• Medical indemnity
    legal staff

  • Avant Law is our own specialist commercial law firm, established to provide members with exclusive access to legal advice and representation. Our size and scope of work means we have a diverse range of highly skilled specialists across a number of areas particularly medical-indemnity claims.

  • Avant Law - ACT


    • Harry-McCay-profile-image-directory

      Harry McCay

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: B Comm, LL B

      Harry has been with Avant since 2001.

      In his role as a special counsel, he acts on behalf of members and Avant in civil claims, disciplinary matters, coronial matters, Medicare matters, criminal matters and administrative law cases.

      Phone: 02 9640 1181
      Email: harry.mccay@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law - NSW


    • Judith Alderson profile image

      Judith Alderson

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons) Exempting, (University of Northumbria, UK)
      LPAB Diploma Course (University of Sydney)
      Admitted as a Solicitor in Australia and in England and Wales

      Judith has been with Avant since July 2021. Before joining Avant, Judith represented medical professionals and organisations in coronial inquests, HCCC investigations, professional conduct investigations and civil claims. Judith is admitted as a Solicitor in Australia and in England and Wales.

      In her role as a senior associate, Judith assists members in a variety of matters including coronial inquests and professional conduct investigations and proceedings.

      Phone: 02 9260 9915
      Email: judith.alderson@avant.org.au


    • Briana Bakaric

      Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: B. Com (Marketing) and LLB Laws (University of Sydney)

      Briana has been with Avant since 2021 and is experienced in acting for medical practitioners nursing staff paramedics and hospitals.

      In her role as an associate, Briana assists members with professional conduct complaints; disciplinary proceedings, administrative law proceedings; coronial investigations and coronial inquest hearings; and civil claims.

      Email: briana.bakaric@avant.org.au


    • Andrew Blandford

      Special Counsel-Civil, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB / BA Adelaide University

      Andrew has been with Avant since 2010 and is experienced in civil litigation.

      In his role as Special Counsel, Andrew assists members with claims across a variety of areas of medical practice and specialises in high value and complex claims. He has also published and presented numerous articles and talks in the area of health law.

      Phone: 02 9260 9916
      Email: andrew.blandford@avant.org.au


    • Hishani Dassanayake

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, University of Otago, NZ

      Hishani has been with Avant since 2008.

      In her role as a special counsel Hishani acts on behalf of members primarily in complex Supreme Court medical negligence litigation. She is also involved in a wide range of other health law related work including Medico-legal Advisory services.

      Phone: 02 9260 9168
      Email: hishani.dassanayake@avant.org.au


    • Francesca Davis

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: Grad Dip Law, Grad Dip Criminology, LLM (Sydney), MPIL (Public and International Law - Melbourne)

      Francesca has been with Avant since 2006. Before joining Avant, Francesca worked for the NSW Attorney Generals Dept, Office of the Director of Public prosecutions NSW, and in private practice.

      In her role as Special Counsel, Francesca assists members with a variety of matters including professional conduct complaints; professional conduct proceedings; administrative law proceedings; and coronial investigations and inquests.

      Phone: 02 9260 9139
      Email: francesca.davis@avant.org.au


    • Michelle Graham

      Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: JD (UNSW)
      B HSc (Hons) La Trobe University

      Michelle has been with Avant since 2020.

      In her role as an associate, Michelle assists members and practices in District and Supreme Court proceedings and unlitigated claims for compensation. She also provides advice to medical practitioners and practices through Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Service.

      Phone: 02 9260 9936
      Email: michelle.graham@avant.org.au


    • Don Grant profile image

      Don Grant

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BLegS (Macquarie University),Dip App Sci (Nursing) Wollongong University

      Don has been with Avant since 2017. In his previous career Don worked as a registered nurse in critical and acute care and for over twenty years he has practiced as a solicitor exclusively in health law, including in civil litigation, disciplinary proceedings, administrative law proceedings and coronial inquests.

      In his role as a special counsel, Don acts on behalf of members in civil litigation. He is also involved in a range of other health law related work including the provision of medico-legal advice and presentations to medical practitioners.

      Phone: 02 9260 9926
      Email: don.grant@avant.org.au


    • John Kamaras

      Legal Team Manager, Professional Conduct, NSW
      Qualifications: BSc (Hons) (USYD), LLB (USYD)

      John has been with Avant as a solicitor since 2001 and has broad experience with most areas of health law but with a specific interest in coronial law.

      John has acted for members involved in coronial inquests, medical negligence claims, disciplinary proceedings, Medicare investigations and criminal proceedings. He has also published and presented numerous articles and talks in the area of coronial law.

      In his role as Legal Team Manager, John leads a team of solicitors and their support staff, in addition to running matters and providing medico-legal advice and education.

      Phone: 02 9260 9071
      Email: john.kamaras@avant.org.au


    • Lydia Kamaras

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BCom/LLB (UNSW)

      Lydia has been with Avant since 2002. and has extensive experience in acting for medical practitioners, hospitals, and medical practices.

      In her role as a special counsel, Lydia assists members in a variety of matters including professional conduct complaints; professional conduct proceedings; criminal proceedings and coronial investigations and inquests.

