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.

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.

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.

DANIELLE WILLIAMSON

SENIOR PARALEGAL

Danielle is a senior paralegal who is currently part of the Strategic Paralegal Program and is in the final year of her law degree with hopes of being admitted as a solicitor by mid-2020. Danielle has a particular interest in family law and has built up an impressive knowledge of the law and its applications. Danielle’s key strengths come through consistent attention to detail and a hard work ethic that she uses to ensure her matters are constantly progressing. She never settles for anything less than perfect and uses her ability to deep dive into the facts and case research to help strengthen her arguments. Danielle’s life outside of work includes a dedicated fitness regime and a love of the outdoors. When she isn’t busy working away on her matters you will often find her taking her beloved dog Ellie for long walks and plenty of affection.

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).

NIKKI BALL

SOLICITOR

Nikki is a recently qualified solicitor with a particular focus on family law having successfully graduated with a bachelors in Law from James Cook University. Nikki is a product of the Strategic Lawyers Paralegal program where she gained extensive knowledge and experience whilst studying alongside her international work experience in New York City. Nikki has very strong drafting abilities and is an excellent communicator which she uses to her advantage when it comes to persuasive writing. She has a unique ability to analyse complex legal matters through multiple lenses in order to effectively strategise the best outcome. Nikki is a local girl having been born and raised in Townsville all her life. She is a passionate activist in environmental protection and human rights having participated most recently in raising awareness of the need to protect our reef. She has a competitive streak by the way of ballroom and Latin-American dancing so be sure to watch out for a quick two step in the court room as she walks to the bar table.

WYNNITA LUDWICK

SOLICITOR

Wynnita is a solicitor as part of the Strategic family law department. Originally from Mackay,  Wynnita has a wealth of experience in family law and has a particular interest in children’s matters. Wynnita has a fantastic track record when it comes to family dispute resolution and draws on her calm and collected nature to help reach mutually agreeable outcomes that have the client’s best interests at the heart of her action. When it comes to court proceedings, her persuasive drafting abilities allow our clients the opportunity to clearly articulate their arguments leading to the best possible outcomes. Wynnita has a passion for animal welfare and is very active amongst animal communities including being a foster carer for orphaned animals. When she isn’t deep in legal research or refining her knowledge Wynnita loves to pick up a novel and get lost in the fiction in particular Harry Potter.

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 🙂

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.

Tim Lorger, Local Guide, 2017

Best in town

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

Some of the Businesses We've Helped

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Video Testimonials

Latest News from Our Blog

  • Our Christmas Message to the Strategic Family

    Our Christmas Message to the Strategic Family

    While for many of our clients Christmas will be a joyful time, as lawyers we are always very aware of the difficulties many families face at this time of year. We know that as some of us play tug-of-war with cheap crackers, laugh at the bad jokes and tissue-paper hats others will be forced to […]

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  • How the Family Court Decides Who Gets What in a Separation or Divorce

    How the Family Court Decides Who Gets What in a Separation or Divorce

    When two people decide to separate one of the first things that needs to be sorted out is property. While under Australian law couples can not actually get formally divorced until one full year after they separate, they can agree on how to divide their assets – or go to the Family Court seeking orders […]

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  • Changes to Family Law Act Ban Cross-Examination of Alleged DV victims by Self Represented Litigants

    Changes to Family Law Act Ban Cross-Examination of Alleged DV victims by Self Represented Litigants

    Changes to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) which will mean people who have been convicted, or accused, of domestic violence offences, will not be allowed to cross examine their ex-partners, were passed by the Federal Senate in December. These changes are limited to the Federal Family Courts. The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and […]

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  • Your Child’s Rights if They Are Accused of a Crime

    Your Child’s Rights if They Are Accused of a Crime

    The law in Queensland provides a number of protections for children who are accused of crimes – both when they are first arrested and if they are later charged with a criminal offence. Firstly, Section 421 of the Police Powers and Responsibility Act 2000 (Qld) states if a police officer wants to question a child […]

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  • Spent Conviction Legislation in Qld

    Spent Conviction Legislation in Qld

    Under Queensland’s Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 certain criminal convictions can become a spent conviction which means they are removed from a person’s criminal record after a set period-of-time has passed. The timeframes for when a criminal conviction becomes a spent conviction depend on the court the person appeared in and the sentence […]

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  • Your Rights if Your Ex is Withholding Your Child

    Your Rights if Your Ex is Withholding Your Child

    The purpose of this blog post is to explain your legal rights if your partner is preventing you from seeing your children. In family law it is in fact very common to see one parent unlawfully withholding access to children from another.   It Is in the Best Interests of Your Child to Maintain a […]

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  • Hidden Truth about Government’s New Immigration Laws

    Hidden Truth about Government’s New Immigration Laws

    The Federal Government’s proposed changes to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) are no doubt popular with the segment of the Australian public who are keen to see foreign citizens who have been convicted of criminal offences have their visas revoked. However, there is a hidden truth behind these changes which it is important for the […]

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  • What Gets Our Lawyers Out of Bed

    What Gets Our Lawyers Out of Bed

    Here at Strategic we have recently began profiling our staff and putting together short pieces explaining what motivates them to do their jobs. The first two lawyers we profiled were our key family lawyer Robert Ballais and our criminal lawyer Anthony Sturgeon. Over the coming weeks we will be profiling our other legal professionals and […]

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  • Can you legally kill someone who’s broken into your home?

    Can you legally kill someone who’s broken into your home?

    You’re asleep in your bed, your family is happily tucked away, then you hear footsteps. At first you think it’s your pet. But then you hear doors being opened, cupboards being rummaged through. And at that moment the sickening realisation dawns on you, someone has broken into your home. It’s an extreme situation but one […]

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