Our People

At Meerkin & Apel we have a strong team committed to the work we do. Our dynamic team combines the strengths of our younger lawyers with many years experience of our longer serving lawyers supported by a dedicated and efficient administrative personnel.

Isaac Apel

Partner 

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email ia@meerkinapel.com.au

Isaac’s practice focus is litigation and commercial law for both corporate and private clients. Isaac is a skilled advisor and negotiator in the commercial field and a tough adversary in Litigation.  He also specialises in entertainment and intellectual property.  
 

Isaac Apel is the Managing Partner of the Firm and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the Firm both as to the quality and type of legal work performed, as well as the human and capital resources.  

Isaac graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Laws. 

Michael Czarny

Partner 

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email mc@meerkinapel.com.au 

Michael practises in Banking & Finance specialising in both residential and commercial property mortgage transactions as well as a variety of non-real estate secured transactions. 

Michael assists his private lender clients in negotiating, due diligence, documenting and completion of transactions. 

Michael was admitted to practice 1977. 

Rodney Saw

Partner 

LLB, B.Com (Melbourne)

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email rks@meerkinapel.com.au
 

Rodney has been a partner in the Commercial and Property law section of the practice since 1986.  He draws on over 30 years' experience to provide personal and practical advice and assistance to private and corporate clients in a broad range of commercial and property related transactions.

Rodney has advised clients in a wide range of commercial matters including:

  • property acquisitions and disposals
  • property developments and subdivisions
  • building subdivisions
  • franchising agreements for franchisors of multi-store franchises
  • leasing both commercial and retail
  • Option Agreements tenders and expression of interest
  • property-related stamp duty and GST advice
  • development, sale and purchase of leasehold interests within Victorian alpine resorts
  • sale and purchase of businesses

Gary Katz

Partner

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email gk@meerkinapel.com.au

Gary heads up the Firm’s Employment Law and Workplace/Industrial Relations Department and has extensive experience in all aspects of these areas including:-

  • Employment Contracts
  • Award interpretation and disputation
  • Industrial disputes (including unfair/unlawful dismissal claims, industrial action, etc.)
  • Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity; Common law and Award claims in all jurisdictions
  • Federal Court and AIRC/FWA claims
  • Defence of workplace prosecutions
  • Performance Management/Disciplinary procedures
  • Workplace Relations legislation
  • Transmission of business issues
  • Organisational restructuring
  • Enterprise bargaining and Agreements
  • Redundancies and redeployment issues
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Employment Policies and Procedures
  • Training on relevant ER/IR issues

Marvin Weinberg

Partner

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email mw@meerkinapel.com.au

Marvin is a Partner in the Commercial and Property Departments of the Firm.

He has extensive experience in dealing with Testator's Family Maintenance Claims, challenges to Wills and other estate related matters.  Marvin also practises in the areas of sports law and acts for a number of high profile sportsmen and women.

Marvin is a practitioner with over 30 years experience and has been involved in many large and complex transactions on behalf of his clients.

Marvin graduated from Monash University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Bachelor of Economics degree.

Emanuel Tumino

Partner

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email et@meerkinapel.com.au

Emanuel was admitted to practice in 1981 and is a Litigation Partner of the Firm. 

His areas of focus are general and commercial litigation, building disputes and mediation in all courts from the Magistrates Court to complex Supreme Court cases.  Emanuel also conducts matters in the building and the retail tenancy lists in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and has extensive experience in contract disputes, Trade Practices Act and Fair Trading Act issues, professional negligence matters, estate disputes and corporate debt recovery.

Emanuel is fluent in Italian and his many years in practice bring a wealth of experience, broad knowledge and incisive and effective negotiating skills to his client's matters.

Emanuel is a member of the Rotary Club of Footscray and is a committee member of the Rotary District 9800 Youth Exchange Committee.

Hugh Maclaren

Partner 

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email

hm@meerkinapel.com.au

Hugh is a Partner in our litigation department, focusing on commercial litigation.  He was admitted to practice in 1995 and has a wide range of experience in general commercial litigation, corporate and securities litigation including director’s duties and partnership disputes.  Hugh is an accredited commercial litigation specialist.

