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Paul Lewis is a Partner in our Private Clients Team, specialising in Family & Relationship Law. He is a leading family and relationship law practitioner, who has also been a practising mediator for 25 years. Paul is an Accredited Specialist in both Family Law and Dispute Resolution.

Paul became an Accredited Specialist in Family Law in 1999 and an Accredited Specialist in Dispute Resolution in 2013. Highly regarded for his technical proficiency and commitment to client care, Paul has expertise across the many areas of family and relationship law as well as evaluative mediation and dispute resolution. Paul actively guides clients in all types of cases, from matters where clients want to reach an early agreement to cases that involve complex parenting and/ or property issues.

Paul became an accredited mediator in 1993 with the Community Justice Program, Queensland. For the next 15 years Paul frequently acted as a community mediator with the Community Justice Centres, NSW before becoming accredited as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner in 2006 when mandatory mediation was introduced in parenting cases. Since 2009 Paul’s mediation practice has shifted to providing evaluative mediation, both in financial cases and parenting cases when parties want a lawyer-mediator to help them avoid a scheduled final hearing before a Judge.

Paul’s experience includes acting as an Independent Children’s Lawyer for eight years. He was an early adopter of Collaborative Law, being in the first Sydney training group in 2005 and an inaugural member of the board of Collaborative Professionals (NSW). Paul served on the Family Law Committee of the NSW Law Society from 1999 to 2016. He continues to serve as an honorary Editorial Consultant for the Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal and currently sits on four committees of the NSW Law Society: the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, the Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee for the Specialist Accreditation Scheme and two regulatory committees.

Specific experience examples

  • Acting for the successful appellant in Vibbard v. Garcia [2012] Fam CAFC 114 which settled the law and procedure in relation to filing urgent family law applications in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
  • Obtaining permission under the family law rules to adduce evidence from an adversarial expert witness who submitted that the single expert had not correctly applied the ‘’key-man’’ discount. The matter settled after the two experts conferred.
  • Acting for the successful caregiver in an intrastate relocation case involving primary school age children. Acting in one of the early surrogacy cases to obtain a Parentage Order under the Surrogacy Act, 2010 (NSW).
  • Regularly mediating family cases where parties have not verbally communicated with each other for a year or more and assisting the parties resume direct communication at the first mediation session. Mediating a variety of financial cases where parties are assisted to reach a binding agreement about their future accommodation, financial support of children and property settlement.
  • Appearances before various Parliamentary committees, including the Senate Committee on the Review of Child Support (2014), NSW Government’s Inquiry into Surrogacy (2008) and the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Certain Family Law Issues (1992).
  • Previously part-time Lecturer in Advanced Family Law and Practical Legal Training, Western Sydney University and Mediation coach at Leadr.
  • Regular seminar presenter on negotiation, mediation and collaborative practice and various media interviews.