About

Our mission is to help more people achieve the certainty, empowerment and confidence that comes from expert-assisted family law resolutions. 

Accessible, fixed price family law

Anchored Family Law was founded by Emma Maxwell in 2022. A respected solicitor of 15 years, Emma has long observed a number of separating people fall into a gap in the family law system — they don’t qualify for legal aid, yet the services of traditional family law firms are simply beyond their financial reach. By unbundling family law services and delivering them using the power of technology, Anchored Family Law makes quality legal assistance accessible to such individuals.

emma maxwell

Director and Principal Family Lawyer

Family law is about people and their stories, and this is truly where Emma shines — telling those stories effectively, clearly and in the best possible light. After becoming a mother — and subsequently finding herself living, working and raising a baby during the COVID-19 lockdowns — Emma decided that she wanted to practise family law differently, and Anchored Family Law was born.

Honed by years of expertise, Emma produces exceptional quality Court documents for her clients, which have been used by the Courts to teach other lawyers.

More than anything, she understands that her clients need strength, reliability and support at this time in their lives and takes a trauma-informed approach to her work. She is passionate about helping clients through the family law system and into the next phase of their lives.

Emma currently lives and works on the regional property she shares with her family, and an array of animals including several dogs, horses and a goat.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Bachelor of Arts Postgraduate Diploma of Legal Practice Admitted to Practice in the High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria.

shaina howlett

Paralegal

A current student of Law at Victoria University, Shainah assists Emma in delivering top-level family law services at Anchored Family Law.

Keenly aware of the concepts of injustice from an early age — and fuelled by an overwhelming desire to make things fair — Shainah has always had a solid interest in Law. Several experiences as a young adult, including work experience at a local legal firm, and strong encouragement at school, cemented her life’s calling.

Shainah now has a strong interest in helping women, particularly those who have experienced family violence, to navigate the family law system. She draws deeply on her personal experience to empower women to find their voice during separation.

Along with hanging out with her two cats, Shainah likes listening to podcasts about the law and current social issues. In the future, she hopes to be involved in law reform or royal commission investigations.

Our team

james kirk

practice manager

A current student of Law at Victoria University, Shainah assists Emma in delivering top-level family law services at Anchored Family Law.

Keenly aware of the concepts of injustice from an early age — and fuelled by an overwhelming desire to make things fair — Shainah has always had a solid interest in Law. Several experiences as a young adult, including work experience at a local legal firm, and strong encouragement at school, cemented her life’s calling.

Shainah now has a strong interest in helping women, particularly those who have experienced family violence, to navigate the family law system. She draws deeply on her personal experience to empower women to find their voice during separation.

Along with hanging out with her two cats, Shainah likes listening to podcasts about the law and current social issues. In the future, she hopes to be involved in law reform or royal commission investigations.

lucy smith

legal assistant

A current student of Law at Victoria University, Shainah assists Emma in delivering top-level family law services at Anchored Family Law.

Keenly aware of the concepts of injustice from an early age — and fuelled by an overwhelming desire to make things fair — Shainah has always had a solid interest in Law. Several experiences as a young adult, including work experience at a local legal firm, and strong encouragement at school, cemented her life’s calling.

Shainah now has a strong interest in helping women, particularly those who have experienced family violence, to navigate the family law system. She draws deeply on her personal experience to empower women to find their voice during separation.

Along with hanging out with her two cats, Shainah likes listening to podcasts about the law and current social issues. In the future, she hopes to be involved in law reform or royal commission investigations.

hollie barac

communications assistant

A current student of Law at Victoria University, Shainah assists Emma in delivering top-level family law services at Anchored Family Law.

Keenly aware of the concepts of injustice from an early age — and fuelled by an overwhelming desire to make things fair — Shainah has always had a solid interest in Law. Several experiences as a young adult, including work experience at a local legal firm, and strong encouragement at school, cemented her life’s calling.

Shainah now has a strong interest in helping women, particularly those who have experienced family violence, to navigate the family law system. She draws deeply on her personal experience to empower women to find their voice during separation.

Along with hanging out with her two cats, Shainah likes listening to podcasts about the law and current social issues. In the future, she hopes to be involved in law reform or royal commission investigations.

Our values

Authenticity

We are authentic, realistic and honest in our communications. We set clear expectations and boundaries, and are friendly and open.

Clarity

We are clear in our communications. We are highly organised and transparent, and are clear and concise when presenting material at Court.

Clever Solutions

We are flexible, and find the smartest, most efficient way of doing things. Unlike traditional law firms, we don’t simply rely on the old way of doing things.

Steadfast

Calm, Stable & Secure – The Anchor

We act as a support for our clients, who can lean on us. We encourage self-care and boundaries, and prioritise safety and security.

We are a proud member of:

We pride ourselves on inclusiveness

Anchored Family Law is an inclusive family law firm — we welcome all who need our services, including LGBTQI+ and neurodiverse clients.

Acknowledgement of Country

Anchored Family Law acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land in which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded.