Current Councillors

Below are profiles of the ten Councillors who do not currently hold Office Bearer positions. Members of the Executive Council who are not Office Bearers are elected for a term of two years and must participate in and/or chair at least one Committee during their term.

Raymon Anderson

Raymon is a Special Counsel in the litigation team at Chambers Russell Lawyers. He has previously held positions such as Secretary of NSW Young Lawyers, Vice Chair and Chair of the CLE Committee, Vice Chair and CLE representative to the Property Law Committee and sat on the Law Society Indigenous Issues Committee and Ethics Committee and Solicitors Benevolent Association. He has contributed to many award winning NSW Young Lawyers publications and events and has previously been nominated for NSW Young Lawyer of the Year.

Raymon is passionate about empowering members to be involved, supported and encouraged in NSW Young Lawyers at whatever level is right for them. Having come through mental health/wellness issues in the past personally and with friends, colleagues and family, Raymon believes there is no place for stigma about these issues in the legal profession. Raymon wishes to be involved with events on life skills, career training, health and wellbeing and mental resilience. He hopes also to improve accessibility to information, programs and interaction through the use of technology so an increasing number of members have access to programs and have a safe environment to share and discuss the challenges they face.

In addition to his law degree, Raymon holds a Medical Science degree and a preliminary certificate in Theology.

Raymon’s other passions include his 1972 turbo mini, going to the beach, looking after his pet snake and embarrassing himself on the dance floor and at karaoke.

Email Raymon.

Simon Bruck

Simon is a Senior Solicitor at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) which is a community legal centre working for the rights of people seeker asylum. At NSW Young Lawyers, Simon holds the position of Vice Chair of the Human Rights Committee.

Simon co-coordinated the Refugee Assistance Project which assisted a proportion of people seeking asylum in New South Wales to meet their protection visa lodgement deadlines. This project won the 2016 and 2017 NSW Young Lawyers Patron Awards for Best Community Project and the 2017 Australian Young Lawyer Organisation Award from the Law Council of Australia.

As an Executive Councillor for NSW Young Lawyers, Simon wants to focus on improving the facilitation of committee led events and projects, and promoting access to justice and law reform.

Email Simon.

Akash Bhattacharjee

Akash is a Graduate-at-Law at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers. At NSW Young Lawyers he is the Vice Chair of the International Law Committee.

In 2018, Akash was Highly Commended for NSW Young Lawyer of the Year by Honourable Justice Gleeson of the NSW Supreme Court "for significant involvement in leading various projects in the international law field, including, on the subject of careers in climate change and renewables law." That same year, an event he led won the 2018 Best Community Project.

On Executive Council, Akash will advocate for environmental issues, innovation in the profession and increased social media engagement with members.
Akash holds a Bachelor of International and Global Studies with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney.

Email Akash or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Elyse Di Stefano

Elyse was admitted in 2018 and is currently a Tipstaff at the Supreme Court of New South Wales. She will soon move into practice to work in commercial property. 

In 2017, Elyse was the co-chair of the Special Committee of Law Student Societies (SCLSS), the student committee of NSW Young Lawyers made up of representatives from law student societies from around NSW. Prior to that, Elyse was involved in SCLSS in her capacity as President of the Notre Dame Student Law Society in which she organised the Student Golden Gavel which received an honourable mention at the Patron Awards for Best Community Project.

Elyse is committed to engaging law students and newly admitted lawyers in the organisation, and is particularly interested in bridging the gap between law school and the profession.

In her spare time, Elyse enjoys learning Italian, yoga, going on long coastal walks and spending time with her big loud family.

Email Elyse.

David Edney

David is a junior barrister at 6 St James Hall Chambers, practicing principally in the areas of commercial litigation and insolvency law, having been called to the bar after 11 years of practice as a solicitor.

David has been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers since joining its Civil Litigation Committee in 2008 – he was a General Delegate from the committee in 2014, elected its Secretary in 2015, and then its Chair in 2017. David was elected as an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers in 2017, and then Vice-President in 2018. David has also been a mentor in the NSW Young Lawyers Mentoring Program.

Admitted to practice in 2007, David began his legal career in the commercial litigation and debt collection practice of a firm in Sydney's Sutherland Shire. While he had a supportive boss and loved his job, he sought out and joined the Civil Litigation Committee in 2008 as a way to be in contact with other young lawyers at a similar stage in their careers. After spending a number of years posting in just about every discussion that occurred on the committee's email list, he managed to convince his boss to let him take the two-hour round trip into the city to attend the committee's monthly meeting - he hasn't looked back since. While David now works in CBD, he hasn't forgotten his smaller-firm suburban roots, and how his involvement with NSW Young Lawyers helped him build confidence and connections so that he could become the lawyer he is today. He especially supports NSW Young Lawyers' work in helping today's graduates and junior practitioners to become tomorrow's leaders of the profession - not only through direct support such as mentoring programs, but also indirectly through its committees that assist members to build networks, stay engaged, and have a voice within the profession. David intends to use his time as an office bearer of NSW Young Lawyer to continue supporting NSW Young Lawyers' work in that respect, especially in suburban and regional areas, so that others can have the opportunities he had.

