In 1989 Catherine commenced working as an Articled Law Clerk. She completed her legal studies part time and was admitted to practice in 1996.
From 1994 she was articled to the Honourable Peter Dowding S.C. at DCH Legal Group and she worked with him, assisting with many complex financial and children’s cases, including trials in the Family Court.
In 1998 Catherine became a partner of DCH Legal Group, resigning in 2001 to form the partnership of Maughan & Leach.
In March 2004 Catherine commenced Leach Legal.
Catherine is passionate about assisting clients to explore options that enable them to avoid Court proceedings and obtain an optimum outcome. She trained as a mediator and a collaborative lawyer and supports and advocates those methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, as well as encouraging and facilitating ongoing negotiation.
Catherine completed her Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) in 2012 and in 2013 she lectured for the Masters Course in Perth in Family Law.
Catherine is a member of the Law Society of WA, the Family Law Council of Australia and the Family Law Practitioners Association.
She is a member of the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization and sits on the Board of the Perth Chapter.
Elizabeth O’Sullivan worked full-time as an Articled Clerk and studied law part-time and was admitted to practice in 1994.
Elizabeth practices in the areas of Commercial Law, particularly Property Law, Business Law and Wills and Probate.
Elizabeth was a former partner in a boutique commercial firm in St Georges Terrace.
Elizabeth now practices as Leach Legal’s Commercial and Estate Lawyer.
Annemarie Papelard is an experienced and people oriented Chief Financial Officer. She has operated at an executive level for many years, both in Europe as well as in Australia, within professional services, retail, wholesale and manufacturing businesses after gaining the necessary accountant experience with one of the Big Five accounting firms, Deloitte. She has managed international finance departments dealing with countries including Australia, the Netherlands, the US, UK, Hong Kong, France and China.
Annemarie’s experience and skills include restructuring financial and operational processes, financial analysis, forecasts including cash flow and team related issues. Before moving to Australia in autumn 2011 she had her own small business for six years, offering CFO services to medium sized enterprises in Europe. After moving to Australia, Annemarie started working with CFO Centre and continued offering her CFO skills to SMEs in and around Perth on a part-time permanent basis. As such, she manages to restructure businesses to be ready for growth, prepare for take-over by private investors and accompanying bankruptcy processes.
Annemarie started working with Leach Legal in May 2013 to help with strategy, forecasts and processes in order for management to be able to further focus on the growth of the business.
Julie has worked in a variety of fields of law and has extensive experience in Litigation. Julie is responsible for the management of the administrative staff, procedures, practices and the smooth running of the office.
Damien has more than 30 years’ experience as a Family Lawyer, and an accredited Family Law specialist for more than 19 years, his particular areas of practice are financial settlements and financial agreements.
Damien has many years of experience in all aspects of Family Law including negotiated and litigated financial settlements involving property. He also has extensive experience in pre-nuptial agreements or cohabitation agreements for de facto couples.
Damien is able to act for clients in settling Family Law matters through the collaborative process whereby parties agree not to go to court. Instead, with their lawyers, they negotiate an outcome based on what is best for their family, rather than based on their legal rights.
Damien grew up as the son of farming parents and worked on numerous farms in his earlier years. He has an extensive background in, and knowledge about, farming. Damien owned a farm on which he ran cattle until recently. Therefore, Damien has an innate knowledge of the farming industry and has a long list of farming clients for whom he has acted. Damien is uniquely placed to better understand the real impact on farming businesses when family relationships deteriorate and the advice of a Family Lawyer becomes necessary.
Between finishing school and commencing law studies, Damien worked in a variety of jobs. He worked as a bulldozer operator for an earthmoving contractor in Esperance clearing land and building dams; as an ore sampler for a mineral exploration company in the Hamersley Ranges; as a trade assistant to boilermakers and electricians at Mount Newman; as a ganger on railway gangs and as a wharfie at the Fremantle Harbour.
Nicola grew up in Tasmania and graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. Nicola was admitted to practice in 1993 in the Supreme Court of Tasmania and High Court of Australia.
Nicola practised in both Hobart and Launceston in all areas of litigation, including family law before moving to Melbourne in 1997. Nicola practised in Family Law whilst working in Victoria and was a partner at Septimus Jones and Lee for 6 years before moving to Perth in June 2013.
Since 1997 Nicola has practiced exclusively in all aspects of Family Law and has done additional training to be one of only a few family law practitioners also trained as both an Accredited Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer.
In addition to private client work Nicola has been appointed by the Legal Aid Commissions of Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia to act as the Independent Children’s Lawyer in a multitude of cases including some involving International Child Abduction and some of the most high profile cases involving children before the court.
