Jacky Campbell

Partner

University qualifications

Master of Laws, Monash University

Bachelor of Laws, Monash University

Bachelor of Arts, Monash University

Graduate Diploma of Professional Writing, Deakin University

Other qualifications
Accredited Family Law Specialist,
Law Institute of Victoria

Email Jacky Campbell
jcampbell@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Publications
To read Jacky Campbell’s articles and papers click here.

In 2019, Jacky was recognised as a leading family lawyer in Melbourne by Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Market as well as one of Melbourne’s leading family lawyers in High-value and Complex Property matters, and a recommended lawyer in parenting matters. Jacky writes extensively on complex aspects of family law and her up-to-date knowledge means that she is able to provide accurate information about the law. She combines this with offering strategic advice to clients and guidance as to the best approach to take in their particular circumstances.

Jacky wrote her Masters thesis on the relationship of bankruptcy and family law. She continues to have a special interest in matters involving bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation and receivership.

Jacky received the Law Institute of Victoria Rogers Legal Writing Award 2004—for the article “Splitting the Super…and Selling the Home”. She is experienced with complex superannuation interests such as defined benefit funds and self managed superannuation funds.

Jacky is the consultant editor of Wolters Kluwer/CCH Australian Family Law and Practice and contributing author to Wolters Kluwer/CCH Australian Family Law and Practice to the Property, Spousal Maintenance, Financial Agreements, Maintenance Agreements, Procedure and Precedents tabs. She writes several chapters of the Wolters/Kluwer CCH Australian Master Family Law Guide, and is the author of the family law chapters in the Thomson-Reuters Australian Financial Planning Handbook and in the CCH Australian Master Superannuation Guide.

Jacky is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a board member of the Asia Pacific Chapter of that Academy, and an Associate of the American Bar Association. She acts for many clients who are overseas or where there is an international element such as overseas assets and international child abduction under the Hague Convention. She is also experienced in Australian and overseas surrogacy arrangements and in disputes about the role of a sperm donor. She is a member of the Maintenance and Property Committee of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and Victorian Women Lawyers.

Jacky is keen to assist clients to resolve matters before trial through alternative dispute resolution processes including mediation. She is a trained arbitrator and is an arbitrator with The Alternative Courtroom.

Wendy Kayler-Thomson

PARTNER

University qualifications

Master of Laws, Monash University

Bachelor of Laws, University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne

Other qualifications
Accredited Family Law Specialist, Law Institute of Victoria

Email Wendy Kayler-Thomson
wkaylerthomson@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Wendy Kayler-Thomson is a partner of Forte Family Lawyers and has practised as a lawyer specialising in family law for 25 years. Wendy is recognised as one of Melbourne’s leading family lawyers in Doyle’s 2019 Guide to the Australian Legal Market, as well as one of Melbourne’s leading family lawyers in High-value and Complex Property matters and a recommended lawyer in parenting matters.

Wendy is the Immediate Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the peak body for Australian family lawyers. She served as chair from 2016 to 2018 and has been a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section for more than 10 years. The Family Law Section is regularly consulted by the Federal government and the Courts about changes to family law and court procedures. As a result, Wendy is able to offer her clients the most up to date advice on family law and strategies to take advantage of future changes.

Wendy develops close and trusted relationships with her clients and the wide network of professionals that refer her work. Wendy’s approach is tailored to each individual client’s needs, recognising that for most people, the breakdown of a relationship is one of their most stressful and challenging experiences. Wendy brings a high attention to detail, strategic advice and a depth of expert knowledge about family law. Wendy has a commercial background and has acted for many clients with complex financial arrangements. She works closely with her clients’ accountants and other professional advisors to ensure that all the complexities of those arrangements, including tax impacts and restructuring, are dealt with as part of any settlement.

