Shelley O’Connell

Head of Family Law - South Australia

  • 03 9088 3184

Head of Family Law – Adelaide

Shelley focuses on guiding her family law clients to outcomes, acting with compassion and empathy, understanding that the process can be a challenging one during what is often a painful time in a family’s life. She is also a strong advocate for her clients, seeking to empower them to move on with their lives, and at the same time being their voice when they need one.

Shelley has over 15 years’ experience as a lawyer, first working in a regional South Australian legal practice, where she focused primarily on family law but gained experience in diverse areas such as criminal law, intellectual property, licensing, civil litigation, and wills and estates.

Since 2009 she has practised almost exclusively in family law and provides advice and representation in all areas including children’s issues, complex property settlements, rural property settlements, superannuation splitting and child support. She often works with same sex couples, transgender persons and parenting cases involving non-parent carers of children. Shelley is a Past President and Past Vice-President of the Women Lawyers’ Association (SA) and sat on that organisation’s managing committee from 2006 to 2018. Shelley was a Member of the Council of the Law Society of South Australia (2008 to 2015) and was previously elected to its Executive from 2011 to 2012. She served for several years as a member of the Country Practitioners Committee of the Law Society (SA), the Society’s Family Law Committee and its Women Lawyers Committee (of which she was the Chair). Shelley has also mentored law students in the UniSA Business Career Mentor Program. Outside of the legal profession, Shelley has sat on the Management Committee of the Halifax Street Children’s Centre & Pre-School and the Adelaide University Theatre Guild.

Shelley was recently named one of the Doyle’s Guide Family Law Rising Stars for 2020 and is thrilled to be heading up the new Adelaide office of Australian Family Lawyers.

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