Nicola’s extensive knowledge of Family Law gives her the ability to advise her clients as to all of their options and to find solutions for their particular circumstances.
In November 2016 Nicola was elected as Western Australia’s only representative on the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.
Away from the law Nicola has been significantly involved with a number of charities and was made Citizen of the Year by the City of Stonington in 2011 for her services to youth.
Linda graduated from Murdoch University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics). Linda’s Honour Thesis considered 25 years of decision-making under the Family Law Act 1975.
She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1996 and worked mainly as a family lawyer in a medium sized firm until 2000 when she commenced as a sole practitioner. For the next 13 years Linda ran a very busy practice working predominantly in family law while also volunteering at Citizens Advice Bureau, Gosnells Community Legal Centre and was a board member of Perth Inner City Housing Association.
She particularly enjoys complex legal issues and advocacy. Linda’s friendly style and professional skills meld well with the Leach Legal team.
Gary has extensive experience in advising on property and children’s issues for separating couples. This encompasses sophisticated business structures involving companies and trusts as well as issues associated with self-employment and investments such as rental properties. Gary previous business experience culminated in being Chairman of a successful bio-tech start-up.
Gary is also an Independent Children’s Lawyer and has considerable experience in children’s matters including where a child shall live, parents who wish to relocate or dealing with situations where a parent may have drug or alcohol problems or where there maybe domestic violence. Gary has also advised grand-parents on their ability to spend time with grand-children. Gary has also advised clients on Child Support, including Child Support Agreements.
Gary can also advise couples going into a relationship about asset protection measures they may wish to take.
Being an Attorney-General’s Department accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Mediator) and Collaborative Professional, Gary at all times, attempts in the first instance to resolve disputes through negotiation and mediation. However, Gary will not hesitate to initiate Court proceedings where desirable and necessary.
Gary is actively involved in the legal profession and is a member of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee and the Family Law Practitioner’s Association Law Reform Committee. In 2013 Gary was one of the winners of Law Society’s Lawyer of the Year award.
Outside of law Gary is a keen volunteer, being a member of two school boards and a volunteer surf life-saver. Gary also volunteers at two Community Legal Centres and assists to build houses in Cambodia.
Kim Morrison (nee Bramwell) has worked in family law since 2006. She completed her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (International Business) at the Queensland University of Technology while working full-time at a large Brisbane firm. She graduated in 2008 and was admitted to practice and entered into the High Court Role of Practitioners in 2009. Since adopting Perth as home in 2011, Kim has continued to work exclusively in family law and joined Leach Legal in September 2014.
Kim guides her clients through the family law process to ensure they can make informed and cost-conscious decisions, with the children’s best interests always being the primary consideration. Her preference is to assist parties to reach an amicable agreement through settlement conferences and mediations, however if an agreement cannot be reached she has extensive experience with both parenting and financial matters in the Family Court of Western Australia and the interstate Federal Circuit Courts. Kim has represented clients as Counsel in various interim hearings including interstate relocation, spousal maintenance, enforcement proceedings and seeking urgent injunctive relief, and has instructed on various final hearings or trials.
Kim also assists clients who are entering into new relationships by preparing Financial Agreements (commonly known as “pre-nuptial” agreements) which govern how their assets will be deal with during the relationship and post-separation. She works with the clients’ other trusted advisors to ensure that their intentions for their estate are protected.
Kim is currently studying her Masters of Law (Family Law) at the College of Law with expected graduation in 2017. She is a member of the Publications sub-committee of the Family Law Practitioners Associate of Western Australia, and an ordinary member of the Women’s Law Association.
She has previously worked as a nanny in Spain, at an orphanage in Bolivia, and as a scuba divemaster.
Anastasia graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Laws and a Diploma in Modern Languages, was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2009, and is entered on the Register of Practitioners in the High Court of Australia.
Anastasia commenced her legal career in Property and Business Law and has practised solely in Family Law since 2011 and her commercial drafting skills and knowledge of commercial and residential property settlements are of benefit to her Family Law clients.
Anastasia endeavours to assist clients to achieve resolution outside of Court, and her strong negotiation and communication skills are assets to her clients. When Family Court proceedings become necessary, Anastasia has significant experience in child-related/parenting matters and property/financial matters, including general initiating and responding applications, urgent applications for the recovery of children, applications for spousal maintenance and restraints against detrimental personal and financial conduct. Anastasia enjoys working closely with Counsel to advocate the best possible position for her clients.
In 2014, Anastasia commenced studying her Masters of Law majoring in Family Law, so as to enhance her theoretical and practical expertise in our very specific and changing practice area.
