Our Team

Servicing the Hawkesbury Region, Castle Hill, Penrith, Richmond & Western Sydney.

Our lawyers are some of the most experienced family law professionals in the region, including three of the very few accredited specialists in family law based in the Hawkesbury.

Our administrative and support staff are also very experienced in the field and can help you with many of your day-to-day requests.

But most importantly, our team is friendly, approachable and ready to help.

Kate Rafton

Managing Partner

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Principal

Kate Rafton

Kate has focussed on the field of family law since her admission as a solicitor, and has worked for law firms in both Penrith and Parramatta. Before establishing her own practice, Kate was a Partner with a well-known family law firm in the region and gained significant experience dealing with the full range of family-law issues.

In 2007 Kate became a NSW Law Society accredited specialist in family law, making her one of the very few female accredited specialists in the Hawkesbury region. In 2009 she also became an accredited specialist in children’s law.

Kate lives in the Hawkesbury area with her two children. She is committed to helping the local community and providing the best possible service in the area. Her approach is to treat clients as people first and to understand their individual problems and needs, allowing her to obtain the best possible results for them in a family law matter.

In addition to her legal qualifications, Kate also has a nursing degree and a background in health and management. Throughout her legal career she has maintained a strong association with the Western Sydney Area Health Service and her experience dealing with patients in crisis gives her a deeper insight into dealing with the trauma and emotional upheaval that can accompany family breakdown.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Nursing (Honours)
Grad Dip in Legal Practice
Grad Cert in Health Management
Masters in Nursing (Critical Care)
Accredited Specialist – Family Law
Accredited Specialist – Children’s Law

Memberships

Law Society of NSW
Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia
NSW Young Lawyers Family Law Committee
Women Lawyers NSW
Management Committee, Hawkesbury
Community Legal Centre
Women on Boards
NSW Nurses Association
Australian College of Critical Care Nurses

Tim Mara

Principal Solicitor Balmain Office

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Principal Solicitor Parramatta

Tim Mara

Tim is the head of the Care and Protection team at the Rafton Parramatta office. He appears daily in the specialist Children’s Court, passionately undertaking advocacy and is dedicated to achieving successful results for his clients. He has 9 years of experience and also assists in the running of Family Court matters and supports the Family Law solicitors with hearing preparation.

Tim possesses extensive experience in Family Law and Children’s Law, and has previously worked for Family Law firms located at Ryde and in the Northern Beaches. He passionately helps and guides parents throughout their Care and Protection matters involving the Department of Family and Community Services. Tim’s experience and dedication allows him to provide our clients with exceptional service in all areas and advocate for their best possible outcome in the matters he undertakes. Tim understands that the law is often complicated and stressful for people and prides himself in offering easy to follow advice to all of his clients.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of of Media Communications

Memberships

Law Society of NSW

Maurice Edwards

Special Counsel

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Special Counsel

Maurice Edwards

With over 40 years family law experience, Maurice brings a wealth of specialist knowledge to the firm.  He is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law (Law Society of NSW) an Accredited Family Law Mediator (AIFLAM), a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (A.G.Department) and a trained Collaborative Lawyer.  Maurice leads the firm’s arbitration and mediation practice RAMP.
Maurice obtained mediation qualifications both at Bond University and with the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM).  He trained overseas with judges and other lawyers in the mediation of international child abduction matters and has for many years assisted in the assessment process for newly accredited mediators.  He has conducted hundreds of mediations over the years and presented on the topic of mediation in family law at seminars and conferences.
In the family law arbitration space Maurice is one of Australia’s leading family law arbitrators.  He has issued many Arbitral Awards and Determinations and has also presented on the topic of family law arbitration at numerous seminars and conferences.
Maurice has also presented papers on Binding Financial Agreements.  The Hague Child Abduction and Hague Child Protection Conventions and Childhood Gender Dysphoria.
Maurice is committed to the task of resolving family law disputes through collaboration, mediation or arbitration.  He has often said “When delivering family law outcomes, just a scent of collaboration, or sample of mediation or even a serve of arbitration, is worth so much more than a smorgasbord of litigation.”

