Family Law: Essential Concerns in Financial Matters

Unpack some essential concerns that you might grapple with in Family Law financial & property settlements.  You’ll learn how to deal with non-disclosure in financial cases and how to recognise when it’s a property or financial resource and when it isn’t. Plus, understand how to approach contributions made in short term relationships and the best ways to prepare for mediation & conciliation conferences to ensure your client's success.

Tuesday, 19 March 2024
Professional Skills
9.00am to 9.50am How to Deal with Non-disclosure in Financial Cases


  • Principles and processes with respect to disclosure
  • Educating the client and dealing with the errant client
  • Solicitors’ duties and dealing with a ‘Dark Knight’
  • Third party disclosure, subpoenas and costs consequences
  • Confidentiality and disclosure when engaging ‘shadow experts’ and other professional advisors

Presented by Jim Mellas, Barrister Foley’s List; Recommended Family Law Junior Counsel and Recommended Parenting & Children’s Matters Junior Counsel, Doyle’s Guide 2023

9.50am to 10.35am Is it Property or is it a Financial Resource?


  • What is a financial resource – legislation and caselaw?
  • When is an interest in trust a property and not a financial resource?
  • Examples of financial resources
  • What evidence should be put to the court when running a property vs financial resource argument

Presented by Bronia Tulloch, Barrister, Foley’s List

10.50am to 11.35am The Assessment of Contributions During Short Relationships


  • The current court approach to assessing contributions in short relationships of approximately 5 years duration
  • How the court approaches those matters differently where there are children of the relationship
  • How the court approaches those matters where the parties have entered the relationship later in life
  • The impact of initial contributions during those short relationships

Presented by Gabriella Khoury, Partner, Pearson Emerson; Accredited Specialist in Family Law

Professional Skills
11.35am to 12.15pm Preparing Property Cases for Mediation & Conciliation Conferences


  • Why is a mediation different to a trial
  • What are the key documents to prepare
  • Refining the balance sheet
  • Accessibly articulating your client’s case in a case outline/position paper
  • Managing client expectations to increase opportunities for resolution

Presented by Mark MacDiarmid, Principal, Mark MacDiarmid Family Law Specialists; Accredited Specialist in Family Law; Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner


Attend and earn 3 CPD units including:
1.5 units in Substantive Law
1.5 units in Professional Skills

This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories


Claire O’Connor SC, Villeneuve Smith Chambers

10.35am to 10.50am Morning Tea
Final Q&A and Closing


Mr. Mark MacDiarmid, Principal,
Mark MacDiarmid has been a lawyer for over 30 years. He is an Accredited Family Law Specialist, a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and a registered Family Law Arbitrator. Mark is a former Director of national law firm Gadens Lawyers (where he worked in the commercial law and banking & finance sections), a former specialist family law consultant for Coleman & Greig Lawyers, and for many years was the Principal Solicitor of the Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre. As a lawyer Mark's practice is currently focused on Independent Children's Lawyer appointments, and as a mediator he focuses on legally assisted property mediations. He holds degrees in Arts & Law from the University of Sydney, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology.

Ms. Gabriella Khoury, Partner,
Gabriella is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Collaborative Lawyer. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Business Administration. Gabriella has been a Partner of the firm since 2021. Gabriella has worked in family law since 2011, firstly as a Legal Associate to a Judge in the Family Court of Australia (as it then was) and then as a lawyer. Gabriella's role as a Legal Associate allowed her to gain a unique insight into the workings of the Court, and develop a deeper understanding of the way Judges make their decisions. It also provided her with extensive exposure to Court room advocacy, and an understanding of how to be effective when dealing with the Court. Gabriella has great empathy for her clients and is sensitive to their legal issues. She strives to minimise the emotional and financial stress clients can suffer during family law proceedings, providing a commercial and strategic approach to matters, and where possible, Gabriella will endeavor to resolve the issues without the intervention of the Court. Gabriella is responsible for a wide range of family law issues for our clients including separation and divorce, parenting disputes and arrangements, property settlements, and de-facto relationship breakdowns. Gabriella has a particular interest in the resolution of complex financial matters including assisting high net worth individuals, and dealing with complex corporate and trust structures. Gabriella is collaboratively trained and can provide this as an alternative approach for clients who wish to engage in a less adversarial approach to family law, working together with other collaboratively trained lawyers, coaches and child and financial specialists. Doyle's Guide recognised Gabriella as a Rising Star in family law in the Australian legal market for 2018.