Wendy has undertaken extensive training in a wide range of social sciences that impact on families and their children, including family and domestic violence, parental alienation, personality disorders, drug and alcohol addiction and high conflict. Wendy’s clients benefit from her knowledge of the most up to date approaches by child psychologists and other experts to managing the post-separation care arrangements of children. Wendy has particular expertise in cases where one parent wants to relocate with the children interstate or overseas.

At the request of the Federal Attorney-General, the Australian Law Reform Commission is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of family law and the family law system in Australia. Wendy is honoured to have been invited to be a member of the Advisory Committee to the ALRC for that review.

Wendy is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and Victorian Women Lawyers.

Bronwyn Drummond

Special Counsel

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws, Monash University

Bachelor of Science, Monash University

Other qualifications

Accredited Family Law Specialist, Law Institute of Victoria

Email Bronwyn Drummond
bdrummond@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Bronwyn has worked exclusively in the area of family law for over 20 years and became an Accredited Family Law Specialist in 1998.

Before joining Forte Family Lawyers in 2011, Bronwyn worked in a city firm for over 8 years and an inner suburban firm for over 11 years.

Bronwyn has experience in the wide variety of issues that can arise upon the breakdown of relationships and assists clients to resolve issues relating to property settlements, superannuation splitting (including SMSF and small APRA funds), financial agreements, spousal maintenance, children’s welfare (including living arrangements, prevention of removal from Australia, child support and child maintenance), determining parentage of children, divorce, intervention or family violence orders and other injunctions and restraining orders.

Bronwyn also worked as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner between 2008 and 2009, before returning to family law. Having a strong interest in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Bronwyn is committed to assisting her clients resolve matters in an amicable and cost effective manner and without litigation if possible. As part of that commitment, Bronwyn is a member of the Family Lawyers Panel operated by Relationships Australia, Victoria.

Bronwyn is a member of Victorian Women Lawyers, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Kristy Haranas

Associate

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws, James Cook University

Email Kristy Haranas
kharanas@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Kristy joined the team at Forte Family Lawyers in 2018. Kristy has worked in a range of practice areas including several years in family law in Queensland and also as a lawyer for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Kristy gained valuable commercial experience at ASIC, which she now applies to her work in family law financial cases.

Kristy aims to build strong relationships with clients from the outset and prides herself on giving direct and realistic advice.

Kristy is currently studying to complete a Masters of Applied Laws (Family Law) at the College of Law.

Kristy is a member of the Victorian Women Lawyers and the Family Law Sections of the Law Council of Australia and the Law Institute of Victoria.

Matthew Beckmans

Associate

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Sydney

Email Matthew Beckmans
mbeckmans@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Matthew commenced his legal career practising in a medium-sized rural law firm. Matthew is able to draw on his broad experiences over a number of practice areas, prior to practising exclusively in family law, to offer clients a well-rounded approach to tactically resolve complex legal issues.

Matthew has developed a special interest in complex disputes involving companies and trusts, insolvency and bankruptcy, taxation, and international/domestic relocation.  He also has a particular expertise in child support.

Matthew is aware and mindful of the financial challenges and restraints when attempting to resolve family law disputes, and sets out to achieve negotiated and cost effective outcomes which avoid court where possible. Matthew recognises the emotional issues attached to the breakdown of a relationship, and draws on his strong communication skills in demystifying the family law process, and to identify and explain possible options for resolution in a concise manner.

Matthew was a member of the steering committee of the Riverina Family Law Pathways Network, secretary of the South West Slopes Law Society, and a mock trial magistrate for the Law Society of New South Wales.

Prior to practising law, Matthew was rookie listed by the Sydney Swans, where he enjoyed a brief career.  He now plays for the Monash Blues in the VAFA.

