Justin Dowd



Justin, the Chair of The FAM, is a former President of the Law Society and a former Vice President of LawAsia. He is an accredited family law specialist and family law arbitrator. Justin has over 40 years experience in family law both in his role as a former Registrar of the Family Court of Australia and as a Director of Watts McCray.

Justin was nationally accredited as an Arbitrator in 2001 after completing the requisite course at Bond University and subsequently being accredited with AIFLAM. Justin has conducted several arbitrations in the Sydney and Parramatta region, giving parties a much quicker and cost-effective result.

Justin is an author of the family law section of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia, Australian Practical Forms and Precedents and the principal author of the Lexis Nexis online service, Practical Guidance in Family Law. He has written many articles and presentations on family law, nationally and internationally.

In 2020, Justin was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to family law and to professional associations.


  • Justin was appointed as Australia’s country representative to Lawasia in 2013 and was President of the Law Society of New South Wales in 2012.
  • He has been a Trustee of the NSW Public Purpose Fund; Executive Director of Law Council of Australia; Member of the European Justice Family Observatory; Member of The Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries; Associate Member of The Hong Kong Law Society; a Member of The Law Society of England and Wales; and a Director of the World Congress on the Rights of Children and Family Law.


  • Since 1995 Justin has been a Partner/Director at Watts McCray, a specialist family law practice which has grown to be one of the largest specialist family law practices in Australia. Watts McCray has now joined with Australian Family Lawyers to provide national strength to the family law services that we offer.
  • Justin specialises in international family law matters and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the International Academy of Collaborative Lawyers. He is also an Associate of the International Family Law Group based in London and the Anglo-Australian Family Lawyers’ Association.
  • Justin is a long standing member of LawAsia, including LawAsia’s Family Law and Children’s Rights Section, as well as the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. He has also been the primary convenor of the Australasian Family Lawyers Conference for over 15 years. Justin is committed to protecting and enhancing the rights of children and in that capacity is a Director of the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights; in addition, he is a Director of Northwest Disability Services, a not-for-profit organisation that provides services to children and adults with intellectual and physical difficulties.

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