Anastasia is a member of the Family Law Practitioners Association and is a premium member of the business network “Business Chicks”.
After relocating from Karratha to Perth in 2003, Chantelle completed her Bachelor of Laws at Murdoch University in mid-2008.
Chantelle has been working exclusively in Family Law since 2008 and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2010.
Chantelle has an interest in, and is highly experienced in, complex property matters. Chantelle has been involved in a variety of Family Law matters including a successful Full Court Appeal, high net wealth property settlements and matters involving complex family trusts and corporate entities worth in excess of $200 million.
When possible, Chantelle encourages meaningful negotiations to help clients avoid the expense and stress of litigation. Chantelle is skilled at facilitating negotiations and settlements for both property and child-related matters and regularly engages in mediations with her clients. However, when necessary, Chantelle is experienced in appearing in the Family Court of Western Australia and working closely with Queen’s Counsel and Junior Counsel in preparation of matters for interim arguments and trial.
Nicola graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce in early 2010. She was admitted as a lawyer in 2011, and has practised exclusively in Family Law since that date.
Nicola has experience in all aspects of family law including divorces, simple and complex property settlements, child support and parenting disputes, and regularly appears in the Family Court.
Nicola is passionate about social justice issues, and regularly volunteers at the Fremantle Community Legal Centre providing free or subsidised legal advice to those who would not ordinarily be able to afford it. Nicola utilised her legal experience in April 2012 when she joined the Board of Fremantle Women’s Health Centre and has acquired further experience in the Not-For-Profit Sector and in relation to Board Governance and contemporary issues in the health sector.
Amanda graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Japanese.
She was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2010 and completed her articles in a commercial firm before joining Leach Legal in 2011. Her commercial experience provides value to her property settlement matters.
Amanda now practices exclusively in Family Law and has experience in complex children’s matters including children’s international relocation.
Amanda has a friendly and professional manner and is sensitive to the individual needs of each client. She has a keen interest in assisting clients finalise their post separation financial arrangements as efficiently as possible. She enjoys participating in mediation and finds it rewarding when agreements are reached and issues are resolved without the need for litigation. When going to Court is necessary to progress a client’s case, Amanda is experienced in appearing in a wide range of matters in the Family Court of Western Australia and is also experienced in preparing matters for trial.
Amanda has worked in both Japan and Canada. She volunteers at a community legal centre and has a wide range of work experience.
Kylie completed her Bachelor of Laws at Murdoch University in 2010. During Kylie’s final year of study she completed practical legal experience at a Community Legal Centre.
In April 2012, Kylie was admitted into practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a Barrister and Solicitor. Kylie previously worked at a small boutique firm specialising in Family Law for 5 years as a legal assistant, articled clerk and then solicitor before joining the Leach Legal team in October 2015.
Kylie has worked solely in family law since her graduation from University and has gained extensive experience working on divorce, property and children’s matters with various degrees of complexity, including care arrangements, relocation, spousal maintenance and property settlements.
Kylie has attended mediations and has utilised her strong communication skills to conduct many successful negotiations on behalf of her clients. Kylie works hard to create workable agreements as efficiently as possible.
Where necessary, Kylie regularly appears in the Family Court of Western Australia for all hearings and has successfully completed a number of trials as Counsel.
Kylie is a member of the Family Law Practitioners Association.
Anna has worked in the area of family law since 2011 and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in December 2012.
Anna works in all areas of family law including property and parenting matters, divorce, child support, spousal maintenance, and surrogacy. She likes to work with clients to achieve the most efficient, cost effective, and amicable resolution possible.
Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Distinction) and Commerce from Murdoch University in 2011 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2013.
While studying, Michelle worked in various roles within state government at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Public Sector Commission and Department of Finance.
From July 2012 to March 2015 Michelle was employed as a Legal Associate at the Family Court of Western Australia.
Michelle is a member of the Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Western Australia and Women Lawyers of Western Australia.
Katie graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Laws in 2012 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2014.
Katie completed her articles and worked with a commercial law firm prior to joining Leach Legal and has had significant dealings in property and commercial issues. This commercial knowledge is invaluable when considering complex property settlement matters.
Katie is a member of the Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Western Australia.
Jessica has seven years’ experience as a senior legal assistant and recently as a law clerk and paralegal in various areas of law, including Family Law which she thoroughly enjoys. Jessica recently completed a Bachelor of Law degree with distinction. Jessica enjoys bootcamp, photography and netball.
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Tania brings over 20 years of extensive experience working in the legal industry as a legal assistant. Tania worked in Canberra for four years prior to returning to Perth where she now assists Nicola Watts, Consultant, at Leach Legal. Outside the office Tania is kept busy with her family, enjoys socialising with friends and attending the gym.
