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

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.

Nathan Rutherford

After graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with distinction) and being admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland in August 2017, Nathan began working as an estate planning lawyer in a central Queensland firm. Nathan has worked extensively with high-net worth clients, and has a significant amount of experience in estate planning for primary producers.

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Nathan Rutherford

Nathan Rutherford

Solicitor

ABOUT NATHAN RUTHERFORD

After graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with distinction) and being admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland in August 2017, Nathan began working as an estate planning lawyer in a central Queensland firm. Nathan has worked extensively with high-net worth clients, and has a significant amount of experience in estate planning for primary producers.

Nathan made the move to Robbins Watson and the Gold Coast in August 2020 and works predominantly in the areas of estate planning and estate administration.

Nathan assists clients to obtain probate, collect in estate funds, identify and resolve estate administration issues, finalise taxes, transfer real estate and distribute the estate funds to the beneficiaries.  He has a passion for easing the process for clients needing to navigate the difficult, and often frustrating, paths of estate administration.

Nathan’s estate planning work includes preparation of complex and simple wills, reviews of companies, trusts and related asset holding entities, superannuation and binding nominations and formulating suitable estate plans to accommodate the wishes and desires of the client within the client’s asset-holding framework.

Nathan is a member for the Queensland Law Society’s Succession Law Policy Committee and the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2017 – Admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 2017 – Graduate Diploma of Practical Legal Training (College of Law)
  • 2016 – Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (Queensland University of Technology)
  • 2016 – Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) with Distinction (Queensland University of Technology)
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Queensland Law Society
  • QLS Succession Law Policy Committee
  • Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee

Allison Kelly

Intrigued by law and justice in Australia, Allison pursued a path in the legal profession through rigorous studies during 2012 to 2018 and achieved both a Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies (majoring in criminal justice and licenced conveyancing) and a Bachelor of Laws.  Allison then forged her direction to becoming an Australia Legal Practitioner and was admitted to the legal profession in the final months of 2018.

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Allison Kelly

Allison Kelly

Solicitor

ABOUT ALLISON KELLY

Intrigued by law and justice in Australia, Allison pursued a path in the legal profession through rigorous studies during 2012 to 2018 and achieved both a Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies (majoring in criminal justice and licenced conveyancing) and a Bachelor of Laws.  Allison then forged her direction to becoming an Australia Legal Practitioner and was admitted to the legal profession in the final months of 2018.

At Robbins Watson, you’ll find Allison navigating clients through their respective estate plans with care, sensitivity and professionalism to identify what kind of Will and Enduring Power of Attorney is appropriate for them. You will also find Allison directly assisting our Consultant and Accredited Specialist in Succession Law, Christine Smyth.

In her spare time, Allison passionately advocates for animal law and regularly enjoys exploring the outdoors with her horses through the Gold Coast hinterland.

QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2018 Admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 2018 Graduate Diploma of Professional Legal Training (Bond University)
  • 2017 Bachelor of Laws (Southern Cross University)
  • 2015 Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies (Majoring in Criminal Justice and Licensed Conveyancing) (Southern Cross University)
MEMBERSHIPS
  • Queensland Law Society

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