Our Purpose

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Our Purpose

We are all about sharing knowledge, stories, experiences and ambitions so that together we can build something bigger than ourselves and better than what came before.

We want to build knowledge with you.

Whether property and construction is your primary enterprise or one of its many components, we consider your interests in the context of your whole business, your strategic plan and tactical advantages.

Our work centres on property, development, construction and business. Our advice is focused and straightforward. Our business is flexible and strong. We know what you want from a lawyer because we have sat on the client side of the table.

We love what we do and we’re doing things a little differently. Most of all, we want you to succeed. Let us help you get where you’re trying to go.

Big Projects, Cool Little Capital

We have a strong background in large and complex projects. As lawyers and development managers, we have been involved in:

  • medium and high density residential projects
  • shopping centre and retail assets
  • multi-tenant commercial assets including their development, acquisition, refurbishment and redevelopment
  • mixed-use precinct developments
  • development of quality, safety and compliance systems for developers and builders

The key to success in major projects and large businesses is understanding your reason for doing it. We keep communications open so that we understand where you’re headed, why you’re going and how we can help you get there.

Your drive for excellence is demonstrated in high quality, safe and happy projects. To help you achieve this in your business and on every project, we plan ahead, develop systems and processes that will actually work with your business, manage your documentation, assess possible risks and delay, and provide timely advice.

We bring this thinking even to small projects and boutique businesses because we believe in doing property this way. We want you to have the tools to deliver profitable projects and enjoy doing it.

Strong and Flexible, Like a Reed in the Wind

We are a living and breathing flexible workplace. We don’t keep standard business hours. Instead we are happy to be available when and where our clients need us. Please let us know how, where and when you like to work!

We treat our team like our clients. We recognise each of our team members is dedicated, specialised and love what they do. We also know that everyone’s life is different and that we can foster serious success by trusting our team to hold the space for their work in a way that fits their life. We encourage our team to work when they are at their peak, in a place and mode that best suits them.

Reports show that 72% of Australians don’t take appropriate rest breaks from their work. Rest is essential for effectiveness at work. And because our work is understanding your business and protecting it against significant risks, we know you care that we are rested, cared for and working at our peak.

When we are at our peak, we can make better assessments and decisions, think more creatively and get more done in less time. Prioritising all our clients’ interests underpins our fixed fee guarantee, our focus on fostering connections amongst our networks and achieving excellence in our work.

It’s not the way law firms usually operate. But then again, we’re not your usual law firm.

Fixed Fee Guarantee

At Morris Legal Group, our focus is outcomes for clients. Unlike other law firms, we don’t bill you for our time. We don’t even record our time, if we can help it. We proudly offer fixed fees so that you have certainty over your spend.

Our clients are industry professionals who are used to assessing a project, providing a program and a price, coming to an agreement and just getting on with doing the job. We believe that legal work can be delivered in the same way. We believe that you should receive agreed outcomes without the constant worry about whether the clock is running.

Most of our areas of work allow us to take the problem of hourly billing out of the picture all together. Our ongoing relationship with our clients and our understanding of the industry allows us to understand the requested job, identify likely risks, and agree a project plan and price for the work.

You can also be assured that your project is the one we are pricing, not something else you cannot see. You can rest assured in the knowledge that we are independently owned, with a policy of no kickbacks to referrers.

In select instances, a matter will call for hourly billing, such as estate administration or highly complex commercial dispute negotiations. If this happens, we will tell you up front and provide you with a clear estimate and our hourly rates. If the estimate changes or we can fix our fees at any stage, we will tell you straight away.

Our promise to you: you are always in control. We will never invoice you for work for which you did not know the price.

Beyond Lawyering

In addition to excellence in legal services, by engaging Morris Legal Group you can benefit from:

  • Practical exposure to property development expertise in the ACT and NSW
  • Existing networks and experience with authorities and local government procedures
  • Fixed prices where we control or understand the risks of the transaction
  • Access to a broad network of consultants, advisors and fellow industry participants suitable to your business

Meet Our TEAM

Each team member at Morris Legal Group is dedicated to their area of practice, ensuring your advisors are engaged and focussed on your business.
Louise Morris

Louise believes that sharing knowledge and experiences is fundamental to building the future of Canberra and the success of her clients.

Louise is driven to continuously learn and improve the practice of law and the way we do business.

Louise is the only Canberra-based property and construction lawyer who has developed large scale mixed-use, commercial and residential property. During her seven years as Director of Development at Morris Property Group, Louise:

  • delivered 1,000 residential units in Canberra in residential and mixed-use projects
  • managed complex retail and commercial assets including through refurbishment and redevelopment
  • authored, developed and implemented a quality assurance system for Morris Property Group’s developments nationally
  • managed Morris Property Group’s internal documentation including procedures, construction contracts and risk management tools
  • provided in-house legal support to the development and construction teams

Louise is a recipient of the Australian Property Institute’s Young Achiever Award for her service to the property industry and her work at Morris Property Group.

Since returning to practice in 2016, Louise’s focus is assisting her clients to realise growth and scale quickly by bringing a commercial approach to the technical application of the law. Louise also provides development management services and advice on business operations and project delivery systems, project finance and strategic planning.

Louise’s work towards establishing Morris Legal Group as a top Canberra law firm has been recognised in the Doyle’s Guide list of leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers in the ACT:

  • Louise Morris – Recommended by Doyle’s Guide, Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers – Canberra, 2020 & 2021
  • Morris Legal Group – Recommended by Doyle’s Guide, Leading Property & Real Estate Firms – Canberra, 2020 & 2021

Louise is a Canberra tragic and supports local businesses, innovators, producers and artists, including through Morris Legal Group's "Seat at the Salon" collaboration with Salon Canberra.

An avid handknitter, Louise’s favourite fibres and yarns are locally grown or dyed.

Louise Morris
Emmanuel Ametowanou

Emmanuel believes that problems exist for the purpose of being solved.

As an accountant with an obsession for the digital revolution of business, and driven by bringing success to our clients, Emmanuel brings a unique mix of skills to our tight knit team.

Whether you’re contacting Morris Legal Group for the first time or have an enquiry about the administration of your matter, Emmanuel will be there to support you.

Emmanuel takes pride in relating the real life experience of our clients to the procedural and legal work that our firm performs, so that he can connect with and serve our clients at the highest level.

With over a decade of international experience with high-growth multinationals, Emmanuel is challenging us to grow and diversify our thinking as legal professionals while spearheading our ongoing compliance maintenance.

Emmanuel is also a musician. He composes, records and promotes his very own brand of soul music – a deep salve for the busy world we live in today.

Emmanuel Ametowanou
Trust & Accounts Officer
Connor Armstrong

Connor believes the work we do is important to you… and that’s why it matters that we do it well.

Connor is driven to connect with people and really understand where they’re coming from. He gets that when you come to see us, it's often the cumlination of months or years of planning and anticipation on your part.

Despite being a self-confessed introvert, Connor loves interacting with clients and finds satisfaction in working together to help materialise their goals. As a current law student in his third year of studies, Connor brings to our team his experience in retail, a ‘can do’ attitude and the drive to assist clients to have a positive experience from the outset.

When not helping out the team at Morris Legal Group, studying or working on his Japanese, Connor likes to unwind with a cup of tea and some video games – particularly RPG’s and rhythm games. Nothing like some strategic planning followed by button mashing to relieve some tension!

Connor Armstrong
Jessie Armstrong

Jessie believes that we should all be able to depend on each other.

A rite of passage for many law students is clerking at a firm while studying. Jessie has approached this as a challenge to conquer, rather than a box to tick, and has become a dependable member of our team along the way.

Jessie has already racked up enviable experience in project conveyancing and unit titling, and is the unofficial custodian of Morris Legal Group’s ongoing tech augmentation program.

Despite studying law and working at a law firm, Jessie still loves to read and makes time for a good book in her downtime. Yoga and fitness are very important to Jessie and she sets a fantastic example to the rest of us that looking after yourself really should be a priority.

