Family Law Conference: Practice at the Cutting Edge

Session ID: 186N04
Date: Thursday, 07 June 2018
Time: 09:00am - 05:15pm
Venue: Primus Hotel Sydney, Mezzanine Level, 339 Pitt St, Sydney

Face to face

Substantive Law: 7

State: NSW CPD:7
Standard Price $860.00
Early Bird Discount $760.00

Also available as

OND186N04 Seminar Recording WEB186N04 Live Web Seminar


Session Content

Date: Thursday 7 June 2018
Time: 9.00am to 5.15pm
Venue: Primus Hotel Sydney, 339 Pitt St, Sydney

Attend the full day and earn 7 CPD units in Substantive Law

Take this unique opportunity to gain valuable insights from three esteemed Family Court Judges and a panel of leading experts in the field who will cover the hottest and most important issues for family law specialists. Examine family law in all its modern complexities, including elder law considerations, domestic violence, LGBTIQ issues, short marriages and surviving in the modern overworked court system. Plus explore critical property topics like interim financial applications, third-parties with property claims and more.

Session 1: Hot Topics in Family Law

Chair: Glenn Thompson OAM, Partner, Newnhams Solicitors; Accredited Specialist in Family Law; Leading Family and Divorce Lawyer, Leading Family Lawyer (High-Value & Complex Property Matters), and Recommended Parenting & Children's Matters Lawyer, Doyle's Guide 2018

OPENING ADDRESS: VIEW FROM THE BENCH: "Is it Time to Review the Family Court's Approach to Family Violence in Property Cases?"

Presented by The Honourable Justice Robert McClelland, Judge of the Family Court of Australia

Family Law and the Older Generation

  • 'Grey' divorce
  • Family disputes over aged care needs, decision making within the family and elder mediation
  • Guardianship and substituted decision making
  • Elder abuse: typical scenarios and legal responses
  • Unconscious bias in the legal system
  • Protecting the rights of older Australians

Presented by Catherine Henry, Principal and Alan Wright, Special Counsel and Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Catherine Henry Lawyers


  • The role of the courts in family violence prevention and advising clients on what the courts can and cannot do
  • The relevance of family violence in property settlement entitlements
  • Do gender based attitudes need to be challenged by Family Law specialists?
  • LGBTIQ: systemic violence and reluctance to seek help
  • When should you refer a client to a therapist or other professional?
  • The NSW Police Force's investigation of and response to domestic violence
  • The enforcement of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders

Dr Martha Barnett, Barrister, Culwulla Chambers, Recommended Family Law Junior Counsel, Doyle's Guide 2018
Nicole Armstrong Lourenco, Managing Director, Family Therapist, Counsellor and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, The Relationship Practice NSW
Sean McDermott, NSW Police Inspector, Manager - Domestic and Family Violence Unit

INSIGHTS FROM THE BENCH: Recent Developments and Changes in Family Law

Presented by The Honourable Justice William Alstergren, Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia

Interim Financial Applications

  • When to apply
  • Related Financial Applications
  • Relevant Considerations
  • Interim Costs
  • Interim Spousal Maintenance

Presented by Lynette Judge, Barrister, Lachlan Macquarie Chambers

Session 2: Modern Family Law Practice

CHAIR AND OPENING ADDRESS: THE JUDGE'S PERSPECTIVE: Opening Address: Stanford, Short Marriages and Marriage Like Relationships

  • Short marriages
  • Marriage like relationships

Presented by The Honourable Grant Riethmuller, Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The LGBTIQ Community, Family Law and the Courts
Examine the latest cases, trends and developments involving LGBTIQ issues related to family law.

Presented by Melissa Gillies SC, Culwulla Chambers; Leading Family Law Senior Counsel, Leading Parenting & Children's Matters Barrister, Doyle's Guide 2018

Chaos and Reform in the Modern, Overworked Court System

  • The Australian Law Commission's review of the Family Law Act
  • Appointment of Attorney General Christian Porter to focus on Family Law
  • Is the Court System failing to bring justice in a timely manner?
  • Court delays and the psychological effects on parties and children in domestic violence situations
  • Arbitrations and mediations and cost efficiencies
  • Procedural and other possible changes to the constitution of the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court

Presented by Michael Paul, Special Counsel, Mills Oakley: Accredited Specialist in Family Law

When Three's a Crowd: Monies Owing to Third Parties Post- Separation

  • Common and complex situations involving monies owing to third parties: friends, family, the tax office and commercial creditors
  • Considerations under the accrued jurisdiction and Parts VIII & VIIIAB of the FLA: putting the pieces together
  • The use and misuse of indemnities

Presented by Andrew Stenhouse, Barrister, Arthur Phillip Chambers

Closing Comments from The Honourable Grant Riethmuller, Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia


Chair:Glenn Thompson OAM

Glenn Thompson is an accredited specialist in Family Law who is a Partner of the firm Newnhams Solicitors. Glenn has specialised in Family Law for 31 years, was a member of the Family Court's Steering Committee on the Children's Cases Program, is a current member of the Family Issues Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales, a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and is the Chairperson of the Greater Sydney Family Law Pathways Network. In 2010 Glenn was awarded the NSW Law Society President's Medal in recognition of his significant personal and professional contributions to the betterment of law and justice in NSW. In the 2015 Doyles Guide NSW Family Law Rankings Glenn was one of only four NSW Solicitors ranked as preeminent. Glenn is a member of College of Law Family Law Advisory Committee, is an Adjunct Lecturer, Master of Laws (Applied Law) at the College of Law and is a member of the Specialist Accreditation Family Law Advisory Committee being appointed for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016 and 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018. Glenn was a member of the organising committee for the 14th National Family Law Conference held in Sydney 7-10 October 2014 and was a member of the organising committee for the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference held in Sydney 18-19 June 2015 as well as being a presenter. On 6 November 2016 Glenn completed the New York Marathon.

The Hon Robert McClelland

Justice Robert McClelland has a BA LLB from the UNSW and an LLM from the University of Sydney and he is a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales. After being admitted to practice in 1982, Robert commenced working as an associate to Evatt J in the Federal court of Australia. He has practised as a solicitor and barrister. He was elected to Federal Parliament in 1996 and served as Commonwealth Attorney General between 2007 and 2011. He was appointed a judge of the Family Court of Australia in June 2015.

Catherine Henry

Catherine Henry is well known and highly respected as a plaintiff medical lawyer, with over 30 years' experience as a solicitor, predominantly in health and medical law. Over that time she has successfully handled many hundreds of claims against health care facilities and medical providers, and has worked on some of Australia's highest profile cases. Catherine is a born and bred Novocastrian who returned to her home town over a decade ago, after having practised law in Sydney for almost 20 years. She was a partner at King Street Lawyers for four years, before taking over the practice and creating Catherine Henry Lawyers in 2009. Before entering private practice, Catherine worked as a senior solicitor at the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. In this role, Catherine investigated disciplinary complaints against medical practitioners, psychologists and pharmacists. She has also acted in health disciplinary matters for health professionals, including nurses, pharmacists and psychologists and has been a legal member of boards of inquiry hearing complaints against pharmacists. Catherine has long been active in mental health advocacy for both adults and adolescents. From 2008 until 2011 she was a Legal Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. She was president of the Newcastle Law Society for five years from 2004 until 2009 and led the campaign for a redeveloped justice precinct in Newcastle. She also coordinated the Hunter Courts Working Party which aimed to keep the proposed new justice precinct in its current locale.

Alan Wright

Alan Wright is widely regarded as one of the leading and most experienced family law experts in the wider Hunter region and has been an Accredited Specialist in Family Law since 1997. During his 27 years dealing with family law cases in the Hunter and adjoining regions, Alan has handled hundreds of cases dealing with financial issues (property settlement, spousal maintenance, child support) and parenting arrangements. He has represented many clients at mediations, with a high success rate at resolving property settlements. Over the years Alan has given many educational seminars on various family law issues.

Martha Barnett

Martha R M Barnett was called to the New South Wales Bar in 2010 and practices mainly in family law. For the past three years she has been a member of Culwulla Chambers, Sydney. She has recently been awarded a PhD in law from the University of Sydney, for a thesis titled Evolution: Procedural Innovation in Abduction Convention Determinations in Australia. Originally from Canada, she completed a B.A. at the University of Alberta before migrating to Australia. She undertook an LLB at the University of Sydney and graduated with first class honours.

Nicole Armstrong Lourenco

As the Managing Director of The Relationship Practice NSW, Nicole Lourenco is committed to working with individuals and families who are experiencing conflict or issues within their relationships - past or present. Nicole's approach is consultative and inclusive with a real interest in attachment theory, family history and its influence on the present. Comfortable working within high conflict situations, Nicole has a strong understanding of family dynamics, with a special interest in working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. (CSA) Her practice has been developed to assist people to manage relationships, parenting and conflict situations in their lives enabling them to move forward in positive and meaningful ways.Nicole's corporate background is as a business owner over twenty years in client focused communication and mediation with ten years tertiary and postgraduate lecturing and mentoring in these fields. Her field of personal interest is human rights, equity and justice and is currently completing her Masters at The University of Sydney in Human Rights. Nicole practices as a Family Therapist and Counsellor alongside her practice as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner [FDRP], registered with the Australian Government Attorney General's Department, working in both family, relocation and property matters.

Sean McDermott

Inspector Sean McDermott joined the NSW Police Force in 1996 and after performing general duties and the duties of a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer in the Bankstown Local Area Command, he joined the prosecuting branch in 2000 where he remained until 2012. As a prosecutor Sean introduced special procedures for the expedition of domestic violence matters and the Domestic Violence Clinic concept. In 2012, he took on the role of managing the NSW Police Force's Domestic & Family Violence Team. In this role, Sean has advocated for and implemented key legislative and procedural changes which included the police issued ADVOs, the introduction of a standard risk assessments- the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool, Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief reforms, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme. Sean also oversights the ongoing implementation of the NSW Police Force's Domestic Violence Perpetrator Accountability Model. Sean is a qualified solicitor and maintains a keen interest in legislative developments to assist victims of domestic violence.

The Hon William Alstergren

William Alstergren QC is a former Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council and is the President of the Australian Bar Association. He has an extensive trial and appellant practice in the Supreme and Federal Courts. Will has been briefed regularly in large and complex commercial, industrial and tax trials and appeals in the Federal Court and in the Supreme Courts of Victoria, NSW, Western Australia and Queensland. He has advised on large commercial matters and is often brought in to lead in specialist areas including administrative law, company law, trusts, industrial, tax, intellectual property, construction and large and complex property disputes. He is often briefed to successfully mediate large and complex commercial caes and specialist areas of dispute. He has also been appointed to act in large Inquiries and as an expert in contractual reviews. He has also had in the past been briefed in white collar crime trials and appeals (including ASIC matters). Will is also on the list of prefered counsel for the VWA. He was a founding member of the committee to set up the Melbourne Arbitration Centre and is a current board member of the Australian Centre for International Arbitration in Sydney. He has also conducted substantial Inquiries for the Royal Australian Navy and is a serving member of the Navy Reserve Legal Panel (Lieutenant Commander). Will was the founder of the Victorian Bar's Duty Barristers Scheme and won the Victorian Bar's Pro Bono Award in 2012. He is currently completing a PhD in this area. He is also Vice President of the Victorian Olympic Council.

Lynette Judge

Lynette Judge has practised continuously at the NSW Bar since her admission in May 1984 and prior to her admission to the Bar was employed as a litigation Solicitor. She holds a degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Sydney. In the past few years her practice has been predominantly, but not exclusively, in the areas of Family and Defacto Relationship Law, Succession, Family Provision, Equity and Guardianship. Lynette is the current Head of Lachlan Macquarie Chambers at Parramatta, of which she was a founding member in 1986. She is a long standing member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators and has been an Arbitrator appointed pursuant to Regulation 67B of the Family Law Regulations since 1994.

The Honourable Grant Reithmuller

Grant Riethmuller is a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court based in Melbourne, sitting in both the Federal and Family Law jurisdictions. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Queensland Institute of Technology and a Master of Philosphy degree from the University of Melbourne. From 1987, he practised as a barrister in a wide ranging practice. In addition, he lectured part time in Civil Procedure at James Cook University until his appointment to the bench in 2004.

Melissa Gillies SC

Michael Paul

Michael Paul is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Special Counsel at Mills Oakley Sydney and at Mona Vale. He has practiced extensively in Family Law and related commercial matters since 1968, well before the commencement of the Family Law Act, conducting many applications in the Courts without Barristers. He has substantial experience in the preparation of wills and estate planning and contested litigation concerning wills and estates. Michael was a consultant in Family Law to the Australian National University between 1977 and 1982, and to the NSW College of Law for some years, as well as being a member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales for some 16 years. Michael has published and presented papers on Family Law issues at legal conferences in Australia and abroad over the last 25 years and was a contributor to the Butterworths Family Law Service. He is also a member of the Family Law section of the Law Council of Australia. Michael has been a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) since 2008, and has had considerable experience in Family Law Matters with International Issues. In 2009 he was appointed as one of the cost assessors of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and has been re- appointed under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.

Andrew Stenhouse

Andrew Stenhouse graduated in 1986 in Law (with First Class Honours) from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Andrew was admitted as a solicitor in NZ in 1986 and as a solicitor in the ACT and NSW in 1989. Andrew was called to the Bar in 2009 and, since then, has practised primarily in Family Law first at Arthur Phillip Chambers and then at Family Law Chambers. In October 2017 Andrew returned to practice in Parramatta and re-joined Arthur Phillip Chambers. Andrew practices in all aspects of Family Law, and has appeared at both trial and appellate level. He has a particular interest and experience in property matters involving equitable claims. Areas of Expertise: Property, Parenting, Independant Children's Lawyer.

Venue Details

Primus Hotel Sydney

Mezzanine Level, 339 Pitt St
Sydney 2000

Ph: (02) 8027 8000


Primus Hotel Sydney offers Valet Parking for $45 per car per day, subject

to availabilities.

Parking: Off-site secure under cover parking is recommended at Cinema

Car Park, 521 Kent St or Secure Parking, 259 Pitt st, please visit website

for rates. These parking stations are less then 10 minutes' walk from the


Train: The closest train station is Town Hall.

No parking or travel costs are included in the conference fee.

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