Meet the Team

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About Dowson Turco Lawyers

Meet our team

Stacey Dowson

MANAGING PARTNER

Admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1996, Stacey has worked across many areas of law and through various positions in private and community practice. Stacey has worked in numerous community legal centres and has also held the position of Director of Women’s Legal Resources. Stacey has also been a proud member of one of the board appointed committees of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board and held that position for 12 years. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music Radio and a Bachelor of Laws. Immediately prior to starting her own legal practice, Dowson Solicitors, in 2003, Stacey was the Principal Solicitor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Law Centre. In 2008, Stacey joined forces with Mary Turco to create Dowson Turco Lawyers. Stacey is the Managing Partner at Dowson Turco.

At Dowson Turco, Stacey’s work is diverse. She acts for various clients in:

  • Family law and de facto matters for complex gay, lesbian, heterosexual and alternative relationships
  • Various employment disputes including restraint of trade enforcement and contract drafting
  • Marketing, trade practices, trademark infringement and commercial risk advice
  • Alternative dispute resolution, including conciliation through the Financial Ombudsman Services
  • Strata law advice, by-law drafting and strata dispute resolution
  • Estate litigation and planning including drafting simple and complex wills and acting in family provision claims
  • Criminal law, including both summary and indictable drug and traffic offences.

Stacey is a first class lawyer who is never afraid to fight for her clients’ rights. Red is her lipstick, fiery is her passion.

Mary Turco

SPECIAL COUNSEL

Mary was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1984. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of NSW. After several years working in private and non-government legal practices, Mary started her own firm in 1991, Mary Turco Solicitor. She developed her high-level skill set in the areas of generalist property and family law. Mary maintains a thoroughly comprehensive network of peers in the community and is well-regarded as a professional, down-to-earth lawyer who advocates for her clients passionately and productively.

At Dowson Turco, Mary specialises in:

  • All kinds of general and complex property matters including conveyancing (purchase and sale), leasing and subdivision, in all Australian states and territories
  • Complex Off the Plan purchases and sales
  • Family law, including binding financial agreements, parenting plans, family provision claims, gay and lesbian relationships, asset protection and dispute resolution
  • Estate work, probate, letters of administration and general estate planning including the drafting of solid, comprehensive wills.

Mary is a sensitive, straight-shooting, deep-thinking and intelligent professional.

Nicholas Stewart

PARTNER

Nicholas heads up the criminal and human rights law teams at Dowson Turco. He joined the firm in January 2012 after working for a top tier firm as a corporate lawyer, and as in-house counsel at one of Australia’s largest telecommunications companies.

As leader of the DTL crime and litigation teams, Nicholas leads and supervises complex cases across serious indictable and summary crimes in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW, as well as high profile defamation, professional reputation, and employment claims in the Federal Court of Australia. 

In crime, Nicholas takes carriage of serious and indictable matters including fraud, deception, defamation (which is a crime in NSW, if the conduct is malicious), carriage service offences, drug matters (including supply, possession, and production offences), assault matters, matters including common assault, affray and sexual assault, matters relating to sharing of intimate images and obscene exposure, and matters involving cybercrime. He has appeared in the Australian Crime Commission, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW, the District Court of NSW (including the Walama List) and the Local Court of NSW, including the Children’s Court of NSW.

Nicholas works across all courts in Greater Sydney, primarily in the Downing Centre District and Local Courts, the Parramatta Justice Precinct, Waverley Local Court, Gosford Local and District Court, Manly Local Court, Sutherland and Newtown Local Courts.

Nicholas is the Vice President of New Theatre Properties, Vice President at Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, a graduate of the Business and Human Rights Program (2018) of the International Bar Association and National Law Council of Australia, and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Law Society of New South Wales, where he chairs the Women’s Advancement subcommittee.

Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws. In 2009 Nicholas was awarded the Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Human Rights Award and the UTS:LAW Alumni Association Award. In 2018 Nicholas was awarded the UTS Alumni Award for community contribution. Nicholas is an Adjunct Professional Fellow and a Friend of Distinction at the University of Technology Sydney Law Faculty.

Nicholas helped lead the civil society campaign to bring about an NSW Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into agency responses to LGBTQ hate crimes and murders in the 80s, 90s and 00s. He is now working on a push for a Commonwealth Royal Commission to investigate historical hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, across all Australian States and Territories.

In 2022 Nicholas was awarded the Law Society of NSW’s President’s Medal. In 2023 Nicholas was awarded the joint ACON NSW President’s Award with other advocates: Steve Page, Duncan McNab, Sue Thompson, Rick Feneley, Greg Callaghan, Garry Wotherspoon, Stephen Tomsen, Jacqueline Milledge, Peter Rolfe, Steve Johnson and Daniel Glick.

Brett Atkinson

Business Manager

With a background in people leadership, customer experience and operations within large corporate organisations, Brett’s career took a significant turn when he joined ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs. Here he consulted various organisations on their LGBTQIA+ inclusion journeys, driving LGBTQIA+ initiatives in Western Sydney and regional Australia.

His path to Dowson Turco began as an observer of the firm’s LGBTQIA+ advocacy, but it was a panel discussion he facilitated for Sydney World Pride in 2023 that brought him closer to DTL’s partners, leading to a strategic role in the firm.

Brett is passionate about enhancing customer and client experiences, re-engineering problems for better outcomes. He values the firm’s loud and proud LGBTQA+ identity, allowing him to be his authentic self while supporting the community and those who need help in the legal system.

Grant Malfitano

Senior Associate

With an undergraduate degree in Arts (Psychology) and Law from the University of Wollongong, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Masters in Creative Writing and Research from the University of Sydney, Grant is an accomplished lawyer with a diverse educational background.

Grant has a decade of experience in family law, working alongside prominent figures in the legal community. He has appeared extensively in the Family & Federal Circuit Court, handling complex parenting and high net-worth property matters. Grant has achieved fantastic outcomes for challenging cases including injunctions and urgent recovery matters in financial and parenting proceedings.

Grant joined Dowson Turco due to the firm’s reputation as a fierce representative of a diverse, inclusive community. He is passionate about developing a client-focused legal practice that provides high-quality legal services to individuals within the LGBTQA+ community and beyond.

Grace Cameron-Lee

Associate

Grace is a senior member of the Dowson Turco crime and litigation teams, working across summary and indictable crime in the criminal divisions of the Local and District Courts, as well as defamation, professional reputation and employment claims in the Fair Work Commission and Federal Court of Australia. Grace works alongside some of the most respected women at the NSW Bar, including senior and junior barristers from Banco Chambers, Forbes Chambers, Sixth Floor St James Chambers and Greenway Chambers.

Driven by a commitment to human rights, anti-discrimination and advocating for vulnerable communities, Grace’s career highlights include successfully defending a woman wrongly charged with multiple offences of drug supply, leading to the client’s rehabilitation, defending multiple defamation claims for a vulnerable client, and successfully appealing a client’s conviction for serious offences alleged to have been committed as a child, in a successful Court of Criminal Appeal case based on fresh evidence.

Grace values Dowson Turco’s tireless advocacy efforts for individual clients and the wider LGBTQIA+ community. With a passion for upholding justice, she finds joy in working with a like-minded, dedicated team.

Grace holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, as well as a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the NSW College of Law.

Ashleigh Dabbagh

Senior Paralegal

Ashleigh recently completed a Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Technology, Sydney. Despite the early stage of her legal career Ashleigh has already had the opportunity to attend and instruct counsel in complex criminal and employment law proceedings. 

Ashleigh is a passionate advocate for justice, with a particular interest in working with marginalised communities including women, the LGBTQA+ community and those from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.

