We’re different to most family lawyers. We try to help our clients to find a resolution themselves, outside of the courts so that they have control over the outcome.


Annette Lakey. Principal.

Not your typical Family Lawyers

When you’re going through a separation, divorce, dividing assets or a parenting dispute, the last thing you want is a lawyer who is going to draw the process out.

Unlike most family lawyers, Annette is also an accredited mediator. Where possible we work to find a resolution outside of the courts. It is only when this isn’t achievable or realistic, that we will advise you to go to court.

Family law matters by their very nature are traumatic and painful. We see our role as helping you navigate the many legal considerations, and ultimately reach the best possible outcome, as quickly as possible.

Over the last 20+ years, we’ve helped thousands of families to reach resolution and move forward with their lives.


We listen and we care. We see it as our role to help you reach the best possible outcome, quickly and cost-effectively, so that you can move forward with your life.


I’ve dedicated over 20 years to helping people resolve all types of family law issues. I’m a qualified family lawyer, mediator and experienced litigator, supported by a team of experienced family law professionals.


Our focus is on finding resolution. Where possible we look to achieve this outside of the courts. But when that is the only option, our focus remains the same.


A reasonable fee structure, combined with a focus on resolution, can mean that our advice and representation is far more cost-effective than most other family lawyers.

Meet our Founder and Principal

Annette Lakey

I was born and bred in country Victoria and will always be a country girl at heart. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a lawyer and help people. So, after finishing school I moved to the ‘big smoke’ and completed a combined Arts Law degree at Monash University, graduating with Honours in Law.

I spent a few years practicing in regional Victoria, before I moved back to the city to further develop my skills and experience in family law. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by some of the leaders in the field.

I then went on to practice in family law in mid-tier firms in both Brisbane and Melbourne. It was during this time, where I saw many, many families dragged through the courts unnecessarily, that I began to look for more amicable ways to help my clients find resolution. I studied Mediation at Bond University and in 2012 became an Accredited Mediator.

This has allowed me to help many of my clients resolve their issues quickly and amicably, and far more cost-effectively. It allows them to reach agreement and make the decisions, rather than leave it in the hands of the courts. And, it usually means a better outcome for all involved.

In 2015 I established Lakey Law, a full service Family Law and Mediation practice that works to find the best possible outcome for all involved. I also volunteer my time at the Fitzroy Legal Service Family Law Clinic.

Professional Involvement
  • Member of the Law Institue of Victoria Education Committee
  • Member of the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Member of Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
  • Registered mediator with the Australian Mediation Association.
  • Fitzroy Legal Service Family Law Clinic volunteer

Meet the Lakey Family Law team

Jin Wang

Special Counsel

Having exclusively practiced family law for over decade, Jin has extensive experience in all facets of family law, including complex property and parenting matters, spousal maintenance, financial agreements, child maintenance, family violence and appearing before the courts.

As a strong advocate for her clients, Jin provides tailored, clear advice while working to avoid unnecessary conflict and achieve resolution as quickly and amicably as possible.

Joanne Smyers

Senior Associate

Joanne’s interest and passion for family law emerged while volunteering at Community Legal Centre’s when she was at University. After graduating, she began working in a Family Law Firm and has practised family law exclusively for the last 12+ years.

Taking the time to understand her client’s situation, needs and objectives, Joanne finds helping them navigate what is usually one of the most difficult times in their lives rewarding and works tirelessly to achieve the best outcome for them.

Ramya Ranjan


Ramya’s interest in family law emerged while volunteering at the Women’s Legal Centre in Canberra while she was at university. As a result, since beginning her legal career in 2020, Ramya has focused predominantly on family law, alongside child protection and wills and estates.

Her compassionate and empathetic nature, focus on achieving positive outcomes through negotiation and dispute resolution, and litigation skills enable her to support, guide and advise clients through each stage of their separation.

Gena Kleytman


As a Paralegal, Gena is typically our client’s first point of contact and provides support throughout the process of resolving their matters. Her kind, caring and sympathetic nature, combined with her professionalism, organisational skills, and passion for helping people, allow her to excel in this role.

Currently completing her fourth year of a Bachelor of Law and Commerce Degree at Deakin University, Gena enjoys working at a firm whose values align with her own while gaining invaluable experience and exposure to the practice of family law.

Lynne Riley

Practice Manager

As Practice Manager, Lynne ensures that your experience working with us is positive and that our accounts and operations run smoothly.

With over two decades of experience in office management and trust accounting, Lynne brings a wealth of experience to our firm and enjoys supporting our team in achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

Alexandra Woolgrove

Legal Secretary

Your first point of contact will most likely be Alex who will make you feel at ease as she is sympathetic and confidential.

Specialising in family law, Alex works in all facets of paralegal support, working closely with the Lakey Family Law team and maintaining strong client relationships. Alex has worked in small and mid-tier firms, but finds the culture of boutique practices to be far more fulfilling.

Kay Tsiandikos

Executive Assistant

Highly organised, with impeccable attention to detail and a warm, friendly nature, Kay supports Annette, Ramya and other members of the team in maintaining strong client relationships and achieving positive outcomes for our clients.

With close to three decades of experience working in legal firms of all sizes, Kay’s experience is immense. Her role at Lakey Family Law is multi-faceted and encompasses everything from operations and administration to liaising with clients, other practitioners and parties, and the courts.

Joanna Giannis


Joanna, our receptionist, is typically the friendly face who greets you when you visit or call.

Currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Commerce, Joanna is highly organised and enjoys helping working with our clients and other members of the to establish and maintain strong relationships. Her kind, warm, empathetic nature and attention to detail make her a pleasure to work with.

How we can help

Separation and Divorce

The advice, support, negotiation and representation you need to get through your separation and divorce as quickly and as amicably as possible.

Parenting agreements

Reach agreement and document parenting arrangements through advice, negotiation, mediation or court representation if need be.

Child support and maintenance

From child support to spousal maintenance and other financial matters…

Financial agreements

From Pre-Nuptial Agreements to Post Separation Agreements – we can help you negotiate and prepare a Financial Agreement at any stage of a relationship.

Property settlement

Finalise a fair property settlement and financial arrangement, quickly and efficiently with advice, mediation, negotiation and representation.


Avoid ugly family, parenting and property disputes by tackling issues through mediation and negotiation over and above litigation.

Lets Talk.

No Obligation. No Pressure.
Just sound advice.