Kirstie Colls

Always very well prepared; kind but clear.

- Client Perception Survey
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Kirstie Colls

Special Counsel

Kirstie is a special counsel in our Family Law team. She joined Barry.Nilsson. in 2011 and is based in our Brisbane office.

Having practised in family law since 2002, initially in South Australia, Kirstie has practised exclusively in this area since moving to Queensland in 2004, gaining Specialist Accreditation in Family Law with the Queensland Law Society in 2009 and certification as a Collaborative Practitioner in 2017.

Kirstie assists her clients with all aspects of family and de facto law with particular interest and expertise in:

  • matters involving complex parenting issues;
  • matters arising under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;
  • international and domestic child relocation law; and
  • negotiating complex property settlements involving multiple parties and world wide assets.

Kirstie has been recognised in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 editions of Doyle’s Guide as a Leading Parenting & Children’s Matters Lawyer for Brisbane and also in the 2020 and 2021 editions of Best Lawyers for Family Law and Family Law Mediation. 

As a Collaborative Practitioner, Kirstie can assist clients to navigate the difficult times arising from a relationship breakdown through this model of dispute resolution where appropriate. Collaborative Practice is a client-focussed process of dispute resolution which aims at resolving disputes with mutual respect and dignity for the parties, minimal conflict and without going to Court.

"I pride myself on approaching every matter with a professional and positive manner. I strive to gain a clear understanding of each of my client’s individual legal needs and insight into what is really important to them. I work hard to assist clients in reaching resolution to the difficult matters arising out of the breakdown of their relationship using various dispute resolution processes including lawyer lead negotiation, mediation, Collaborative practice, arbitration, or litigation as best meets their needs and circumstances."

Kirstie was appointed a board member of the executive committee of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Australian Chapter (AFCC) in early 2018. In this role, she has been highly involved in that organisation’s participation in the inquiries into the family law system conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission throughout 2018/ 2019 and by the Australian parliamentary Joint Select Committee in 2019/2020. Kirstie is also the Chair of the AFCC Legal Issues Committee.

“Becoming a director of the board with AFCC has provided me with invaluable opportunities to collaborate with, learn from and share experiences with members of the judiciary, mental health and social science professionals, researchers and academics specialising in family law around the country. The resolution of family law matters often involves an interdisciplinary and often multi-jurisdictional approach – this role has given me the inestimable benefit of building important relationships with other professionals, outside of the legal profession, working towards improving the area of family law for children and families.”

Kirstie is a passionate advocate in the area of Domestic Violence and has published multiple articles in relation to this issue as well as being committed to closing the gap in the access to justice for all. In this regard, Kirstie has been a volunteer at Women’s Legal Service in Brisbane for over 13 years and was formerly a volunteer at the Roma Mitchell Community Legal Centre in Adelaide. 

She is a member of the Family Law Practitioners' Association of Queensland, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and the Women Lawyers' Association of Queensland.