Our People

Monaco Solicitors

When you are with Monaco Solicitors, you are assigned to one of our lawyers specialising in the particular area of compensation law. Each of our lawyers work closely in tight knit teams (or “brains trusts”) so we are able to achieve the best outcome for you. Our people are always available and pride themselves in being here to advise you and answer any of your questions.


Our People

Leon Monaco

Managing Partner - Senior Lawyer

Leon is the Managing Partner of Monaco Compensation Lawyers. He has approximately 23 years experience in representing clients injured in accidents of all kinds or as a result of medical malpractice.
 
Leon’s main focus is most substantial and demanding claims, usually involving complex matters of facts and law. His experience extends to Workers Compensation, Motor Accident, Public Liability and Medical Negligence Claims of all kinds.
 
Leon’s work has taken him to the highest courts in Australia, including the Supreme Court of NSW, Court of Appeal of NSW, and the High Court of Australia.
 
Leon never forgets that he works for and on behalf of his clients. He is driven by a desire to obtain the best possible outcome in each and every case. Leon also mentors young lawyers within the firm.
 
Leon is a member of the Australian Lawyers Alliance. He is committed to advancing the rights of injured people all over Australia. He is active in lobbying and making representation to various government agencies to ensure that the law does not discriminate against persons who suffered harm and loss as a result of someone’s negligence.
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Kelly Keane

Partner - Senior Lawyer Accredited Specialist

Kelly is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, a Partner of the firm and has approximately 20 years experience in acting for both plaintiffs and insurers/self-insurers. The first half of Kelly's career was spent working as a solicitor and partner of a legal firm whose sole practice involved acting for insurers and self-insurers in all aspects of personal injury litigation. Kelly managed the Sydney office of a national defendant personal injury law firm which included the supervision, mentoring and training of solicitors and other staff whose practice areas included all aspects of personal injury litigation.

Currently, Kelly is the supervising partner and Team Leader of Monaco Solicitors in relation to a large portfolio of plaintiff clients in the areas of workers compensation, work injury damages, motor accident, public liability, dust disease law, TPD & superannuation policy based claims. Kelly's experience is diverse and extends also to the mentoring and training of other compensation lawyers and staff within the practice as well as personally handling the more complex personal injury matters within the practice.

Kelly has provided advice and representation for plaintiffs and defendants in all areas of personal injury litigation and has valuable insight into how defendant organizations handle their workers' compensation and other claims and employees. Kelly was also the liaison partner for a number of high profile government and private employers when working in her previous role as a solicitor for a defendant legal firm.

Kelly works out of Monaco Solicitors' Sydney and Coffs Harbour offices and also travels regularly to visit clients in the firm's other north coast branch offices.
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Vanessa Azzi

Senior Associate - Senior Lawyer

Vanessa Azzi, a Senior Associate, is a solicitor admitted in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and High Court of Australia. She brings to the Monaco Solicitors team a wide range of legal experience and knowledge, having worked as a paralegal for Counsel and a national firm in the past.

Vanessa practices in numerous areas of law, including:
• Motor vehicle claims;
• Public liability and occupiers liability claims;
• Compensation to relatives claims;
• Work injury damages claims; and
• General negligence claims.

Vanessa has extensive experience lodging applications with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, including lodging Medical Assessment Service ('MAS') and Claims Assessment and Resolution Service ('CARS') applications for the purposes of determining a client's rights to pain and suffering damages. She has substantial experience in assessing complex and demanding claims. As part of her experience, she has a thorough understanding of the American Medical Association Fourth Addition Guidelines (AMA4), which are used for assessing damages with respect to motor accident claims of all kinds. Vanessa's experience extends to fully preparing all kinds of matters for CARS Assessments, District and Supreme Court hearings and instructing both Junior and Senior Counsel.

Vanessa has also frequently worked on public liability and occupier's liability cases against large insurance companies. Her work has lead to substantial exposure to ligation and appearing in the District and Supreme Courts on behalf of her clients. She has a very good understanding of procedures used by the courts, which she gained as part of appearances at directions hearings. Vanessa has also had experience in managing cases in the Court of Appeal.

Vanessa aims to expeditiously finalize her client's matters through alternative dispute resolution processes, ensuring that they receive the best outcome, but would not hesitate to defend her client's rights in Court should it be necessary.

Vanessa is fluent in Arabic.
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Ben Ralph

Senior Associate

Ben Ralph is a Senior Associate and leads our Superannuation, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) and Life Insurance department.
Ben previously worked in-house for insurers and now brings his developed knowledge of TPD and life insurance claims to the firm.
Ben hails originally from North Queensland and is passionate about getting the best possible outcome for his clients as well as resolving matters as quickly as possible. Ben prides himself on his ability to connect well with clients.
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Anthony Porthouse

Special Counsel - Senior Lawyer - Accredited Specialist

Anthony is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and Special Counsel at Monaco Solicitors. He has over 25 years experience acting for plaintiffs as both solicitor and advocate.

Anthony has a wide experience in all areas of personal injury law but has particular expertise in medical negligence, complex claims, and catastrophic injury. Anthony has a detailed understanding of the medical and legal issues that arise in these types of claims.

Anthony is a skilled litigator, driven to obtain the best possible result for clients at trial or by alternative dispute resolution. He has a special interest in the practice and procedure of the courts and works to obtain a tactical advantage for the client in those areas. He believes that thorough preparation is the key to obtaining the best result possible for each and every client.
Anthony relishes litigation and has achieved a number of multi-million dollar verdicts in difficult and novel cases. He works predominantly in the bullring of the District and Supreme Court but has extensive experience in most courts and tribunals, including the Federal Court, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and Workers Compensation Commission, as well as all appellate levels up to the High Court.

