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Our People

We don't settle for any less than the best

Our Team Leaders

JUSTIN IRELAND

PRINCIPAL LAWYER

Justin is passionate about achieving life-changing outcomes for his clients. Justin’s family were farmers in New South Wales before moving to North Queensland where Justin grew up assisting his family to run businesses. Justin turned to the law in his mid-20’s, moved to Bondi Beach and completed a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. Justin won a scholarship to go to London to study law at one of the best international law schools, University College London. Justin returned to Sydney and worked for top-tier firm Ashurst and then at DC Strategy in Sydney, before starting Strategic Lawyers, one of North Queensland’s fastest growing and dynamic law firms with an innovative and client-focused approach. 

Anyone who is represented by Justin will know that he is incredibly passionate about what he does and will pursue cases with the tenacity and dogged determination they deserve.

When not running the firm Justin loves to go to the gym, hike somewhere remote, listen to an audiobook, or take his boat out on an adventure.

JON SPELMAN

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Jon brings a wealth of experience to Strategic Lawyers as the Chief Operating Officer through an established career spanning 4 continents covering many industries and working for Fortune500 companies such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. A vast majority of Jon’s work life has been spent in Investment Banking and Private Equity in the global financial scene following a successful and established career in Professional Rugby which culminated in representing England at a national level. A Chartered Financial Analyst and with an MSc in Finance from London Business School, Jon has provided advice to businesses in 27 countries with valuations ranging from $1m to $1.1bn. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen and being a business owner in his own right he has the ability to see things from many angles.

In addition to running the day to day operations of the business, Jon’s role encompasses the true values and mission statement of the organisation by ensuring Strategic is consistently delivering maximal value to its clients by way of quality outcomes and superior service in a bid to be Queensland’s premier law firm.

ROB BALLAIS

ASSOCIATE LAWYER
Rob is part of the firm’s Family Law department working in all aspects of property, parenting and divorce. Initially starting as a paralegal at the firm in 2015, Rob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University before his admission as a solicitor in 2016. Since his admission, Rob has worked across various departments including domestic violence, criminal law and commercial litigation, but family law has always been has always been his main area of practice. Rob takes immense pride in the output of his work and has maintained a strong track record in securing fantastic outcomes for his clients. His client focused approach to his work and desire to provide a personalised service is what sets Rob apart from other family lawyers in the industry. In his own words: “The best part of my job comes when I get to call that client who I have been working with for months, or sometimes even years, and I get to tell them that we achieved the result they were always after and their matter is finalised.”

Rob has seen success not only In the legal arena but also in the sporting arena where he represented basketball for Queensland and brings this high performance mentality to his life both on and off the field.

ANIKO PAPP

 
 
SENIOR FAMILY LAWYER

Introducing Aniko Papp, the firm’s Senior Family Lawyer.

Aniko graduated from the University of Technology & has been practising as a solicitor for over 30 years. Admitted to the NSW Supreme Court and High Court since 1988. Aniko comes to us after being the deputy Managing Lawyer of NAAFLS. NAAFLS is an NGO which provides legal services to Indigenous client in NT Remote communities, predominantly in the field of family violence, victims of crime, family law, child protection. 

Before that, Aniko was in private practise in NSW and has experience in almost every aspect of law. Aniko has demonstrated history as a litigator, solicitor and advocate for social justice. Aniko is a strong legal professional skilled in family, children’s court, personal injury, conveyancing, estates, Commercial and Civil Litigation. In Strategic Lawyers, her focus will be on expanding and bringing her expertise into Family law, Child protection and domestic violence. 

Aniko is or has been on the board of organizations such as WEIV (Women’s Empowerment in Indian Villages) and the Northern Rivers Music conservatorium. In her spare time, she writes articles which have been published, loves to swim, sail, snorkel, play the piano, paint and hike. After travelling to over 30 countries, including places like Cuba, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Egypt: Aniko is keen on learning more languages like Tibetan. Aniko is also a fluent Hungarian speaker coming from that background, as well as speaking French and Spanish *(work in progress)!

PATRICK STAUNTON

COMMERCIAL LAWYER

Patrick is a Commercial lawyer whose passion lies in being an advocate for the firm’s business, commercial and criminal law clients. Patrick is a smooth operator whose intense attention to detail and strong negotiation experience mean he can tackle any challenge that a client is facing… and overcome them. Originally from Central Queensland, Patrick made the move to Townsville to further establish his career and to make his mark as one of the town’s strongest litigators. When asked what gives him the edge over his opposition, Patrick notes that he likes to come in all guns blazing. He leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of excellence and his personal yet professional demeanour compliments his ruthless ability to execute his client’s instructions.

