Nicholas WJ Rolfe & Associates are here to support Echuca-Moama

By Riverine Herald

Nicholas WJ Rolfe & Associates began life as a criminal law firm over 15 years ago.

Since then, the firm has continued to grow.

It maintains a strong focus on crime, however the team of three solicitors and one conveyancing clerk provide advice and advocacy in many areas of the law.

Like other local businesses, the firm has had to change the way it practices to meet the demands of the ‘new normal.’

According to solicitor and owner, Selina Handley, the law and the provision of legal services has changed greatly over the years.

“These last couple of months has shown that the legal industry can be flexible and meet the demands of clients and courts whilst maintaining appropriate social distancing, working remotely and embracing technology” she said.

“The landscape has changed dramatically in relation to the court schedule and procedure for court appearances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although many matters have been adjourned as a result of restrictions, the courts have increased the use of audio-visual and telephone appearances.

“We are carrying out a significant amount of our work with clients over the telephone and via email.  However, our business, like many others, is about developing a relationship with our clients, to understand their situation and needs.

“There is no doubt that this is best achieved face-to-face, and we look forward to resuming our normal practices in that regard as soon as possible.”

Meet the team

Solicitor Matthew Mahady specialises in criminal law and has been practicing in the area for 14 years. He has vast experience in this field and regularly appears in courts from Echuca to Griffith.  Mr Mahady said there are some positive advances to criminal procedure as a result of managing the pandemic.

Solicitor Elricia Schoeman studied law in South Africa and arrived in Australia in 2009. She works primarily in the areas of criminal and family law. 

Conveyancing clerk Joanne Tomasini has been working in law firms for 11 years.  She has a background in banking and finance and understands the stress and demands on people when tackling one of the biggest investments they make in their lifetime.

Although not many people would immediately think of a law firm as an essential service, according to the Law Institute of Victoria, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic may result in an increase in people requiring advice about their rights, and lawyers need to be ready to meet such demand.

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