Anthony is also committed to alternative dispute resolution and will work to achieve a suitable outcome for the client without the additional costs of a court hearing, where possible.
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Megg Ross

Solicitor

Megg Ross was admitted as an officer of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2015 after having obtained a Bachelor of Laws at Southern Cross University and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. Megg was also awarded membership into the Golden Key International Honour Society for achieving a grade point average within the top 15% of her university whilst undertaking her studies.

Since her admission, Megg has been practicing exclusively within the field of personal injury law. Megg works closely alongside Partner Kelly Keane in relation to a variety of personal injury law matters including public liability claims, work injury damages claims, CTP claims, common law assault claims, and workers compensation claims.

Megg takes pride in assisting those injured achieve all of their entitlements under the law, as well as building a rapport with each and every client. Megg understands the trauma associated with not only injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence but the daunting nature of the legal framework and legal proceedings. Megg tries her best to keep clients regularly updated on all developments in relation to their matter, and is always happy to have a chat.
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Mallika Uppal

Solicitor

Mallika Uppal is a Graduate at Monaco Solicitors and has been working in the legal industry for over four years.

Mallika works closely with Anthony Porthouse, Special Counsel and Matthew Caplicki, Senior Associate, attending to the day-to-day tasks of Medical Negligence claims. This primarily involves liaising with clients, obtaining and reviewing evidence, briefing and liaising with counsel, drafting letters of instruction to liability experts and medical professionals, drafting pleadings and attending Court.

She also works closely with the Managing Partner assisting him with the expansion of legal service areas and legal research.

Mallika has graduated with Honours in her Law degree achieving a grade point average in the top 15% of her university.

She is bilingual and speaks fluent Hindi.
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Nicola Jandura

Solicitor

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Al Hughes

Paralegal

Al Hughes is a paralegal in our Workers Compensation Team with vast experience in assisting individuals who have sustained an injury as a result of their employment.

He works closely with Ms. Kelly Keane, Partner, to review documentation, organize the medical assessment of worker's injuries, prepare applications to the insurer for review and brief counsel for claims that are litigated in the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC). His ability to communicate with clients on complicated insurance issues, their legal entitlements and the best strategy in order to achieve these entitlements has earned him very positive feedback and gratitude to date.

Al has extensive knowledge of the Workers Compensation process and this insight has led to a very high rate of favorable outcomes for injured workers.
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Alvin Ngo

Paralegal

Alvin Ngo is a paralegal in our Superannuation, TPD and Life Insurance team who is a passionate and motivated advocate for individuals suffering from injury or illness, he works closely under the guidance of Mr. Ben Ralph to obtain highly favourable outcomes for clients. He is driven to provide exceptional representation and is an avid problem solver who works diligently in all stages of a dispute, ranging from; initial inquiries, claim and medical documentation, internal review submissions and litigation. Alvin also prides himself in having strong communication skills and an ability to liaise effectively with all stakeholders to achieve a desired result.

Alvin also brings knowledge, skills and experience in the fields of psychology and mediation. Having worked with diverse individuals ranging from families to disadvantaged Royal Commission clients, Alvin utilises a multidisciplinary approach to meet differing needs.

He is also fluent in Vietnamese and Cantonese.
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Ginan Issa

Paralegal

Ginan Issa is a paralegal in our Superannuation, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) and Family Provisions team. During her time with Monaco Solicitors, she has gained vast experience both in the lodgement of TPD claims, and the litigation of claims in court.

Ginan works closely with Mr Ben Ralph to organise the completion of all claim documentation, prepare submissions to the Superannuation Funds, and liaise with the Funds and clients in regards to ongoing updates. Ginan has also had experience in reviewing litigated TPD matters, and is interested in constantly reviewing any changes in the law as they emerge.

Ginan's strong interest in TPD law, and passion for helping others, culminates in her desire to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients.
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Dylan Maclou

Paralegal

Dylan Maclou is a Paralegal working across several of our teams. He is highly analytical and empathetic, with a strong passion for problem-solving. He is currently undertaking his Law degree.

Dylan works closely with Supervising Partner, Kelly Keane. He engages with clients from the initial enquiry through to the finalisation of the matter. In between, Dylan is responsible for reviewing medical documentation, generating initial letters of advice, chronologies, briefing counsel, and instructing medical and liability experts. Dylan further assists with submitting pleadings and lodging applications on our client’s behalf.

Dylan endeavors to build strong relationships with clients so as to foster feelings of trust and provide ease of mind throughout the all stages of the litigation process. He is attentive to detail, and believes that thorough preparation is the foundation to well-favored outcomes.

Dylan brings skills and knowledge in public speaking, informing his ability to effectively liaise and communicate with all parties involved.
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Naomi Spigelman

Paralegal

Naomi Spigelman is a Paralegal within our Medical Negligence team and is in her final year of her Juris Doctor degree. Naomi works closely with Special Counsel, Mr Anthony Porthouse, and our medical negligence solicitors. Naomi assists with all stages of medical negligence claims, including new enquiries, client letters of advice, affidavits and chronologies, briefing counsel and instructing liability experts and medical professionals. Naomi is able to communicate with clients on complicated medical negligence issues and works meticulously to provide excellent representation.
Naomi also brings skills and knowledge through her degree in psychology, and with her strong interpersonal and analytical skills, she is understanding of the emotional and physical injuries that victims of medical negligence experience. Naomi is always committed to obtaining successful outcomes for our clients to restore some stability to their lives.
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