      Phone: 02 9260 9151
      Email: lydia.kamaras@avant.org.au


    • Lyn Kearney

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BAppSc (Biomedical Science), Diploma in Law (LPAB)

      Lyn has been with Avant since 1999 and has considerable experience in acting for medical practitioners and practices. In her role as a Senior Associate, Lyn acts on behalf of members in civil litigation, disciplinary proceedings, and coronial inquests.

      Phone: 02 9260 9155
      Email: lyn.kearney@avant.org.au


    • Ren li profile image

      Ren Li

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (UTS)

      Ren has been a solicitor since 2007 and joined the Avant team in 2014. He is experienced in coronial law, professional conduct, Medicare and civil litigation.

      In his role as a Senior Associate, Ren provides our members with assistance across a range of health law areas including coronial investigations; coronial inquest hearings; professional conduct investigations and proceedings; civil claims; Medicare investigations and hearings; and other administrative law proceedings.

      Phone: 02 8199 9539
      Email: ren.li@avant.org.au


    • Emma Marel

      Emma Marel

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BComLLB (Hons)

      Emma has been with Avant since 2019. Before joining Avant, Emma acted for medical defence organisations, medical practitioners, hospitals and health care facilities. She is experienced in representing clients in coronial investigations and inquests, disciplinary claims, unlitigated and litigated civil claims, and investigations and audits.

      In her role as a senior associate, Emma advises members in relation to general medico-legal queries, responds to and defends civil and disciplinary (professional conduct) claims brought against members and practices, and represents members in coronial investigations and inquests.

      Phone: 02 9260 9104
      Email: emma.marel@avant.org.au


    • Brigitte Mather

      Solicitor, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (James Cook University)

      Brigitte has been with Avant since 2019 and is experienced in acting for medical practitioners and medical practices.

      In her role as a solicitor, Brigitte assists members with professional conduct complaints; disciplinary proceedings; coronial investigations and coronial inquest hearings; and civil claims.

      Phone: 02 8199 9520
      Email: brigitte.mather@avant.org.au


    • Emma Michaels

      Solicitor (Civil), Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons I), BSc (Pharmacology)

      Emma has been with Avant since 2020. Before joining Avant, Emma worked in law firms in Sydney and London in intellectual property, personal injury, and corporate law.

      Emma received first class honours in her Bachelor of Law in which her dissertation analysed offences introduced against health practitioners under the Victorian SafeScript real-time prescription monitoring program.

      In her role as a solicitor, Emma assists members and practices in litigated and unlitigated civil claims for compensation.

      Phone: 02 8199 9565
      Email: emma.michaels@avant.org.au


    • Nicole Sher

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA, LLB

      Nicole has been with Avant since 2012. In her role as Senior Associate, Nicole acts on behalf of members in a variety of matters including professional conduct complaints; professional conduct proceedings; administrative law proceedings; and coronial investigations and inquests.

      Phone: 02 9260 9174
      Email: nicole.sher@avant.org.au


    • Michael Swan

      Legal Team Manager - Civil, NSW
      Qualifications: LLB (UNSW),B Nursing (USyd)

      Michael has been with Avant since 2002.

      In his role as a Legal Team Manager , Michael leads a team of solicitors and their support staff, acts and advises members in a wide range of civil actions in State and Federal jurisdictions.

      Phone: 02 9260 9169
      Email: michael.swan@avant.org.au


    • Stephanie Truong

      Associate (Professional Conduct), Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB / BSocSc

      Stephanie has been with Avant since 2016 and is experienced in assisting medical practitioners and practices.

      In her role as a Associate, Stephanie assist members in a variety of matters including professional conduct complaints; professional conduct proceedings; administrative law proceedings; and coronial investigations and coronial inquest hearings.

      Phone: 02 9260 9175
      Email: stephanie.truong@avant.org.au


    • Paul Tsaousidis profile image

      Paul Tsaousidis

      Head of Practice Legal, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA (UNSW). LLB (Sydney University)

      Paul has been with Avant since 1999 and has been admitted as a solicitor since 1989. He has extensive experience in acting for medical practitioners; hospitals; and medical practices.

      In his role as Head of Practice for Avant Law NSW, Paul leads a team of experienced solicitors and administration staff to provide excellent legal assistance and support to Avant members. He has also published and presented numerous articles and talks across a broad range of health law areas.

      Phone: 02 9260 9154
      Email: paul.tsaousidis@avant.org.au


    • Andrew Vandervord

      Legal Team Manager, Professional Conduct, NSW
      Qualifications: LLB

      Andrew has been with Avant since 2013 and has extensive experience acting for medical practitioners and medical practices.

      In this role as Legal Team Manager, Andrew leads a team of solicitors and support staff in providing members with assistance in a variety of areas including professional conduct claims; coronial investigations and coronial inquest hearings; Medicare investigations and hearings; and other administrative law proceedings.

      Phone: 02 8199 9536
      Email: andrew.vandervord@avant.org.au


    • John Vijayaraj

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB / BA (Psychology) (Macquarie University)

      John has been with Avant since 2017.

      In his role as a Senior Associate, John acts on behalf of members across a broad range of matters including, complaints concerning professional conduct, civil claims, coronial inquiries and Medicare investigations. He has experience in clinical settings such as emergency medicine, surgery and obstetrics, from unlitigated matters to complex catastrophic claims.