Matthew is a member of the Family Law Sections of the Law Council of Australia and the Law Institute of Victoria.  He is on the Court Practice Committee of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Laura Villemagne-Sánchez

Associate

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws (Honours), La Trobe University

Bachelor of Arts, La Trobe University

Email Laura Villemagne-Sánchez
lvillemagnesanchez@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Originally from Argentina, Laura lived in the United States and Spain before moving to Australia. She completed her Honours thesis on the effect of the 2012 family violence amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). She has a deep understanding of the intricacies of family breakdown and post-separation parenting.

Prior to her admission as a lawyer, Laura worked predominantly in the family law arena and has a background in accounts and human resources. Given her transnational history, Laura has a particular interest in international family law matters, including relocation of children and surrogacy arrangements, and understands their cultural and legal complexities. She has experience in ascertaining the various commercial and property interests in the context of personal intimate relationships. She is devoted to achieving tailored, cost-effective and timely results by empowering clients with full, frank and empathetic advice. She is passionate about achieving an amicable and holistic outcome particularly through the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution, individual and family support services but where appropriate and necessary, through litigation.

Laura has been involved with the Victorian Family Law Pathways Network—Greater Melbourne since 2014, both as a volunteer student during her studies and as Project Officer, prior to joining Forte Family Lawyers in 2016. She maintains this relationship by being a member of the VFLPN’s Steering Committee, providing insights into current family law issues and developing links with various professionals working with separating families. She is also a member of the Victorian Women Lawyers, Golden Key International Honour Society, the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

Laura is fluent in Spanish.

Hayley Chester

Associate

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Deakin University

Bachelor of Arts (Criminal Justice Administration), RMIT University

Email Hayley Chester
hchester@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Hayley graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (High Distinction) from RMIT University. During her law degree, Hayley spent time studying abroad at the Symbiosis Law School of India and interning at the Bombay High Court of India with Justice Tahaliyani.

Prior to her admission as a lawyer, Hayley worked as a para-legal in a general practice law firm with a strong focus on family law, and within the family law department of a mid-tier law firm. Since becoming a lawyer, Hayley has worked solely in family law.

Hayley is a co-chair of the Law Reform Committee of Victorian Women Lawyers. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria. Hayley also volunteers with the Northern Community Legal Centre night service.

Katherine Johns

Associate

University qualifications

Juris Doctor, Monash University

Master of Arts (Communication Management), University of Sydney

Bachelor of Economics, Monash University

Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Monash University

Email Katherine Johns
kjohns@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Since her admission to practice in 2014, Katherine has practised exclusively in the area of family law. Prior to joining Forte Family Lawyers Katherine was employed at the Family Court of Australia as a Legal Associate to three of the Court’s judges. Her time at the Court has given Katherine an in depth understanding of court and litigation processes which she brings to her practice of family law. While at the Court, Katherine gained experience in research and in all aspects of family law including the most complex of property and parenting matters, surrogacy and international child abduction.

Katherine brings a pragmatic approach to the resolution of her clients’ family law matters. Her excellent communication skills mean that her clients can always expect clear advice through the often complicated family law process.

Before becoming a lawyer Katherine was a consultant in corporate communications, marketing and public relations and has worked and lived in the United Kingdom.

She is a member of Victorian Women Lawyers and the Family Law Sections of the Law Council of Australia and the Law Institute of Victoria.

Vinh Nguyen

Lawyer

University qualifications

Bachelor of Laws, Deakin University

Bachelor of Commerce, Deakin University

Email Vinh Nguyen
vnguyen@fortefamilylawyers.com.au

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Vinh first worked at Forte Family Lawyers as part of his Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Leo Cussen Institute for Law in 2017. He joined Forte Family Lawyers as a lawyer after his admission into legal practice in October 2017 and has, since then, worked solely in family law.

Prior to his admission as a lawyer, Vinh worked as a paralegal in a community legal centre and in a property and commercial law firm, where he gained valuable experience in property transactions.

Vinh is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Asian Australian Lawyers’ Association. Vinh also volunteers at the Darebin Community Legal Centre.

Vinh is fluent in Vietnamese.