Meet our team

DEENA PALETHORPE

Senior Associate

Deena is an empathetic and dedicated family lawyer who is familiar with all areas of family law, including property settlements (both married and de facto couples), matters involving complex financial and corporate structures and third-party issues, parenting matters (domestic and internationally), binding financial agreements, child support and divorce. Deena is attuned to the needs of her clients and whilst she has extensive experience in litigated matters, she is dedicated to working collaboratively with clients and her colleagues to resolve matters as quickly, efficiently and pragmatically as possible. Deena has a genuine desire to achieve the best possible non-litigated outcomes for her clients and provides practical and relevant solutions to achieve that. Deena involves her clients in this process so that they are part of the decision making matrix and can take control and agency over the outcome of their family law matters. In her experience, Deena has found this imperative for any agreements to endure.

Deena’s passion for family law has been present since well before her admission as a lawyer. As part of her university studies, she completed a research thesis looking into court based outcomes for the 0 to 4 age group and worked as a Paralegal in a boutique family law firm at the time. Prior to joining Holmes Donnelly & Co, Deena worked as an Associate to a Judge in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and as a solicitor in a number of leading Sydney-based specialist family law firms and completed a Masters of Law (Family Law).

Outside of the office, Deena is very involved in the family law community and holds numerous professional memberships and appointments including as Chair of the New South Wales Young Lawyers Family Law Committee, Young Lawyer Representative on the Law Society of New South Wales Family Law Issues Committee and as the Young Lawyer Representative for the Greater Sydney Family Law Pathways Network. Deena is also a member of the Family Law Section and was recently appointed as Secretary and Executive Councillor of New South Wales Young Lawyers.

As a result of this experience, Deena has had the opportunity to be a part of policy advocacy in family law, including being a member of working groups in 2018 commenting on the Discussion Paper for the Australian Law Reform Commission Review of the Family Law System, in 2020 as Chair of the working group commenting on the Federal Government’s Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence and recently providing submissions to the Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control in response to the Inquiry into coercive control in domestic relationships. Deena is currently a member of Law Society Committee providing submissions to the second interim report released by the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System.

Deena has chaired and spoken on numerous professional development seminars, including the seminar looking at the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s response to technology in light of COVID-19, and a panellist on the Women’s Legal Service seminar looking at the current inquiries, reforms and the future of family law.

Deena was recognised as a Rising Star in Family Law in the 2019 edition of the Doyle’s Guide and holds Specialist Accreditation in Family Law.

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