sarah found her passion in Family Law. Sarah comes from a family of lawyers, with her earliest memory of being in a law office at the age of five – drafting documents in crayon! In her early career, Sarah undertook criminal prosecution work at the Director of Public Prosecutions Office Brisbane where she found her other passion in Court Advocacy. This inspired her to successfully complete the Bar Practice Course, after which she was appointed by the DPP to undertake significant solicitor advocacy work on criminal prosecution matters. Having spent 5 years at the DPP, Sarah got itchy feet, and followed the traditional Aussie travel path to England. In the chilly climes of the UK, Sarah honed her legal skills as the Legal advisor to the Kent County Council practicing in Family Law, with a focus on Child Protection matters. During those six years, most of her work involved court appearances from simple local mentions to conducting complex multi-day in trials as a solicitor advocate.

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Sarah
Sarah Galvin

Associate

ABOUT SARAH GALVIN

From Brisbane to Kent County, England, back to sunny Queensland, Sarah has amassed over 20 years legal experience, locally and internationally. In that time Sarah found her passion in Family Law. Sarah comes from a family of lawyers, with her earliest memory of being in a law office at the age of five – drafting documents in crayon! In her early career, Sarah undertook criminal prosecution work at the Director of Public Prosecutions Office Brisbane where she found her other passion in Court Advocacy. This inspired her to successfully complete the Bar Practice Course, after which she was appointed by the DPP to undertake significant solicitor advocacy work on criminal prosecution matters. Having spent 5 years at the DPP, Sarah got itchy feet, and followed the traditional Aussie travel path to England. In the chilly climes of the UK, Sarah honed her legal skills as the Legal advisor to the Kent County Council practicing in Family Law, with a focus on Child Protection matters. During those six years, most of her work involved court appearances from simple local mentions to conducting complex multi-day in trials as a solicitor advocate.

On returning to Australia, Sarah focused her skills on matrimonial property matters, assisting client with negotiated outcomes including Binding Financial Agreements to wholly contested property dispute matters. Sarah’s local and international experience with government and their departments gives her a deep understanding and special skills in navigating Australia’s complex Family Court System. Sarah’s approach to clients is, to seek wherever possible, to resolve issues by negotiation and agreement, however if court proceedings are required then she will not hesitate, as Sarah both enjoys and has the constitution for the rough and tumble of court representation. On her day to day matters, Sarah takes a personalised approach to her clients, spending the time to understand what is important to each one and then offering practical and workable ways to achieve these goals.

QUALIFICATIONS
  • Bachelor or Laws (2004)
  • Bar Practice Course (2004)
  • Admitted in the Supreme Court of Queensland (2004)
  • Registered to Practice in High Court of Australia (2008)
  • Justice of the Peace (Qual), Queensland
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Queensland Law Society
  • Family Law Practitioners Association

Sean Powell

Sean specialises in estate disputes, estate administration and estate planning, with a particular focus on contested wills. In line with his focus, he will soon complete a Masters of Applied Law, with a specialisation in Wills and Estates.

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Sean Powell

Sean Powell

Associate

ABOUT SEAN POWELL

Sean specialises in estate disputes, estate administration and estate planning, with a particular focus on contested wills. In line with his focus, he will soon complete a Masters of Applied Law, with a specialisation in Wills and Estates.

After graduating from his law degree with honours in 2013, Sean was snapped up by a large Brisbane CBD law firm. There he gained valuable litigation experience in a wide range of practise areas, including: Personal Injuries, Professional Liability, Construction, Employment and Maritime Law.

Life then enticed Sean to practise law just south of border, where his cross-jurisdictional legal career has seen him gain extensive experience in Queensland and New South Wales, in Succession Law (wills and estates) and Commonwealth Family Law.