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of of Arts

Memberships

Accredited Specialist Family Law
Nationally Accredited Arbitrator
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and Mediator
Collaborative Law Practitioner
Treasurer/Board Member of AIFLAM
International Bar Association (IBA)
International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL)
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
Pacifica Congress
Law Council of Australia (Family Law Section)
Parramatta Law Society
Greater West Family Law Practitioners Association

 

Cassandra Youssef

Special Counsel

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Senior Solicitor

Cassandra Youssef

Cassandra Youssef has worked solely in the field of family law since 2002 and gained her Accredited Specialist qualifications in Family Law in 2007. Together with Kate Rafton, Cassandra is currently one of only a very small number of female Accredited Specialists in Family Law in the Hawkesbury and Penrith regions

After starting to work with Kate Rafton in 2005, Cassandra moved with her when she established Rafton Family Lawyers and has since developed a strong working relationship with the other solicitors in the firm. She is recognised in the firm for her dedication, expertise, experience and commitment to clients.

Cassandra brings considerable enthusiasm to the firm and a passion for achieving the best results for clients. Living and working in the Nepean/Hawkesbury region also enables her to understand the issues facing local clients and to work with them to resolve their specific family law problems.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws
Accredited Specialist in Family Law
Bachelor of Arts (major in Political Science)
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner
Nationally Accredited Mediator
Nationally Accredited Arbitrator (Reg67B Family Law Regulations 1984)

Memberships

Law Society of NSW
Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia
Women Lawyers NSW
Legal Aid Independent Children’s Lawyers Panel
Legal Aid Family Law Panel
Legal Aid Care and Protection Panel Representing Adults
Legal Aid Care and Protection Panel Representing Children
Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel NSW Legal Aid
Department of Cummunities and

Kyle McCabe

Senior Solicitor

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Senior Solicitor – Team Leader Wills and Estates

Kyle McCabe

Kyle has been practicing law since 2014 and has exclusively practiced in the area of wills and estates since his admission.

Kyle has expertise in this area and was named in the Doyle’s Guide as a rising star in 2022.  No other solicitor has achieved this recognition in the Penrith or Hawkesbury areas.

Prior to joining our team Kyle worked in a suburban practice in the Hawkesbury area and also in a medium sized firm in Penrith and Parramatta.

Kyle has specific skills in the areas of estate planning, estate litigation and contested wills.  He regularly appears in the Supreme Court on behalf of clients and has been appointed estate administrator by the court in numerous matters.

Menaka Prasad

Senior Solicitor

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Senior Solicitor

Menaka Prasad

Menaka is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law and a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Menaka was admitted as a solicitor in 2013 after completing a double degree in Law and Arts (majoring in Psychology) and she has practised exclusively in family law since her admission.

Menaka has a caring and compassionate approach which helps to guide her clients through what can be a highly emotional and challenging time in their lives. Menaka is committed to resolving matters as efficiently as possible by providing clear, focussed and strategic advice. Menaka advises clients on a range of family law issues, from property matters to parenting matters.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
Accredited Specialist – Family Law

Memberships

Law Society of NSW
Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia
Women Lawyers NSW

Stephanie Azzi

Senior Solicitor

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Senior Solicitor

Stephanie Azzi

Stephanie has completed a Bachelor of Law at the University of Wollongong, holds a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resource management. Stephanie has been working exclusively in the area of family law since 2017.

In November 2019, Stephanie completed her Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) and in 2021 she completed her Masters of Applied Law (majoring in Family Dispute Resolution Practice).

Stephanie is also a NMAS Nationally Accredited Mediator, has also completed her specialists training to become a qualified Collaborative Lawyer and is also a Parenting Coordinator.

In 2021, Stephanie was a finalist in the Rising Star of the Year Award by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW.

