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YOUR FAMILY LAW SPECIALISTS

Our Lawyers

Cristina Huesch

Principal and Managing Partner

Cristina obtained her first degree from Sydney University before undertaking postgraduate study with Ludwig Maximilian University (in Munich), the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board, the University of Technology Sydney, and the College of Law in Sydney. Prior to establishing Alliance Family Law, Cristina was the Canberra office Partner for Armstrong Legal.

Cristina has a particular interest in offering out-of-court solutions to family law problems. She encourages our clients to think of Court as a last resort, once all other settlement avenues have failed to lead to a fair outcome. Her extensive experience specialising in family law gives her the skill to advise on the range of options available, to help choose the best approach in the circumstances, and to achieve settlement where possible without the involvement of the court.

Cristina is fluent in German (spoken and written).

Cristina Huesh | Principal and Managing Director | Family Law in Canberra

Cristina is accredited in Collaborative Practice, (an approach to family law which aims to achieve outcomes based on the ‘interests’ of all parties, as opposed to a traditional ‘positional’ based approach). She is also an Independent Children’s Lawyer, qualified to be appointed by the court, although not taking any such matters at this time.

Formal Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Applied Law (Family Law Practice)
  • Accredited Specialist in Family Law (Law Society Accredited Specialist Scheme).
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice
  • Diploma in Law
  • Bachelor of Arts

Cristina maintains her links to relevant developments in dispute resolution through membership to and involvement with the following organisations:

  • Law Council of Australia (Family Law Section) member
  • ACT Law Society member
  • ACT Law Society’s Family Law Committee (by invitation)
  • NSW Law Society member
  • ACT branch of Women Lawyers Association member;
  • Canberra and Region Family Law Professionals Association member (former office holder)
  • College of Law NSW (former Board member)
  • Canberra Collaborative Practice Group (specialising in non-court solutions)

Elizabeth (Liz) Keogh

Senior Associate

Liz has more than 20 years experience in family law having worked as a lawyer, academic, mediator and Judicial Registrar. In addition to her legal qualifications she is an NMAS accredited mediator and a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. She combines her role at Alliance Family Law with work as a mediator at Keogh Mediation.

Elizabeth (Liz) Keogh | Associate | Canberra Family Law

Ashlea Begg

Senior Associate

Ashlea holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), a Bachelor of Laws, and a Master of Legal Practice. She has extensive experience in family law and child protection and has specialist knowledge in matters involving family violence. She has worked in various roles across the NSW Central Coast and Hunter Valley, as well as in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek. She approaches her work with a balance of empathy and pragmatism, and shares Cristina’s interest in finding out-of-court solutions to family law problems.

Ashlea Begg | Senior Associate | Canberra Family Law

Abby Thorne

Associate

Abby holds a Masters in Applied Laws, with a double major in Family Law and Wills and Estates, providing her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies within these specialised fields. Her dedication and passion for delivering exceptional legal services is evident through her involvement in notable cases, including Preston [2022] FedCFamC1A 157 and Monaco v Martinelli [2023] NSWSC 375.

A Hunter Valley local, Abby has been an integral part of the legal community in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley since 2018. Recognising the need for accessible and high-quality legal advice in the region, Abby is delighted to announce the opening of our Maitland-based office within the coming months, catering to clients in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, as well as Canberra and the ACT surrounds.

Abby Thorne | Associate | Canberra Family Law

Penelope Stevens

Special Counsel and Accredited Family Law Specialist

Penelope Stevens joined Alliance Family Law this year with over 30 years’ experience in practice, most of it in family law.

Some key experiences that have shaped the practitioner she is today:

  1. Working at the North Australia Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Darwin and the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service in Brisbane;
  2. Becoming a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law;
  3. Obtaining a two-year contract as Registrar of the Family Court, Brisbane registry;
  4. Practising as a sole practitioner in Brisbane for seven years, before returning to Melbourne;
  5. Carrying out numerous locum assignments in Queensland and Victoria;
  6. Appointment to panel of Independent Children’s Lawyers in Queensland and Victoria, and representing numerous children’s interests over some 13 years;
  7. Mentoring numerous newcomers, most of whom she remains in contact with;
  8. Appointment to panel of Separate Representatives in Queensland, being the equivalent of the Independent Children’s Lawyer in the state child protection jurisdiction.

Penelope’s advice is clear, direct and practical. She seldom has a client go to trial as she works a case to resolution.

After hours, Penelope enjoys her pug, attending theatre and all things quirky and retro.

Penelope Stevens | Associate | Alliance Legal

Our Family Law Support Team

Ailsa Veiszadeh

Practice Management

Janet Preston

Actionstep Consultant

After almost 8 years as our Practice Manager, 2 years ago Janet started her own business in practice management and Actionstep consulting. Janet regularly assists us with keeping our templates and workflows up to date and training our new staff in our practice management system (Actionstep) and our business processes. As required, Janet will also step in to fill a role temporarily if we have any staffing gaps.

Janet Preston | Practice Manager
Canberra Family Law Team | Alliance Legal

Penelope Robson

Administration Assistant

Penelope is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Political Science at the Australian National University. With a budding interest in the legal field, Penelope brings enthusiasm, dedication and compassion to her role at Alliance Family Law.

Mia Kline

Administration Assistant

Gianna Huesch

Content Editor

Gianna is a freelance writer who has written website content and thousands of blogs for many businesses.  A jill-of-all-trades when it comes to writing, Gianna comes with a background in editorial roles in magazines, newspapers and book publishing, a degree in psychology, and more than three decades of experience in the legal industry.  She has written more than 600 family law blogs for Alliance Family Law, and is passionate about following the progress of reform in the Australian family law system.

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