      John is also experienced in navigating complex factual matrices and can quickly identify issues so that a strategic and member-centric approach is adopted in all matters.

      Phone: 02 9260 9053
      Email: john.vijayaraj@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law - QLD


    • Claire-Bassingthwaighte-profile-image-directory

      Claire Bassingthwaighte

      Legal Team Manager, Professional Conduct, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BCom/LLB (UQ)

      Claire was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2003 and the High Court of Australia in 2006.

      Before joining Avant in 2008, she worked in private law firms defending public and private hospitals in medical negligence claims and represented the Medical Board prosecuting practitioners.

      As Manager of the Professional Conduct Team, Claire now leads a group of experienced solicitors who specialise in defending practitioners in a wide range of complex health law matters including; coronial investigations and inquests, commissions of inquiry, and complaints to regulators. She has represented practitioners in the Coroners Court of Queensland, the Human Rights Commission, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal as well as both the District and Supreme Courts. She also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory service.

      Claire is a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Health and Disability Law Committee well as the Occupational Discipline Law Committee. She is a volunteer Judicial Committee Member with community sporting organisations and a member of the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland and Women Lawyers Association of Queensland.

      Phone: 07 3309 6839
      Email: claire.bass@avant.org.au


    • Catherine Cheney

      Legal Team Manager - Civil
      Qualifications: LLB (QUT), BA (Griffiths)

      Catherine has been with Avant since 2003.

      Before joining Avant, Catherine worked in private practice and gained extensive experience in insurance litigation.

      As Legal Team Manager of the civil team she specialises exclusively in medical negligence litigation and manages a team of solicitors. Catherine supports members responding to complaints and investigations. She has appeared before various regulatory bodies (panel hearings, tribunal hearings, coronial inquests) and supported members in criminal matters.

      Phone: 07 3309 6803
      Email: cathie.cheney@avant.org.au


    • Nicky-Coskinas headshot

      Nicky Coskinas

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons), GradDipLaw

      Nicky has been with Avant since 2006 and has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of health law.

      In her role as a Senior Associate, Nicky focuses on the defence of high value and/or complex medical negligence claims.

      Phone: 07 3309 6844
      Email: nicky.coskinas@avant.org.au


    • Anna Gornall

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons) (Manchester Metropolitan University)
      Legal Practice Course – College of Law, Manchester, UK

      Anna has been with Avant since 2013 and has practised law in England and Australia.

      In her role as a senior associate, Anna represents members in disciplinary proceedings before the Medical Board, Office of the Health Ombudsman, Office of the Information Commissioner, and coronial inquests as well as civil claims for negligence, including; catastrophic and dependency claims. She has also represented members in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

      Anna also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory service.

      Phone: 07 3309 6845
      Email: anna.gornall@avant.org.au


    • Sarah Hull

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB /B PsychSc (Griffith), GradDipLegPrac, LLM (QUT)

      Sarah has been with Avant since 2020.

      Before joining Avant, Sarah worked for a national law from and predominately focused on claims and complaints against medical practitioners and allied health professionals.

      Phone: 07 3309 6864
      Email: sarah.hull@avant.org.au


    • Selina Hunt headshot

      Selina Hunt

      Head of Practice, Legal Qld & SA
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons 1)/BBus (Accg) (with Distinction) (QUT)

      Selina has been with Avant since 2010 and she represents doctors and practices in civil claims, coronial investigations/inquests and professional conduct matters.

      As Head of Practice, Legal for Avant Law in Queensland and South Australia, Selina leads a team of experienced solicitors and administration staff to provide excellent legal assistance and support to Avant members.

      Since she was admitted to practice law in 2001, Selina has practised solely in insurance litigation, specialising in defending claims and complaints against a wide range of health and other professionals.

      Selina was recognised as a preeminent practitioner in the Leading Queensland Defendant Medical Negligence Lawyers category of the Doyles Defendant Insurance Law rankings for 2021.

      Phone: 07 3309 6837
      Email: selina.hunt@avant.org.au


    • Jennie Jackes

      Special Counsel
      Qualifications: BA / LLB University of Queensland

      Jennie has been with Avant since 2018 and has extensive experience acting for insurers in professional indemnity matters.

      Before joining Avant, Jennie worked for many years for a global law firm.

      Jennie has represented professionals, primarily medical practitioners, in civil claims for negligence, before disciplinary tribunals and registration boards and in coronial investigations and inquests.

      She has extensive experience in all aspects of the management of medical negligence claims.

      Phone: 07 3309 6816
      Email: jennie.jackes@avant.org.au


    • Jean-Pierre Kapel

      Jean-Pierre Kapel

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, BBUS (Man), GDip Legal Prac

      Jean-Pierre has been with Avant since 2017.

      Before joining Avant, Jean-Pierre worked in a private law practice assisting medical practitioners in the management of medical negligence claims including, catastrophic claims and dependency claims.

      In his role as a Senior Associate, he uses his extensive health law experience to assist members in matters such as, disciplinary proceedings before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and its predecessor, coronial inquests, Medicare compliance, and training disputes. He has also assisted in defending complaints to the Queensland Human Rights Commission, professional conduct investigations and disciplinary proceedings commenced by regulators. He also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory service.

