OUR TEAM

Tim Osborn
Solicitor Director
Commercial & Corporate

Tim Osborn holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business from the University of Newcastle and has been qualified as a solicitor since 2004.

Tim was previously employed as Associate in charge of the business and corporate team at a large Newcastle law firm where he concentrated on commercial transaction work and commercial litigation before founding Osborn Law in January 2011.

Tim regularly advises clients and their financial and accounting advisors on:

  • All manner of supply/procurement contracts in the building, mining and hospitality sectors
  • Software and other Intellectual Property and asset licensing
  • mergers, acquisitions and disposals
  • Corporations Act issues
  • Business and asset structuring (including asset protection)
  • Distribution and agency arrangements
  • Franchising
  • Commercial property
  • Commercial and residential lending (and security)

He further assists clients in making certain they have adequate tools in place to ensure their dealings with customers and suppliers do not expose them to undue business risk. This includes advising on and preparing credit application forms, general terms of trade, director’s guarantees and providing advice on general commercial debt recovery methods.

Tim prides himself on providing accurate, relevant, timely, and above all, practical advice to his clients.

Tim is an Honorary Commander in the Hunter Defence Support Network (HDSN) which was formed in 2015 as a single-purpose community support and advocacy group focused on improving the lifestyle of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families whilst posted to the Hunter Region.

He is a member of the Camp Quality Newcastle MotoCyc committee responsible for organising the annual fundraiser motorbike ride through country NSW combining his passion for motorbike riding and supporting great local charities.

Tim is also a former Director on the Board of NUSport (2008-2018), an incorporated body of the University of Newcastle which is responsible for the development of sport and fitness through services, facilities and activities, along with being a member of their Finance and Infrastructure Committees.

When not in the office, Tim loves spending time with his family, being outside and being active. Tim is a keen dirt bike rider and four wheel driver, and enjoys the bush and camping.

Christie Howson
Solicitor Director
Employment & Litigation

Christie Howson brings a wealth of experience to Osborn Law in the constantly changing and ever challenging area of employment law. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Accounting) and has been qualified as a solicitor since 2000.

Christie has practiced extensively in this area for over 18 years and some of the work that she has performed involved the following:

  • Drafting industrial documentation including common law employment contracts, subcontractor agreements and enterprise agreements for a large mining contractor
  • Advising on compliance with workplace laws and in particular, the Fair Work Act 2009 and Modern Award compliance for many industries including manufacturing, black coal, retail, administrative and hospitality
  • Enterprise Agreement negotiations, strategy advice and complying with Fair Work requirements for ratifying
  • Advising on terminating problem employees in order to reduce exposure to an unfair dismissal or general protections claim, including but not limited to performance and conduct issues, redundancy, medical retirement
  • Appearing at Fair Work Australia on behalf of clients to defend unfair dismissal and general protections claims
  • Assisting an engineering client who bought a business to understand the legal obligations of transferring employees
  • Advising a construction client on restraint of trade issues when a senior manager resigned and attempted to solicit clients
  • Appearing in a case for our client which involved in a claim for damages of $750,000.00 in the Federal Court in Queensland for an adverse action claim for breach of the general protections provision of the Fair Work legislation
  • Advising client in the medical field on the use of subcontractor agreements and License agreements
  • Assisting client in the amusement industry to respond to an audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment
  • Provide advice on compliance with Work Health and safety Act 2011

Christie regularly conducts in house training sessions for Osborn law’s client employers to assist our clients and their managers on how to deal with effective performance management, and bullying and harassment claims. She has also conducted workplace investigations into claims.

Christie also worked for 4 years in a national law firm in insurance law where she acted on behalf of workers compensation insurers. This background assists greatly in employment law work when complex workers compensation issues are involved.

In addition to the employment law work, Christie manages major commercial litigation disputes, particularly those in the Supreme Court of NSW but also in the District and Local Courts. Some of the work that Christie has performed involved the following:

  • Appearing in a Supreme Court matter which involved a breach of contract and claim for $800,000.00 in damages.
  • Appearing in the Federal court in an Intellectual Property dispute where are our client alleges that its Intellectual Property rights were infringed upon and also an associated breach of contract case.
  • Appearing in a District Court matter where the damages claimed was $750,000.00 for breach of contract and a claim for damages (due to failed property deals).
  • Appearing in a District court matter where a former subcontractor attempted to poach clients.
Laura Bennett
Senior Associate
Commercial & Property

Laura Bennett has more than 14 years of experience in the legal profession. Following her completion of a Bachelor of Laws at Newcastle University she took up a full time paralegal position before being admitted as a solicitor in 2008.

