Our People

We don't settle for any less than the best

Our Team Leaders

JUSTIN IRELAND

PRINCIPAL LAWYER

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.

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.

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.

BROOKE GARLAND

SOLICITOR

Primarily supporting the Criminal law department, Brooke brings a passion for providing life-changing outcomes for her clients. Brooke was admitted in 2018 and travelled abroad to the United States for a year where she held roles as a Legal Content Writer and Law Clerk. A Queensland girl through and through, Brooke hails from her hometown of Toowoomba and worked in both Family and Criminal departments for reputable Brisbane firms Sibley Lawyers and Anderson Fredericks Turner. 

Brooke makes the move to North Queensland to experience our fantastic lifestyle and pursue her desire to be recognized as an outstanding criminal lawyer amongst her peers. She enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle by participating in a number of physical activities including working out at the gym and occasionally participating in friendly social sports. 

While in the USA, Brooke developed a weakness for authentic Mexican food which she confesses makes her soul sing. It comes as no surprise that she compliments her love of Mexican food with a good margarita. The firm has also been enamoured by the occasional office visit of her adorably cheeky Burmese kitten, Cleo.


JONAH TOWN

SOLICITOR

Jonah’s history with Strategic dates back to 2017, starting from doing work experience throughout his university studies. Prior to working for Strategic, Jonah has work for the Department of Social Services in Canberra where he commenced their Graduate Program in 2019. Jonah has since returned to his roots and is now one of the firm's family lawyers. 

Outside of work Jonah is also a qualified personal trainer and qualified sports nutritionist.

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.

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).

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.

KIMBERLEY HILL

CLIENT SERVICES ASSISTANT

Kim is the most recent addition to the Strategic family and joins us 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. 

Having only been in the country for a short while, Kim is keen to explore North Queensland’s natural treasures and can’t wait 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.


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

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

Some of the Businesses We've Helped

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Video Testimonials

Latest News from Our Blog

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