Outside of the law, Sean has a keen interest in business. He is a Director of the Bendigo Bank at Tugun and a member of the Bank’s Finance, Risk and Audit Committee. He is also active in our local community through his membership of the Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Sean knows what his clients need from their lawyer in difficult and challenging times. He has acted for small, medium and large enterprises, multinational organisations, employers, employees and individual clients.  He understands what it takes for families to create their wealth and their natural desire to protect what has taken a lifetime to build and preserve.

With a strong client focus, Sean will work collaboratively with you to foster outcomes best suited to your needs.

QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2015 - Admitted: High Court of Australia
  • 2015 - Admitted: Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 2015 – Graduate Diploma Legal Practice (Distinction) – Australian National University
  • 2013 – Bachelor of Laws (Honours) – Queensland University of Technology
  • 2010 – Bachelor of Business – Queensland University of Technology
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Queensland Law Society
  • New South Wales Law Society
  • Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce

Chris Kohler

Chris is a senior litigation solicitor, specialising in resolving commercial disputes and deceased estate disputes. His 30 years of experience in litigation have seen him resolve disputes in a wide range of areas.

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Chris Kohler

Chris Kohler

Senior Solicitor

ABOUT CHRIS KOHLER
Senior Solicitor

Chris is a senior litigation solicitor, specialising in resolving commercial disputes and deceased estate disputes.

His 30 years of experience in litigation have seen him resolve disputes in a wide range of areas including:

  • Property, business and contract disputes
  • Professional negligence claims
  • Insurance disputes
  • Superannuation death benefit claims
  • Property resumption compensation
  • Contested deceased estates

He has a strong track record of obtaining good results for his clients, whether they be individuals or large corporations – whether that be via pre-litigation negotiation, post-litigation settlement conference, or contested trial.

We all live in the middle of a technological revolution.  Chris uses both technology and his legal know-how to resolve disputes as efficiently, cost-effectively and favourably for his clients as possible.

Litigation is complex and daunting, and Chris will guide you all the way through.  At the outset of any matter in which Chris acts for you, he will explain:

  • your prospects of success, and the likely outcome/s of the dispute;
  • any options that you have for the way forward;
  • the legal processes involved;
  • the time frame/s involved;
  • the likely costs of the matter, including any costs recoverable from another party; and
  • the possible risks associated with the matter.

Outside of the law, Chris has a keen interest in surfing, sailing and skiing, particularly with his colleagues from school days at The Southport School.

Isabella Phillips

Bell is a solicitor in our Succession & Litigation team and has taken to specialising in estate litigation. Bell graduated from Bond University with a double degree in Law and Business.

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Isabella Phillips

Isabella Phillips

Solicitor

ABOUT ISABELLA PHILLIPS

Bell is a solicitor in our Succession & Litigation team and has taken to specialising in estate litigation.

Bell graduated from Bond University with a double degree in Law and Business. Bell utilises both degrees by focusing on providing innovative and commercially focused solutions for clients in all aspects of disputes and litigation. She works closely alongside Managing Partner, Andrew Smyth.

As a strong advocate, she strives to inform her clients about their rights and entitlements. Clients appreciate Bell’s sensitive approach to estate matters and her ability to explain the process during difficult times and ensure that they understand the steps involved in their matter.

Bell has a keen interest in elder law. This field includes difficult and complex issues such as:  where the deceased may have lacked testamentary capacity; whether the testator has been influenced to make a will; disputes regarding enduring powers of attorney; and related proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In addition to estate litigation, Bell assists our Family Law and Commercial litigation teams with matters in the Federal Courts and State based Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts giving her extensive involvement in court hearings, procedure, and dispute resolution.

Bell is continuing to expand on her legal knowledge by completing her Master of Laws (Applied Law).

QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2019 Bachelor of Laws (Bond University)
  • 2019 Bachelor of Business (Bond University)
  • 2020 Graduate Diploma of Professional Legal Training (College of Law)
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Queensland Association of Collaborative Practitioners
  • Family Law Section – Law Council of Australia
  • Family Law Practitioners Association
  • Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce