Profile

Full Name: Ms Michele Brooks
Email: michele.brooks@vicbar.com.au
Fax: 9225 8480
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: 316
Date of Admission: 5 May 1997
Called to the Bar: 9 Nov 2006
Nationally Accredited Mediator: 15 Dec 2011
Qualifications: B.A., LL.B.(MON)
Previous Occupation: Solicitor for 10 years prior to signing the Bar Roll

Profile

FAMILY LAW BARRISTER & MEDIATOR

Michele has been practising as a lawyer exclusively in Family Law and associated jurisdictions for 20+ years. Prior to coming to the Bar, Michele was a partner in a large Victorian regional law firm, Harwood Andrews Lawyers, based in Melbourne and Geelong.  Michele worked as a family law solicitor for 10 years, during which time she regularly appeared as a solicitor advocate.  Since 2006, Michele has been a Barrister specialising in family law.

Michele is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator (NMAS) with a special interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution in family law.

Michele prides herself on being thorough, proactive and straightforward in all her professional dealings.

WORK UNDERTAKEN

Michele accepts briefs to appear in COURT, prepare PAPERWORK, provide ADVICE and appear as MEDIATOR in a wide range of family law matrimonial and domestic (de facto) relationship matters, including same sex relationships.  Michele has extensive experience across the following areas of family law:

Children’s welfare disputes including:

  • allocation of parental responsibility;
  • where children live, travel, spend time (and with whom);
  • specific issues affecting children’s day to day and long term welfare;
  • children’s name disputes;
  • recovery and relocation of children; and
  • exploring options for dispute resolution outside of Court.

Division of property after relationship breakdown including:

  • injunctions to prevent removal or wastage of assets;
  • transfer, sale or division of real estate, family businesses, farming properties and other investments assets subject of family law disputes;
  • transfer or dissolution of business partnerships and complex company/trust structures;
  • ensuring identification/ valuation of all assets and resources including overseas assets;
  • handling cases involving tax, bankruptcy or deceased estate issues;
  • superannuation splitting, including self-managed superannuation funds; and
  • Binding Financial Agreements (including pre- or post-nuptial) where parties wish to exclude or limit jurisdiction of the Court to deal with their assets.

Division of income and financial resources after relationship breakdown including:

  • pursuing spouse maintenance claims for regular or lump sum income payments;
  • terminating spouse maintenance claims via binding financial agreements;
  • pursuing child support entitlements, including private child support agreements (limited and binding) for regular and/or lump sum payments;
  • private agreements for child school fees or special needs costs; and
  • over 18 child maintenance.

LECTURER - Master of Applied Law (Family Law) – College of Law

Michele has been employed as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) course, at the College of Law (since Jan 2013).  In addition to lecturing Michele has been employed by the College to create curriculum and assessment content and updated lecturing materials for the Masters Course.

Michele as also presented numerous workshops and webinars for College of Law. 

PUBLICATIONS/ LEGAL PAPERS

Author of various newspaper articles, brochures and booklets in relation to family law including the following  legal papers delivered (see links in “Publications”):

TRIBUNAL MEMBER - University of Melbourne Grievance Tribunal 

In 2013 Michele was appointed by the Students' Council of Melbourne University as a member of the University Student Union (UMSU) Grievance Tribunal. The Tribunal hears and resolves disputes between student members whenever they arise.

BACKGROUND

Michele has been actively involved in the family law community for over 20 years:

  • Member for over 15 years of the “Family Lawyers Expert Panel” convened by Relationships Australia Victoria The panel meets regularly with RAV Mediators and panel members provide advice to Mediation clients by referral from RAV.
  • Extensive experience appearing as an advocate for family law clients in Mediations, Conciliations and other forms of Dispute Resolution.
  • Presenter of family law papers as a guest speaker for major legal CPD providers in Melbourne including the Leo Cussen Centre for Law, as well as presenting family law seminars to community and professional groups around regional Victoria. 
  • Founding member of the “Intervention Order Support Scheme” piloted by Springvale Monash Legal Service Inc at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court in 1994
  • Founding member of “Crimes Compensation Assistance Scheme” piloted at the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) in 1995.
  • Regular past volunteer solicitor at Community Legal Centres in both Melbourne and Geelong. 

OTHER MEMBERSHIPS

  • Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM)
  • Law Section - Law Council of Australia
  • Law Section - Law Institute of Victoria 
  • Deputy Chair – New Barrister’s Standing Committee (Victorian Bar)
  • Fixed Fee Mediation Scheme - AIFLAM - member since inception of scheme 

 

Arbitration Qualifications

  • AIFLAM (Member)

Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  • Mediation

Family Law

  • Parenting Orders
  • Property Disputes

Also Entitled to Practise in

  • Federal Courts
From 1 Jul 2010, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.


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