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women supporting women

We are three lawyers who are partners in a boutique specialised law firm. We have experienced first-hand the benefits of female business partners supporting each other, not only in our careers, but in our personal and family lives too.

Supporting one another helped us advance in our careers, raise a family if we chose to, and achieve the goals that we set out to.

By working together, more women can be leaders in their field. The key is trusting, encouraging, supporting and learning from one another.

Encouraging women to support one another enables more women to break through the glass ceiling, props them up when needed and ensures more women are recognised for what they have achieved.


CARLY MIDDLETON  Carly is a partner at Barkus Doolan Winning Family Lawyers and has worked in the legal field for more than 15 years.

Carly works with people following the breakdown of their marriages, and through this role, has seen the difficulties encountered by women both professionally and personally during these times. She has a particular focus on complex property matters, high net worth clients, as well as maintaining a specialised practice associated with difficult parenting cases, and cases with an international aspect. The nature of Carly’s practice has given Carly an ability to deal with many women at different stages of either their careers and/or their life, and to observe first-hand the importance for women to establish and build a network of women.

Carly is one of only a small selection of lawyers to be named in all Family Law categories in the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Market – Sydney & NSW. In 2023 she ranks as one of the leading Family Lawyers in Sydney, one of the leading Parenting and Children’s Matters Lawyers in NSW.

It is through Carly’s experience working full time at a boutique family law practice, and as a mother of two children, that led Carly, along with her colleague Melinda, to create Women in Law and Business. Carly’s vision is for Women in Law and Business to provide an opportunity for women to get together, share their stories, support each other and encourage women to further their education.

Carly hopes that through collaborating with other impressive women a group can be created to assist women maintain their network, and to grow and develop in their personal and professional lives.

MELINDA WINNING  Melinda is a mother of two teenage children and is a partner at Barkus Doolan Winning.

Admitted as a solicitor in 1998, Melinda attained Specialist Accreditation in Family Law in 2003. Melinda has worked exclusively in Family Law, assisting people navigate family law settlements and litigation for over 20 years. Melinda became a Partner in 2011 and has been at the firm since 2001. Melinda regularly presents papers at legal conferences throughout Australia and overseas.

Melinda is passionate about supporting women in the workplace. Melinda has seen first-hand the benefits of a workplace that allows employees an opportunity to attain career goals and at the same time raise a family.

Melinda’s role as a partner of a leading boutique family law firm has allowed her to meet a diverse and impressive range of men and women. Melinda has a genuine appreciation for the support we can provide to each other in our professional and personal lives. If we surround ourselves with women who support each other, Melinda believes that we can all get the most out of life and “have it all”. We can have a successful career and wonderful family but most importantly, we can have a happy life.

LILA MORRIS   Lila is a partner at Barkus Doolan Winning.

After 22 years in practice, Lila is highly regarded within the family law profession in Sydney. She holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of New South Wales. and is one of the first solicitors to graduate with a Master of Law (Family Law major from the University of Technology Sydney). Lila is also an accredited Arbitrator and Mediator.

Lila has experience in dealing with complex property matters, spouse maintenance, child support, international child abduction, parenting cases and proceedings involving bankruptcy and third-party creditors.

Lila’s knowledge, professionalism, responsiveness, communication, and guidance,
together with her consummate skill and compassion helps clients navigate through the family court process. She uses these skills to inform clients about their matter and what steps need to be always taken. Lila can present different options and strategies and give
full and frank opinions about her recommendations. Her focus is on quick effective settlements that provides her clients with realistic expectations in a cost effective and timely manner.

Lila’s been a partner for over 11 years, this experience guiding young women in the profession, combined with being a mother, means she has empathy for working mothers and women. She understands the need for accountability, the power of listening and believing, and why courage and compassion is prerequisite when representing and empowering women.

Theodore Roosevelt said “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” For Lila, this quote represents all the women out there who juggle work, family, and many other commitments and who continue to show up and be professional, brave and vulnerable.

Lila is hoping that Women in Law and Business will allow all women that participate to share their stories and support one another through their career and personal goals and to enter the arena without fear.


zoom conference


12 – 15 AUGUST 2021

13 AUGUST 2021



15 - 16 MARCH 2024