When David isn't in the office his passion is cooking, especially in the backyard. He is known for his smoked brisket and bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, and insists people ask him about his recipe for haggis-stuffed chicken.

Email David.

Simon McNamara

Simon is a Lawyer working at Clayton Utz, currently rotating in the commercial litigation team for the graduate program. He also has worked in private equity real estate, major projects & construction and administrative law.

Simon was elected to council in October of 2018, having been a General Delegate fos NSW Young Lawyers that year. Previously, he was the co-chair of the Special Committee of Law Student Societies in 2016, following his involvement on the committee as UNSW Law Society's Co-President in 2015. He graduated from UNSW with a combined degree in Law (Hons) and Arts (Distinction)  in 2016.

Simon is passionate about graduate outcomes for university students and mental health in the profession. He is also focused on achieving equity in the workplace and advocating for adequate community representation within the profession. In his spare time Simon enjoys playing blues guitar, reading science books and despairing over the Wallabies' latest loss to the All Blacks.

Email Simon.

Maria Nawaz

Maria Nawaz is the Law Reform and Policy Solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre and a Lecturer at the UNSW Human Rights Clinic. Maria has previously worked at the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department and Legal Aid NSW. Maria specialises in human rights, discrimination and employment law.

At NSW Young Lawyers, Maria is the Chair of the Human Rights Committee, and was previously the Vice Chair of that committee. She was part of the Human Rights Committee’s Refugee Assistance Project team which won the NSW Young Lawyers Patron Award for Best Community Project (2016 and 2017) and the Australian Young Lawyer Organisation Award (2017). Maria also sits on the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee.

On Executive Council, Maria aims to focus on increasing NSW Young Lawyer’s law reform and advocacy work and promoting access to justice.

Email Maria.

James Skelton

James is a member of Swaab Attorneys' commercial and intellectual property practice with a focus on the commercialisation of intellectual property rights, business advice and brand protection strategies. He also has significant experience as the in-house counsel to a large not-for-profit membership based organisation.

James was named the 2017 Australian Young Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia for his work on wellbeing and diversity in the legal profession and won the 2017 Lawyers Weekly "30 Under 30" Award for commercial law in Australia.

Having been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers since 2013, James has coordinated numerous submissions for the Communications, Entertainment and Technology Committee, which have been well regarded by both government and industry bodies. Some key areas of interest have been copyright reform in the digital age, serious invasions of privacy and changes to the innovation patent system in Australia. James is an advocate for positive wellbeing and strong mental health in the profession, and is keen to increase membership engagement across a number of practice areas and geographic regions.

James holds a Bachelor of International Studies and Juris Doctor from UNSW.

Email James, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Brecht Valcke

Brecht is a Belgian, Australian and New York qualified lawyer, educated in both common law (JD, LLM, GDLP) and civil law (Cand. Jur., Lic. Jur.) jurisdictions.  Brecht specialises in dispute resolution (international arbitration & litigation) and has a passion for public international law.  Prior to joining private practice in Australia, Brecht worked for the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York.  Brecht is also the current Chair of the International Law Committee of NSW Young Lawyers.  Outside of work, Brecht enjoys history, cooking and gardening.

Email Brecht.

Katharine Huxley

Katharine is an Associate in the Planning and Environment Law practice at McCabe Curwood, advising and appearing for both public and private sector clients. Katharine holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science (Ecology) from the University of New South Wales.

Katharine has been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers since 2017 when she commenced practicing as a lawyer, and was appointed as a submissions co-ordinator for the NSW Young Lawyers Environment and Planning Law Committee that same year. Katharine was elected chair of the Environment and Planning Law Committee in February 2019 and elected to the Executive Council in November 2019. During her time as Chair, the Environment and Planning Law Committee was awarded the 2019 NSW Young Lawyers Patron's Award for Best Professional Project by Jane Needham SC.

Katharine is passionate about access to justice and public interest litigation, particularly in the environmental and climate law space, and sits as the chair of the pro bono and CSR committee of her firm.

In her spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking and yoga as well as culinary experimentation as co-author of a food blog.

Priti Joshi

Priti is a corporate lawyer, with a focus on private and public M&A. Priti has worked in small businesses as well national organisations, in private legal practices as well as for the Government.

Priti became an active member of the NSWYL in 2016 when she joined the Business Law Committee. With a passion for policy and law reform, Priti quickly became the submissions coordinator of the committee serving in that role from 2016 to 2018. She was also appointed as a general delegate of NSWYL in 2017 and 2019.

Priti is interested in new technologies that have the power to transform legal practice. In 2018, through the Business Law Committee, Priti organised a workshop led by a software developer to demonstrate how blockchain technology applies to create smart contracts. This workshop was awarded the 2018 NSW Young Lawyers Patron's Award for Best Professional Project by The Hon. Justice Fabian Gleeson SC. As an Executive Councillor, Priti hopes to continue to empower young lawyers with knowledge about how emerging technologies will transform our profession.

