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



T 0419 007 404
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



T 0418 524 442
95100 399

Email mc@meerkinapel.com.au 

Michael practises in Banking & Finance specialising in both residential and commercial property mortgage transactions.  

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

Michael was admitted to practice 1977. 

Rodney Saw


LLB, B.Com (Melbourne)


T 0418 503 928
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
  • 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



T 0412 762 310
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



T 0414 952 770
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



T 0428 535 757
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



T 0418 373 060
95100 399



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, intellectual property and 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



T 0417 344 184
95100 399



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


T 0422 447 586
F 95100 399


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


T 0411 577 145
F 95100 399


Joanne Randello practises in Family Law.

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.

Debra Foulkes

Special Counsel


T 0437 377 355
F 95100 399



 Debra is has practised in family law for 25 years.  She has been involved in numerous complex property and parenting matters over the years, including:-
  • High net worth asset pools;
  • Asset pools where the assets are controlled by family trusts and/or corporations;
  • Relocation cases (where one party wishes to relocate with the children interstate or internationally);
  • Cases where there are intractable disputes between parents;
  • Acting on behalf of third parties, such as grandparents, in family law disputes;
  • Child support matters;
  • Matters where there are intervention orders.

Debra has also had experience as an Independent Children’s Lawyer (a lawyer appointed by the court to represent the interests of children).  She is an LIV Accredited Specialist in Family Law. She holds a Master of Law from Monash University and has a LL.B (Hons) and a BA from University of Melbourne. She has also practised in the area of Testator’s Family Maintenance.

She has a sensible commonsense approach to matters and will mediate wherever possible however she is a firm advocate for her client.

Caroline Callegari

Senior Associate


T 0423 513 881

F 95100 399



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).

Brooke Jolly

Senior Associate


T 0450 166 607
F 95100 399



Brooke Jolly is a lawyer in our Employment Law and Workplace/Industrial Relations Department, having been admitted to practice in 2015.

Brooke provides high-level, strategic and practical advice and assistance in a wide range of employment law and workplace relations areas, including the following:

  • Defending claims made by employees, such as unfair dismissal and general protections applications;

  • Managing workplace disputes, disciplinary procedures and bullying, harassment and equal opportunity complaints;

  • Drafting and implementing employment contracts, policies and procedures, post-employment restraints, protection of confidential information and intellectual property;

  • Restructuring and redundancy advice and assistance;

  • Managing long-term serious injuries and responding to workplace incidents;

  • Dealing with industrial action and union consultation and communication strategies;

  • Advice regarding Modern Awards and Enterprise Agreements; and

  • Performance management.

    Brooke graduated from Deakin University in 2014, with a combined Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Social and Political Thought) / Bachelor of Laws (Honours).

Khloe Saw



T 0433 673 656

F 95100 399



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.

Cammie Lee

Senior Associate


T 0406 223 031

F 95100 399



Cammie was admitted to practice in 2014. She is a lawyer in our Property and Commercial Department.

Cammie has worked for local and overseas investors, for the purchase and sale of residential and commercial properties, including the purchase and sale of shopping centres, large commercial buildings and residential properties. She is adept at assisting her clients in all stages of their purchase or sale, including advising on FIRB compliance, negotiating and drafting contracts of sales, performing due diligence and settlements. Cammie has also worked with developers with off-the-plan development projects, including compliance, drafting off-the-plan contracts, registration of plans of subdivision and settlements.


Cammie holds a Bachelor of Laws from University of Tasmania. She speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and Bahasa Malaysia.

James Teh



9510 0366

95100 399



James was admitted to practice in 2018 and holds a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.

He is a Lawyer in our Commercial and Property Department and has experience in all areas of complex property matters and commercial transactions and corporate work.

James is fluent in Mandarin.

Iris Pene

Law Graduate


T 9510 0366

F 95100 399



Iris is a Law Gradute and holds a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.

Rob Wall


T 0429 380 660

F 95100 399



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


T 0429 332 481
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


T 0412 962 022

F 95100 399



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).


Sophia Ioannidis


T 95100 366

F 95100 399



Sophia is a Workplace Relations Advisor at Meerkin & Apel, providing a wide range of human resources and industrial relations advice and assistance mainly to Local Government and Water sectors. Sophia started her career in Local Government at Moonee Valley City Council in 2010, where she was employed for over eight years. During that time Sophia managed diverse teams within Council and has extensive experience with dealing with a wide variety of HR/IR management issues, including the following:

  • Industrial and employee relations;
  • Enterprise bargaining and negotiation;
  • Policy review, development and interpretation;
  • Recruitment and selection;
  • HRIS and payroll;
  • Workforce data and analytics;
  • Planning and strategic management;
  • Organisational development and performance; and
  • Return to work and injury management

Sophia holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Human Resources Management from Swinburne University. She is currently completing the Juris Doctor, Master of Laws at Monash University.