Melissa is the Principal and a Senior Family Lawyer at Maeve O’Brien & Associates. She is a qualified Collaborative Practitioner. Melissa formerly worked at Patten Robins Lawyers and led the Family Law Department.
Melissa has over 15 years’ experience practising in Family Law, having worked at a variety of mid and small tier specialist and general legal practices in the CBD and suburbs.
She has extensive experience in all aspects of Family Law for married and de facto couples. She regularly appears for clients at the Federal Circuit and Family Courts, as well as at mediations, collaborations, and other out-of-court negotiation meetings. Being a qualified Collaborative Lawyer, Melissa can help families move through the breakdown of a relationship in a non-adversarial and future-focused way, where this separation option is appropriate and desirable.
Melissa’s focus is on separation and divorce without Court, wherever possible.
Her objective is to achieve the best legal outcome for her clients in a respectful and pragmatic way, with an emphasis on realistic and cost-effective solutions. She prides herself on delivering client service of the highest quality, with great diligence and a genuine personal touch.
Melissa holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Law and Arts from The University of Melbourne. She has also completed a post-graduate legal unit in Collaborative Practice at Monash University and additional training in Collaborative Practice with MELCA.
Melissa is a committee member of the Victorian Association of Collaborative Professionals (VACP), and a member of Victorian Women Lawyers (VWL) and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Outside of work, Melissa is an active parent and a passionate choral and ensemble singer. She is a member, committee member and Secretary of the Australian Chamber Choir.
“Melissa is a highly experienced and capable adviser, who provides a really useful blend of legal and practical insight quite rare, even among the most experienced and dedicated lawyers. I also found her to be diligent in attending to the small details, while never losing sight of the big picture of the outcomes I was seeking to achieve, all while bringing sensitivity, compassion and humour to her daily work. I would not hesitate to recommend her to any legal task or brief, large or small.”
“I always feel so reassured after speaking with you. You may not realise it, but you have helped me save my mental health. I would never have expected to find someone who is so supportive and frank, who just pushes me in the right direction but also extends a sensitive and kind touch to such an unpleasant situation.”
“Melissa presented a calming and confident presence at all times. She really took the time to understand me and what I wanted to achieve and was very insightful and professional. The end result was one that I was hoping for, but thought would never be possible. Melissa is an outstanding family lawyer and I highly recommend her to anyone. I could not have made a better choice. Simply phenomenal from start to finish!”
Maeve O’Brien is the founder of Maeve O’Brien & Associates and has unparalleled experience in law relating to private clients, especially family law and wills and estates matters.
Maeve was involved in the successful pilot of Arbitration in Melbourne and has been involved in making significant case law during the course of her practice.
Maeve is a graduate of Melbourne University, a Member of the Law Council Family Law Section, a Member of the Law Institute of Victoria, a Member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Law Council, a Founding Member of the Collaborative Professionals of Victoria, a Member of the Executive Committee of the Collaborative Law Section, a Member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and a Member of the Institute of Mediators and Arbitrators.
“Thank you for your work last week, you pulled off a bit of a miracle… once again thank you Maeve, my family really needed this outcome.”
Arthur Athan is an Associate Family Lawyer who practices in all areas of Family Law at Maeve O’Brien & Associates. Arthur’s aim is to walk alongside and care for his clients throughout difficult and often traumatic personal circumstances. Arthur has a background in languages and culture studies, which allows him to assist clients from multi-cultural backgrounds with clarity and sensitivity. Arthur’s strength is in Family Law litigation and navigating clients through the process with the goal of reaching the best possible outcome, whether by negotiation or by Court Orders. Arthur has special interests in parenting and domestic violence cases, and the voice of and impact upon children in these matters.
Arthur has primarily practiced in family law since admission, having worked with several CBD and suburban law firms. Arthur has special interests in child relocation matters, the voice of children in family law proceedings and assisting with domestic violence matters. He has also assisted with conveyancing matters, VCAT property disputes, Victims of Crime, personal injury and issues in relation to wills and estates.
Arthur has a broad professional background that has included overseas policy work in Indonesia and volunteering with the Monash-Oakleigh Legal Service.
Arthur holds a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Music and Diploma of Languages (Indonesian) from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice with the College of Law. Arthur is admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.
Away from the law, Arthur is an accomplished concert pianist and enjoys spending time with friends, family and at his local church.
“I wanted to let you know that I appreciate all the help you have provided. I remember you were very good on the phone when I spoke to you the night before I first met you… Your words made me feel safer… Thank you, Arthur.”
“It’s difficult to describe the hurdles that you face when coming out of a long term abusive relationship… I have found that it is critical to have the right people around you at this time and I’m lucky you were there.”
Anthony is the Principal and Director of Patten Robins Lawyers and provides commercial legal support to clients of Maeve O’Brien & Associates. Anthony works collaboratively with Maeve O’Brien & Associates to provide advice to our clients with regard to their business and commercial interests.
Contact Anthony at Patten Robins Lawyers today on (03) 9859 5455.