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Who We Are2018-10-26T05:58:40+00:00

Our Team Leaders

JUSTIN IRELAND

MANAGING PARTNER

With a background working for large corporate law firms Justin knows all too well what it looks like when businesses put profits ahead of people. And when he took the leap and decided to start his own firm he knew he wanted to do things differently. Moving back to Townsville – a city he grew up in – meant his first thoughts turned to offering locals legal services in a way which ensured they got value for money. Over time he’s successfully built a culture that fosters innovation, reform and creativity while always putting clients first. Given his background and experience he’s also happy to go toe-to-toe with anyone, no matter how big. Justin is the sort of bloke who is always doing something, but, there’s nothing he treasures more than down-time with his young family or the office mascot and beloved dog Allie. Justin loves drinking coffee to kick-start day but says there’s nothing as good as a nice, dry champagne to mark the big moments and the wins.

ROBERT BALLAIS

FAMILY LAWYER

Starting with us as a paralegal, when he was a student at James Cook University, today Robert is our key family lawyer. But for the most part we look at him as our own personal office comedian. “You know when sports people say it’s not about the end result it’s about the journey?” Rob asks. “Well, family law is basically the opposite of that. “I live for the happy moment when I get to ring clients and tell them everything is sorted, this is all finished and you can move on with your life.” If you really want to get him talking just ask him about the NBA – but be prepared for a lengthy discussion. A North-Queensland local Rob grew up in a family with close connections to the prawn industry – something which has turned him off the tasty crustaceans for life. Rob’s not a big drinker but we have a bottle of good whiskey in the office which we drink from to mark the firm’s big wins and when pressed Rob said these were his favourite drinks.

ANTHONY STURGEON

SENIOR LAWYER

Anthony came to us from one of the country’s biggest law firms after seeing the value in our philosophy. As our senior lawyer Anthony has experience in several areas including criminal law, compensation law and commercial disputes. “When you see the whole force of the state or a large company bearing down on one person and you’re able to help them; it’s satisfying to know you’ve done your job,” he said. Anthony loves details and he has a quick and immaculate knowledge of the law – he’s the man we turn to when the answer is hard-to-find and he’s the man you need for any technical legal matter. A Mackay boy by origin Anthony loves politics and has an exceptional knowledge of current affairs – mention any political scandal, regardless of age get ready for the full rundown of who said what and when. He is also a major movie buff and loves a good comic book…or seven and there’s few things he loves more than a strong gin and tonic.

STEVE HODGSON

COMMERCIAL LAWYER & MIGRATION AGENT

If your business is in trouble with the law, Steve is the man you want to call. A commercial litigation gun, he’s brought many people back from the brink of bankruptcy. “In a way we’re the firefighters that come in when things are going badly,” Steve said. “People come in and often their affairs are in a huge mess, or they’re in trouble with ATO, through no real fault of their own. “I enjoy fighting for these people and helping them get a good result and wherever possible, helping them get their life back on track.” When he’s not fighting the good fight, Steve enjoys a fit and healthy lifestyle. Keep an eye out for him on the basketball and beach volleyball courts. Steve’s favourite drink is a melon-ball – as long as it’s made with plenty of vodka. He likes watching television and questions about Rick & Morty, Scrubs or the Twilight Zone are sure to get him talking. And if he’s not keeping fit there is one thing we all know Steve will be chasing – it’s the tastiest hotdog in town.

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.

CASEY WILSON

LEGAL SECRETARY

In one way or another everything at our firm has to go-by Casey. She keeps the business organised and ensures everything is running on-time and in the most efficient way possible. “Everyone who comes through our door is, in one way another, looking to better their life – or ensure a better future,” she said. “It’s nice seeing people come back time and again and keep getting a better result.” When she’s not at work Casey loves hitting the gym and spending time with her new husband and beloved pug. Casey is one of those people who always surprises you with hidden knowledge and talents and whenever she sets her mind to something the result is incredible. She’s worked in a number of different industries and is great at organising things – just ask our paralegals who Casey trains and oversees. Having grown up right on the beach, in the Burdekin, Casey is a genuine North-Queensland local with a wealth of useful knowledge – just get her talking. Casey’s favourite drink is a rum and coke.

BEN WATT

LAWYER & MIGRATION AGENT

Ben is a practicing 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.

LACHLAN THOMPSON

MARKETING MANAGER 

Marketing manager by day, law student by night; Lachlan is the man behind our website, our blog and our social media. He believes that while the law may be complicated everyone should be able to understand it. “If everyone has to live by the same set of legal rules then everyone should be able to understand those rules,” he said. “I think everyone should try and live by the Albert Einstein quote that if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old you can’t understand it yourself – luckily my son’s only one so I have some time to practice.” As a former journalist Lachlan has a passion for establishing the facts and getting the correct information. “I believe everyone should be able to get top-grade legal help and I know we offer it, so my goal is to ensure as many people access our services as possible” he said. Lachlan doesn’t mind the occasional Scottish whiskey.

WHERE DO YOU FIT IN THE TEAM?