About Us

About Merridy Elphick Lawyers

Merridy Elphick Lawyers are expert family lawyers based in the central business district of Newcastle, NSW.  With an excess of 40 years’ experience in all areas of family law, our team of professionals strive for excellence in our craft.

Our family law philosophy

At Merridy Elphick Lawyers our philosophy is to provide sound and reasoned advice, to be your advocates, and your experts in family law. We bring compassion to our work and appreciate that no two relationships are the same and therefore each needs its own unique resolution.


Our goal is to achieve equitable results for our clients.  

Tying up loose ends

We ensure our clients’ needs are met and at the end of their matters they are able to move on with confidence.  

A clean break

At the end of financial matters, it is important that our clients are able to move on knowing that their future financial position is free from any further claim by their ex-spouse.

Meet our team

Merridy Elphick

Founder and Director

Keelie Jordan

Junior Legal Secretary

Karly Dowsett

Accounts Manager

Melanie Volkl

Senior Legal Secretary

Joanne Gunaratne

Senior Legal Secretary

Contact Merridy Elphick Lawyers

We welcome your enquiry and look forward to assisting you resolve any of your family law matters.

Merridy Elphick

Merridy Elphick is the Founder, Director, and Principal Solicitor of Merridy Elphick Lawyers Pty Limited. She established the firm in 2014 with a view to providing quality advocacy along with cost-effective yet personalised service to her clients.

With strong links to Newcastle, Merridy completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of Newcastle along with a Bachelor of Social Science and has been a Principal Solicitor/ Director for over 15 years.  

While studying law, Merridy was able to pursue her interest in social justice issues and worked as a volunteer with the University of Newcastle Public Interest Advocacy Centre on inquests into Police shootings and provided voluntary work for legal educators in East Timor. In recent years Merridy, along with many other dedicated lawyers, has provided assistance to people seeking asylum and protection visas.  

Merridy has a keen interest in property matters, including complex cases involving Binding Financial Agreements, the valuation of business interests and damages claims that may arise out of family violence.  

Merridy is a qualified Mediator and believes that for many people the best result is one that is achieved without litigation. Conversely, she understands that Mediation sometimes may not necessarily be the most appropriate model for dispute resolution.

Outside of work, Merridy’s interests include hiking, politics, Rufus the retriever and the odd good movie on a Sunday afternoon.

Merridy is a member of:

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Melanie Volkl

Mel has been working in legal administration and with Merridy Elphick since 2010. She joined Merridy Elphick Lawyers in 2015 and holds a Certificate III in Legal Services.

Mel is interested in all things health and nutrition and enjoys spending quality time with her son. She also has a passion for reading and learning about holistic health.

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Karly Dowsett

Karly has been working with Merridy Elphick since 2001, and with Merridy Elphick Lawyers since its inception.

Karly was a legal secretary from 2000, predominately in family law with some work in estate matters. Her current role is managing business administration and accounts.  

She has a Diploma of Legal Services and a Certificate IV in Business Administration. Karly is also a Justice of the Peace.  

Karly’s interests outside of work are wrangling and loving her young family.

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Keelie Jordan

Keelie Jordan joined Merridy Elphick Lawyers in 2020 as a Junior Legal Secretary.

She loves learning about the industry and is currently completing an Associate’s Degree in Law.

“Family Law provides a unique opportunity to help people at their most vulnerable, and I appreciate the chance to offer a sense of stability and confidence,” says Keelie.

Her background in office support and administration means she is able to provide the Merridy Elphick Lawyers team with the assistance they need to be able to focus on their clients.

Outside of work, Keelie loves to read about history and philosophy, and scout out the local food scene.

Joanne Gunaratne

Joanne Gunaratne commenced employment at Merridy Elphick Lawyers at the beginning of 2021 as a Senior Legal Secretary.

In her role, Joanne supports the solicitors in the areas of divorce, parental responsibility, property and financial settlements. This includes drafting and amending legal documents, file management, compiling briefs, liaising with clients, and preparing for litigation.

Joanne has worked as a paralegal for six years before joining Merridy and the team. As a paralegal she has experience in Immigration Law, Criminal Law, Family Law and Employment Law. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She expects to be admitted to the NSW Supreme Court in 2021. 

Originally from Melbourne, Joanne is excited to be exploring the Newcastle and Hunter regions and all they have to offer. She enjoys camping, reading, going on road trips and travelling whenever she gets the chance.

Joanne is an amazing cook and coaches chess in her spare time. She also speaks conversational Sinhala.