Stephanie is a skilled negotiator and regularly settles family law matters without the need for clients to proceed to Court. Stephanie recognises that dealing with separation is a stressful time for clients and her empathetic approach puts clients at ease.

In addition to her dispute resolution strengths, Stephanie is also a strong advocate and has successfully represented clients in all areas of family law, including children’s matters, de-facto relationships, same sex relationships, spousal maintenance, property matters, child abduction and contravention applications.

Stephanie takes pride in her attention to detail and her ability to provide quality and efficient legal service. She ensures her client’s rights are protected and that the best outcome for each and every client is achieved.

Jessica Strangio

Solicitor

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Solicitor

Jessica Strangio

Jessica has practised solely in family law since 2018.

Having worked across greater Sydney and Wollongong, Jessica has developed a deep understanding of the various complexities and emotions that are often coupled with family law disputes. Jessica is patient, practical and pragmatic in her advice to clients and has extensive family law experience working across a broad range of family law matters, including complex parenting, property, spousal maintenance, child support and divorce issues. She is conscious of her clients individual needs and works with them to create strategies that are resolution focussed. Jessica’s aim is to ensure her clients can move forward from a separation with as little angst, expense and stress as is possible.
Jessica is admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and High Court of Australia, having appeared in various matters before the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

When Jessica is not advocating for her clients, she likes to wind down by heading out to the south coast with her dogs or finding the best dumpling and wonton bar in Sydney.

Contact Jessica today for an initial consultation to discuss your family law related enquiries.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Communications and Media (BCM)
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise (GDLP)

Memberships

  • Law Society of NSW
  • Family Law Section
  • Women Lawyers Associate
  • Macarthur Law Society

Nadine Rahhal

Solicitor

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Solicitor

Nadine Rahhal

Nadine first developed an interest and passion for Family Law whilst studying at Western Sydney University which, combined with her interest in English and History resulted in her choosing to specialise in this area of law.

Prior to joining the team at Rafton Family Lawyers, Nadine was employed at a leading Sydney-based specialist family law firm where she gained a strong knowledge base in all aspects of Family Law.

Prior to her admission as a solicitor in 2018, Nadine gained over four years’ practical experience as a Legal Assistant in family law. Nadine’s role as a Legal Assistant allowed her to develop a deeper understanding of complex family law issues whilst she assisted special counsel in both parenting and property disputes, including divorce applications, relocations cases and preparation for Interim and Final Hearings.

Nadine’s compassionate and friendly nature combined with her pragmatic and detail orientated approach enables her to understand and assist with the needs of her clients. Nadine understands the emotional toll family law has on her clients and tries in all aspects to minimise the disruptions in their lives.

Nadine has a strong knowledge of court procedure and has extensive experience in communicating with clients, solicitors and barristers and has represented clients in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Law
Bachelor of Arts

Memberships

NSW Young Lawyers
Greater West Family Law Practitioners Association

Kiran Grewal

Solicitor

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Solicitor

Kiran Grewal

Kiran was admitted as a Solicitor in New South Wales in 2018. Prior to joining Rafton Family Lawyers, Kiran worked at various law firms throughout Sydney as a Commercial, Property, and Estates lawyer, where she gained valuable experience and insight in an array of legal matters. She also recently travelled and worked as a lawyer internationally before returning to Australia in early 2022.

Kiran is an experienced wills and estates lawyer and has a special interest in contested estate matters and family provision claims. Kiran is also the team leader of our Conveyancing department and brings her knowledge and skills to this area. In addition to wills and estates, and conveyancing and leasing, Kiran has experience in commercial and corporate law.

Kiran takes pride in her ability to breakdown complex legal concepts into simple and plain English. She provides clear and concise legal advice enabling her clients to make informed decisions. She keeps her clients well informed throughout the course of the matter.

Kiran is an enthusiastic and conscientious lawyer whose warm personality enables her to quickly build rapport with her clients, and to move their complex matters forward. She is passionate about her work and always strives to provide an excellent service. Her detail-oriented and methodical approach to her work helps her in achieving positive and efficient results for her clients.