      Phone: 07 3309 6847
      Email: jean-pierre.kapel@avant.org.au


    • Nicola Kent

      Nicola Kent

      Senior Associate , Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA/LLB (Hons) (UQ), Grad Dip College of Law

      Nicola has been with Avant since 2017 and has extensive experience in health law.

      Prior to joining Avant Nicola worked in private practice providing advice to insurer clients on regulatory matters and civil disputes.

      Nicola has developed extensive experience acting on behalf of medical practitioners in disciplinary matters, complex regulatory investigations, coronial inquiries and Royal Commissions. She has represented clients in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Queensland. She also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Service.

      Phone: 07 3309 6846
      Email: nicola.kent@avant.org.au


    • Rachel Knauer

      Rachel Knauer

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, BBus (QUT)

      Rachel was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia in December 2003 and as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2004.

      In her role as a Senior Associate Rachel represents members in complaints before regulators, including the Medical Board of Australia and the Office of the Health Ombudsman, in relation to all types of professional conduct matters, including immediate action matters. Rachel has assisted members with investigations conducted by the Queensland Government Department of Health, as well as credentialing and accreditation reviews in both the public and private sectors. She has defended members in medical negligence claims, has acted for members in coronial investigations and inquests, has represented members who have disciplinary proceedings commenced against them in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and has represented members in all Queensland Courts.

      Rachel is a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland. She also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory service.

      Phone: 07 3309 6833
      Email: rachel.knauer@avant.org.au


    • Justin le goullon headshot

      Justin le Goullon

      Legal Team Manager, Professional Conduct, Avant Law
      Qualifications: General Nursing Certificate (Royal Brisbane Hospital), BN, LLB, Grad Dip Legal Prac, MLB

      Justin has been with Avant since 2006. He also holds a nursing degree, and before joining Avant he worked in many roles in healthcare including, administration, risk management and patient safety roles. In his role as a legal team manager, he advises members in relation to matters involving the Coroner, Medical Board, Medicare, Health Ombudsman, employment disputes, professional college reviews and civil claims.

      Phone: 07 3309 6843
      Email: justin.legoullon@avant.org.au


    • Justine Matthews headshot

      Justine Matthews

      Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB

      Justine has been with Avant since 2019.

      Before joining Avant, Justine worked in litigation acting for insurers and employers in circumstances that involved workplace fatalities and accidents. During that time became an expert in recovering insurance paid from responsible third parties across multiple statutory schemes. Justine also has a wealth of experience in employment law.

      In her role as a senior solicitor, Justine assists members respond to complaints involving allegations of unsatisfactory and unprofessional conduct, breaches of privacy, inappropriate prescribing, inquiries before the State Coroner and from the use of the Medicare Benefits Scheme.

      Justine was listed as a Best Lawyer from 2013-2016 in the area of Workers Injury Litigation, and Doyle’s Guide as Best Lawyer in Personal Injury in 2015.

      Phone: 07 3309 6856
      Email: justine.matthews@avant.org.au


    • Elizabeth Quinn

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA / LLB (UQ)

      Elizabeth was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia in 2010.

      Elizabeth has been with Avant since 2016. In her role as senior solicitor, Elizabeth represents members in disciplinary matters including responding to the Ahpra, the OHO, the OAIC, as well as coronial matters, Medicare matters and referrals to the QCAT. Elizabeth also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Service.

      Prior to joining Avant, Elizabeth practised in commercial litigation and regulatory matters, and acted for doctors, dentists and nurses.

      Elizabeth is a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Occupational Discipline Law Committee.

      Phone: 07 3309 6802
      Email: elizabeth.quinn@avant.org.au


    • Katherine Skene Headshot

      Katherine Skene

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons 1) (QUT)

      Katherine has been with Avant since 2018.

      Before joining Avant, Katherine worked in a commercial law firm providing advice to insurer clients on complex disputes, regulatory issues and civil litigation.

      In her role as a Senior Associate, Katherine assists members with a range of regulatory matters including, Medical Board and Heath Ombudsman investigations, Coronial inquiries, Medicare reviews and criminal Cases.

      Phone: 07 3309 6862
      Email: katherine.skene@avant.org.au


    • Grant Thomas Headshot

      Grant Thomas

      Senior Associate , Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, GradDipLegPrac

      Grant has been with Avant since 2016 and has experience in civil claims, medical negligence, public and product liability and CTP claims.

      Phone: 07 3309 6834
      Email: grant.thomas@avant.org.au


    • Shalina Vanderaa

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA, LLB, Grad Dip Legal Prac

      Shalina has been with Avant since 2006.

      Before joining Avant, Shalina defended civil claims against public hospitals.

      In her role as a Senior Associate, Shalina defends medical practitioners in a broad range of matters including: civil claims, coronial investigations and inquests, employment disputes and regulatory matters involving the Medical Board of Australia, the Office of the Health Ombudsman, the Department of Health, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and Queensland Health.

      Shalina also provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory service.

      Phone: 07 3309 6828
      Email: shalina.vanderaa@avant.org.au


    • Michael wade headshot

      Michael Wade

      Special Counsel (Medicare), Avant Law
      Qualifications: B. Com (UNSW), LLB (UTS), Grad Dip Legal Prac

      Michael has been with Avant since 2007 and has degrees in commerce and law.

      Before joining Avant, Michael worked for the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW and the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.

