Ioanita Gentles is the firm’s Principal Solicitor and Director. With over 20 years as a Solicitor and Barrister, Ioanita has spent her career helping clients to get the best results with their family law issues, minimising legal costs and giving sound advice.
Ioanita is naturally approachable, compassionate and discreet. She will identify your rights and possible strategies to enable you to make decisions for you and your family’s future.
Janet Scott, Shipton & Associates
Janet has worked in the Sydney CBD and on the Northern Beaches for the last 37 years with a major emphasis on family law. She is a strong supporter of the collaborative process and firmly believes that out of court settlements achieve better outcomes. She has been pivotal in establishing Collaborative Professionals Northern Beaches, providing a network of likeminded professionals to help separating families. Janet is both warm and professional, with an ability to recognize your needs and discuss with you the options available in a clear and empathetic way. She understands the stress and confusion of separation and is able to help you and your family map out a pathway forward to successfully plan for your future.
Michael Shipton, Shipton & Associates
Michael has worked as a solicitor on the Northern Beaches for 39 years. He is a family law accredited expert and is experienced in commercial, property and criminal law. He is a skilled litigator but prefers, where possible, to achieve settlement of disputes through negotiation. He sees collaborative law as an innovative and effective tool to achieve resolution of disputes in a constructive, rather than destructive, manner. He has given his time to many local organisations including providing free legal advice at the Manly Community Centre, serving on the Manly Hospital Ethics Committee and as honorary legal adviser to Manly Surf Club.
Helen Ede, Ede Family Law
Helen is an accredited specialist in family law with more than 20 years’ experience in law. Having worked in CBD firms for most of that period, she is now the principal of Ede Family Law, based in North Sydney and servicing the Northern Beaches and the CBD. Over many years Helen has developed extensive expertise in resolving disputes for separating families, including mediation, and since 2011, collaborative law.
Helen is committed to achieving the best outcomes for her clients, combining technical excellence with pragmatism and insight, and understanding the fundamental importance of effective communication. Helen understands that, for her clients, family law is much more than a legal issue. It is about them, their lives, their children, their futures, their adjustment and their security, personal and financial.
Janine De Saxe
Janine has been practicing as a solicitor for 30 years, and became an Accredited Specialist in Family Law in 1993. Janine has in-depth experience in a diverse range of areas in Family Law. Janine is highly skilled at resolving emotionally draining and contentious disputes by way of negotiation and conciliation where possible. Janine has a strong industry reputation at providing successful outcomes for her clients. Janine undertook the Collaborative Law Training ten years ago, and has been keen to promote this alternative process to assist separating couples. Janine is also an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner. Known for being efficient and thorough, Janine is also sensitive to the distress clients may feel while dealing with the issues relating to the breakdown of their relationship. To limit the stress, Janine takes a practical and strategic approach to ensure a positive outcome for her clients.
Celia is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law. She has practised exclusively in Family Law since 2006 with both mid-sized suburban and city boutique family law practices. Celia has extensive experience in all facets of Family Law including complex parenting, financial issues, and child support.
In resolving family law issues collaboratively, Celia aims to help her clients reach negotiated settlements, without further damaging what can be fragile family relationships. Having previously worked as Research Associate to two Judges of the Appeal Division of the Family Court, Celia has seen first hand the deep fractures that extended litigation can cause families. Celia is committed to offering her clients alternatives to litigation or traditional dispute resolution and, in addition to collaborative practice, is also a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
Margie has only worked in Family Law as a lawyer and her legal skills are complemented by her background of over 20 years working with families as a Social Worker. Margie has experience in all areas of Family Law and she uses interests-based negotiation and mediation skills to facilitate resolutions. Margie encourages open and effective communication and is warm and approachable.
Margie understands the complex emotional dynamics which are often present in separating families and she is focused on the best interests of the children. She appreciates how important it is for children that their parents can maintain respectful communications and be able to co parent following separation.
Claire commenced practice as a solicitor in 2008 after 9 years of working as a Family Law paralegal. Since her admission, Claire has practiced mainly in the areas of Family Law, Wills and Estates and Conveyancing. Claire brings her broader experience in estate planning and property law to the table in working out creative solutions for couples going through a property division.
Rebecca has been an accredited family mediator for the last 10 years and has her own mediation practice called Kids First Mediation. Rebecca has over 20 years experience working therapeutically with children and families from all backgrounds and complexity.
Rebecca is a founding member of the Northern Beaches Collaborative Professionals.
She believes that Collaborative Practice is the best way to resolve all the parenting, financial and emotional problems that arise from separation in the one forum.
Rebecca will help you:
- Move from an intimate partnership into a cooperative parenting relationship,
- Reflect on your ideals as parents, and
A specialist in family mediation, Julia is committed to providing a confidential, compassionate and child-centred approach to resolving parenting and property disputes.
As a registered FDRP and relationship counsellor, Julia has many years experience working with families going through separation and divorce, both in private practice as the co founder of Sydney Dispute Resolution and in the community sector for Relationships Australia and Legal Aid.
As a Collaborative Coach, Julia assists parties to work through their differences, reflect on their hopes for the future and to reach practical agreements that preserve important relationships and remove the stress of conflict. She will work hard to ensure you leave with tools and strategies to communicate better and to create a strong co-parenting relationship for your children as you move into the next chapter of your lives.
Sue is a Mediator, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Lawyer, Conflict Coach and Collaborative Professional. She brings compassion and expertise to assist you to jointly and respectfully make choices about how to share your property and children’s care and shape your future. As a collaborative coach she is an impartial facilitator and steward of the process, assisting you both and your lawyers and to make most efficient use of the collaborative process and optimising your contributions to it. Sue is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University Law School and brings a wealth of experience in compassionate communication to support you and your family.
As part of the collaborative process, it is sometimes helpful to hear from the children directly. Rebecca is specially trained to conduct one-off sessions with children, called Child Inclusive Practice (CIP).
In CIP, children and young people, aged 5 - 18 years, have the opportunity to share their hopes, needs and concerns about the separation. They have a place to talk in a focussed, therapeutic way about what the separation is like for them, including what they like and what they find difficult.
Children are never asked where they want to live, or to make any other decisions, as that is the role of their parents. The aim of the session is rather to gain a snapshot of how the children are travelling emotionally, and they are encouraged to allow Rebecca to share as much as possible in a feedback session with their parents.
Financial Adviser Members
Five years before the Global Financial Crisis, Justin identified the coming problem and built a solution.
His training in the USA on Life Planning perfectly complimented his business degree, financial planning skills and exposure to scenario planning.
He developed the Seantos Process, a unique step by-step approach to integrating life and money, and wrote his first book, A Richer Life.
Being equally left and right brained, his approach has been built on gaining a deep understanding of the ‘why?’ without neglecting the rigorous analysis of the ‘how?’ He appeals as much to the highly analytical engineer as he does to the visionary artist or the more spiritual contributor. Besides his business life, Justin had a very full life in South Africa having played State level cricket for a number of years, flying light aircraft as a hobby and writing his own weekly column in the largest circulation newspaper. However after learning more about his own deep motivators, he and his wife made a life choice to give it all up and migrate to Australia. He subsequently studied life planning with George Kinder, one of the forefathers of the concept in the USA and has qualified as one of only two Registered Life Planners® in Australia.
Justin specialises in dealing with intelligent, successful people, who want to live a meaningful, congruent life and know it’s possible. Over the past 28 years, he has advised over 2000 clients most of whom are financially successful.