Our Team

Glenn Robert Thompson OAM

Partner
Glenn is acknowledged in Australia as one of the pre-eminent practitioners of Family Law and contributors to its development. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia in 1985. Glenn is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Glenn specialises in all aspects of Family Law including complex property and child related disputes, and has acted for many international clients in various countries in relation to Australian Family Law matters. He has given expert evidence in Family Law.

In 2010 Glenn was awarded the NSW Law Society President’s Medal in recognition of his personal and professional contributions to the betterment of law and justice in NSW.

On 12 June 2017 Glenn was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to Family Law and the Community.

Glenn is a member of the Family Issues Committee of the Law Society of NSW, Chair of the Greater Sydney Family Law Pathways Network, is a member of the College of Law Family Law Advisory Committee, is an Adjunct Lecturer in the College of Law Master of Family Law and is a member of the Specialist Accreditation Family Law Advisory Committee. Glenn was a member of the Steering Committee of the Children’s Cases Program at the Family Court of Australia which produced the current Less Adversarial Trial System and was a member of the organising committee for the 19th National Family Law Conference held in Sydney from 7-10 October 2014. He has provided addresses to delegations of Singapore Judges, the Family Law Council, and the State Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice and has been the Law Society representative on the selection panel for the Department of Community Services.

Glenn has published several articles and lectured on a range of Family Law-related issues and has also been an examiner for the Specialist Accreditation examinations. To view some of his publications, see the “Legal Updates” link on the homepage.

John Francis Chapple

Partner
John specialises in all aspects of Family Law and has extensive experience in complex property and parenting cases. John was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia in 1981 He is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is also a member of the Law Society of NSW and the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and a former member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of NSW. John has previously been a member of the panel of Independent Children’s Lawyers (formerly Separate Representatives) for over 15 years. He has participated in a number of advisory meetings at the request of Judges of the Family Court.

John has acted for many clients both in the United States and Asia-Pacific Region in relation to Australian Family Law matters.

John F Newnham

Consultant
John Newnham, the former senior partner and now consultant, continues to bring to the firm the accumulated wealth of practical experience, knowledge and skills that commenced with the Newnhams firm of solicitors established by his father and uncle over 85 years ago. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 1965. John is a member of the Law Society of NSW and the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and a former member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of NSW.

John has the conduct of complex Family Law matters and, in the collaborative spirit he has fostered within the firm, is available for other members of the firm to consult whenever needed.

Elaine Clarke

Senior Associate
Elaine graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics where she was awarded the University Prize for her achievements in the Family Law unit. Before joining Newnhams in 2014, Elaine worked in a commercial firm for 6 years, prior to and post completion of her degree, where she assisted and was exposed to a variety of matters, with a particular focus on insolvency and bankruptcy law. This experience has proven invaluable in respect of family law matters that include corporate and trust entities/issues.

Elaine has experience in a variety of family law matters including property/financial, spousal maintenance, child support and parenting proceedings that involve multifaceted issues such as; property settlements involving complex corporate and trust structures, third parties and interveners, international aspects including parties/assets/entities that are overseas, multi-jurisdictional issues involving related proceedings in the Federal, Supreme and Criminal Courts, relocation of children and allegations of family violence.

In 2019, Elaine received her Specialist Accreditation in Family Law from the New South Wales Law Society, undertook and became a Collaboratively Trained Lawyer and was named as a Doyle’s Guide ‘Rising Star’ for 2020, as voted by the wider profession.

Marcia Simeone

Associate
Marcia was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 2008 and the High Court of Australia in 2010. Marcia graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, majoring in Politics and International Relations. At the completion of her university studies, Marcia completed a clerkship with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (Corporate Division) in Canberra where she was involved in all aspects of policy and reform work. Following her admission as a solicitor, Marcia worked in a small general practice firm in the Eastern Suburbs where she gained invaluable experience in the areas of family law, wills, estates and conveyancing, later joining the family law team of a larger practice in Chatswood and Parramatta.

Marcia practises exclusively in the area of family law dealing with divorce, property and parenting matters arising from the breakdown of marital and de facto relationships. Marcia joined the family law team at Newnhams Solicitors in 2011 and was appointed as an Associate of the Practice in 2012.

Belinda Nixon

Associate
Belinda was admitted to practice as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 1996.

Prior to specialising in family law, Belinda worked as a solicitor at a commercial law firm in Sydney. During this time Belinda worked in litigation. Her time as a solicitor in a commercial law firm has helped her to develop an empathetic and proactive approach to ensure matters are resolved and solutions reached efficiently, to minimise personal strain for her clients.

After moving from the commercial law firm, Belinda worked in a suburban firm to be closer to her family and developed an interest in family law. Since that time and in her current role, Belinda has been involved in complex family law matters, including contested child relocation cases, property settlement matters involving complex asset pools, and appeals. Belinda regularly appears on behalf of her clients in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.

Belinda’s main focus is on family law, where she assists clients through relationship breakdown, divorce, property settlement, parenting arrangements and associated issues. She also regularly gets involved in Family provision claims and contested will disputes under the Succession Act (NSW) 2006.

Maryann Melhem

Associate
Maryann was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and of the High Court in July 2012. Maryann first practised as a general practitioner, exposing her to various areas of law including family law, commercial law, wills and estates, conveyancing and general civil litigation. As Maryann’s passion for family law grew she began to practice exclusively in family law and has done so since 2014.

Maryann joined the firm in October 2018 and became an Accredited Specialist in family law in November 2019. She takes a holistic and pragmatic approach to each matter, ensuring the most practical outcome for her clients. Whilst Maryann’s skills span across both parenting and property matters, she has a keen interest in complex property matters.

Sarah Grealy

Solicitor
Sarah Graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) in May 2017. During her studies, Sarah was awarded prizes for her achievements in Family Law, Media Law and the Practical Legal Training subject, Legal and Professional Skills. She also took part in the Law Faculty’s High Achiever’s Mentoring Program in 2016, and was fortunate enough to be mentored by a Judge of the Appeals Division of the Family Court of Australia.

Sarah was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in August 2017 and the High Court of Australia in September 2017. She undertook her Practical Legal Training at Newnhams in November 2016, and stayed on as a paralegal before joining the team as a solicitor following her admission.

Sarah practices in family law and wills, probate and estate administration, and facilitates the sale and purchase of property.

Christian Knox

Solicitor
Christian joined Newnhams as a Law Clerk in 2014 and worked with Newnhams throughout his studies. Christian graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice (with Distinction) in 2015 and graduated with a Juris Doctor (with Distinction) in 2018. He was admitted as a solicitor in early 2019.

Following his admission, Christian had a short stint at a commercial law firm where he developed a commercial mindset that he now uses to provide clients with practical advice. Christian re-joined Newnhams in June 2019 and assists clients with both property and parenting family law matters, as well as acting across the firm’s other practice areas.

Christian is an active member of the NSW Young Lawyers Family Law Committee and in 2020 was part of the Committee’s working group to provide submissions to the Federal Parliament’s Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence. Christian also volunteers with Marrickville Legal Centre’s Family Law Advice Clinic.