Michelle’s passion is Family Law. Her wholehearted and proficient approach will support you to make informed decisions throughout your matter. Michelle recognises that Family Law disputes can be incredibly stressful. To combat this, Michelle communicates clearly, appreciates your individual circumstances and helps clients understand their legal options in simple terms.
Michelle steers clients towards the swiftest possible resolution to their dispute. Whilst she encourages mediation where possible, she is also a skilled advocate who represents clients through the court process, and regularly appears in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia. Michelle’s strategic approach has guided clients through complex parenting and property matters involving company and trust structures, bankruptcy and valuation issues.
Prior to joining Watts McCray in 2017, Michelle worked for a Central Coast firm specialising in plaintiff litigation and she was responsible for the family law section of the firm. Michelle was a member of the Legal Aid Family Law Panel assisting with family dispute resolution and court representation. She has experience in personal injury and estate litigation, conveyancing, health practitioner regulation and workers’ compensation.
Michelle previously worked at the Central Coast Community Legal Centre and the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order clinic at the Local Court. She was an intern at the Australian Law Reform Commission for their inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Age.
In 2003 Michelle completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Anthropology at the University of Southern Queensland before working as director of a web development business. Michelle completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of New England in 2014 and has practised family law since admission.
Michelle is a member of a number of NSW Law Society Committees including the Family Law Committee (2019-2020), the Ethics Committee (2020), the Law Society Privacy and Data Law Committee (2017-2020) and presented at CLEs and conferences on data retention and Family Law proceedings, technology facilitated stalking and privacy and cybersecurity issues for legal professionals.
Michelle is the Secretary of the Central Coast Law Society and the Secretary and a Board Member of digital rights organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc (2019-2020).
Michelle participated as a mentor in the Opportunity Collective in 2019 – a program to address workplace gender diversity in regional Australia and increase leadership opportunities for women in regional areas. In this program Michelle mentored an indigenous criminal lawyer.
In 2019, Michelle was a finalist for Regional Lawyer of the Year in the Women Lawyers’ Assocation of New South Wales Awards.
She is a member of the Hunter Valley Family Law Practitioners’ Association and Women Lawyers’ Association of New South Wales. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and High Court of Australia.