During her time at Dowson Turco, Ashleigh has thrived, handling a wide range of legal matters with professionalism and forensic skill. Ashleigh has learned to empower Dowson Turco’s clients by helping them navigate the justice system with knowledge of procedure and the law.

Emily McEwan

Paralegal

With a passion for the work undertaken by UN Women, Emily is an advocate for the rights of women and girls who face educational, healthcare and societal challenges. With a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Politics and International Relations, Emily was drawn to Dowson Turco Lawyers due to its unique position in Sydney’s legal sector as an LGBTQA+ firm.

During her time at the firm, Emily has become a key member of the legal team, managing all potential leads and wills clients, from commencement to finalisation. She works closely with Senior Associates overseeing conveyancing, wills and estates and family law matters. Emily relishes the hands-on opportunities and experiences available at Dowson Turco Lawyers and enjoys making meaningful contributions to client success.

Jordan Anderson

Paralegal

Currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) at the University of Sydney, Jordan is committed to advocating for and representing minority groups. As a co-facilitator for an LGBTQA+ youth support group, Jordan has been instrumental in fostering social networks and connections for queer youth.

Jordan was drawn to Dowson Turco Lawyers because they want to make the world a better place, for all communities.

Jordan works in the defamation, professional reputation, and employment law teams at Dowson Turco, where he manages high profile clients and assists senior lawyers with strategic litigation. Jordan is a key contributor to the firm’s diversity initiatives. 

Larissa Schreiber

LAWYER

Larissa is a passionate junior lawyer dedicated to advocating for LGBTQA+ rights, equality, and justice. Born and raised in South Africa, Larissa’s upbringing in a country grappling with its own history of discrimination and striving for inclusivity has deeply influenced her commitment to social justice causes.

From a young age, Larissa was drawn to the legal profession to effect meaningful change in her community. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce (Project Management) and Bachelor of Laws degrees in Western Australia, she embarked on her journey in Sydney to qualify as a solicitor.

Dowson Turco Lawyers has been a professional home for Larissa that has aligned with her personal values and aspirations. At the firm, she has assisted senior solicitors in a wide variety of cases.

Drawing from her own experiences of growing up internationally, Larissa brings a unique perspective to Dowson Turco Lawyers. She firmly believes in the power of legal advocacy to dismantle discriminatory laws and practices, and she remains dedicated to leveraging her skills to create a more inclusive society across various areas of law.

Cynthia (Maxie) Caringal

Administration assistant

With a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from a prestigious foreign university, Maxie is an integral member of DTL’s admin and accounts team. She has excellent skills in financial reporting and proficiency using a variety of accounting software. She provides invaluable support to the team, with a passion for coordinating team members to meet targets as well as providing exceptional customer service to ensure client satisfaction. She has a talent for streamlining systems and processes and improving office workflows.

Maxie supports and embraces diversity in all its forms, including LGBTQA+ and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. She is deeply invested in fostering positive relationships and a welcoming environment in the office, and does this by enthusiastically approaching challenges and coming up with creative solutions. She is committed to staying updated on industry trends and expanding her skills to best support our organisation.

Alicia Charette

Administration assistant

Alicia brings a dynamic blend of administrative prowess and a passion for social justice to the admin team at Dowson Turco. With a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Criminology from the University of Sydney, Alicia has developed a keen understanding of the criminal justice system and the barriers to justice and equity for marginalised communities. Driven by a commitment to diversity and inclusion, Alicia was eager to join DTL due to its dedication to serving the LGBTQA+ community.

In her role as Administration Assistant, Alicia handles a wide range of administrative tasks. From supporting the accounts team to managing DTL’s online presence and client communications, Alicia helps ensure that our office and operations run smoothly and efficiently. With her unique blend of administrative skills, academic background in criminology, and passion for advocacy, Alicia is an asset to the DTL team, embodying the values and spirit of our firm’s mission to serve and empower all communities.