Out of the office Patrick is also a high achiever having been selected to represent JCU at Two Northern University Games, in which he received bronze and silver medals, and also competing at the Australia University Games in which he obtained a silver medal. He also achieved second place whilst representing JCU at the National Warman Design and Build Competition which included Universities from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Patrick is a high achiever in that he will take on a matter and fight for his clients even if his back is against the wall. He relies on his diverse legal mind to devise strong arguments and thinks outside the box to explore legal strategy avenues that other practioners would not usually take. His work ethic is second to none and his continual pursuit of excellence can be seen by his desire to complete his Masters of Law whilst still obtaining fantastic life changing outcomes for his clients. When asked why he loves the law Patrick states “ What get’s me out of bed every morning is knowing that when I work on a client’s file I have the ability to change their entire life or business around through my own actions”. Patrick enjoys a Friday afternoon beverage and loves a bit of banter around the office.

VICTORIA TWIVEY

SENIOR CRIMINAL LAWYER

Victoria is a highly competent and experienced criminal lawyer who originates from NSW but has made Townsville her home for the last eight (8) years. From an early stage in her career, Victoria has had a passion for Crime with a particular interest in juvenile crime. One of Victoria’s key strengths is understanding the Why behind her criminal clients. From there she can best prepare a defence that is focused on seeking the very best outcomes no matter the charge. Victoria has represented a diverse and broad range of clients with an absolute focus on delivering them life changing outcomes. Victoria has acted on various criminal law matters including drug trafficking and supply, drug possession, assaults, contraventions of domestic violence orders and various traffic related matters.

Throughout her career, Victoria has regularly appeared in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts in Townsville and in others across Brisbane and North Queensland and is a strong advocate who is respected by her peers and the Courts. What makes Victoria unique as opposed to other practioners is that she is there to guide you through any legal issue you are facing. Her approach has always been empathetic, considerate and informative which has seen her successfully build a rapport with her client’s. No matter the charges Victoria will treat her client’s with respect and integrity. She loves to get in her client’s corner and put their case forward.

TAYLAH LAMONT


CLIENT SERVICES ASSISTANT

Taylah brings to the Strategic team an abundance of confidence in her abilities in the role of Client Services Assistant. The role allows Taylah to mix her two passions that being law and a love for delivering superior customer service whilst maintaining her friendly character that spreads across the office and to all those she interacts with. Taylah’s work ethic is one that ensures that she constantly seeks to deliver above and beyond for all of the firm’s clients. Her positive can do attitude means she excels under pressure and will work hard to find quality solutions to any hard challenges that she faces. Taylah’s high productivity follows her outside of the office where she is an active fitness competitor as well as an avid hiker and explorer of many of QLD’s barrier reefs.

FRANCINA DE CHAZAL

ACCOUNTS MANAGER  / BOOK KEEPER

Francina, or Anci as she’s known here in the office, is one of our most vital team members, ensuring everything goes to plan in regards to accounts. She was once an auditor and holds an accountancy qualification with more than ten years experience. Today Anci is our outstanding in-house accounts clerk. There are few things financial Anci isn’t able to get across and you can have confidence that she keeps an eye on your bills and make sure they’re on point – decimal point that is. Her experience and attention to detail is second to none – similar to her cooking, she loves cooking and we can all agree here that she’s great at it! Originally from Pretoria in South Africa Anci came to Australia in 2001 and along with her family, settled on Magnetic Island. Long-term locals will remember Café Africa at Picnic Bay where Anci served amazing crepes and other specialties. While she loves her work there’s nothing more Anci loves than a glass of good red wine at the end of the day.

SANDRA SOUTH

ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT

Sandra brings to the team a wealth of experience in Trust Accounting having managed trust accounts in excess of $2 million as well as a flawless audit track record which she is extremely proud of. Sandra has extensive knowledge in the broader finance areas and uses her innate sense of analysis in combination with meticulous attention to detail to ensure the firm’s clients are serviced to the highest level. Sandra’s daily tasks at the firm are highly varied and she uses her excellent ability to adapt to ensure she is consistently performing to the high standards she sets herself. Her people focused approach with client’s allow her to effectively communicate even the most complex of matters in a warm, friendly and concise manner.

