If you need a solicitor experienced in Collaborative Practice, mediation and negotiation then we should be your first port of call.

Our Solicitors

Meredith Hatton, Solicitor and Principal of Meredith Hatton & Associates

Meredith Hatton grew up in western Canada and came to Australia (Sydney) as a teenager in 1984 with her family. 

Meredith attended the University of Sydney where she obtained her legal qualifications (a BA (Hons) and LLB) between 1989 and 1995 . Meredith was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 1997. 

Meredith moved to the Southern Highlands in 1998 and since that time has practiced primarily in the areas of Family Law and Conveyancing.

In 2005 she was one of the first Australian solicitors to become qualified and commence practice as a Collaborative Practitioner, thereby significantly extending the dispute resolution options she could offer to her clients. She undertook advanced training in Collaborative Practice in 2007. After gaining valuable experience in this area of dispute resolution she was regularly engaged by UTS to work as part of a team training other professionals in Collaborative Practice. 

In 2009, after many years of working as an employed solicitor, Meredith started her own practice which today is known as Meredith Hatton & Associates.

In 2012 Meredith undertook further training and became a qualified mediator, once again expanding the services and skills she makes available to her clients.

Meredith is the author of "Divorce Survival Guide", which is a book specifically aimed at helping those going through separation navigate the road to a successful negotiation. Written over many years, this work was first published in 2017.

Meredith is a member of the Law Society of NSW, Collaborative Professionals (NSW) Inc, and AIFLAM (Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators). 

In her private life Meredith has volunteered for many years as a coach with Bowral United Football Club coaching teams from U9 through to U13 years. 


James Barkell, Solicitor - Consultant and Accredited Specialist (Family Law)

James has been a family lawyer since 1974 and in 1993 was one of the first lawyers in NSW to have gained Family Law Specialist Accreditation. 

James has extensive experience dealing with complex financial settlements, including companies and trusts, spousal maintenance, binding financial agreements, sensitive children's matters, child support, divorce and all aspects of de facto relationships.

James has broad experience in dealing with wills and estate matters, including the making of, and resisting, claims for family provision out of deceased estates. James' familiarity with the Succession Act 2006, which deals with the provision for families in wills, and its predecessor, the Family Provision Act 1982, enables him to provide clients with comprehensive advice in this sensitive area of the law. 


Sarah Young, Solicitor - Senior Associate

Sarah grew up in the Southern Highlands where she attended Bowral Public School and Oxley College. After completing the HSC Sarah travelled throughout Europe and attended university in England where she obtained a law degree in 2001 (LLB (Hons), University of Nottingham).

Following qualification in 2004, Sarah worked at a top 20 London law firm where she specialised in property and commercial work.

Whilst in London Sarah enjoyed the challenge of working on exciting projects such as the regeneration of Silverton Quays for the London Development Agency, the installation of the electricity network servicing the London Olympics site for EDF Energy and the sale and leaseback refinancing of a portfolio of hotels for the Accor Hotels Group.

In 2008 Sarah returned to Australia where she worked in Sydney whilst completing further studies. Since 2010 Sarah has been dual qualified and able to practice in both England & Wales and NSW.

Sarah continues to focus on property work (commercial and residential sales and purchases, general and retail leasing) and has broadened her experience to include estate planning, estate litigation, local government and general litigation work. 


Kathryn (Kate) Osborne, Solicitor

Kate has been working within the legal profession since 1994, starting out in information technology supporting large scale legal teams in inquiries and commissions. In this role Kate was also involved in the first live broadcast of legal proceedings and the first fully paperless hearing in Australia.

Since 2003 Kate has worked in the Southern Highlands in the capacity as a para-legal, predominantly in family law and property matters. After being admitted as a Solicitor in 2012, Kate continued to concentrate on family law and in 2016 completed a Master of Laws (Applied Law). 

In addition to private practice, Kate is an adjunct lecturer with the College of Law where she teaches students completing their Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

In her private life Kate is a keen long-distance runner and volunteer at local horse trial events. 

With a wealth of skills and over 85 collective years of legal practice to our credit, when you come to us, you can be sure that you are getting the best advice possible.


We deal with:

  • Family Law
  • Wills and Estates
  • Conveyancing
  • Commercial Law

And we offer a wide variety of services to help you find the best solution for you, including:

  • Legal advice
  • Collaborative practice
  • Mediation services
  • Negotiation coaching

All of these services are designed to help our clients avoid litigation while still satisfactorily resolving any issues.

We know that an effective and wise settlement requires a sound knowledge of the law and dispute resolution options and a safe place for all parties to come together and talk about their needs, without the pressure of a courtroom environment.

So if you are looking for a way to reach a balanced, lasting, and respectful agreement, then Meredith Hatton & Associates is the service for you.

Couple receives legal advice service in Bowral