Hugh acts for a range of clients from individuals through to major corporations advising and where appropriate, litigating.  Whether enforcing a matter through to judgment, or resolving disputes on commercial terms, his particular emphasis is on finding practical and commercial solutions.

Hugh also has an insolvency practice and advises creditors, directors and insolvency practitioners in matters from bankruptcies through to liquidations of corporate groups.

Howard Chait

Partner 

Contact

T 95100 366
F
95100 399

Email

hc@meerkinapel.com.au

Howard is a Partner in our litigation section.  He draws on over 25 years experience as a Lawyer and Partner previously in both national and mid-tier legal firms.

Howard has substantial expertise in the areas of corporate reconstruction, insolvency and complex litigation and dispute resolution in a wide variety of matters (including litigation in respect of banking disputes, intellectual property, shareholder and director disputes, estate matters, contracts, joint ventures, negligence and disputes brought under the Competition and Consumer Act).

Amongst other matters Howard has been involved in over the years since he was admitted as a Lawyer, he has more recently been involved in:

  • Acting for the directors of a large car parts manufacturer which collapsed.
  • Acting for one of the partners in a restructuring of an established dental practice.
  • Acting for a group of shareholders in a restructure of a large electrical company.
  • Acting for a national bank in relation to managed investment schemes after the responsible entity collapsed.
  • Acting for the administrators and then liquidators of a large property development company.
  • Acting for the administrators of a group of companies in the dairy industry and drawing a deed of company arrangement on a pooling basis.
  • Acting for investors in relation to a foreign based telecommunications company and advising on issues including the tracing of assets, cross border matters and forum non-conveniens.
  • Acting for the executor of a large deceased estate in Part IV proceedings.
  • Acting for the owners of a vineyard in a large claim arising from chemical spray drift.

Howard's professional affiliations include membership of the Commercial and Litigation Sections of the Law Institute of Victoria and Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA)

James Pergl

Special Counsel

Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email
jp@meerkinapel.com.au

James Pergl is a senior associate with Meerkin & Apel and was admitted to practice in 1996.

James practises in commercial litigation and family law and has experience in all jurisdictions with expertise in large commercial disputes, Trade Practices, disputes between directors and shareholders, building disputes and complex family law property matters.

James graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons). He has practised both in London and Australia.

Joanne Randello

Special Counsel

Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email
jr@meerkinapel.com.au

Joanne Randello is practising in Family Law disputes and litigation.

Joanne has extensive experience in complex property disputes and children's matters. Joanne has particular expertise in agreements which protect assets prior to, and during, cohabitation or marriage.

Joanne recognises the unique nature of family law disputes and provides her clients with commercially prudent legal advice delivered in an empathetic manner. Joanne leaves no stone unturned in achieving the best result for her clients. Joanne is an advocate of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, such as mediation and often uses ADR to commercially resolve a dispute.

Joanne also lectures and conducts tutorial sessions in family law for tertiary students as part of the LLB degree.

Jane Bentley

Senior Associate

Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email

jb@meerkinapel.com.au


Jane is an Accredited Family Law Specialist, having practiced solely in family law since her Admission to Practice in 2009. Jane enjoys working in partnership with her clients to achieve commercial outcomes for them.

 

Jane has worked in all areas of family law and has a number of published judgements. Jane enjoys working on and has experience with both complex parenting and property matters.

 

Jane is involved with the Law Institute of Victoria sitting on the Children & Youth Committee and the Court Practices Committee.


Elizabeth Ong

Senior Associate


Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email
eo@meerkinapel.com.au

Elizabeth graduated from the University of London in 1996 with a second class upper division and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in Malaysia in October 1998. She was later admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia in May 2015.  Her area of practice is corporate and commercial law.

 

Elizabeth joined ZICOlaw specialising in corporate and commercial law.  That firm being the largest and leading law firm in Malaysia, she has had the opportunity to undertake several listings of companies in Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.  She advised and assisted multinational companies in global corporate restructuring, established investments in Malaysia, cross border transactions, mergers and acquisitions and advised local companies on corporate exercises, joint ventures and shareholders agreements.