She has particular expertise in commercial contract negotiations and drafting. She has an exceptional set of drafting skills and a “can do” approach to client service.

Laura’s experience in commercial and property law includes:

  •  Drafting and advising on supply agreements and other service contracts
  •  Drafting trading terms
  •  Negotiating and drafting commercial and retail leases and licence agreements
  •  Drafting and advising on shareholder and unitholder agreements, share transactions and business sale and purchase agreements
  • Corporate structuring and mergers and acquisitions
  • Regularly running large commercial and residential land sale and purchase transactions
  • Residential and strata subdivisions and consolidations
  • Drafting and advising on loan, mortgage and other security and guarantee documents
  • Advising on limited recourse borrowing arrangements and bare trust acquisitions and roll overs
Sarah Hovanyecz
Senior Associate
Commercial and Corporate

Sarah Hovanyecz has more than 8 years’ experience in the legal profession. Sarah worked as a settlement clerk and paralegal in Sydney CBD before being admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in 2015 following completion of a Bachelor of Laws with Honours at the University of Wollongong in 2014.

Sarah worked as a commercial solicitor at a boutique firm in Sydney before moving to Newcastle in 2015 where she continued to practice as a commercial and employment solicitor before joining the Osborn Law team in 2018.

She has a particular interest and skillset for commercial transactions, including share sales and purchases; corporate structuring and restructuring; business sales and purchases; and, mergers and acquisitions. Sarah enjoys a good challenge and problem solving so she works well under pressure.

Sarah’s experience in commercial law includes:

  • M & A transactions, including share transactions, business and asset sale and purchase transactions and corporate restructures
  • Drafting and advising on licence agreements and supply contracts
  • Drafting trading terms and terms of engagement
  • Negotiating and drafting commercial and retail leases
  • Drafting and advising on franchise agreements
  • Drafting and advising on shareholder and unitholder agreements and other structure arrangements
  • Drafting and advising on loan, mortgage and other security and guarantee documents and arrangements

She has also assisted clients with general litigation, debt recovery and employment matters including drafting and advising on employment contracts and acting for both employers and employees in Fair Work Commission proceedings. Sarah believes her experience in litigation and employment law assists her to provide considered and practical advice to her clients about the risks they need to be aware of in their commercial dealings.

Sarah prides herself on exceeding client expectations and is passionate about developing a genuine relationship with her clients.

Sarah is a Non-Executive Director of Hunter Prelude which has been providing quality early childhood intervention services for over 30 years, for children and their families in the Cessnock, Maitland, Dungog, Singleton, Scone, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter LGAs.

When not in the office, Sarah can usually be found either playing or coaching netball (which is most days!) but when she has some down time she enjoys being with her family and her two dogs Ruby and Daisy. Sarah also actively supports a number of charity initiatives in the local area, including being a volunteer with Dog Rescue Newcastle since 2017.

Lana Black
Senior Associate
Commercial and Estate Planning

Lana completed a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Newcastle prior to being admitted as a solicitor in 2013.

She has over seven years’ experience in the legal profession practicing primarily in the areas of estate planning and deceased estates, along with property and commercial law.

Lana’s focus is primarily in estate planning, with experience in advising clients in relation to:

  • wills (including asset protection, testamentary trusts, superannuation wills proceeds trusts and family provision claims);
  • powers of attorney (for both individuals and corporations);
  • appointments of enduring guardian;
  • superannuation; and
  • integration of existing trust structures with their estate planning objectives.

She also has extensive experience in the administration of deceased estates, including advising both executors and beneficiaries in a wide variety of estate matters such as family provision claims; questions of capacity; questions of informal wills; taxation; duties and responsibilities of executors/administrators; and general administration of estates.

Stemming from her background in wills and estates, Lana is responsible for dealing with the establishment, amendment and vesting of trusts for Osborn Law clients. Lana is also experienced in advising clients in relation to associated asset protection and structuring and works closely with our commercial team when looking at clients’ commercial structuring arrangements.

Lana is particularly passionate about estate planning and is currently undertaking a Masters in Wills and Estates.

Lana’s property and commercial law experience complements her skills in estate planning and means that she has a well-rounded, practical approach in advising commercial clients.

When not in the office, Lana enjoys catching up with family and friends (particularly by a camp fire) and running around after her children.

Joshua McCormack
Solicitor
Employment & Litigation

Joshua McCormack graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2017 and a Bachelor of Communications (Media and Journalism) in 2015.

He completed the Legal Practice Program at the University of Newcastle while studying in 2017 and was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in February 2018.

Prior to joining Osborn Law, Joshua worked for a national insurance law firm where he assisted local governments on various public liability disputes. He gained further valued legal experience in a boutique family and criminal law practice in Newcastle.

Joshua works closely within the Osborn Law litigation team assisting in a variety of commercial, corporate and employment matters. He has assisted clients in a number of building and constructions disputes in the Local, District and Supreme Court. He has worked on complex commercial matters  in the technology and commercial list of the Supreme Court.  

Morgan Cherry
Solicitor
Commercial

Morgan was born and raised in Newcastle and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons Class I) and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Relations) from the University of Newcastle. Admitted as a solicitor in 2017, Morgan gained experience in a range of private practice roles during his studies, including a clerkship in Jakarta at one of Indonesia’s leading corporate and commercial law firms.

Morgan’s expertise includes:

  • drafting, advising and negotiating a range of commercial agreements across a broad spectrum of industries, including mining and commodities, energy, hotels and hospitality, financial services, engineering, manufacturing, construction, banking, transport and logistics, education, technology, IT, media, life sciences, retail and telecommunications
  • business and personal structuring
  • acquisitions and disposals of land (retail, office buildings, agricultural properties, shopping centres and hotels), infrastructure and entities in multiple Australian jurisdictions
  • water trading under the Water Management Act 2000 and Water Act 1912
  • leasing for both landlords and tenants of commercial, retail, industrial and hotel premises in multiple Australian jurisdictions
  • property projects including land subdivisions, strata and community title developments and developments under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013

Morgan also has a particular interest in working for a number of not for profit and charitable organisations in relation to their commercial and property law requirements as well as providing advice on corporate governance and ACNC compliance.

Morgan prides himself on his personable nature and commercial approach and uses his range of experience to assist clients in all aspects of their development, whether in initial structuring, growth, contracting or exit.

When not in the office, Morgan enjoys keeping fit, travelling and exploring Newcastle with his family and friends.

Yvonne Reynolds
Licensed Conveyancer

Yvonne has a proven track record of almost 30 years’ experience in the legal industry in both an administration and professional capacity.

Working her way up from receptionist as a 16 year old she has progressed to legal secretary, paralegal and then recently completed the Conveyancing Law and Practice course through Macquarie University to become a qualified Licensed Conveyancer.

She has worked in both large and small legal practices in Newcastle working with staff at all levels, which has equipped her with the skills and values required to carry out her role.  She has a high level of attention to detail and accuracy and prides herself on her commitment, self-discipline, confidentiality, teamwork, multi-tasking, planning and prioritising.

Yvonne’s experience in property law includes both residential and commercial transactions such as:

  • Preparing contracts for sale including drafting of matter appropriate additional special conditions;
  • Preparing Leases and Licence Agreements;
  • Preparing Option Deeds, Deeds of Variation and Deeds of Rescission;
  • Assisting in preparation of subdivision contracts for small and large developments and managing sale transactions to completion;
  • Providing advice in relation to existing Torrens and Strata Title contracts and negotiating terms;
  • Providing advice in relation to “off the plan” contracts;
  • First home buyer, non-Australian resident and Verification of Identity requirements;
  • Acting for incoming lenders and mortgagee power of sale transactions;
  • Obtaining and review of purchase enquires;
  • Preparing Replies to Requisitions on Title;
  • Liaising with lenders, both incoming and outgoing;
  • Preparing LRS Forms including Transfers and Caveats;
  • EDR stamping requirements;
  • Preparing and reviewing financial settlement statements;
  • Co-ordinating simultaneous settlements;
  • Electronic settlement process on the PEXA platform, having recently become a PEXA Certified Member.

Yvonne is a member of the NSW Australian Institute of Conveyancers and strives to identify and satisfy client needs with quality service, confidence and commitment in all aspects of her work.

Dominic Mather
Solicitor
Employment & Commercial

Dominic graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2020 and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) in 2019. During 2019 and 2020, he completed his Diploma of Legal Practice through the University’s Legal Practice Program while working as a Law Clerk in Osborn Law’s commercial team  and was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2021.

Dominic has a particular interest in employment disputes, commercial litigation disputes, corporate structuring including sale and purchase of shares, corporate governance and security agreements.

His experience includes:

  • Drafting and advising on shareholder agreements;
  • Drafting and advising on contracts of employment and contractor agreements;
  • Assisting in and advising on employment investigations;
  • Advising on employment disputes regarding redundancy and termination for both employers and employees;
  • Drafting and advising on commercial and retail leases;
  • Drafting and advising on general security agreements, loan agreements and other security documents.

Dominic believes his compassion, competitiveness and critical thinking are a necessary component for obtaining client outcomes. He understands by being empathetic and critical, he is able to efficiently and effectively deliver practical solutions to client’s.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys being with his family and friends, going to the beach, staying fit and eating good food.