Bernadette Smyth

Bernadette (Berni) is an accred­it­ed Fam­i­ly Law Spe­cial­ist as certified by the Law Soci­ety of New South Wales and a trained col­lab­o­ra­tive lawyer. She has been working as a Fam­i­ly Lawyer for over 25 years.

Her work is exclu­sive­ly ded­i­cat­ed to all aspects of Fam­i­ly Law and has a pas­sion for achiev­ing work­able solu­tions for her clients whether that is through agree­ment or through a hearing at Court.

Berni takes pride in help­ing clients obtain the best pos­si­ble out­come tailored to their personal sit­u­a­tion. She is well respect­ed for her skills in advocacy and alter­na­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion.

The scale and breadth of Berni’s family law work extends from negotiating and documenting amicable parenting and property matters, often called “house and garden” matters, to international relocation matters and complex property, involving complex company and trust structures with multiple real properties and superannuation interests.

In addition, Berni as acted as an Arbitrator determining property matters.

She was appointed to the NSW Independent Children’s Lawyers Panel in 2005 and in the intervening period she has regularly acted for Children in the Federal Circuit & Family Court of Australia.

In 2017 she was a member of the NSW Law Society Board of examiners accessing solicitor candidates for Family Law Accreditation, having attained her own specialist accreditation in Family Law in 2005.

Berni attended the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights and she regularly attended both National and International Legal Conferences to ensure that her practice benefits from her current knowledge of social science and legal issues.

“Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Market” has ranked Berni as a recommended Parenting Lawyer in 2020.

Berni is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator and served as a Member of the NSW Law Society Family Law Settlement Panel. She combines her extensive legal expertise and experience with a love of Mediation and desire to work with parties and to reach a practical and pragmatic outcome.

She finds it extremely satisfying for everyone involved when the Mediation commences with comments such as “this matter will never settle” and a few hours later a final agreement has been reached and documented. Achievements like this, together with ensuring that there is respect and dignity in reaching the agreement, makes Mediation one of the most important and worthwhile components of her practice.


Bachelor of Laws – University of New South Wales

Bachelor of Arts – The University of Wollongong

Accredited Specialist – Family Law (NSW)

Admitted to practice in the Supreme Courts of NSW

Admitted to practice in the High Court of Australia

Collaborative Law

Independent Childrens Lawyer

Nationally Accredited Mediator

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner


The Law Society of New South Wales

The Law Society of ACT

The Law Council of Australia – Family Law Section

The Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators