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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 real ability comes through generating growth and assisting business in creating maximal valuations across the business cycle. His role to our clients is fundamentally different to that of an accountant in that his pure focus is around business growth and profits.

IAIN ROOTS

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Iain brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from previous sales and technical roles held with a number of national and global enterprises. With a mandate for continuous improvement at the firm for systems and processes, he implements his knowledge of IT to automate processes, improve collaboration with clients and key stakeholders and streamline internal workflows. Iain is also responsible for providing HR support and implementing systems for training, mentoring and professional development of staff. 

Outside the office, he enjoys socializing with friends and family, music production and the occasional game of tennis. Preferring a whole food, plant-based diet, he also has a keen interest in developing his culinary skills and understanding the science related to diet and nutrition. It’s not uncommon around lunch time for staff to be distracted by the smell of delicious food that Iain has prepared the night before. Still in his early forties, he’s also recently become one of Townsville’s youngest grandfathers, a title he is very proud to hold.

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)!

ZYNAL KHAN

LAWYER

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Sydney to seek a change of pace and scenery in Far North Queensland, Zynal has brought along a wealth of knowledge into our Criminal law department.

His years of experience comes from working alongside with some of the most reputable senior criminal lawyers in the industry and working in reputable criminal law firms in Sydney, where he has experience in simple and complex criminal matters at a State and/or Commonwealth including jury trials/sentences either in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Court.

Some of the serious criminal offences Zynal has experience with include:

- large-scale commercial drug

- robbery

- sexual offences

- weapons offences

- serious assaults

- kidnapping

- car rebirthing

- money laundering

Zynal regularly appears in all criminal/traffic matters in the Magistrates Court that involves bail applications/variations, appeals, hearings and pleas/sentences, traffic matters, and specialist domestic violence court offences. He also has experience in getting charges withdrawn and dismissed before their substantive proceedings.

Zynal always displays a high level of professional acumen and prides himself on delivering quality, timely and consistent outcomes for his clients. He is an excellent communicator to both clients and colleagues alike. He truly understands the stressful ordeal faced by people when they have a matter before courts and works to always attain the best possible outcomes for all his clients.

Zynal is also fluent in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu which is advantageous for clients who speak those languages. When he takes a break from the office, Zynal enjoys keeping fit and travelling.

JOSEPH MORSERAY

LAWYER

Since arriving in Australia from his home country of Sierra Leone in West Africa, Joseph has a deep passion for law and originally completed his Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University, being admitted in 2014.

Since then, Joseph has worked across a number of legal departments including immigration, property, family, commercial and criminal law and has appeared before the Magistrates, Supreme and Local Courts for a variety of matters including mentions, bail applications, simple and complex sentencing hearings, directions hearings and preliminary examinations.

With the client's best interests always top of mind, Joseph is able to articulate complex legal concepts to people unfamiliar with law. For family law matters, Joseph excels at drafting and filing materials for the Federal Circuit Court and Family Law Courts including affidavits, parenting consent orders and more. Joseph held positions as a volunteer solicitor at both Nundah Community Legal Service and Salvos Legal Humanitarian and provided support as a Cultural Support Worker for the Multicultural Development Association.

Outside the courtroom, Joseph replicates many attributes of his very healthy lifestyle to his legal work including discipline, tenacity and professionalism. Joseph is passionate about weight training and in 2017, achieved the coveted title of professional status with the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF). In his younger years, Joseph also represented Sierra Leone in athletics at the All African Games in Cameroon for long distance track and the 400m hurdles. He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters and is an avid soccer fan, having played division one and two soccer prior to social soccer in more recent years.

JACOB TORNEY

CONSULTANT
Jacob is a highly experienced and skilled senior Criminal Lawyer of over 16 year's practice as solicitor, advocate, manager, educator and strategic policy advisor. During his tenure of over 14 years at Victorian Legal Aid (VLA) he had conduct of significant and complex criminal law work and at various times acted as Managing Solicitor of three regional offices, held roles as Program Manager of Summary Crime, as the Managing Lawyer of the Advocacy/Summary Crime Teams and the Managing Lawyer of the Legal Help Team, the two largest teams of lawyers at VLA.

Prior to joining the team at Strategic, Jacob was the Senior Criminal Lawyer for Legal Aid Queensland’s North Queensland Region, based in Townsville. In that role he supervised a team of criminal law staff and undertook and oversaw the most serious and complex criminal work including multiple murder and sexual offence cases, appearing in the Children’s, Magistrates’, District and Supreme Courts on a regular basis.

Jacob enjoys passing on his wealth of knowledge and experience through teaching, mentoring and managing other aspiring lawyers at the firm. He has also developed excellent relationships with internal and external stakeholders in the region including the judiciary, registry staff, prosecutors, police officers, other defence lawyers and experts.

Outside the office, Jacob enjoys spending time with his family, following the exploits of the Aussie cricket team and the Essendon Football Club, hiking, and an opportunity to socialise over an icy cold beer or two.

STEVE HODGSON

CONSULTANT

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.

JOSHUA FLETCHER

COMMERCIAL LAWYER 

Joshua is part of the firm’s Commercial Law department and his area of focus is primarily disputes and litigation but also wider general commercial law. Joshua is a small town boy, born and raised in rural Queensland. Looking for a change of pace and a high performance work environment he set sail East arriving in Townsville where he completed his high school education at the Cathedral School and subsequently a Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University.
Josh’s true passion lies in commercial law. His combination of his legal and business experience affords him the flexibility required to service a large corporation as much as a small business. He invests in the relationship with his clients for the long term and attributes due consideration to the human dimension. Josh falls back on his small town values to tackle big town problems with great success.

When he is not in the office he enjoys watching reruns of Greys Anatomy, Lepidopterology, smoked meats and the occasional game of football for which he has represented Queensland Country.


VANNESSA O'CONNOR

CONVEYANCING PARALEGAL

Bringing over 8 years’ experience as a legal secretary, Vannessa provides valuable support for the Family and Criminal departments and is also responsible for handling residential and commercial Conveyancing matters. Adept at time-management and prioritization with a keen attention to detail, it’s not uncommon for Vannessa to perform the odd minor miracle while assisting our legal team achieve a great outcome for clients. 

Outside the office, Vannessa enjoys reading a good book, binge watching popular Netflix series and bring back the ancient 80’s art of roller-skating. She also loves a good bout of classic English comedy and is a self-confessed nerd at heart, enjoying titles from Star Wars to Harry Potter and everything in between. Vannessa’s very achievable bucket list items include travelling to Ireland and France, skydiving and obtaining her motorbike license. Poison of choice for this hardworking Mother of “one and done” … Smirnoff Black.

JENNY MANN

LEGAL SECRETARY

Jenny is the firm’s Legal Secretary and brings with her a career spanning over 20 years. Having worked for prestigious International firms such as Ernst & Young, Jenny has a wealth of experience when it comes to assisting the senior management team in their duties and ensuring the smooth running of the office. Jenny is the firm’s front of house and so you can be sure to be welcomed in a warm manner with a friendly smile. Jenny loves to travel and made the move from Brisbane to Townsville to enjoy North Queensland’s glorious weather. She is an avid gardener and her favourite flowers are Orchids (useful to know if you want to keep her in your good books).

KIMBERLEY HILL

CLIENT SERVICES ASSISTANT

Kim joins the Strategic family after travelling abroad from the countryside town of Devon (not the meat) in the UK. With 3 years legal secretary experience under her belt for reputable UK firm WBW Solicitors and a passion for providing great customer service, our clients are in very good hands the moment they step through the door or call with an inquiry. 

Kim is keen to explore North Queensland’s natural treasures and keen to skydive over the Whitsundays. A self-confessed petrol head, Kim has attended a number of British car meets including Jap Fest and has even thrown herself into vehicle body repair, spray painting and detailed artwork on motorcycle petrol tanks. She has a varied taste in music, enjoys a bourbon or whiskey and (no surprises here) a good old English roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding. Kim’s bucket list includes going on an African safari and visiting as many of the ancient wonders of the world as possible.


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.

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.

NATHAN CARMAN

PARALEGAL

Nathan is a final year law student who is highly ambitious and uses his critical analysis skills to help support the firm’s lawyers drive great outcomes for its clients. Nathan’s friendly but informative approach means he finds it easy to build trusting and long lasting relationships with clients. He has a particular interest in Family and Criminal Law and aspires to practice in these areas upon admission. Nathan’s long standing passion for the law was instilled at a very young age and he is relishing the opportunity to deliver on his dreams. On the weekend, Nathan enjoys playing Rugby Union and attending North Queensland Cowboys matches. To wind down, Nathan will read a novel or watch a witty sitcom.

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.

SHALEY BINKLEY

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Shaley assists the firm by way of administration support. She brings with her a strong background in IT and communications in addition to a real passion for delivering a superior customer service to the firm’s clients. Shaley has a can do attitude and will strive to deliver on any task she is assigned no matter the complexity. Shaley’s fun, outward going nature shines through in her interactions with client’s and also with the staff at the firm. Shaley’s strong family values and maternal instincts mean she has a passion for family law and her understanding and caring nature allow her to show genuine compassion for those who are going through stressful periods in her life.

In her spare time Shaley enjoys 4wd expeditions and camping with her husband and 4 children. Shaley also enjoys the opportunity to relax with a glass of red wine or 2 when she is finished with mum duties for the night.

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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