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Elise Fordham

Principal Lawyer

Bachelor of Financial Administration, a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.
Office. Sydney
ph. (02) 9283 5877
e. efordham@wattsmccray.com.au
Click To Visit My LinkedIn Profile

Elise is a Principal Lawyer at Watts McCray and is admitted to the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland, and holds a Bachelor of Financial Administration (Accounting), a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.


Elise takes pride in assisting clients to reach commercial, practical, and cost-effective outcomes. Elise believes it is important to handle every matter with strategic and practical attitude that resolves matters as efficiently as possible and places her clients in good stead should litigation become necessary.


Throughout her career, Elise has successfully represented clients in all areas of family law and domestic violence matters, including children’s matters, de facto relationships, same sex relationships, adoption, surrogacy, property matters, spousal maintenance, international child abduction and contravention applications, from the Local & Magistrates Court, to the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court, District Court, and up to Appellate level. She also has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution (mediation, conciliation, and arbitration), in domestic violence matters, is a Legal Aid accredited Duty Lawyer and has completed the National Legal Aid Independent Children’s Lawyer Training Program.


Elise’s financial expertise and qualifications set her apart from other family lawyers and enable her to have a greater insight into complex financial matters such as trusts and business operations. Elise also has international law experience, having dealt with a number of Hague Convention child abduction matters, and she has also acted for countless clients who have resided internationally and/or held assets overseas.


With a balance of understanding, compassion, discretion, and practical, commercially minded advice, all combined with a level-headed approach, and a high degree of support, Elise works with her clients to make sure they feel protected and confident throughout every stage. Elise relishes the challenge of assisting clients reach a cost-effective resolution to their family law matters, whether that be settling via mediation or court proceedings. 


Elise is also one of the select few people in Australia who is a qualified Parenting Coordinator, having been involved in Parenting Coordination since its inception in Australia in around 2016.  


Elise is regarded by her colleagues as a strong, yet amiable advocate. Her clients feel in safe hands and regularly refer family, friends, and colleagues to her. 


Elise grew up in north-west NSW, having lived on a farm all her life and competing horses at national level for many years. After practicing in Queensland for a number of years, she returned to living in Sydney in 2018.

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