Priti has followed the road not taken and has carved out a non-conventional path to her career. Having transferred into the combined laws program at UNSW, Priti graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2014. Not having secured a clerkship or graduate role prior to finishing university, Priti hit the ground running by working in a small, busy legal practice in the city. Priti is currently studying a Masters of Law at UNSW majoring in Corporate & Commercial law. In her spare time, Priti mentors law graduates and is passionate about helping young lawyers carve out their own pathway into the legal profession.

As a young lawyer, Priti longs to see the day when men and women are equally represented at the partnership level in the private practice of law. As an Executive Councillor, Priti hopes to be part of initiatives to support the retention and promotion of women in private practice.

When Priti is not stressing over university assignments, she enjoys Bollywood dancing, spending time with her dog and playing board games with friends.

Email Priti.

Philippa Noakes

Philippa is a Senior Associate at Seyfarth Shaw. She specialises in strategic industrial and employment advice and complex litigation. Philippa has previously held the positions of Secretary of New South Wales Young Lawyers, and Chair of the Workplace and Safety Law Committee.

 

Philippa is passionate about ensuring that NSWYL provides opportunities for young (and new) lawyers to get involved and support each other. In her capacity as Chair, Philippa has worked with the Law Society's Employment Law Committee on its policy for unpaid internships to ensure that it protects young lawyers from exploitation and provides a guide for interns and law firms alike. She is passionate about rights at work and the importance of resilience at work.

Email Philippa.

Bradley Peterson

Bradley is an Associate at RMB Lawyers in Wollongong, practicing principally in the areas of Family and Criminal Law. Bradley is the Divisional Leader of the Family Law Team. Bradley holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of International Studies from Wollongong University. Bradley also holds a Masters of Law (Family Law) from the College of Law.

Bradley has been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers since 2016, when he was appointed as the Regional Delegate for Wollongong.

Bradley was elected to the Executive Council in 2018. His focus is on NSW Young Lawyers building greater connection to its regional members, and improving overall engagement and delivery of service to members. Bradley is currently the Junior Vice President of the Wollongong District Law Society.

Bradley was born in Camden and moved to Wollongong in 2013. In his spare time he enjoys running, swimming, reading, and drinking too much coffee.

Email Bradley.

Leah Serafim

Leah is an Associate in the disputes practice at Herbert Smith Freehills, specialising in large-scale taxation disputes with federal and state revenue authorities. Leah has been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers since 2015, when she moved to Sydney for work and decided she needed to meet some people who (1) weren't tax lawyers and (2) didn't think the consolidation rules were a topic of socially-acceptable conversation.

 

Admitted to practice in 2015, Leah was elected as the Vice-Chair of the NSW Young Lawyers Business Law Committee in 2016, then its Chair in 2017. During her time as Chair, the Business Law Committee was awarded the 2018 NSW Young Lawyers Patron's Award for Best Professional Project by The Hon. Justice Fabian Gleeson SC.

In 2019, following the completion of her term with the Business Law Committee, Leah was elected Chair of the NSW Young Lawyers Taxation Law Committee and currently holds this role.

Leah has been the Young Lawyers Representative on the NSW Law Society Business Law Committee since 2017 and is a member of its tax sub-committee. Leah also occasionally moonlighted as Secretary for the Law Council of Australia's Business Law Section (Tax Sub-Committee) during 2017 and 2018.

Leah was awarded the NSW Young Lawyers Patron's Award for NSW Young Lawyer of the Year by Jane Needham SC in 2019 for her contribution to the legal profession and, in particular, her work in improving the well-being of junior lawyers. Leah holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Newcastle and is an Associate of the Tax Institute of Australia.

In her spare time, Leah likes to inform small children and aspiring taxpayers that, while vampires aren't real, they should be afraid of capital gains tax.

Email Leah.

Jennifer Windsor

Jennifer has been an active member of NSW Young Lawyers for many years. Prior to her year as the 2019 President, she served in the positions of Treasurer, Secretary and Executive Councillor. Jennifer started her journey with NSW Young Lawyers as a member of the Public Law & Government Committee.

Jennifer also sits on the Law Society Council. In her roles as both an Office Bearer of NSW Young Lawyers and Law Society Councillor, Jennifer looks forward to supporting the initiatives of NSW Young Lawyers and each of its Committees, particularly in providing services and opportunities relevant to the diverse needs of the membership.

Jennifer is currently in private practice at a top-tier firm in Sydney, and will be commencing as a Senior Associate at another large firm in January 2020. Prior to private practice, Jennifer was an in-house government lawyer for many years. She advises both public and private sector clients in relation to administrative law, including judicial review and merits review, litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory enforcement, and inquests and inquiries.

Jennifer believes in supporting the current and future leaders of the profession to make an impact, working towards positive change in the profession and serving the community.

Email Jennifer.