Master of Laws, Monash University
Bachelor of Laws, University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne
Accredited Family Law Specialist, Law Institute of Victoria
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Wendy Kayler-Thomson is a founding partner of Forte Family Lawyers and has practised as a lawyer specialising in family law for almost 30 years. Wendy is recognised as one of Melbourne’s leading family lawyers in Doyle’s 2023 Guide to the Australian Legal Market.
Wendy was a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the peak body for Australian family lawyers, for more than 14 years, and was Chair of the Family Law Section from 2016 to 2018.
Wendy’s time as Chair of the Family Law Section (from 2016 to 2018) coincided with a period of great controversy and unprecedented attention on the reform of family law and the family law system. This included the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence, the Federal Parliamentary enquiry into the family law system and family violence, the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Family Law Review and the Federal Government’s proposal to restructure the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.
Wendy was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Family Law Review, the most comprehensive review of family law and the family law sector in 40 years.
Wendy was also a member of the Advisory Committee to the Law Council of Australia’s 2018 Justice Project, chaired by former High Court of Australia Chief Justice, the Hon. Robert French. The Justice Project is one of the most comprehensive, national reviews into the state of access to justice in Australia in the past 40 years.
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.
Wendy is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, Pacifica Congress, the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators and Victorian Women Lawyers.