Kiran is a member of the Law Society of NSW and NSW Young Lawyers. She is also enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Memberships

Law Society of NSW
NSW Young Lawyers Property Law Committee

Diane Elven

Diane Elven

Practice Manager

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Diane Elven

Practice Manager

Diane Elven

 

Ashlee Morris

Administrative Support

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Administrative Support

Ashlee Morris

Ashlee joined Rafton Family Lawyers in 2015 as the firms receptionist at our Parramatta office. Since this time has gained a wide range of experience in the area of Family Law and Care and Protection. Ashlee has taken on a wide range of responsibilities, including: client liasion, assisting solicitors and general administration.

Ashlee provides assistance to clients and is always ready to assist with any queries to ensure that clients proceedings are conducted with efficency. Ashlees warm and patient approach allows clients a certain level of comfortability.

Jo Scott

Office Manager

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Office Manager

Jo Scott

Jo commenced working at Rafton Family Lawyers in November 2009 as a senior paralegal.

Jo has been employed in the legal profession for 49 years and during that time she has worked in all areas of law including Personal Injury, Conveyancing, Commercial, Criminal and Family Law. Since 1984 Jo has focused solely on Family Law working in the Penrith area as a Senior Secretary for the majority of this time.

Jo’s experience, efficiency and professionalism is valued by clients and members of the Legal Profession and further her understanding and experience of the Family Law system ensures that all work is carried out expediently and in compliance with the Court processes and procedures.

Julia Houchin

Administration

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Administration

Julia Houchin

Julia works as an administration assistant at our Richmond office. She helps our solicitors and staff with the day to day tasks including our mail and banking. Julia lives in the Hawkesbury area with her family.

Julia enjoys working with the team at Raftons’ and helping clients in their time of need. You will see Julia driving around the Hawkesbury area in her little Raftons’ Kia car so make sure you give her a wave.

Melanie Arnaout

Senior Paralegal

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Senior Paralegal

Melanie Arnaout

Mel Aranout is a senior paralegal and has been working in the legal area for over 20 years.  Before joining Rafton family Lawyers Mel was with a medium sized firm at Parramatta working in the area of family law for over 10 years.

Mel is the main paralegal to Special Counsel Maurice Edwards and lives in the Hawkesbury area with her Husband and 4 children.  Mel loves working in her local community and assisting clients with their family law issues.

Alicia Wenban

Senior Paralegal

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Paralegal

Alicia Wenban

Alicia is our paralegal at the St Marys office at 201 Queen Street. She has lived in the local area since her childhood and has now settled in the area with her husband and family.

Alicia is passionate about the local area and very excited to be joining the team at Rafton’s. Alicia’s career in law began over 20 years ago, working as a support clerk to barrister chambers in Parramatta. She has also recently worked for a medium-sized law firm in Parramatta. She has extensive experience in family law and is an asset to our team. She has a down to earth approach and loves to assist our clients with their legal issues.

Natalie Currall

Licensed Conveyancer

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Licensed Conveyancer

Natalie Currall

Natalie is a licensed conveyancer and oversees all of the firms contracts for sale and family law settlements in conjunction with solicitor Kiran Grewal from our property team.

Natalie has over 25 years experience and is well connected in the local Hawkesbury area.  Prior to working with Rafton Natalie was with a local firm in the area undertaking all conveyancing work.  Natalie is based at our Richmond office but able to travel and see clients as required.  When not undertaking property work, Natalie is an avid horse lover and travels with her family to show jumping events across Australia.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

Rafton Conveyancing - Your Experts in Property

Whether you are buying or selling your first home, an investment property or a block of land, having an experienced legal team on hand to guide you through the process and ensure your transaction runs smoothly is critical. That’s where Rafton Conveyancying can help.

Rafton Arbitration & Mediation Brochure

Ensure that your clients are given the best possible opportunity to exit the Court process with a professional and efficient resolution to their family law dispute.

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