Our Lawyers



Cathie Blanchfield

Cathie was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in July 1988.

She commenced practice in a busy suburban family law firm, undertaking a wide variety of family law and related work. In January 1996 she commenced as Senior Associate at Stuart Fowler & Associates (as it then was) and was appointed a Partner in 2000.

Cathie has practised exclusively in family law and related areas since admission. Over the years her work has focussed on primarily financial and property matters for married, de-facto and same sex couples. She regularly advises in matters involving complex financial arrangements. She has written and presented papers on the relationship between bankruptcy and family law, and binding financial agreements.

At the same time Cathie has extensive experience in parenting matters.

While the majority of a family lawyer's work may be at the end of the relationship, Cathie has also drafted and advised many clients on cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements under the Family Law Act and the Property (Relationships) Act.

Cathie is widely recognised for a sensible and pragmatic approach in her family law matters, and wherever possible will encourage effective settlement negotiations and alternative dispute resolution procedures.

Cathie has written and presented many papers on family law issues for members of the profession undertaking continuing legal education. She was for many years a member and, later, the Convenor of the Family Law Section of the City of Sydney Law Society. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and a member of Law Asia.

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Nigel Nicholls

Nigel Nicholls was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in 1990 and in England and Wales in 2004 and has, since admission, practised almost exclusively in family law. From 1997 to 1999 Nigel was appointed a Registrar and Mediator of the Family Court of Australia, before returning to private practice as a Partner of Stuart Fowler & Partners.

In 2004, Nigel practised in the United Kingdom as an associate with Taylor Vinters Solicitors in Cambridge, a general commercial and litigation practice of 100 partners and solicitors, in the specialist family law team. Nigel is one of the few Australian practitioners who has practised and is an experienced family lawyer in both Australia and England. While in the UK, Nigel trained and practised collaborative family law, becoming probably the first Australian solicitor to use this innovative style of dispute resolution.

Nigel's practice has focused on larger and complex privately funded property and children's applications before the Family Court of Australia, including matters involving complex structures and international family law practice.

Nigel has been a part-time lecturer and tutor at the University of Technology, Sydney, lecturing the undergraduate programme in family law and conducting seminars in the graduate programme in legal practice, including negotiation techniques, mediation skills and court presentation.

In 2000, Nigel was a member of the NSW Law Society Family Law Committee and in 2002 was appointed a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and has acted as the President of its Asia Pacific Chapter. Nigel is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Practice and a member of that organisation's Australia and South East Asia Committee. He is the convenor of the Central Sydney Collaborative Forum. Nigel is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and a member of the Law Council's Collaborative Law Committee. Nigel speaks and can take instructions in German.

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Tijana Petkovic

Tijana Petkovic was appointed a Director of Blanchfield Nicholls Partners on 1 July 2016.

Tijana has worked in family law for 10 years.  As well as working in private practice, Tijana was a Legal Associate at the Family Court of Australia assisting judges during trials and appeals, undertaking research, editing judgements in family law matters, all of which gave her a detailed understanding of the Court's workings behind the scenes and how to prepare matters for clients in the most effective way.

Tijana has experience in a variety of parenting and property maters, including matters with significant asset pools, complex business structures, spouse maintenance claims, child abuse and child sexual abuse matters, overseas relocation and matters pursuant to The Hague Child Abduction Convention. Tijana has a special interest in matters with international elements including matters where jurisdiction is in dispute, assets held across other jurisdictions and where a parent wants to relocate with the child overseas.  Many of Tijana's clients are based overseas.  Tijana also works closely with family lawyers who are based in other jurisdictions, to assist their mutual clients.

Whilst Tijana regularly appears in the Family Court, Federal Circuit Court and the Supreme Court and is a strong and confident litigator, she also appears in mediations and is trained in Collaborative Law.  Tijana offers clients practical and cost effective solutions to their family law problems, and understands that litigation should be used as a last resort.

Tijana is a member of the Family Law Section of The Law Council of Australia, the Women Lawyers Assocation of NSW and is on the committee of Women's Nexus - a business and professional women's networking organisation.

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John Baxter

John Baxter has worked in wills and estates matters and family law for almost 30 years. He has extensive experience and specialises in advising clients in relation to wills and estate administration issues, bequest issues, testamentary capacity, cy-pres schemes (in particular for charities), and family provision matters. He also has considerable experience acting in litigation in relation to contested wills and estates and family provision matters.

John also undertakes a range of family law work and has very broad experience advising on property settlement and children’s issues, de facto relationships, financial agreements and divorces.

John also advises in relation to codes of practice and governance issues and procedures for charities and not-for-profits.

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Marina Chin

Marina was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in February 2007 and to the High Court of Australia in May 2008. Marina holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology from the University of Sydney. Additionally Marina was awarded a Masters of Law & Legal Practice from the University of Technology in 2007.

Marina has worked exclusively with other family law specialist firms since 2006 and has experience in complex property and parenting matters, divorce, and child support matters.

Marina joined Blanchfield Nicholls Partners in January 2013.

Marina was appointed a Senior Associate from 1 July 2016

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Caitlin has worked exclusively in the area of family law since 2011, first as a paralegal and, following her admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia as a solicitor in private practice.

Caitlin has extensive experience in relation to parenting disputes, and has represented clients in complex matters involving recovery orders, child abuse allegations, and matters where children were being cared for primarily by a person other than a parent. She has also represented clients in financial matters including property settlements and spouse maintenance applications, and child support and child maintenance applications.

Caitlin is able to assist with surrogacy matters, including domestic surrogacy arrangements in New South Wales and around Australia, and in relation to international surrogacy.

Caitlin has regularly appeared in the Family Court of Australia and in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. She is also confident appearing in mediations and enjoys assisting clients to resolve their family law issues without the intervention of the Court.

Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Macquarie University.

Caitlin was appointed a Senior Associate from 1 July 2018.

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Anthony Shaw

Anthony holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Macquarie University.  Whilst studying, Anthony worked with the Family Law Court system helping to develop his knowledge and passion in family law.

Prior to joining Blanchfield Nicholls Partners in June 2018, Anthony worked as an associate to judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.  During his time Anthony was exposed to a wide variety of family law matters and gained a thorough understanding of Court processes and procedure.

Anthony was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in March 2018 and the High Court of Australia in July 2018.

Anthony supports Blanchfield Nicholls senior lawyers and clients across a wide variety of family law matters.

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