      Michael was also previously a partner in the Health Law practice of TressCox Lawyers.

      From 2000 he has worked as a solicitor exclusively defending medical practitioners in a wide range of disciplinary and other administrative law matters. These included; professional disciplinary and impairment-related matters at all levels, coronial inquests and administrative law proceedings.

      He is also the Avant inaugural national Special Counsel for Medicare matters.

      Phone: 07 3309 6809
      Email: michael.wade@avant.org.au


    • Chris West

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (QUT)
      Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Nursing) (The University of Sydney)
      Bachelor of Applied Science (University of Canberra)
      Special and Intensive Care of the Newborn Course (ENB 405) (King’s College London)
      Midwifery Certificate (Royal Women’s Hospital, Brisbane)

      Clinical specialty: Nursing, Midwifery, Neonatal Intensive Care, Aeromedical Retrieval
      His initial degree was a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in human biology/nutrition/dietetics.

      Chris has worked at Avant for four years, most recently from 2020. Chris has also worked for private law firms of various sizes.

      For the majority of Chris’ legal career, he has focused on defending medical and allied health practitioners, public and private hospitals, and universities.

      His focus over more recent years has been assisting medical practitioners and private hospitals in the Ahpra , Medical Board, Office of the Health Ombudsman and Coronial arenas, along with the defence of compensation claims.

      Before becoming a solicitor, Chris spent over 13 years working as a registered nurse and midwife, predominantly in infectious diseases, neonatal intensive care and road and air patient retrieval in QLD, NSW and England.

      Upon completion of a science degree, Chris worked for many years in the Federal Department of Health, Canberra, in the areas of Nutrition (Public Health Division), and Drug Education/Drugs of Dependence (Therapeutics Division), before moving to Sydney to study Nursing.

      Phone: 07 3309 6857
      Email: chris.west@avant.org.au


    • Susan Woolley

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB/BSci (UQ), LLM (QUT)

      Susan has been with Avant since 2021. She has experience in all aspects of personal injuries including, catastrophic motor vehicle cases, workplace injuries, victims of crime compensation and medical negligence.

      Susan previously worked in the field of risk management in the context of legal practices.

      In her role as a senior associate, Susan combines her biomedical science background with her legal experience.

      Phone: 07 3309 6868
      Email: susan.woolley@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law - SA


    • Kate Bishop

      Kate Bishop

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, Grad Dip Medical and Health Law (Melb)

      Kate has been with Avant since 2010 and has a wealth of experience assisting members in civil proceedings, Coronial Inquests, disciplinary investigations and tribunal proceedings.

      Phone: 08 7071 9891
      Email: kate.bishop@avant.org.au


    • frankie-bray-profile

      Frankie Bray

      Solicitor, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (First class Hons), GDLP

      Frankie has been with Avant since 2019 and began as a paralegal. After her admission to the South Australian Supreme Court, she moved to her current role as a solicitor.

      Before joining Avant, Frankie worked in legal firms practising in a variety of fields, including family and criminal law and domestic and family violence.

      In her role as a solicitor, Frankie assists members with a range of regulatory matters including; Medical Board investigations, Coronial inquiries, and civil claims.

      Phone: 08 6189 5798
      Email: frankie.bray@avant.org.au


    • Evelyn Iles

       Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons), B. Com (Corporate Finance)

      Evelyn has been with Avant since 2021 and has experience in representing doctors in civil claims, coronial investigations/inquests and professional conduct matters.

      Before joining Avant, Evelyn practised in commercial litigation, personal injury and insurance litigation and worked at a private law firm.

      She is passionate about helping Avant members in a time of significant distress and works diligently to achieve a good outcome while providing support.

      Phone: 08 7071 9897
      Email: evelyn.iles@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law - VIC


    • Lily Barbouttis

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA/LLB (Macquarie University)

      Lily has been with Avant since November 2021. Before joining Avant, Lilly acted on behalf of motor vehicle and general insurers defending personal injury claims involving fraud, dual insurance and concurrent tortfeasors.

      Lily has experience across various jurisdictions including, the Victorian County Court and Supreme Court, and the New South Wales District Court and Supreme Court.

      Phone: 03 9026 5962
      Email: lily.barbouttis@avant.org.au


    • Hayley Daniel

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB/BBiomedSci

      Hayley has been with Avant since September 2019 and is an experienced insurance litigator with a background in health, coronial, financial services and personal injury law in private, government and in-house organisations.

      In her role as a senior associate, Hayley provides legal expertise and advocacy services to members with a specialty in civil claims. She uses her experience and industry relationships to approach matters with a global outlook, concentrating on achieving the best outcome for the member.

      Phone: 03 9026 5998
      Email: hayley.daniel@avant.org.au


    • Alex-Donnan-profile-image-directory

      Alexander Donnan

      Solicitor, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA/LLB, GDLP, MMC, MHlth & MedLaw candidate

      Alex has been with Avant since 2020.

      In his role as a solicitor within the professional conduct team, Alex advises on coronial inquiries, complaints made to the Health Complaints Commissioner, AHPRA investigations and Medicare disputes. Alex prides himself on his communication skills and ability to build rapport with Avant’s members.

      He is currently undertaking a Master of Health and Medical Law degree at The University of Melbourne.