In her spare time Sandra is a mum and wife and cherishes time spent with family and friends. Originally from South Africa, Sandra takes immense pride in her heritage and brings it with her in everything she does providing diversity and energy to the firm’s already vibrant culture.

BEN WATT

LAWYER & MIGRATION AGENT

Ben is an Australian lawyer, having been admitted before the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2013 and is a Registered Migration Agent with nearly six years of experience in the migration industry. If you are an employer or individual looking to secure a permanent or temporary business, skilled residential or student visa, Ben can provide comprehensive advice and assistance in navigating Australia’s complex migration program.

ELLEN GOFFIN

SENIOR PARALEGAL

Ellen is a highly motivated Senior Paralegal who strives to perform to the uppermost standard in everything she does. Having studied her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at Monash University, Ellen offers extensive and diverse experience as a Paralegal and has interned at large companies including Carlton & United Breweries. When it comes to work performance, Ellen never backs down from a challenge and thrives in a fast-paced environment. She has a deep rooted passion in solving complex issues and this has led to a passion for commercial law that she pursues with vigour although she very much maintains a broad spectrum of skills and legal knowledge that she can apply within a diverse range of practice areas.

Ellen’s extensive background in customer service provides her with a unique appreciation of what the client needs, and she invariably seeks to provide this and more to help them to achieve their best outcome. For Ellen, when it comes to her clients, its more than just a matter its about utilising her skills and experience to the best of her ability in order to facilitate an outcome that exceeds expectation at all costs. In balance with her strive for performance, Ellen is down to earth, easy to talk to and a bit of a larakin in the office.

In addition to her abundant passion for the law, Ellen is an avid travel enthusiast and outdoors buff, often spending her weekends camping, hiking or exploring new places. Her continual pursuit of knowledge extends into her personal life by way of extensive use of podcasts to not only broaden her life experience but to learn and understand from some of the world’s most successful individuals.

ANTHONY STURGEON

SENIOR COMMERCIAL LAWYER

Anthony is an astute and detail orientated senior lawyer who brings a wealth of experience across a broad range of practice to Strategic lawyers having studied law at the University of Queensland. With Anthony driving your case forward you can expect precision, action and experience. His subject focused areas have typically revolved around Commercial and Injury law but he also has experience in criminal law in which he has dealt with a wide range of matters across multiple jurisdictions and courts. He brings with him valuable experience gained from both Maurice Blackburn and Shine Lawyers combined with his unique ability to really get to the emotional drivers of his clients. Once he captures this, he draws on his use of persuasive language, excellent advocacy and best in class drafting capabilities go to work in securing the very best outcomes for his clients.

Anthony’s meticulous attention to detail serves him well when he seeks to determine the potential legal issues and other pitfalls standing between his client and their desired outcome. He leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of maximising his clients' best interests and uses his broad and diverse experience across all practice areas to deliver in every regard. In his own words, "I think the best part of my job is finalising a matter for a client, knowing that I have done a good job and secured the best outcome I can for them.” Outside of work, Anthony is a committed movie buff with an expansive collection of original movies with a particular fondness for the horror genre. His relaxed personable demeanour travels seamlessly between professional and personal life and when our clients give feedback in relation to their experience with Anthony they commonly refer to his ability to make them feel relaxed and at ease no matter how stressful the situation.

A few Reasons Why We are one of

Townsville's Most Effective Law Firms

We believe you are here for a reason. And that reason is to ensure you get the best legal help possible, at the best possible price.

Here at Strategic Lawyers Townsville we’re experts in striking good bargains, but the most important bargain for us, is the one we strike with our clients.

Our offer is simple. We’ll ensure you know what’s going on. We’ll advise you on your best interests and we’ll never give up on your cause.

This means together we’ll reach the best outcome possible. Our people live in this community and we’ve been here a good while.

As such we know how important it is not only that you leave here satisfied but that you’ll recommend us. Call us now on 13 14 LAW and speak to a lawyer about your case.

Contact Us

Read About Us in the Media

45 Five Star Reviews and counting

Bella, 2021

I had received a very professional service from Strategic Lawyers throughout my case. Lawyers were proficient, efficient and addressed all matters promptly in a courteous manner

Bella, 2021

Spencer, 2021

The experience was not only professional but also full of empathy and care.

Spencer, 2021

Daisy, 2021

All Lawyers were fantastic to deal with from start to finish. All-in-all it was a great experience

Daisy, 2021

Lisa, 2021

During a difficult time in my life, I engaged Strategic Lawyers who were very professional and as a result, my life has changed and I can now move on. I highly recommend Strategic Lawyers.

