Our Covid Plan

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Our Covid Plan

Our Current COVID-19 Safety Arrangements

Our office is open and is accepting deliveries and visitors WITH APPOINTMENTS and where remote meetings are not otherwise possible. Safety measures such as check-in, masking and additional cleaning are in place for safety and comfort.

Transactions are progressing as normal. If you have any questions at all about the progress of your matter, please reach out to us.

We are working in a hybrid arrangement, combining in-office attendance by our team and remote work, to ensure continuity of service to our clients and the community wherever possible while reducing the risk of exposure to the families of our clients and team.

We also have a responsive plan in place in the event that an exposure occurs for one of our team, or or office, which exceeds the requirements and recommendations from ACT Health.

This means that the person responsible for your matter may not be in the office every day. If you need to see us in person, please confirm that is a requirement before making an appointment, to avoid disappointment.

The Morris Legal Group team is ready to convert to a fully remote workforce should another lockdown be implemented.

For full details of the COVID-19 response in the ACT, please visit https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/

To discover more about our flexible workplace journey and our COVID-19 Plan, please see below.

Using our CHARMS – Our Conditions of Entry

The Morris Legal Group team have adopted a new COVID-normal approach to safety at our office which we’re calling CHARMS. We require all attendees at our office (both team and visitors) to comply with the following requirments:

  • Check in using the Check-in CBR app or your Check-in CBR Card. This is mandatory for all staff and visitors.
  • Advise the team ahead of time if you need to attend our office, so that we can consider capacity limits and ensure your practitioner is at the office to assist you.
  • Restrict your time at our office. We love you, but we love minimising potential exposures too.
  • Mask up! This is mandatory for all staff and visitors in our Reception and meeting rooms. We have disposable masks to hand if you’re short.
  • Sanitise early and often. We have handy sanitiser stations around the office and additional cleaning protocols in place.

Please DO NOT attend our office if:

  • You have any symptoms no matter how mild.
  • You have been identified as a HOUSEHOLD, HIGH or MODERATE RISK CONTACT, even if you are not required to isolate at home.
  • You have been to an exposure location in the last 14 days (where notified or published).
  • You are awaiting the return of a PCR test for COVID-19.
  • You are required or have been directed to isolate or quarantine.

If you test positive for COVID-19 within two days of visiting out office, please notify us URGENTLY so that we can take steps to protect our team and other clients.

Thank you for observing our COVIDSafe Policy and using your CHARMS when you visit us. It’s one way we can all promote and practice safety as we move through easing of restrictions.

Our Pathway Foward

While restrictions have eased, the way we offer legal services will continue to be a little different to pre-COVID operations:

    • Remote meetings are preferred and we can host you via Zoom, Teams and telephone. CLICK HERE to book now.
    • Our office is accepting visitors where remote meetings are not possible, and WITH APPOINTMENTS ONLY. We are accepting deliveries
    • Electronic and digital signing will be available where permitted by law.
    • Remote verification of identity will be available where permitted by law.
    • Paper settlements will continue where ACT Government directives continue to allow them and will continue on time, business as usual (subject to bank processing times).
    • PEXA settlements are now available in the ACT for most sales and purchases, and are our preferred method of settlement where possible. The ACT Government reports that as at March 2022, over 38% of conveyances are settling online using the PEXA platform..

We are ready to adjust our practice as restrictions change. If you have any questions at all about the progress of your matter, please reach out to us.

If the ACT returns to lockdown, we will continue to provide a broad array of legal services remotely. Please be aware that, in the past, some legal services have not been deemed essential even if they can only happen in person or on paper for the purposes of the prevailing health directions. If a lockdown is reinstated, we will advise you if your matter is affected by restrictions.

How We Are Working with COVID-19 Risks in 2022

As we now know, a lockdown can occur at any time. Part of life in the time of COVID-19 is also that contacts may be required to isolate at any time, depending on their risk status as defined by the ACT Government. Our team are set up at home with the equipment they need to continue their work for you remotely wherever possible, even if they or you are so affected.

In those circumstances, we will advise you of electronic means of dealing that may be available and able to be used, depending on your circumstances.

Most dealings can progress remotely and we will continue to work with you on your deal wherever possible. We may not be able to provide some services during a lockdown if they are required to be provided in person but are not considered essential for the purposes of the prevailing public health directions. We will resume those in-person and paper-based services as soon as it is lawful and safe to do so.

Members of our team may be working flexibly in order to fulfil their various obligations at home and at work. We recognise that you are probably doing the same. This means you may receive an email from one of us at a time that you have not set aside for that task.

We encourage you to not feel obliged to respond before you are next available to do so. Alternatively, if your circumstances mean that you’d like assistance outside of usual business hours, please let us know so that we can find a mutually convenient time to discuss your matter.

Law In The Time Of COVID-19

You are assured a safe and certain deal whatever your legal needs during the time of COVID-19, because we take your access to legal services during this time seriously. Work can progress for you remotely, with:

The Flexible Workplace Journey

Morris Legal Group was founded on the idea that we could provide high quality legal services to the community without relying on the traditional law firm model. We put the old law playbook in the bin and started as a remote firm.

During the first months of the firm, this meant we were free to work where we were most useful. Whether it was in a client’s office in Canberra or interstate, in the forests of the National Botanical Gardens or the National Arboretum, or at home… our focus was on our best work for clients.

While we soon found a home in a permanent office, as we built the team our dedication to strong and flexible workplace practices never wavered. Working at client offices or at home remained the norm, and every single team member is issued with tech to enable them to achieve that.

Pandemic Puts Us To The Test

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were confident that our remote work ethos would assist us to continue to serve Canberra, whatever was thrown at us. One day in 2020, we put our laptops in our bags to go home as usual, but we didn’t return to the office the next. And we didn’t miss a beat, or a deal.

Despite the effects of the pandemic shifting and changing, we returned to the office with new appreciation for the flexibility we have granted ourselves. We understood that we may be required to return home to work at any time, and we were ready for that challenge when it arrived in August 2021.

Our COVID-19 Plan

Your safety and that of our team are paramount. While our office is operating, we will continue to comply with all government directives concerning our office and visitors to it.

You can be confident of your safety because:

  • we have taken additional office space to ensure a safe work environment
  • Symptoms = Sick Leave policy enforced for all team members no matter their role
  • extra cleaning protocols are in place
  • hand sanitiser is available throughout our office
  • you must use the Check In CBR App when visiting us
  • capacity limits are observed in all areas within our office
  • masks are worn in all meetings and our reception area by both team and visitors
  • social distancing is totally a thing here (even though some of us are huggers)
  • remote meetings remain our preferred way to meet with you
  • we are ready to change our work habits at any time, including in the event of a lockdown, without interruption to your services

During the pandemic, we have proven that we are a tech-augmented rubber band ball of law, love and life. We are dedicated to our continued care for you and your property journey, come whatever may.

If you have any questions at all, be sure to get in touch!

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
  • Principal Director responsible for Property at firms recognised by Doyle’s Guide, Leading Property & Real Estate Firms – Canberra: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022

Louise is a Canberra tragic and supports local businesses, innovators, producers , artists, including through Morris Legal Group's "Seat at the Salon" collaboration with Salon Canberra. Louise also proudly launched an annual collaboration with Lifeline Canberra in the Christmas Giving Tree, after the COVID-19 pandemic shifted suicide support services permanently to the frontline.

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

Louise Morris
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
Managing Associate
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 interactions 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
Managing Associate
Maximillian Astner

Max believes that every client should be comfortable and confident on their property journey.

With extensive experience in customer service both in and out of law firms, Max understands that engaging with law firms can be an intimidating task. With this always in mind, Max strives to make every client’s journey more comfortable by putting a smile on their face!

Max is diligently working towards completing his law degree at university and is keen to apply his knowledge from his studies to his work at the firm. In Max's role as Concierge, he enjoys interacting with clients and introducing them to the legal process while assisting our lawyers in solving problems to achieve the best outcomes.

Growing up in Germany, Max has always enjoyed all sports involving the snow! Max prefers to go down the slopes in a pair of skis, and when he's not at the snow he's busy cooking up some of his own culinary creations, which he loves to pair with just the right glass of wine.

Maximillian Astner
Gabrielle de Ramos

Gabrielle believes all clients deserve a hassle free property experience.

With three years as a general administrator for a combat gym under her belt as well as some serious hospitality experience, Gabrielle loves delivering a high standard of client care.

Gabrielle understands that coming to a solicitor for the first time (just like joining a new gym!) can be daunting, and that a friendly welcome and heaps of information is key to a comforting visit with our team. Gabrielle strives for her interactions to leave clients happy and informed.