 

Elizabeth was appointed in-house counsel in Hong Leong Financial Group, a publicly listed and diversified financial group which is part of one of the leading banking and financial services providers in Malaysia, assisting mainly in the Group’s global investment and ensuring compliance with the Malaysian banking and securities regulations and later, in-house counsel in IJM Corporation, a publicly listed and an internationally competitive Malaysian conglomerate where her main role was advising, managing the legal functions and participating in the senior management of the IJM group.

 

Elizabeth has continued her practice in Australia in the commercial area where she specialises on business and shares disposal and acquisition, joint venture, partnership agreement, franchise, trust documentation, shareholders agreement, corporate governance, project financing, banking and finance, corporate restructuring, commercial leasing and property law matters.

 

Growing up in Malaysia, Elizabeth speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and the Malaysian language (Bahasa Malaysia).

 

Caroline Callegari

Senior Associate

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

cfc@meerkinapel.com.au

Caroline Callegari was admitted to practice in April 2008 after completing her Articles with the Firm.  She is currently specialising in Commercial Litigation, where she has been involved in a number of major commercial matters in various Courts including the Magistrates', County and Supreme Courts of Victoria, the Supreme Court of New South Wales and a special leave application to the High Court.  She has provided legal, strategic and practical advice to clients in a range of disputes including contractual, partnership and shareholder disputes and disputes involving claims of breaches of intellectual property rights.  She also has extensive experience and knowledge of debt recovery procedures.

In addition to practising in Commercial Litigation, Caroline has a variety of experience in the area of Employment Law and Industrial Relations, where she has both provided general employment advice and conducted employment related litigation in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, the Fair Work Commission and its predecessors, and in the County Court of Victoria.  She also has a keen interest in equal opportunity law and has represented clients in conciliations involving claims of discrimination and sexual harassment in the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Caroline graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2007, with a combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree (with a major in Genetics).

Richard Scougall

Senior Associate

Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email

rs@meerkinapel.com.au

Richard Scougall is a lawyer in our Workplace/Industrial Relations Department and was admitted to practice in 2003.

Richard provides strategic and practical advice in a range of workplace relations and employment law areas including:

  • Managing workplace disputes relating to disciplinary procedures and bullying and harassment complaints
  • Drafting and implementing employment contracts, policies and procedures, post-employment restraints, protection of confidential information and intellectual property
  • Training for human resource and line managers
  • Restructuring and redundancy advice and assistance
  • Managing long-term serious injuries and responding to workplace incidents
  • Managing union relations and consultation and communication strategies
  • Drafting and negotiating enterprise agreements and representation in industrial disputes
  • Defending prosecutions by the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Defending unfair dismissal and general protections claims in the Fair Work Commission and Federal Court
  • Defending anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and contractual disputes in State and Federal courts and tribunals

Richard graduated with a Law and Arts double degree in 2001 from Queensland University of Technology and a graduate diploma in legal practice in 2003, also from QUT.  He is currently completing a Master of Laws (Workplace and Employment) at Monash University.

Khloe Saw

Lawyer

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

ks@meerkinapel.com.au

Khloe was admitted to practice in 2013 after completing her law traineeship with the firm.

 

Khloe practices in litigation and has assisted clients in a range of matters including general commercial matters, contractual disputes, consumer law disputes, debt recovery and enforcement of civil debts.

 

Khloe also practices in family law and has been involved in numerous property and children’s matters.  Khloe appreciates both the legal and interpersonal complexities associated with family breakdowns and offers both a pragmatic and caring approach, matched to the client’s specific needs.

 

Khloe graduated from LaTrobe University in 2012, with a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Bachelor of Business degree.

Shayne Barnett

Lawyer

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

sb@meerkinapel.com.au


Shayne was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia in 2012.  His areas of practise are banking and finance and commercial law.

 

Shayne’s background includes working in a boutique commercial firm where he concentrated his practise providing comprehensive advice to both businesses and individuals to assist them in achieving their commercial goals. .  Shayne has also worked in local government. 

 

Shayne holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and a Juris Doctor (post graduate law degree) from Monash University, where he was invited to be part of the High Academic Achievers’ Programme.  Shayne is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne.

