Gavin grew up and completed his education in Canberra. On completion of a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Canberra, Gavin spent 10 years in private enterprise before enrolling in the Master’s Degree course in Juris Doctor at the University of Canberra.
Gavin worked in private practice before spending time in his family business. Gavin returned to law as a prosecutor at the ACT DPP where he gained invaluable experience in criminal law, advocacy and the rules of evidence by regularly appearing in the ACT Magistrates and Supreme Court.
Gavin joined O’Connor Harris in April 2016 and leads the criminal, civil and family law litigation team. He brings to the firm and his practice a rare and valuable combination of real-time experience as a manager and co-owner of a small to medium business and genuine court experience. He strives hard to retain objectivity and an honest focus on achievable and realistic outcomes.
Gavin’s criminal law work is broad, from complex jury trials heard over weeks to straight forward pleas on traffic matters. Gavin regularly appears on personal violence and domestic violence offences such as assaults and also property offences such as theft, burglary and property damage. In particular, how mental health conditions are able to be appropriately taken into account in proceedings.
Gavin has worked on simple and complex family law matters, including parenting proceedings for children with special needs and parents with complicated or adverse circumstances. Gavin has prepared, appeared on and negotiated divorces, separations under the one roof, binding child support agreements, consent orders, financial agreements, conciliation conferences and mediations. Gavin’s experience in civil proceedings and small to medium business affords him the ability to apply keen insight into properly assessing assets and liabilities of property pools for even the most complex of circumstances. Gavin recognises that often the most favourable outcome to family law property proceedings is one that can be reached swiftly, allowing all parties the ability to move on from relationship breakdowns and other unfortunate circumstances.
Gavin’s commercial litigation is a core part of his practice where he appears in the ACAT for smaller claims (up to $25,000) and the ACT Supreme Court for claims exceeding $250,000 and the Federal Court on corporations, solvency, bankruptcy and consumer law matters. Whatever the circumstances of your dispute or situation, they are unlikely not to have been encountered by someone else before you and there is more than likely a pathway to take. Gavin has the knowledge and experience to navigate you through what may otherwise feel as overwhelming and hopeless situations. Gavin specialises in residential and commercial property building and construction matters having appeared for dozens of builders and owners in construction and property disputes.
In all jurisdictions on all types of matters, alternative dispute resolution is the touchstone of modern practice compared to a court-imposed outcome that is usually expensive, slow and out of the control of the parties. Gavin prides himself on ensuring that every step taken in a matter is purposeful, worthwhile and resolution focussed.
Gavin is an avid sports fan, especially the football codes and golf… lots of golf. He enjoys a beer, cooking and spending time with his family, particularly outdoors.