de Groot’s Wills, Probate and Administration Practice (NSW) Launched 4 October, 2017

(Pictured: Phillip McGowan, The Honourable Justice Ward and Dr John de Groot)

On 4 October 2017 The Honourable Justice Ward, Chief Judge in Equity launched a new reference book for practitioners in the field of wills and estates, de Groots Wills, Probate and Administration Practice (New South Wales).

The text has been specifically written and designed to provide practice guides, information, technical knowledge and general advice in an easily accessible way – saving practitioners time and money, allowing them to focus more on their clients.

Dr John de Groot, Special Counsel at de Groots wills & estates lawyers and author of the text noted that:

“As a practitioner I was always interested in deceased estate work. I was disappointed that there was no guide to the practical side of administrating an estate, making a will or litigating in the area.

The Queensland edition was created to bring together the case law, legislation, court rules and practice directions in a step by step, how to ‘practice guide’.  I’m pleased that this same approach will now be available to New South Wales practitioners.”

 At the launch, NSW Editor, Phillip McGowan commented,

de Groots Wills, Probate and Administration Practice NSW acts as a bridge between the law and the practice of wills and estates. It brings together some of the most experienced practitioners in this discipline and shares their collective knowledge, including Pamela Suttor, Lindsay Ellison SC, Michelle Maynard and my colleague, Esterina Azzi.We’re proud to have developed this high-quality reference tool for NSW practitioners.”

Editorial Board Chairman, Pamela Suttor commented,

“This handbook incorporates the best and most up-to-date information and knowledge available in this field, including case notes, precedents and practical templates and checklists. I’m confident it will be a valuable resource for New South Wales practitioners.”

de Groots Wills, Probate and Administration Practice NSW is available at

Media Contact:
David Skinner
Mobile 1300 735 830

The Team behind the Text

As the October 4 launch date approaches for de Groot’s Wills, Probate and Administration Practice (New South Wales), we would like to introduce you to the Editorial Board who, as a group and with the editor Phillip McGowan (pictured), have worked to provided valuable input into the text. Where a section of the text has received special input from a practitioner or Board member, that contribution has been specifically acknowledged in the text.

While all contributions have been appreciated, the final decision concerning the material contained in the text has been made by the editor Phillip McGowan and the original author of the text on which it is based, Dr John de Groot.

Pamela Suttor – Chair

Pam is Managing Partner at L. Rundle & Co Legal specialist in elder law and wills and estates. Pam has been a solicitor since 1963 and an accredited specialist in Wills and Estates since 1995. She is a current Councillor of the Law Society of NSW, and was Chair of the Elder Law and Succession Committee from 2006 to 2013 and is currently its chair. She is also Section Editor of the Elder Law Section of the Australian Law Journal.

Phillip McGowan – Editor

Phillip McGowan is the managing director of the Sydney office of de Groots wills and estate lawyers. He is an Accredited Specialist in Succession Law and has worked exclusively in the areas of wills and estates and their related aspects for nearly 25 years.

Phillip is the Secretary of the NSW branch of STEP, the international Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and is a member of the Elder Law, Capacity and Succession Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales. He is the editor of de Groot’s Wills, Probate and Administration Practice (New South Wales) and assists Dr John de Groot with updates to the text Family Provision in Australia.

John de Groot – Author

John enjoys an international reputation in the area of wills and estates.  He was recently inducted into the International Academy of Estates and Trust Law, is the author of the Australian section of International Succession published by Oxford University Press and has lectured widely in the area.

He is co-author (with Bruce Nickel) of Family Provision in Australia and the author of Wills, Probate and Administration (Queensland), as well as the author and co author of a number of other texts.

His interest and engagement in professional legal education and the legal profession has been extensive and has led to international consultancies on professional legal education, service as President of the Queensland Law Society, membership of the Law Council of Australia, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), appointment as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and numerous professional committees.

John is an adjunct professor with the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland and currently teaches Succession Law in its LLB program and Estate Planning and Estate Litigation in its LLM by coursework program. He is also an Accredited Specialist in Succession Law.

Michelle Maynard – Editorial Board Member

Michelle Maynard is a lawyer admitted to practice in New South Wales and has approximately 30 years legal and managerial experience in the areas of estate and trustee services and legal, risk and compliance. She is currently the Head of Legal Risk & Compliance and Company Secretary for MFCo. Michelle also provides legal assistance to MFCo’s Trustee Services team who manage several large native title trusts for Indigenous groups in Western Australia. Prior to joining MFCo Michelle was head of the legal group in the Perpetual Private Division of Perpetual Limited

Michelle is an Accredited Specialist in Wills & Estates and has served as members of the NSW Law Society’s Elder Law & Succession Committee and the Trustee Board of the Financial Service Council.

Michelle has extensive experience in the provision of complex legal advice in relation to matters including philanthropic trusts and native title trusts and, the carriage of litigious matters in relation to estates and trusts. She has also been involved in reviewing draft legislation and assisting with responses to government reviews and inquiries; estate planning; specialist training for staff and external organisations.

Lindsay Ellison SC – Editorial Board Member

Lindsay practices principally in Equity and Probate and has appeared in many leading NSW Wills and Estates cases. He frequently lectures barristers and solicitors, and occasionally Judges, on aspects of law and practice.  He is an accredited Mediator under the Australian Mediation Accreditation System.

In 2016, Doyles listed Lindsay as a preeminent Senior Counsel in NSW Wills and Estate litigation.  In May 2016, he delivered the Sir Ninian Stephen lecture for Equity Trustees Limited.

Lindsay is former Secretary General and later Vice President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Science.

Esterina Azzi – Editorial Board Member

Esterina is an Associate at de Groots wills and estates lawyers in the Sydney office. Esterina has assisted in the publication of several editions of the Elder Law Review, Australia’s only refereed journal dealing with elder law issues. She was Guest Editor of the Elder Law Review in 2014 and has published a number of articles in the journal. She is also an Adjunct Fellow with Western Sydney University School of Law.

A recipient of the University Medal, Esterina received an award of Most Outstanding Honours Dissertation for her Honours dissertation in law, which was on the topic of the recognition of moral claims in statutory wills in NSW. She completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law and is admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.


The text can be pre-purchased now in both online and print formats at a reduced pre-publication rate at:

Media Contact:
David Skinner
Phone 1300 735 830