Geoff Sinclair

A real battler for his clients and a great person to refer people who need someone to stand up for them

- Client Perception Survey
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Geoff Sinclair


Geoff Sinclair is a principal in our Family Law team and is based in the Brisbane office. He is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist and has practiced exclusively in this jurisdiction for more than 35 years.

Geoff is recognised as one of Australia’s leading family lawyers. He is listed in the 2014 to 2022 editions of Doyles Guide as one of Australia’s Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers. In 2022 Geoff was also recognised as a Preeminent Family & Divorce Lawyer and a Preeminent Family Lawyer for high-value and complex property matters. He has also been recognised in Best Lawyers for Family Law and Family Law Mediation since 2017, and was named Lawyer of the Year for family law in the 2022 edition.

Respected for his extensive knowledge, technical skills and practical experience, Geoff was appointed as a part-time commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s review of the family law system.

‘I think what distinguishes me and my colleagues at Barry.Nilsson. from many other lawyers working in family law is that we are pragmatic and don’t simply follow the process. I know that clients are looking for value in the fees they pay to their lawyer, so I’m very focused on quickly identifying the problems and drawing out the key issues in every case I’m working on and trying to fix those, rather than spending time on the extraneous matters. While I approach every matter strategically, I also make sure I treat everyone as an individual, because every case – every situation – I work on is different. Finally, I never sugar-coat advice. I am totally up-front with my clients. That’s important in family law.’

Geoff is dedicated to providing outstanding legal advice to his clients. He specialises in:

  • Multi-jurisdictional and cross-border disputes
  • Complex financial matters, including those with corporate entities, third parties and trusts
  • International parenting matters.

Geoff has a particular interest in child abduction law, including its international aspects, and has published widely on this topic. As a result, he has developed a distinguished reputation, both in Australia and overseas, as an expert in the area. Geoff is a regular point of contact for media enquiries regarding child abduction matters. He is also one of the contributing authors to the International Parental Child Abduction Handbook published by the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, with the support of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. This publication brings together a comprehensive of helpful and practical information to help legal practitioners help their clients to navigate all aspects of the issues which accompany international parental child abduction proceedings.

In his former role as Chair of the Board of the World Congress of Family Law and Children’s Rights, he was responsible for leading the 2017 Congress in Dublin. The Congress brings together organisations and individuals with a common interest in actively promoting and protecting the human rights of children and young people.

Geoff’s broad experience and expertise in family law is reflected in his contributions to CCH Australian Family Law and Practice (Essentials) and  LexisNexis Practical Guidance Family Law. Over the years, he has published many articles on both family law and bankruptcy law.

Geoff is also a former Chair, and Executive Member, of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and former Treasurer, and Director, of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators. Geoff is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. He is also a Mediator.

‘One thing we’re very concerned about at Barry.Nilsson. is preserving our culture. It’s the core of our practice. The Barry.Nilsson. philosophy is very simple. We’re a committed group of people who are focused on what we want to achieve for our clients and the firm. We’re no-nonsense and we’re pragmatic. We like each other as people and respect each other as professionals. And we’re dedicated to providing outstanding legal advice to our clients.'


  • Commissioner (part-time), Australian Law Reform Commission, Review of the Family Law System, 2017-2019
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Member, Australian Chapter, 2015-current
  • Chair, World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, 2013-2017
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers, Fellow, 2005-current
  • Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators, Treasurer, 2006-2008, Director, 2003-2008, Member, 1990-current
  • Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia, Chair, 2008-2011, Executive Member, 2002-2018, Member, 1988-current
  • Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland, Secretary 1991-93, Member, 1988-current


  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Accredited Family Law Specialist (Queensland Law Society)


Family Law

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