Michael Benjamin & Associates is a medium sized suburban legal firm that delivers exceptional legal advice and customer care in the practice areas of family law, criminal law, aged care, Elder law and retirement living, commercial and business law, litigation and dispute resolution, migration and citizenship, property and real estate, wills, probate and administration.
With over 30 years’ experience our established team of highly experienced lawyers, led by Principal David Littlejohn, work across many areas of practice and we pride ourselves on our down to earth and approachable team culture.
Meet the Team
David Littlejohn – Principal
I commenced my legal career as an Associate to His Honour Judge Tim Wood QC in 1998, followed by Articles of Clerkship in 1999 / 2000 at Deacons Graham James (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Admitted into practice in March 2000, I practiced as a Member of the Victorian Bar until 2007. Since then, I have been employed as a solicitor at the Victorian Department of Justice, Department of Education & Training and leading Australian law firm, Russell Kennedy Lawyers until 2014. Following this, I commenced a sole practice known as Littlejohn Legal for almost five years. I purchased Michael Benjamin & Associates from its founder, Michael Benjamin in 2019.
As a former barrister, I’m able to diligently advocate for clients in court, and bring a wealth of experience in both public and private sector, in areas such as criminal law, property law, commercial law, litigation, family law among others.
Jeeva Bala – Special Counsel
I commenced my legal career in September 1980 as an Attorney-at-Law in Sri Lanka and November 1994 in Australia, spanning a period of over 40 years. Prior to joining Michael Benjamin & Associates, I worked in a range of different firms and became a sole practitioner in 2015. I worked as a locum solicitor for a number of legal firms over several years.
I joined Michael Benjamin & Associates in 2021 and practice in the areas of deceased estates including testator family maintenance claims, retail leases, retirement village and aged care agreements, sale and purchase of businesses, estate planning, complex wills and testamentary trusts and powers of attorney.
Marta Kowalczyk – Senior Associate
I have been a legal practitioner since 2013. I have previously worked as a paralegal at Allens Linklaters in intellectual property and now predominantly practice in the areas of Wills, Estates and Administration, Property Litigation and Commercial Law. I am Polish by birth, am an avid reader across all genres, I love animals especially dogs and have an interest in politics and global legal issues.
Angela Starvaggi – Senior Associate
Since being admitted to practice as an Australian lawyer, I have practised exclusively in the area of family law. As a family lawyer, I have significant experience in dealing with a wide range of complex parenting and financial matters, financial agreements and litigation. I assist clients in navigating their way through the legal system, providing practical advice and aim to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.
I regularly attend professional development conferences and seminars in order to always be informed of all changes and developments in the area of family law.
Chiara Mant – Associate
Dingley born and raised, I was thrilled to join Michael Benjamin & Associates in April 2021 whilst completing my Practical Legal Training. I have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resources/Bachelor of Laws at Thomas More Law School at ACU as well as a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at Leo Cussen Centre for Law.
I have gained experience in criminal law and general litigation whilst working at Michael Benjamin & Associates. I was admitted as a solicitor in November 2021, I am determined and passionate about helping clients who find themselves in vulnerable positions to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Alex Petrakos – Associate
I have been a practising migration agent for over 10 years, specialising in all manner of Australian visa and citizenship applications and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hearings. I was admitted to practice in November 2018 and have been exposed to other areas of law including family law, commercial leases and contracts.
Debbie Cutajar – Legal Practice Manager
I came to Michael Benjamin & Associates in 2013 and have never looked back because of its friendly, team-orientated and supportive environment. I enjoy all aspects of my position as Legal Practice Manager. I have grown and developed my skill set and can assist in most areas of office administration and support.
I always put in 110% and go above and beyond to assist and meet our clients needs and expectations.
Chloe Rebbechi – Law Clerk
I am in my final year studying law and commerce (finance) at Monash University. I have been actively involved with community legal clinics assisting vulnerable Australians achieve justice in the areas of family law, criminal law and sexual assault advocacy. Born and raised in Dingley Village, I have enjoyed providing legal support to my local community and I look forward to continuing to do so as a practicing solicitor in the near future.
Paula Wilson – Trust Account Administrator
I have been working at Michael Benjamin & Associates for over 9 years. My role is as a trust account administrator and accounts clerk.
My interests outside of work include reading, gym classes, movies, and walks (especially along the beach with my dog).