Jessie Armstrong
Holly Boyd

Holly believes that she’s got one job. To get your deal done, with a smile.

Holly has been running residential and commercial property transactions as a paralegal and admitted solicitor for so long and with such efficiency that we have dubbed her the Deal Queen. Every matter is important. Every detail deserves attention. Every deadline is met. The combination of her knowledge, proficiency and her calmness under pressure are almost frightening.

Holly’s qualifications and experience span residential conveyancing through to commercial transactions and complex property restructures across ACT and NSW. Holly has worked in a range of legal services environments, from the battlefield of hardline NewLaw through to a traditional mid-size firm. Holly says of this experience, “It doesn’t matter what kind of firm you are at, the clients are always at the centre of your work, and I love helping them at such an important time as buying or selling a property."

Holly is a self-confessed crazy cat lady (but she is holding her own in our dog-friendly office) and loves living the life of a Canberra urbanist, with her beautiful and prolific apartment garden.

Holly Boyd
Fee Knights

Fee believes in getting the job done with a minimum of fuss.

Fee is one of a kind. Fee is one of the ACT's few women firefighters and is absolutely dedicated to her work. With over 10 years' experience as a legal support professional and paralegal prior to joining the ACTFB, Fee enjoys a spot of moonlighting at Morris Legal Group when she's not on shift, resting or spending time with her family.

Fee provides vital support to our crew, getting your conveyancing done and your wills witnessed. As a lover of process and procedure, Fee will ensure that every step of your matter is complete and ticked off.

We don't know how she fits it all in, but Fee professes a love of baking and will often bring little indulgences in to the office.

Fee Knights
Matthew Millwood

Matthew believes that precision is the hallmark of quality.

As a Chartered Accountant with 13 years’ experience in business advisory, insolvency and internal audit, Matthew is a natural problem solver with a keen understanding of business fundamentals. As its Business Manager, Matthew’s mission is to help build Morris Legal Group stronger and more flexible into the future.

Spearheading strategic direction, systems, compliance and operations, Matthew ensures that the team has everything they need to focus on giving our clients their best property journey ever.

In his downtime, Matthew is a keen musician and hobby woodworker – two loves which he has combined to start making his very own guitars.

Matthew Millwood
Business Manager
Sandra Phan

Sandra believes in the importance of a positive outlook.

With years of customer service experience under her belt, Sandra finds satisfaction in being a personable and friendly first point of contact for our clients wherever they are on their property journey.

In her final year of a Law and Commerce degree, Sandra brings her knowledge of the law and love of customer service to create a seamless experience for our clients. Sandra understands the needs of clients can vary greatly and takes pride in understanding their situation to ensure those needs are met.

Sandra takes this passion for engaging with others to new heights with her multilingual abilities. Fluent in English and Vietnamese, proficient in conversational Japanese and slowly building her skills in Korean and Mandarin, Sandra has phrased her ambition as being ‘to speak as many languages as I have fingers on one hand… for now!’

Sandra Phan
Cooper Shaw

Cooper believes that personalising every journey is key to a supported and straightforward client experience.

An entrepreneur at heart, Cooper has experience in managing a small design group and is also working towards his Law degree at university. In his role as Concierge, Cooper is keen to work collaboratively with clients and the rest of our team to ensure goals and deadlines are met, and expectations exceeded.

As Cooper gains experience in the role, he is excited to apply learnings from his studies to deliver results for our clients, no matter the shape or stage of their property journey.

Cooper is an avid snowboarder and enjoys going up to the slopes whenever he gets a chance. Cooper has been lucky enough to live in Switzerland and has experienced the awe-inspiring Swiss Alps first hand. Now he's back in Australia, Cooper loves hitting the slopes at Perisher, which (whilst they aren’t the same) still manage to deliver!

Cooper Shaw
Raina Sinha

Raina believes in providing every client with a seamless yet memorable experience.

A skilled and accomplished practitioner, Raina has set down roots in Canberra after arriving from across the Tasman. Raina builds lasting relationships with her clients to guide them through their various interractions with legal processes over time.

With around 15 years in property law, Raina joins our team to provide expertise in our established practise areas such as conveyancing, off-the-plan and vacant land purchases, building contracts and leasing. Raina also brings knowledge and experience to Morris Legal Group which has enabled us to broaden the services we offer to clients, with the addition of Retirement Living to our repertoire.

Outside of her work, Raina enjoys travelling abroad and taking in culture, scenery, architecture, and delicious local cuisine.

Raina Sinha
Tiarni Smith

Tiarni believes that great support is the foundation of a high performing team.

Tiarni has extensive experience in personal and executive support, accounts, office management and practice management roles across varying fields, including construction, professional services and medical settings. Tiarni prides herself on providing professional, courteous and knowledgeable attention to our clients. She strives to provide a comfortable, friendly, seamless experience to clients and assist to answer any question quickly.

In a former life, Tiarni spent nearly 5 years as a flight attendant for a major airline. Tiarni loves the systems and processes that Morris Legal Group has developed to provide quality assurance in our legal services, and actively works to improve them where needed.

Tiarni says, "Providing legal services is much like preparing an aircraft for flight. Each step in our process has meaning and ensures a successful matter for the client. If we miss even one step, we risk things going wrong or details getting missed. Here, a plane won't fall out of the sky... but as we're dealing in large property transactions, each of those details is extremely important."

Tiarni is a big believer in protecting balance in your life, and she makes rest and rejuvenation a daily habit. Tiarni is a supportive and loyal friend, taking care to enjoy family gatherings, birthday parties, walks, and the hunt for the next great coffee or glass of wine.

Tiarni Smith
Executive Assistant to Louise Morris
Vik Sundar

Vik believes that excellence and potential reside in viewing a business holistically.

As one of Australia’s leading tax and estate planning lawyers, Vik believes in leveraging his knowledge and experience to provide holistic and cost effective business advice. Vik advises his clients on corporate structuring, business law, estate planning and superannuation that most lawyers only provide in isolation of tax considerations.

Vik aims to deliver practical and tailored solutions to clients, which are designed to meet clients’ personal and financial objectives and to provide maximum tax effectiveness, asset protection and flexibility.

Vik’s experience spans the legal and financial services industry, having worked for the Australian Taxation Office, an ASX listed multi-disciplinary financial services firm, a private bank and a boutique tax law firm.

Vik is a regular presenter at leading industry summits on tax and estate planning, is the author of two leading texts on estate planning and testamentary trusts and one of the most widely used testamentary trust precedents in Australia.

Vik Sundar
Special Counsel
Erin Taylor

Erin believes in the value of long term relationships.

Erin brings to Morris Legal Group a wealth of experience in all conveyancing matters, from buying and selling residential homes to large scale developments. Erin enjoys the challenges of a varied practice, taking as much pleasure in updating a developer on their project as she does handing keys to a first-time buyer when they settle on their new home.

You will delight in Erin’s focus and attention to your matter; she not only enjoys meeting client expectations, she strives to exceed them.

In her spare time, Erin enjoys baking and has mastered a mean meringue. Erin has also been involved in the Canberra Burlesque community for 5 years, and loves entertaining on stage.

Erin Taylor
Mel Wallwork

Mel believes that organisation and teamwork are key to closing a successful deal.

Mel works tirelessly in the background of your conveyancing matter to coordinate your bank or broker, the agent and the other party to bring your property purchase or sale to a fuss-free settlement.

Mel’s career in the legal profession has been focussed on the precise and gruelling science of ACT property settlements, both in residential and project conveyancing.

Mel is excited about the possibilities for legal tech, with experience in leading software implementation and a keen eye on changes in e-Conveyancing in Canberra.

Mel brings great empathy to her work. She is studying towards tertiary qualifications in counselling, making her one of the most well-rounded and valuable property professionals we have had the pleasure to work with.

Mel Wallwork
Conveyancing Paralegal