About

Want to learn more about McDonald Johnson Lawyers? Check out our team profiles and the FAQ.

Craig Doyle

Principal Lawyer LLB, BEc

Craig is an accredited specialist by the Law Society of NSW in both business law and commercial litigation. He is an arbitrator of both the Local Court and the District Court and was admitted as a solicitor in 1984.

Craig’s clients include property developers, entrepreneurs, corporations and business people. Craig worked for major national law firms in his early years of practice. He specialises in commercial transactions and documentation, commercial property, property development, the Retail Leases Act and issues with corporations. He is the firm’s lead partner in commercial litigation and acts in commercial and transactional disputes.

Craig has a Certificate in Foundations of Directorship from the AICD and is a Notary Public.

Brian Blakemore

Senior Lawyer

Brian provides legal advice to government authorities, financial institutions, building societies, private companies and individuals in a wide range of property related transactions. He acts for developers in some of Newcastle’s largest residential and commercial/industrial developments.

Brian’s 40+ years experience and knowledge enables him to provide specialist advice in relation to complex property sales and acquisitions, leases, mortgages, securities, planning and environment and compulsory acquisitions.

John Saddington circle

John Saddington

Consultant Lawyer

John has been working in legal practices for over 40 years in the areas of conveyancing (commercial and domestic), purchase and sale of business, commercial leasing, wills and estates, family provisions claims, testamentary (will) trusts, commercial litigation, superannuation including acquisition of real estate by a Self-Managed Super Funds and family discretionary trusts.

John has been a director of a building supply business and a director of other small businesses, and as a result, has an acute understanding of the needs of business clients. He was a board member of the local branch of the YMCA and has acted for licenced clubs.

John’s experience in conveyancing includes acting for developers on staged strata and land developments, and also for a retirement village operator.

He also brings to McDonald Johnson his very experienced legal staff, Sharon Derwin, Sandra Hooper, and Karen Barry.

Outside of work John enjoys spending time with family, sailing, swimming, kiteboarding & surfing (badly) and had a short stint at gliding at Warkworth.

Lee-Anne Dimmock

Senior Lawyer BEc, LLB, Dip Leg Prac

Lee-Anne Dimmock has over 18 years’ experience practising in the following core areas:

  • Property & Development;
  • Business succession & Estate Planning;
  • Corporate Law; and
  • Commercial Law.

    Lee-Anne’s expertise and understanding of the interplay of the above practice areas allows her to provide her clients with in-depth knowledge and practical advice.

    Due to her knowledge, diligence, appreciation of commercial considerations and proactive approach, Lee-Anne has recent experience acting for a number of developers in mixed use strata and stratum construction projects.  Lee-Anne’s high level skills are evident in her pragmatic advice on subdivision strategy and titling considerations, drafting of project specific special conditions, by-laws, easements and management statements and liaising with project consultants to ensure a co-ordinated approach for the developer.

    Lee-Anne has a niche area of practice assisting clients with their business succession and estate planning needs.  By reviewing a client’s existing superannuation and life policies, trust arrangements and business interests, Lee-Anne assists to cut through any confusion for clients when considering estate and non-estate succession planning.  She also encourages open communication with a client’s accountant and/or financial planner to break down any barriers a client may feel to ensure a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach between advisers.

    Lee-Anne’s experience includes implementing intellectual property protection strategies, banking and finance structuring, due diligence for business acquisitions and commercial litigation.

    Peter Owens

    Special Counsel BA, LLB

    Peter has practised as a Solicitor in Newcastle since 1980.

    Areas of law in which Peter has significant experience include:

    • All aspects of buying, selling and leasing residential, commercial and industrial properties;
    • Land development and subdivision including easements and covenants;
    • Strata title development and management;
    • Old System title and conversion and Crown Land dealings;
    • Residential and commercial developments;
    • Assistance with relocation of executives of a number of listed Public Companies in NSW;
    • Estate planning;
    • Estate administration; and
    • Elder law.

    Over time Peter has acted for a number of Listed Public Companies as well as major property developers in Newcastle and the Hunter region.

    Presently Peter is a Board member of Northern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, having been appointed to this position by the NSW Government.

    Andrew Johnson

    Special Counsel BEc, LLB

    Andrew was admitted as a solicitor in 1987.

    He practises in the area of Estate Planning including Wills, Testamentary Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardians. 

