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 who works closely in tight knit teams 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

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 mostly 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.

Kelly Keane

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 organisations 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.

Vanessa Mouawad

Vanessa Mouawad, 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 finalise 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.

Anthony Porthouse

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 of 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.

Warren Bennett

Warren Bennett is a solicitor and is admitted in the Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia.

• Superannuation TPD claims;
• Income
protection claims;
• Death benefit claims;
• Family provision claims; and
• Financial advice disputes.

He specialises in Superannuation insurance benefit claims including, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) claims, Income Protection (IP) claims (also known as Salary Continuance benefits) and Death benefits claims. His extensive experience includes handling superannuation claim matters from the very initial stages to drafting submissions and preparing further evidence to submit for internal review. He is also constantly litigating these matters in the Supreme Court.

Warren also has extensive experience in Family Provision claims. He can very quickly tell you by the documents you provide, whether or not you are an 'eligible person' prescribed under the Succession Act, and determine whether there is infact inadequate provision made for you in estate. Warren regularly litigates for deserving clients who have been left out of the will or feel that their share in the deceased estate was inadequate.

Warren is also experienced in fighting the big banks and insurance companies for client's who have suffered economic loss through the negligence advice of financial advisers, and we also make claims against banks or insurance companies based on weaknesses in the product you invested in, and any misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to representations made about the product. Warren is not afraid to take a claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). He aims to finalise his client's matters through alternative dispute resolution, ensuring that they receive the best outcome, but would not hesitate to defend his client's rights in court should it be necessary.

Megg Ross

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 practising 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.

Al Hughes

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, organise 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 favourable outcomes for injured workers.

Jessie Ding

Jessie Ding is a paralegal in our Medical Negligence team with experience in assisting individuals who have sustained injuries due to professional negligence arising from medical advice, treatment or other related circumstances.

She works closely with Mr Anthony Porthouse, Special Counsel, in attending to the day to day tasks of Medical Negligence claims. This involves liaising with clients and other medical and legal bodies, reviewing and drafting documentation, preparing briefs for counsel and all other administrative duties at all stages of the claim. She is also bilingual and can speak fluent conversational Mandarin.

Jessie has a keen interest in Personal Injury Law and a strong desire to help clients achieve the best outcomes possible.

Mallika Uppal

Mallika Uppal is a Paralegal 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 will be graduating 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.

Rachelle Sukkar

Rachelle Sukkar is a Paralegal in our Public Liability and Motor Vehicle Accident’s Team, and has a wealth of experience in Personal Injury Law. Rachelle is also experienced in a variety of additional compensation claims, such as Asbestos Litigation claims and Common Law Assault claims.

Rachelle works closely with Ms Vanessa Mouawad, Senior Associate, attending to the day-to-day tasks of various Public Liability, Motor Vehicle Accident and general negligence claims. This primarily involves liaising with clients and insurance companies, reviewing documentation, drafting applications to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (‘SIRA’), briefing and liaising with counsel, drafting letters of instruction to liability experts and medical professionals, drafting court documents and pleadings and attending upon various Courts for the purposes of directions hearings and other ad-hoc tasks.

Rachelle possesses the key ability to communicate with clients and provide them with a strategy that best suits their situation. Rachelle’s substantial experience and knowledge in regards to Personal Injury Law has led to a number of positive outcomes for Plaintiffs.

Rachelle is fluent in Arabic.

Ginan Issa

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 Warren Bennett to organise the completion of all claim documentation, prepare submissions to the Superannuation Funds, and liase 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.

Rebecca Cardow

Rebecca is an experienced personal injury solicitor with a particular interest in workers compensation. Rebecca has acted for hundreds of injured workers, ranging from simple to complex matters.

In recent years, this area of law has undergone considerable change which has resulted in a complex system which can be difficult for injured workers to navigate. Rebecca's understanding of the technical aspects of the law enable her to provide accurate and prompt advice and obtain favourable results for her clients.

Rebecca has extensive experience appearing in the Workers Compensation Commission. Rebecca also has considerable experience in Commonwealth workers compensation (Comcare) claims and appearing in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Rebecca is very experienced in claims for "exempt workers" including police officers, fire fighters and paramedics who are exempt from the 2012 reforms. Rebecca also has an excellent understanding of the medical guidelines used to assess injuries.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

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With offices in all Australian States and Territories, Monaco Compensation Lawyers is one of Australia's leading compensation law firms.