Giles Stapleton

Giles was called to the Bar in October 2012 after a 20 year career in banking and commerce in Sydney and London.

Giles’ practice in Family Law involves appearing in all types of property and parenting disputes and appearing led and unled in reviews and appeals of family law decisions.

Giles is also a member of Ninth Floor Selborne Chambers, Sydney from where he also appears in property law and equity disputes in the NSW Supreme Court.

Giles accepts briefs in all New South Wales Courts, all Federal Courts and the Federal Circuit & Family Courts across Australia.

If you wish to brief Mr Stapleton, or enquire as to his availability, or fees, please do so by contacting his clerk, Branka Dosen. If you wish to email Branka Dosen click click here.

The Hon. Stephen O’Ryan KC

The Hon. Stephen O’Ryan KC is a leading Family Law barrister whose legal career spans
more than four decades.

If you wish to brief Mr O’Ryan KC, or enquire as to his availability, or fees, please do so by contacting his clerk, Branka Dosen. If you wish to email Branka Dosen click here.

The Hon. Colin Forrest SC

The Hon. Colin Forrest SC has been a family lawyer for over thirty years.

Born and raised in Tamworth, he completed his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees at the University of New South Wales in 1986, after having also had three gap years working and studying in Germany, Japan and the Northern Territory.

After graduating, he was Legal Associate to Justice Michael Kirby, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.  He was admitted as a Barrister of the New South Wales Supreme Court whilst he was an Associate.

In 1988, Mr Forrest moved to Queensland and worked for two years as a solicitor for the city firm, Goss Downy Carne, where he practiced in family law, criminal law and personal injuries litigation.

In 1990, Mr Forrest was called to the Queensland Bar where he quickly established a specialist practice in family law and succession law. In the 1990’s, he served for four years as a part-time member of the Commonwealth Social Security Appeals Tribunal. In 2000, he was appointed as a part-time member of the Queensland Ant-Discrimination Tribunal and served on that until it was merged into the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2010.

Whilst maintaining his family law practice, Mr Forrest was a Deputy Public Interest Monitor in Queensland for several years before being appointed Public Interest Monitor pursuant to Queensland Police laws and Commonwealth anti-terrorism laws, responding to police applications to the Courts for covert surveillance warrants.

Mr Forrest was the Queensland Bar’s appointed representative on the Queensland Law Society’s Family Law Specialist Accreditation Committee for several years. He was an elected board member of the Queensland Family Law Practitioners’ Association and was serving as its President when appointed as a Judge of the Trial Division of the Family Court of Australia in February 2011.

Mr Forrest took silk in 2010.

As a Trial Judge of the Family Court of Australia assigned to the Brisbane Registry, Mr Forrest served the Court as a member of Chief Justice Diana Bryant’s Court Policy Advisory Committee, as Brisbane Registry Case Management Judge, as Brisbane Registry Magellan Judge and Brisbane Registry Hague Judge. Mr Forrest was also the Family Court’s nominated representative on the Joint Court’s Children’s Committee and the Brisbane Registry’s nominee on the Queensland Court’s Indigenous Policy Committee as well as the Family Court’s Indigenous Policy Committee.

Mr Forrest resigned his Judicial Commission in early 2021 after having written over five hundred judgments and has returned to practice at the Bar as a barrister, a mediator and an arbitrator.  Due to protocol, as a recently retired Judge, Mr Forrest is unable to appear in the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court before 2026. However, he willingly accepts instructions to mediate or arbitrate in family law matters anywhere in Australia. He is an accredited specialist family law arbitrator and an accredited mediator with the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (of which he is the Deputy Chair). He has conducted hundreds of mediations and numerous arbitrations since leaving the Family Court. Mr Forrest also accepts instructions to advise solicitors and clients in all aspects of family law and to represent clients in family law mediations and arbitrations.

Mr Forrest has a keen interest in international affairs. He reads and speaks reasonably fluent German. He has basic Japanese language skills and is learning Spanish, Italian and French. He is studying on a part-time basis towards a Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Queensland and he is a member of the Council of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Queensland Chapter. During leave from the Court in his last few years as a Judge, Mr Forrest spent eight weeks in Timor-Leste building relationships with the Judges of Timor-Leste, Non-Government Organizations and professional bodies in the justice system, as well as community-based capacity building organizations.

Mr Forrest has presented at many conferences and continuing professional education events in Australia and internationally throughout his career.

If you wish to brief Mr Forrest SC, or enquire as to his availability or fees, please do so by contacting his clerk, Branka Dosen. If you wish to email Branka Dosen click here.

Dixie Coulton

In 2015, Ms Coulton was recognised by the Doyles Guide as one of the recommended family law barristers in New South Wales.

If you wish to brief Ms Coulton, or enquire as to her availability, or fees, please do so by contacting her clerk, Branka Dosen. If you wish to email Branka Dosen click here.