People

Shai Sommer

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Senior Associate
Family & Relationship Law
Image > Team Member > Shai Sommer

Shai is a determined, strategic and empathetic advocate who is recognised by the family law profession as a specialist in the field. Shai's clients comment on his unrivalled work ethic and commitment to listening to their needs as well as his commercial and practical focus.

Recognising that each client has different values and concerns, Shai provides advice that is tailored to the individual and their family circumstances. He focuses on providing clients with practical solutions and, where possible, he aims to resolve their matters swiftly outside of court.

Shai has an established professional network which includes financial advisors, mortgage brokers, medical professionals and lawyers practising in other jurisdictions, with whom he regularly collaborates to guide his clients through their family law journey.

Prior to working in family law Shai worked at one of Australia's largest national privately-owned businesses. During those years, he gained an acute appreciation for commercial decision-making and for alternative dispute resolution, skills which he applies to his family law practice.

Shai received his accreditation as a family law specialist in November 2021 and is fluent in Hebrew.

He was named as a 2024 Family Law Rising Star by Doyle's Guide and in the "Ones to Watch" category of Best Lawyers in 2023, both of which are peer-reviewed publications.

Experience

Shai's experience includes:

  • matters involving the breakdown of same-sex and de facto relationships
  • matters involving threshold and jurisdiction issues (for example whether a de facto relationship existed, whether court intervention is appropriate and whether to vary existing final orders)
  • children's matters, including those involving children with special needs, relocation (interstate and overseas), parental alienation and child abuse cases
  • complex property matters, including those involving intricate corporate structures, trust disputes, self-managed superannuation funds, valuation disputes, overseas assets and overseas corporate interests
  • spousal maintenance disputes
  • child support, including departure applications, binding child support agreements and limited child support agreements
  • financial agreements, in anticipation of a marriage / de facto relationship ("pre-nuptial"), during a marriage / de facto relationship and following separation
  • family violence and intervention order proceedings, including appearing for clients in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria
  • international family law matters, including those involving Hague Convention proceedings
  • appearing at various hearings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
  • negotiating at roundtable conferences and private mediations
  • divorces.

Insights by Shai