 

David Welner

Lawyer

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

dw@meerkinapel.com.au


David is a Commercial Property Law specialist.

 

He advises on leasing, buying and selling land, industrial development, residential subdivisions and securities. 

 

He has advised some of Australia’s most renowned property portfolios including ALDI, AMP, CBUS Property, GPT, ISPT, Perpetual and The Trust Co.

 

David’s property work is complemented with focused planning for indirect tax issues, such as stamp duty, land tax, GST and CGT.  David applies this knowledge when undertaking initial structuring for projects, and in resolving disputes with the ATO and SRO. 

 

David holds Master of Laws and Bachelor of Science degrees from Monash University


Corey Byrne

Lawyer

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

cb@meerkinapel.com.au

Corey was admitted to practice in May 2016 after completing his Supervised Workplace Training at the Firm.  

 

Corey practices in the commercial litigation and dispute resolution team and has experience working in the Supreme, County and Magistrates Court of Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia  in various litigious matters involving contract, property, banking and finance, insolvency, trade practices, shareholder and director disputes, debt recovery and intellectual property. 

 

Corey graduated from Monash University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law.  Corey was awarded First Class Honours in his Bachelor of Law degree and his undergraduate law Honours thesis was published in the Property Law Review.  Corey is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne.

Rob Wall


Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

rw@meerkinapel.com.au

Rob is a Workplace Relations Advisor with Meerkin and Apel providing advice and assistance on a wide range of human resources/industrial relations issues mainly in the Local Government and Water sectors. As a practical, hands on Advisor, Rob provides advice tailored to the situation with the benefit of 20 years experience in these sectors. This includes negotiating enterprise agreements and advice on human resource management issues. Over this period of time, Rob has established and developed ongoing relationships both on an individual and corporate level.

Rob has a Bachelor of Business degree from Monash University.

David Tozer


Contact

T 95100 366
F 95100 399

Email dt@meerkinapel.com.au

 

David is a Workplace Relations Advisor with Meerkin & Apel, providing human resources and industrial relations advice in respect to Local Authority related matters.  David was recently appointed after twelve years in Local Government.  David started his Local government career at Mildura Rural City working in the Rates Best Value Units.  A 12 month appointment at  Mount Alexander Shire as Accountant was followed by a move to Moyne Shire, where he was Manager Organisational Development for six years.  

Apart from conducting numerous senior appointments including CEO recruitment, David has supervised the conduct of municipal elections, negotiated several enterprise agreements and co-ordinated Council’s internal audit process.  David provides support on matters regarding enterprise bargaining, disciplinary process, banding classification, recruitment process and governance.

David holds a Diploma in Human Resources from South West TAFE.

Elisa Kelly


Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

ek@meerkinapel.com.au

Elisa is a Workplace Relations Advisor with Meerkin & Apel, providing human resources and industrial relations advice mainly to local government and statutory authorities.  Prior to commencing with the Firm, Elisa practised in that area of expertise for 15 years in Local Government and before that was employed by the Victorian Government as a Solicitor with the Industrial Relations Division of the Department of State Development. 

Elisa commenced her local government career at the City of Boroondara working in Economic Development for 5 years before returning to her area of passion, industrial relations and human resources at Nillumbik Shire Council.  In 2005 Elisa joined Manningham City Council where she held various IR/HR related positions over nine years.  Elisa has vast practical experience in enterprise bargaining, performance management, policy and procedure development and recruitment.

Elisa has a BA.LLB (Latrobe University) and MBA (Swinburne University).

 


Jessica Fox

Contact

T 95100 366

F 95100 399

Email

jf@meerkinapel.com.au

Jess, who holds a Diploma in Human Resources from The Australian College of Applied Psychology, commenced her career in local government at Yarra Ranges Council as an Executive Officer Human Resources in 2014.  She led a team of Human Resources and Payroll professionals, whilst providing human resources and industrial relations support to leaders and employees across the Council for 3 years.  Prior to local government, Jess worked for Shell Company of Australia for 13 years, where she held various roles in Human Resources and Recruitment. 

 

Jess has vast practical experience in HR, Recruitment, Industrial Relations and team leadership and always strives not only to meet, but also to exceed, the needs of her clients.