Lisa, 2021

Damien, 2021

I would highly recommend using Strategic Lawyers. They represented me in my case and I felt like I had the best team in my corner

Damien, 2021

Kym, 2021

Sometimes life presents you with a momentous challenge, one which requires you to seek Legal Counsel. Strategic treated me with kindness and gave me the strength to keep fighting, even when I felt I didn’t have much control over the situation.

Kym, 2021

Emma, 2021

Very friendly and professional. Highly recommended

Emma, 2021

Masilu, 2021

We chose strategic lawyers to handle the purchase of our investment property based on online reviews. Based on our experience, Strategic law firm act with integrity ,honesty and high level of professionalism.

Masilu, 2021

Glen, 2021

I had a good experience with strategic, I felt looked after in a professional and caring manner, I felt as if the team at strategic really had my best interests at heart, and did their utmost to get me a good result.

Glen, 2021

Judith, 2021

From the first meeting with Lawyers we felt at ease and comfortable with engaging them to provide Legal advice to us

Judith, 2021

Lucyanne – 2021

Strategic made me feel extremely reassured and calm through the whole process from the first phone call, meeting and in court I was looked after I’m a very professional manner

Lucyanne, 2021

Tammie Cant, 2018

Strategic Lawyers was recommended to me by a close friend and I was extremely happy with my experience. I first met with Justin to discuss my family law matter then I began to also work with Rob. Both gentlemen were extremely professional, thorough and supportive in their roles, keeping me constantly updated on the progress of my matter. I would recommend Strategic Lawyers to everyone requiring assistance with family law matters. Thank you to the team at Strategic Lawyers 🙂

Tammie Cant, 2018

Jody Ludbrook

I actually swapped over to Strategic Lawyers after not being satisfied elsewhere. The difference was like night and day. Strategic Lawyers kept me updated which dropped my stress levels.They explained things clearly.They are Professional and efficient. They got the best outcome for me-which I didn’t dare to even think was possible! I recommend them highly-in fact I will never use anyone else again. Thank you Strategic Lawyers Townsville.

Jody Ludbrook

Tim Lorger, Local Guide, 2017

Best in town

Tim Lorger, Local Guide, 2017

Jerry Manson, 2018

would highly recommend using Strategic Lawyers if you need representation in Townsville. I was represented by Anthony Sturgeon, and from the first consult till the closing case I felt comfortable and guided through the whole journey. My case was a criminal matter and having had no prior encounters of this nature I was very overwhelmed by the situation. Anthony is very professional and attentive to all your needs, especially when dealing with the law for the first time. Thanks to everyone at the firm.

Jerry Manson, 2018

Ryan Coleridge, 2018

A sincere thank you to Steve Hodgson and Justin Ireland for their hard work and professionalism during a difficult period. They not only allayed my concerns but were able to obtain an outcome beyond my expectations. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking legal advice.

Ryan Coleridge, 2018

Donnie Jones, 2018

Ben Watt and the team at Strategic Lawyers, went above and beyond to help my son and I. As such we were rewarded with a positive outcome. Can’t thank the team enough for their time, attention to detail and most of all their concern for our matter. Excellent service provided by all.

Donnie Jones, 2018

Jason Jackson, 2018

If you want a team of lawyers totally committed to your case, look no further. Their track record is great. They always get good outcomes for me and I always feel like I have great legal representation with them. They definitely communicate with me better than other law firms out there, and they take the time to listen to what I have to say and for me to get my story out in full. They’re not just interested in a pay check – they definitely care about me, my case, and my success. I definitely highly recommend these guys as they always achieve great results for me no matter what the case.

Jason Jackson, 2018

Sarah Myers, 2017

If you want someone to really fight for you, then look no further. I chose Strategic Lawyers because of their Fixed Prices, their friendly team and their passion. They were the bulldog in my corner when I needed it most. They won the case for me. I highly recommend them!

Sarah Myers, 2017

David Luke, 2019

Very professional and compassionate. From the first consultation I could tell they genuinely cared about me and my situation. Their communication was outstanding. The best law firm I’ve ever dealt with.

David Luke, 2019

Val Waszkiewicz, 2018

I think the fix fee is brilliant. No nasty surprises at payment time. The staff are friendly and very helpful and speak in a language that you can understand clearly. I would recommend their services to anyone

Val Waszkiewicz, 2018

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