Alicia has been a legal assistant for 16 years and has experience in legal administration including Conveyancing, Probate and Commercial Law. During this time she worked at several law firms providing high level secretarial support and has also worked at paralegal level, including attending to clients, liaising with solicitors and preparing documents. She has worked in New Zealand and South Africa prior to immigrating to Australia. Alicia loves spending quality time with her husband and two children.
Julie has extensive experience in Conveyancing, Probate, Personal Injuries, Tax Law, Commercial, Litigation and most recently in Family Law. Julie worked as a Legal Assistant in Ireland prior to moving to Australia three years ago.
Renae specialises in providing high level legal support and has done so for the past 21 years. Her areas of expertise include commercial law, conveyancing, probate and debt recovery, but her passion has been with family law where she has supported Damien Bowen, an accredited family law specialist, for the past 12 years.
In her spare time, Renae enjoys music, travel adventures, cooking and keeping fit.
Isabella has past experience in administration, customer support and handling settlements. She provides secretarial and administrative support for the solicitors and fee earners.
Jessica has worked in law for over 7 years with experience in commercial law, workplace relations, banking and wills and estates but has worked in family law more recently and developed a passion for it.
Outside of work, you’ll find Jessica enjoying the sun either at the beach or with friends listening to good tunes. She also enjoys travel and planning holidays.
Kirsten is our evening administration assistant who undertakes our billing, account queries, debtors and trust statements. Kirsten has over 10 years’ experience in various administration roles including time in the UK and a greater portion working in small law firms.
Kirsten enjoys spending time with her husband and two children at the park or the beach.
Samantha has been with Leach Legal since 2015, starting as an office assistant before being promoted to Junior Legal Assistant in early 2017. She has past experience in administration, customer support, reception duties and handling settlements. She provides secretarial and administrative support for the solicitors and fee earners.
Fiona trained and worked as a Registered Nurse at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and later at Rocky Bay Village caring for children and young adults with disabilities.
In 1988 Fiona commenced training as a paralegal and worked at a number of Family Law firms before joining Leach Legal in 2006. She has worked in collaboration with lawyers in many areas of Family Law, assisted in preparing matters for trial and assisted Counsel at trial.
In early 2014, Fiona was appointed the role of Client Relationship Manager. Although she still works on some files in her capacity as a paralegal, her primary role now is to ensure that clients’ experiences with the firm are productive and positive. Fiona recognizes that, for many clients, entering into the Family Law process can be daunting. She is in regular contact with all Family Law clients to listen to feedback, assist in the resolution of any issues in respect of our service and to provide some ongoing support generally. By working in close collaboration with our lawyers, staff and clients, Fiona is continuously searching ways where the firm can improve services and our clients’ experiences throughout the process.
Fiona wants to actively and empathetically listen to and engage with both clients and colleagues to:
i) improve the service provided;
ii) reduce frustration with the system;
iii) provide better value for money; and thereby
iv) improve everyone’s overall experience of the family law process.
Julie has had extensive experience in the legal field originating as a legal assistant in a small family law practice in the UK some 30 years ago. Immigrating to Melbourne in 1988, Julie worked for an international corporate law firm, and subsequently transferred to their Perth office a number of years later.
Her long association working for law firms has spanned a career of over 30 years and has encompassed corporate and commercial as well as personal injury practices. Julie has been a corporate receptionist for over 10 years for a number of large global law firms. She is passionate about her role and her constant goal is that clients come away with only a positive experience after dealing with the firm’s reception staff.
Cassey started at Leach Legal as an Office Junior/Receptionist and has progressed her way through the firm. As Accounts Manager, Cassey is responsible for all accounts and finances within the firm including payroll and invoicing, as well as assisting with business settlements.
Having studied Event and Sport Management at University, Cassey decided to pursue her dream of working in a law firm and assisting people when they need it most. Cassey has completed various certificates in Legal Business Studies and Bookkeeping.
Cassey focusses on making the invoicing process within Leach Legal as smooth and simple as possible for all clients. She believes that a positive and can-do attitude is the best way to tackle any task and there is no such thing as a stupid question.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Cassey completed the majority of her schooling life in the UK before migrating to Australia 8 years ago and says she “never wants to leave”. In her own time, she enjoys playing Soccer and keeping fit.
Recently graduating from Santa Maria College, Laine has joined Leach Legal as the Office Junior. Laine brings a wealth of experience in Customer Service and is looking forward to developing herself within the legal industry.
Laine enjoys relating with people, is always available to assist clients with their queries and looks forward to an extensive career with the firm.