    With superannuation becoming increasingly important as a financial resource for many, Andrew strongly believes in liaising closely with clients’ financial advisors when reviewing their estate planning needs.

    As one of the earlier practitioners in the area to become accredited by the Law Society of New South Wales as a specialist in property law, Andrew has extensive experience in residential and commercial conveyancing, commercial and retail leasing, and has a particular interest in Old System title.

    Anna Shelly

    Lawyer BComn (Dist), LLB, Dip Leg Prac

    Anna commenced practise with the firm in 2015, gaining a wealth of experience in a variety of practise areas including commercial litigation, family law, debt recovery, family provision claims, personal injury and insurance litigation.

    Shortly after joining the firm, Anna pursued her passion for family law and began focusing her practise on assisting parties navigating the often-stressful family law process.

    Anna is adept at providing practical, easy to understand advice and at negotiating speedy and positive outcomes for her clients. She is a skilled writer and an empathetic ear.  

    Anna regularly appears in family matters before the Newcastle Family and Federal Circuit Courts and civil matters before both Newcastle Local and District Courts and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Anna can also accept Agency matters in these jurisdictions at short notice.

    Kate Horton

    Lawyer BAborStud, LLB, GDLP

    Kate has been working exclusively in the area of family law for the past 9 years. She was admitted as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia in 2017.

    Prior to her admission, she spent a number of years working as a Judge’s Associate in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, working closely with one of our current residing Judges. During these years she obtained unique insight into the Courts’ approach in family law proceedings as well as extensive exposure to family law advocacy. She also gained a deeper understanding of the emotional and practical challenges faced by people going through separation, as well as alternative approaches to resolving family law issues other than litigation.

    Since being admitted Kate has proven her own abilities as a skilled family law practitioner and advocate. Kate frequently appears in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in all range of family law matters.

    Tim Brook

    Lawyer BCom, LLB(Hons)

    Before becoming a Lawyer, Tim was an Economist and Senior Policy Advisor with the Victorian State Government in Melbourne. He became an expert in energy policy and worked as the inaugural Policy Manager for the Clean Energy Council before roles in commercial contract, pricing and regulation at ASX listed Mercury Energy (Auck) and Horizon Power (Perth).

    Tim was most recently a lawyer with the Civil Division of Legal Aid NSW where he conducted a wide range of litigation, especially in consumer and employment law.

    Tim joins the commercial litigation team of McDonald Johnson where he assists clients with complex disputes in commercial and contract matters.

    Tim has experience appearing in NCAT, Local Court, District and the Supreme Court and is always looking for client-focused, practical resolutions to commercial disputes.

    Jared Resevsky

    Lawyer BBus, LLB

    Jared completed his combined degree at the University of Newcastle in 2016 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2018.

    Prior to joining McDonald Johnson in 2018, Jared worked at a multinational business services consultancy firm in Newcastle as a Tax Consultant.

    Jared assists Craig Doyle with commercial litigation and conveyancing.

    Maybe you'd like to know more?

    Choosing a Newcastle lawyer can feel a bit daunting. Here are some common questions. If you want to speak with one of our friendly team members, please get in touch.

    McDonald Johnson Lawyers has a team of Newcastle solicitors specialising in family law, property, commercial, wills, estates, civil litigation, building & construction & more. See our ‘Services’ page for more information.

    It’s our desire to provide outstanding results for our clients. This has contributed to our long-lasting success for over 100 years.

    Our ‘best people’ are not only recruited for their technical ability, but for their industry understanding and for their approach to doing business.

    We pride ourselves on being flexible and pro-active which enables us to build open and honest relationships with each other and our clients. We allow our people to be individuals, express opinions and contribute to outcomes for clients.

    We have a real commitment to our people who in turn have a real commitment to our clients.

    McDonald Johnson is committed to providing solutions to client’s problems and to giving practical and accurate advice.  We recognise that clients require this advice promptly, at a realistic cost and that their affairs and all information they disclose to us be maintained confidentially.

    The Lawyers at McDonald Johnson are accessible to their clients and stand by the legal recommendations they make.

    By engaging McDonald Johnson, clients create a lifetime relationship with lawyers who can assist and support them with all legal matters.

    We recognise that our people are our most valuable resource and the principals of the firm endeavour to display leadership and management skills.

    We provide an enjoyable working environment, encourage continued training or education and we reward staff so that we keep the best people in our business.

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