A voracious learner with a passion for mastering new skills whilst simultaneously helping people along the way, Gabrielle provides exceptional support to her team. Gabrielle’s role encompasses administrative and legal support to the Director, communications and coordination of culture and events for the team.

Gabrielle is also a university student and competitive Muay Thai fighter. When not assisting clients and teammates at Morris Legal Group, studying at university or competing, Gabrielle can be found at the gym. Gabrielle is either training for her next match or coaching children and adults in Muay Thai, helping them become fitter, stronger and more confident.

Gabrielle de Ramos
Executive Assistant
Terry Elson

Terry believes that a bright outlook is key to creating exceptional experiences.

Originally hailing from South Africa, Terry brings over 17 years of experience in the transactional property sphere, before accumulating an additional 5 years in legal practice. With an extensive knowledge of the intricacies involved in property sale and lease transactions on both sides of the table, Terry is a true asset to our team.

Terry prides himself on his ability to continually learn and implement new skills. His successful transition from a property agent to an admitted lawyer is a testament to his commitment and determination. Terry's favourite part of the job is witnessing the transformative moment when a stressed-out client finds peace of mind through his role in a transaction. Recognising that a property transaction occupies a significant portion of a person's headspace, Terry strives to enhance the customer experience through expert advice and guidance. Terry's unique upbeat and personal style adds to the already awesome client-focused culture of Morris Legal Group.

Outside of work, Terry leads an active lifestyle. He is an avid runner and recently accomplished an impressive feat by completing a 90km road running ultra-marathon in South Africa. He also indulges in his love for LEGO, which reflects his creative and detail-oriented nature.

Terry Elson
Project Leasing Coordinator
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
Claudia Maruca

Claudia believes in empowering clients through personalised and compassionate support.

Claudia is one of our dedicated conveyancing paralegals, with years of valuable experience in the legal field and currently finishing her law degree. She started her journey in family law, assisting with property matters, and later found her passion in conveyancing before joining Morris Legal Group.

Working in family law has provided Claudia with valuable insights into the personal side of property transactions. She understands the value and importance of a sensitive and individualised approach to each client. Claudia firmly believes that positive client relationships are built on being focused, approachable, and fostering a personal connection, ensuring clients feel cared for and supported throughout the process.

Open communication is at the core of Claudia's approach, and she encourages clients to ask any questions without hesitation, knowing that no query is ever too trivial. As a dedicated professional, she aims to ease the process of buying or selling properties, ensuring that clients are well-informed and empowered every step of the way.

Beyond her work, Claudia has a deep love for Australian muscle cars. As a proud owner of a 5.7L WK Statesman, which was a summernats 35 entrant, she embodies her passion for these iconic vehicles. Her dream car, a green Mustang GT500 Shelby, reflects her admiration for classic automotive beauty.

Claudia Maruca
Conveyancing Paralegal
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 assisting clients in their property journey with her friendly and confident approach.

As an admitted solicitor to the Supreme Court of the ACT, 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. Cooper has held a number of roles within the Morris Legal Group team and is now holding the position of Paralegal in anticipation of the completion of his studies.

Cooper works collaboratively with clients and the rest of our team to ensure goals and deadlines are met, and expectations exceeded. Cooper is excited to apply learnings from his studies to real world legal scenarios, and 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 firsthand. 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
Sarah Sillick

Sarah believes that care and understanding is the cornerstone of meaningful connection.

Sarah's journey in the property industry encompasses various aspects of buying and selling. She has served as an administrative assistant for a property development company and worked as a personal assistant to a mortgage broker before joining Morris Legal Group. Her versatility and adaptability in different roles highlight her ability to learn and excel in new skills.

What sets Sarah apart is her unwavering helpfulness. Coming from a hospitality background, she embraces the motto, "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean." Always seeking to keep herself busy, Sarah goes above and beyond by proactively assisting her team with any tasks they may need help with. Her lively and playful nature, coupled with her diligent work ethic, brings a delightful energy to our office.

Sarah enjoys a diverse collection of hobbies and interests. Not only has she watched the entire Grey's Anatomy show three times over and finds great comfort in music. She also has a passion for riding horses. Sarah finds joy and tranquility in spending time with these majestic animals and exploring the beautiful outdoors on horseback.

Sarah Sillick
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