      Phone: 03 9026 5937
      Email: alexander.donnan@avant.org.au


    • Peter-Harris-profile-image-directory

      Peter Harris

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, BSc (Chem), LLM (Hons) (University of Canterbury (NZ))

      Peter has been with Avant since 2019. Before joining Avant, Peter completed a Master of Laws, publishing and presenting his research in New Zealand and Australia. He subsequently worked in the Coroners Court in New Zealand, appearing as counsel assisting the Coroner in several high-profile inquests.

      In his role as a senior associate, Peter predominantly works on professional conduct cases, including matters before the Medical Board, the Coroners Court, and Medicare. Peter also defends members in a wide range of other regulatory, criminal and civil proceedings.

      Phone: 03 9026 5947
      Email: peter.harris@avant.org.au


    • Madhavi-Ligam-profile-image-directory

      Madhavi Ligam

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA (Hons)/LLB, Master of Laws (London School of Economics)

      Madhavi has been with Avant since 2018. Before joining Avant, Madhavi worked as a solicitor in Australia and New Zealand for DLA Piper, where she acted for health practitioners who were subject to disciplinary proceedings.

      In her role as a Senior Associate advises members on a range of professional conduct matters, such as Ahpra investigations, Medicare reviews and audits and Coronial investigations.

      Phone: 03 9026 5975
      Email: madhavi.ligam@avant.org.au


    • Vanessa-Nicholson-profile-image-directory

      Vanessa Nicholson

      Head of Practice – VIC, ACT & WA, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (University of WA), LLM (University of Houston)

      Vanessa has been with Avant since 2010. She has extensive experience in multiple jurisdictions, and handling complex medical negligence claims, coronial inquests, Ahpra matters and advising on indemnity issues.

      Vanessa often acts in high value claims involving brain injuries and currently leads the Avant Law team in VIC, ACT and WA.

      She was recognised as a leading lawyer in the Leading Medical Negligence and Malpractice Lawyers (Defendant) – Victoria, 2021.

      Phone: 03 9036 5970
      Email: vanessa.nicholson@avant.org.au


    • Fraser Oakley

      Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB / BA - LaTrobe University

      Fraser has been with Avant since September 2020. Before joining Avant, Fraser worked in a commercial law firm providing advice to professionals and insurer clients on complex personal injury and professional liability disputes and regulatory issues.

      In his role as a Associate, he assists members with a range of matters including, coronial inquiries, Medical Board investigations, Medicare compliance activities and criminal cases.

      Phone: 03 9026 5993
      Email: fraser.oakley@avant.org.au


    • Adam-Stevens-profile-image-directory

      Adam Stevens

      Legal Team Manager (Civil), Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB, BCom (Melb)

      Adam has been with Avant since 2018.

      Before joining Avant, Adam acted for insurers and insureds in a variety of matters including, pharmaceutical class actions, personal injury claims and medical negligence claims.

      He regularly acts in matters in the Victorian County Court and Victoria Supreme Court.

      Adam was formally a member the of Executive Committee of the National Product Liability Association. He was judged the Most Outstanding Advocate Hanover Moot (2012).

      As a Legal Team Manager, he exclusively specialises in medical negligence litigation and manages a team of lawyers

      Phone: 03 9026 5912
      Email: adam.stevens@avant.org.au


    • Caroline-Tuohey-profile-image-directory

      Caroline Tuohey

      Legal Team Manager (Professional Conduct), Avant Law
      Qualifications: BA/LLB (Monash University)

      Caroline has been with Avant since 2018 and has been representing doctors and allied health practitioners for the past 20 years.

      Before joining Avant Caroline practised as a solicitor for Ahpra and the National Boards regulating registered health practitioners. Her experience includes representing health practitioners in regulatory investigations, Medicare and professional service reviews, coronial investigations, compensation claims and Victorian Civil Administrative tribunal proceedings.

      Phone: 03 9026 5906
      Email: caroline.tuohey@avant.org.au


    • Veronica-Uhr-profile-image-directory

      Veronika Urh

      Senior Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (University of Melbourne)

      Veronika has been with Avant since 2021 Before joining Avant, Veronika worked as a personal injuries lawyer representing both plaintiffs and defendants. She then worked as an investigator with the Medical Practitioner’s Board of Victoria before transitioning to Ahpra, where she held several roles. In her role as a solicitor, Veronika predominantly works on professional conduct cases, including matters before the Medical Board, the Coroners Court, and Medicare.

      Phone: 03 9026 5982
      Email: veronika.urh@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law - WA


    • morag-smith-profile-image-directory

      Morag Smith

      Special Counsel, Avant Law
      Qualifications: BJuris/LLB

      Morag has been with Avant since 2007, starting in the Sydney office before moving to the Perth office.

      Before joining Avant, Morag worked in the legal industry representing doctors and hospitals in Australia and in the UK.

      In her role as a special counsel, Morag represents members in relation to civil medical negligence claims, disciplinary complaints and coronial hearings.

      Phone: 08 6189 5709
      Email: morag.smith@avant.org.au


    • Tessa Flynn

      Associate, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB and BA

      Tessa joined Avant Law in 2021.

      Before joining Avant, Tessa was an Associate working on a broad range of personal injuries matters.

      In her role as an Associate, Tessa represents members in relation to civil claims, disciplinary complaints and coronial hearings.

