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We strive for excellence in everything we do. Our lawyers have a history of achieving success for their clients.

Ethical    |    Firm but fair    |    Efficient

Sam Cohen

Principal

Sam has a wealth of legal knowledge and experience which, combined with her unique insight into the corporate world in both small and big business, enables her to provide clients with someone who understands how their business works and is able to resolve matters effectively and efficiently.

Before joining a large regional firm in which Sam quickly elevated through the ranks to Partner, Sam spent 15 years’ experience in the building and construction, mining and civil engineering industries. That, combined with her innate ability to seize upon legal issues and get to the heart of a matter quickly, make Sam a formidable opponent.

Sam brings a commercial approach to her practice, aimed at giving her clients sound professional advice focused on the need for a timely resolution. Sam’s experience is in all aspects of commercial litigation, with a focus on contractual disputes, debt recovery, building and construction, equity, insolvency, planning and environment, land disputes, consumer law, defamation, estate litigation, subcontractor’s charges and Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payments) Act matters.

Sam harbours a specific interest in building and construction industry disputes. She has instructed in the High Court in relation to a matter under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004, in which the application of that legislation to mining leases was considered. Her client was successful in opposing the application for leave to appeal.

Current Affiliations:

  • Chair of the Queensland Law Society Construction and Infrastructure Committee
  • Member of the Queensland Law Society Litigation Rules Committee
  • Deputy Chair Construction & Infrastructure Law Committee Law Council of Australia
  • Member of the James Cook University External Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Selectability Governance Committee
  • Member Rotary International
  • Co-Host of the podcast HELD TO ACCOUNT
  • Sessional lecturer James Cook University
  • Past President of the North Queensland Law Association
  • Past President of the Townsville District Law Association
  • Member of the Building Construction Disputes Practitioners’ Society
  • Member of National Association of Women in Construction

Melanie Richards

Lawyer

Melanie joined Cohen Legal in early 2019, practising in the area of employment and commercial law. Melanie assists clients in moving their businesses and their lives forward in a positive direction.

Her passion and interest for employment law stems from her human rights background and the desire to help people understand and protect their rights and obligations. Melanie helps businesses and individuals across all areas of employment law, including reviewing and drafting contracts, workplace policies, advising on restraints of trade, compliance with workplace laws and modern awards coverage and much more.
She is also passionate about working closely with her commercial clients to assist them to establish and grow their businesses while mitigating their risks by offering commercial, timely and cost effective solutions.

Sharyn Bolton

Conveyancer

Sharyn has been with Cohen Legal since 2017 and brings with her over 30 years’ experience in the legal industry, primarily working in conveyancing.

Sharyn understands that buying and selling any property can be quite a stressful time for clients. Sharyn provides excellent service to our clients, taking the time to ensure they fully understand the process and are at ease every step of the way.
Sharyn prides herself on her good communication skills and the rapport she builds with her clients in both residential and commercial conveyancing.

Dannielle Peckett

Administration Supervisor

Dannielle joined Cohen Legal in 2020. With over 16 years in office administration experience in varying fields including aviation, accounting and retail.

Danni brings with her a love for new tasks and challenges. Danni supervises our administration team and manages the logistics of our Townsville, Mount Isa and Brisbane branches.
Danni has built a great rapport will her team members and our clients alike. Her outstanding administrative skills and attention to detail are a vital part of our business and her fun loving personality has made her a favourite in our office. Danni is our first point of contact with clients who appreciate her warmth and personality and sheer ability to get things done. When not at work you’ll find her at home playing with her French Bulldog, Dixie.

Jennie Burney 

Solicitor

Jennie joined Cohen Legal in late 2023 moving to Townsville with her family for the sunshine. Jennie
practices in the areas of employment and commercial law, property, trusts, wills and estates and elder law.

Jennie spent 19 years practicing as a commercial lawyer in various firms and in-house roles in New Zealand and brings a wealth of experience to our clients.

Jennie’s experience is in all aspects of commercial and property law areas including leases, business sales, farm sales, succession planning, enduring powers of attorney and conveyancing.

Jennie has a special interest in elder law and was involved with the governance of a large Retirement Village as one of the Trustees.

Jennie enjoys interacting with clients and providing effective and efficient advice to help them to establish and grow their businesses in line with their objectives by offering commercial, timely and cost effective advice.

Shareefah Akbar 

Office assistant

Shareefah joined the Cohen Legal team in 2024, with an ambition to work and succeed within the legal industry.

Shareefah has successfully completed her first year of Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University and eagerly anticipates the academic challenges that lie ahead.

Shareefah found her passion for law during her final years of schooling and has found her law studies with the University engaging and stimulating so far.

Shareefah prides herself as someone who maintains a state of readiness for any opportunities that align with her aspirations and contribute to her overachieving objectives. In pursuit of this, Shareefah hopes that an early start into the legal industry as an undergraduate will assist in her future legal career.

Shareefah appreciates the opportunity Cohen Legal has provided her in gaining an insight into the legal industry and the chance to experience such an environment and all it entails.

Tiana Sprattling 

Office assistant

Tiana joined the Cohen Legal team in 2022, with an aspiration of working within the legal industry
from a young age.

Tiana’s passion for law began during her senior years of schooling, and she is now studying her final year of Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University. 

Striving for success, Tiana has hopes that getting her foot into the legal industry as an undergraduate will lay a strong foundation for her legal career.

Tiana enjoys her role and the opportunity to gain an insight into the legal industry throughout the duration of her degree. Tiana has an interest in criminal law and hopes to one day work in prosecutions.

Alex Woods

Office Administrator

Alex joined the Cohen Legal team in 2020, with an aspiration of working within the legal industry from a young age.

Originally a Mount Isa girl, Alex’s passion for law began during her final years of schooling, and she is now studying her third year of Bachelor of Laws at James Cook University. Alex has also studied a year of Business, starting off her studies with a dual degree of Bachelor of Law/Business majoring in Economics.
Alex made the decision to focus on Bachelor of Laws and is aiming to complete her Business Degree in the future. Striving for success, Alex hopes that getting her foot into the legal industry as an undergraduate will lay a strong foundation for her legal career. Alex enjoys her role and the opportunity to gain an insight into the legal industry throughout the duration of her degree. Alex is hoping to one day provide legal services to Indigenous remote communities, which stems from her indigenous background.

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