Bronia Tulloch, Barrister, Foley’s List
Bronia was admitted to practice in 1996 and joined the Bar in 1998. Bronia’s areas of experience include residence and contact, contravention proceedings, child support, property (including de facto relationships), child and spousal maintenance, intervention orders, enforcement proceedings and costs disputes. She has a particular interest in relocation cases, financial matters which involve family businesses and appeals. She appears regularly in Federal Circuit Court, the Family Court and the Full Court sitting in Melbourne, on circuit and interstate. Bronia is also available for paperwork and advice in all areas of family law, including the preparation of written submissions and Notices of Appeal. Bronia is frequently briefed as a mediator and on behalf of a party in mediations and settlement negotiations.

Ms. Claire O’Connor SC, Barrister, Villeneuve Smith Chambers
Claire O'Connor SC is a barrister practising in criminal, family and civil work, (predominantly personal injuries, inquiries and inquests) Aside from the usual practice of car accidents, murders, rapes and family disputes over children, assets and pets, those areas entail she is also well known for her refugee and detention centre work acting for the plaintiff in Al Kateb v Secretary dept. of Immigration in the High Court, for Cornelia Rau in relation to the Palmer Inquiry into her unlawful detention (and her subsequent rescue from Jordan where Ms Rau was detained under their mental health provisions), and in the inquest into the sinking of the SIEV 221 off the coast of Christmas Island in 2010 where she appeared for the survivors and families of the deceased. She worked on many Aboriginal justice issues including the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Hindmarsh Island Royal Commission, at Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement as an in-house counsel, and juniored Julian Burnside AO QC into first and so far only successful stolen generation case of Trevorrow v The State of South Australia. Claire has also acted for many asbestos victims in litigation against employers and suppliers of asbestos in particular in the successful test case in this State of Parker v BHP. She has developed a keen interest in gender equity issues in the last few years in particular and is the Law Society of SA representative on the Law Council gender committee, a member of the SA Bar Women at the Bar committee and a member of the Law Society's own gender equity working group. She was on the establishment committee some 20 years ago for the women's legal service and served for many years on its management committee. Her legal employment experience has been in private practice, the community sector and in the government sector in SA and the UK before, in 2005, she went to the bar. She was appointed a senior counsel in 2014.

Jim Mellas, Barrister Foley’s List
Jim Mellas is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar who has been practising for over 36 years as a Solicitor and then as a Barrister. Jim has been an accredited specialist in Family Law since 1991 and is a regular speaker at legal seminars and conferences having spoken on a range of subjects including Family Law, De facto Relationships, Equitable Estoppel, Succession Planning and Family Business. He has also had a number of papers published on a range of topics and has featured in a number of educational DVDs on Family Law. Jim has been recognised as a Leading Family Law Barrister in Victoria by Doyle’s Guide. Outside of the law Jim is a commentator, activist and campaigner. He is a founding member of the Acropolis Research Group (TARG) which was formed by concerned researchers and activists in the UK, Greece and Australia who share a common interest in the repatriation of looted cultural property, with a particular focus on the Parthenon Sculptures. TARG seeks to influence decision makers, non-State actors, museums and galleries as well as the community at large through research, education, advocacy and lobbying.


Family Law: Essential Concerns in Financial Matters


Single Session
CPD Points 3
On Demand 20240625 20240319

On Demand