      Phone: 08 6189 5715
      Email: tessa.flynn@avant.org.au

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    Avant Law – Workplace Law Team


    • Sonya black profile

      Sonya Black

      Legal Team Manager, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (First Class Honours with University Medal), B. Com (UQ)
      State: QLD

      Sonya has been with Avant since 2012.

      Sonya advises members and medical practices across Australia about a broad range of employment and workplace issues in the public and private sectors. She provides practical and common-sense solutions to workplace concerns to minimise disputes.

      In addition, Sonya is well equipped to support members and medical practices in employment litigation if that becomes necessary.

      Phone: 07 3309 6838
      Email: sonya.black@avant.org.au

       


    • Terani-Inoke headshot

      Terani Inoke

      Senior Associate, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB / BBus, James Cook University

      Terani has been with Avant since 2016.

      Terani provides advice to members and practices on employment and workplace issues. Terani previously worked in Avant Law’s disciplinary team acting in matters with the Health Ombudsman, Medical Board, Coroner and Medicare. This background helps her to provide practical and strategic advice.

      Phone: 07 3309 6805
      Email: terani.inoke@avant.org.au


    • Stuart Kollmorgen

      Stuart Kollmorgen

      Senior Associate, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLM, B.Com (Melbourne), MSc(HR) (KCL)
      State: VIC

      Stuart provides advice and dispute resolution regarding employment and workplace law issues. He joined Avant in 2022 after a period of partnership in a global law firm and in-house roles across a variety of industries.

      Email: stuart.kollmorgen@avant.org.au


    • Elizabeth Morris (Liz)

      Solicitor, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: LLB (Edith Cowan University)

      Liz commenced with Avant Law in 2022.

      Liz provides practical legal advice to both individual practitioners and medical practices in their roles as employees, employers, and independent contractors. Liz works closely with her colleagues to provide members with timely and accurate advice.

      Before joining with Avant Law, Liz worked at the largest independent professional organisation for medical practitioners and medical students in Western Australia. During her time there she represented clients in the WA Industrial Relations Commission and Industrial Magistrates Court.

      Phone: 08 6189 5727
      Email: elizabeth.morris@avant.org.au


    • Frances Thomas

      Special Counsel, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: CPE (University of Sydney), Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales, CPE and LLB (University of Cardiff), LLB (Hons)(UCT), BA (English Literature) (UCT)

      Frances has been with Avant since November 2019.

      Frances advises individual members and medical practices on employment, safety and workplace issues. She is an experienced litigator and a dispute prevention and resolution lawyer, and has practised in 3 legal jurisdictions.

      Before joining Avant Frances worked in private practice and most recently for an employers’ peak body, advising and representing employers and individuals across the full range of employment and industrial issues.

      Phone: 02 9260 9195
      Email: frances.thomas@avant.org.au


    • Oliver Wilhelm

      Associate, Workplace Law Team, Avant Law
      Qualifications: : LLB, Ba App Sci (Clinical)/Ba Chiro Sci, MPhtySt, Grad Dip Leg Prac
      State: VIC

      Oliver has a hybrid background with qualifications in law, chiropractic and physiotherapy.

      Oliver commenced with Avant in 2022. He advises members and medical practices on employment and workplace health and safety issues.

      Oliver has a keen interest the workplace disputes, management of ill and injured workers and workplace safety matters.

      Phone: 03 9026 5915
      Email: oliver.wilhelm@avant.org.au

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    Medico-legal Advisory Service


    • Allyson Alker

      Associate
      Qualifications: BN, LLB

      Allyson has been with Avant since 2018 and provides advice to members and practices as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Team.

      Before joining Avant, Allyson developed extensive experience in risk management in the medical indemnity and healthcare fields. Prior to obtaining her law degree, she worked for a number of years as a registered nurse and midwife.

      Phone: 02 9260 9076
      Email: allyson.alker@avant.org.au


    • Doris Melara Escobar

      Associate
      Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts

      Doris commenced with Avant in February 2022.

      Before joining Avant, Doris worked with a regulatory body investigating notifications made against registered health practitioners. This role allowed Doris to gain valuable experience and insight in relation to disciplinary matters, regulation and health law. Doris has also previously worked in private practice providing advice to clients in a variety of different areas of law including family law and criminal law.

      In her role as an Associate, Doris assists members with a broad range of medico-legal issues as part of the Medico-Legal Advisory Service.

      Email: doris.melara@avant.org.au


    • Kate-Gillman-profile-image-directory

      Kate Gillman

      Head of Medico-legal Advisory Service
      Qualifications: BA LLB
      State: NSW

      Kate has been with Avant since 2011, having previously worked in the major claims legal team of United Medical Protection between 2004 – 2006.

      Before joining Avant Kate was a partner in a London law firm specialising in medical negligence litigation for the NHS, and worked in a law firm in Singapore, advising doctors and medical practices. She has also had experience working in the public sector, for the Northern Territory Attorney-General’s Department and the Commonwealth Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

      Kate is the head of the medico-legal advisory service, overseeing Avant’s 24/7 advice line. She has published articles and given presentations on a wide range of medico-legal topics, and is currently the assistant legal secretary of the NSW Medico Legal Society.

