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.

Andrew Smyth

Partner

ABOUT ANDREW SMYTH
Partner – Technology, Business, SMSF & Litigation

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.  Andrew value adds to his clientele with his passion for 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 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 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 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.

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
  • Presented seminars for Australasian Legal Practice Management association 2013
  • Central Queensland Law Association Conference, 11 & 12 October 2013
  • Hakuba Extreme Legal Conference, 7 February 2013
  • Signatures in a Digital World, Proctor Magazine December 2012
  • Secrets of Self-Managed Super, Proctor Magazine October 2012
  • Television Education Network - Liability of SMSF Trustees
  • Television Education Network - SMSF Administration 2019
  • Smart Contracts Symposium 2019
  • Television Education Network - SMSF Investing
  • Television Education Network - Offers of Settlement 2019
HONOURS & AWARDS
  • Red Cross - Award for ongoing support of their will day program 2003 - 2013
  • 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

Sylvia Hoefnagels

Sylvia joined our litigation team in 2015.  She was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland, and the High Court of Australia in 2005.  Her background consists of all aspects of civil and commercial litigation, including bankruptcy proceedings.  Sylvia has worked with firms in South Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast and makes regular appearances on behalf of her clients in court, and during mediations.  She also has international experience in litigation, and obtained her Masters of Law degree from Tilburg University in the Netherlands in 2003.

Sylvia Hoefnagels

Associate

ABOUT SYLVIA HOEFNAGELS
Senior Litigation Solicitor
Sylvia’s Background
Sylvia joined our litigation team in 2015.  She was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland, and the High Court of Australia in 2005.  Her background consists of all aspects of civil and commercial litigation, including bankruptcy proceedings.  Sylvia has worked with firms in South Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast and makes regular appearances on behalf of her clients in court, and during mediations.  She also has international experience in litigation, and obtained her Masters of Law degree from Tilburg University in the Netherlands in 2003.
Sylvia’s Interests
In Sylvia’s spare time, she is one of the Managers of her son’s rugby league team, and enjoys championing animal rights while supporting Amanda Vella’s S.A.H.A Horse Rescue and Sanctuary. Check out Sylvia’s post on our Robbins Watson Facebook Page about Spirit the horse, and Save a Horse Australia.
Languages
Speaks and reads Dutch proficiently
QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2007 - Queensland Law Society Practice Management course
  • 2005 - Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (Griffith University)
  • 2005 - Bachelor of Laws (Griffith University)
  • 2003 - Master of Law (Tilburg University)
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Member - Queensland Law Society
Sarah

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.

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.

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 Kohler

Senior Solicitor

ABOUT CHRIS KOHLER
Senior Solicitor
Chris’ Background
Coming Soon.

Isabella Phillips

Bell graduated from Bond University in 2019 with a double degree in Law and Business.  Since graduating, Bell has completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and is now on course to be admitted later this year. Currently, Bell is continuing to develop her legal knowledge by undertaking her Masters of Law (Applied Family Law).

Isabella Phillips

Solicitor

ABOUT ISABELLA PHILLIPS

Bell graduated from Bond University in 2019 with a double degree in Law and Business.  Since graduating, Bell has completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and is now on course to be admitted later this year. Currently, Bell is continuing to develop her legal knowledge by undertaking her Masters of Law (Applied Family Law).

Bell began her legal journey gaining experience in a boutique family law firm where she assisted clients to navigate their way through separation. Bell considers interpersonal skills to be the most important quality for a lawyer to have and strives for meaningful relationships with clients. Bell has developed a joint interest in family and succession law having an understanding that the two areas are often heavily intertwined. Since joining the Robbins Watson team, Bell has been utilising both degrees by assisting our Managing Partner Andrew Smyth in his area of specialty, being structuring, regulatory compliance, business succession planning, and SMSFs.

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