      Phone: 02 9260 9087
      Email: kate.gillman@avant.org.au


    • Jane hassell profile image directory

      Jane Hassell

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws/ Legal Practice (Honours), Bachelor of Arts
      State: SA

      Jane has been with Avant since 2008 and has over 20 years of experience working as a solicitor.

      Before joining Avant, Jane worked in various large law firms in South Australia, New South Wales and the United Kingdom, specialising in professional indemnity claims and particular medical negligence matters.

      When starting at Avant, Jane was the sole solicitor in Avant’s Adelaide office. In 2010 she moved to Sydney to work as a Senior Claims Manager. She is currently working in Adelaide as a Senior Associate in the Medico-legal Advisory Service team.

      Phone number: 08 7071 9890
      Email: jane.hassell@avant.org.au


    • Miranda Kehoe

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: LLB / BA (Hons)
      State: QLD

      Miranda has been with Avant since 2008, representing members in civil and professional conduct matters. She is currently a senior associate with the Medico-legal Advisory Service.

      Before joining Avant, Miranda was in private legal practice. She appeared in trials before the Supreme and High Courts. Miranda also worked in London and the United States for doctors and other professionals, including claims adjusting multi-jurisdictional class actions. Her experience includes a stint with the Medical Board.

      Phone number: 07 3309 6823
      Email: miranda.kehoe@avant.org.au


    • Rebecca-Kovacs-profile-image-directory

      Rebecca Kovacs

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: LLB, BS

      Rebecca has been with Avant since 2017 and practising in health law for over 10 years. During this time Rebecca has represented medical practitioners in regulatory investigations including Ahpra, Medicare and Coronial Investigations.

      Rebecca’s experience includes acting as in-house counsel for Ahpra and the 15 National Boards regulating registered health practitioners and defending public health services in medical negligence litigation.

      Phone number: 03 9026 5919
      Email: rebecca.kovacs@avant.org.au


    • Avant-April-profile-image-directory

      Tracy Pickett

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: BA, LLB

      Tracy has been with Avant since 2015 and has over 20 years of experience in medico-legal compliant management.

      Before joining Avant, Tracy acted for healthcare professionals indemnified by the major Australian medical defence organisations and Queensland Health.

      In her role as a Senior Associate in the Medico-legal Advisory Service Tracy has a keen awareness of members' needs and seeks to provide prompt, effective and proactive solutions to their varied medico-legal concerns.

      Tracy was named, by her peers, the Leading Queensland Defendant Medical Negligence Lawyer in 2020 and 2021 Doyle’s Guide.

      She is the immediate past president of the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland, former director of Queensland Doctors’ Health Programme, and currently a member of Uniting Care Human Research Ethics Committee.

      Phone number: 07 3309 6830
      Email: tracy.pickett@avant.org.au


    • Megan Prideaux

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: BA (Hons), LLB, Grad Dip in Health and Medical Law (Melb)
      State: SA

      Megan has been with Avant since 2010 and has extensive experience in regulation of health professionals and medical negligence.

      Before joining Avant, Megan worked both in private practice and within the government.

      In her role as a senior associate in the Medico-legal Advisory team she provides members with advice on a broad range of medico-legal matters relevant to daily medical practice.

      Phone number: 08 7071 9896 or 0478 305 989
      Email: megan.prideaux@avant.org.au


    • Katherine Raftesath headshot

      Katherine Raftesath

      Solicitor
      Qualifications: LLB (hons), Dip Arts, Grad Dip Ed

      Katherine re-joined Avant in 2021 having previously worked here as a solicitor when it was United Medical Protection.

      With a background in health litigation, Katherine has worked in London for an NHS panel firm.

      Katherine is a solicitor in the Medico-legal Advisory team and enjoys the variety of work that this offers.

      Phone number: 02 9260 9021
      Email: katherine.raftesath@avant.org.au


    • Melanie Robson

      Senior Associate
      Qualifications: LLB (Hons.), BA (Media and Communications)

      Melanie joined Avant in 2015 and has over 10 years’ experience in health law. She currently works as a senior associate in the Medico-Legal Advisory Service.

      Prior to this role, Melanie specialised in employment law including contract disputes and negotiation, alleged misconduct and bullying claims. She has also represented medical practitioners in civil disputes, AHPRA investigations, Medicare reviews and coronial inquests.

      Melanie came to Avant from her position as Senior Advisor/Solicitor and Privacy Officer at AMA Victoria, where she liaised on behalf of medical practitioners with external stakeholders including WorkSafe Vic, AHPRA, Medicare and public and private hospitals on a range of medico legal, policy, compliance and regulatory matters.

      Phone: 03 9026 5960
      Email: melanie.robson@avant.org.au


    • Sharon Russell

      Legal Team Manager
      Qualifications: Dip Law (LPAB), B App Sc (Phty)

      Sharon has been with Avant since 2022 and has extensive experience in health law.

      Prior to joining Avant, Sharon worked as an in-house solicitor providing advice to insured medical practitioners and practices in relation to civil disputes, regulatory matters and other health law issues.

      Sharon has developed extensive experience acting on behalf of medical practitioners in civil disputes, disciplinary matters, complex regulatory investigations, coronial inquiries and other health law matters. She provides general advice as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Service.

      Email: sharon.russell@avant.org.au

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