About us

Irene Pickel

Irene has been a solicitor since 1980, practising in Bowral on the Southern Highlands. She formed her own firm, Irene E Pickel Pty Limited in October 1997 but the firm is now known as Pickel Legal.

Irene is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law and has worked on simple and complex Family Law matters, including children’s matters involving relocation within Australia and overseas and child abduction cases involving non-Hague convention countries. Irene has handled property matters with a modest asset pool to multi-million dollar asset pools, including family trusts, overseas assets and farming properties that have been in one party’s family for generations.

The scale and breadth of Irene’s Family Law works extends from straight forward divorces to divorces involving separation under the one roof; child support agreements; financial agreements and reaching agreements through negotiations, mediation, collaborative practice and through the Court process. She has experience in dealing with married relationships, de facto relationships and same-sex relationships.

Irene has been passionate about keeping up with developments in the law and also methods of best representing her clients throughout her career. In 1993 she became a member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators.

Irene became an accredited specialist in Family Law in 1994, being one of a small number of legal practitioners in NSW entitled to claim specialist accreditation in Family Law. This means she has completed the rigorous process of assessment by the Law Society to earn this qualification and continues to attend the additional compulsory courses each year to maintain her expertise. An accredited specialist is different from practitioners who say they “specialise”, which is a self-assessment.

In 2005 Irene was in the first Sydney training group of a Collaborative Law Training Course and was a founding Board Member of Collaborative Professionals (NSW) Inc. Put simply, the goal of collaborative practice is to reach voluntary settlements without threat or use of litigation. It aims to remove the fear factor from problem solving and involves clients and their lawyers negotiating terms of settlement in an environment of respect, honesty and dignity where parties, with the assistance of their lawyers, explore solutions to meet their interests and concerns.

Between 2008 and 2016 Irene assisted in training students, lawyers, accountants and counsellors in the Collaborative Training Course conducted at UTS Sydney.

Irene completed a Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) through the College of Law in October 2012.

In addition to Family Law Irene practises in areas of law which revolve around other matters of concern for families, namely; wills, powers of attorney, enduring guardians, estate planning, conveyancing, the administration of deceased estates and acting in disputed estates. Irene has years of experience assisting clients to plan for their future and their family’s future.

Irene is a member of the New South Wales Law Society, the Berrima District Law Society, the Southern Tablelands Law Society, International Academy of Collaborative Practice (IACP), Collaborative Professionals (NSW) Inc, Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators & Mediators and Southern Highlands Business Women’s Association.

Ann Lang
Ann joined the firm in May 2017 as a legal secretary. Ann has since taken on the role of office manager as well as covering reception and streamlining the office precedents.

Prior to moving to the Southern Highlands, Ann worked as a legal secretary for a large Sydney law firm for 10 years, working in various areas of law.

Ann is familiar with the needs of clients as she has also worked in administration with a local financial adviser, as a personal assistant and with her husband owning and operating a retail franchise.

In addition, Ann enjoys keeping her knowledge up to date by attending Law Society secretarial courses and Microsoft and other software training.

The firm’s clients will attest to Ann’s attention to detail, her enthusiasm and organisational skills. She is highly regarded and is an invaluable asset to our firm.

Karen Hannon
Karen started her career as a legal secretary when she commenced employment with Irene E Pickel, as the firm was then known, over twenty years ago, following a background of university study and hospitality.

Karen provides a range of duties at Pickel Legal including reception and office administrative tasks as well as administrative support in family law, property law, wills & estates. She is experienced in preparing legal documents and the use of LEAP legal software.

In particular, Karen enjoys working on conveyancing and other property law matters including electronic conveyancing for residential and strata properties and assisting clients with their NSW Revenue applications for stamp duty and First Home benefits.

Her friendly, hardworking and caring nature together with her attention to detail is a wonderful and most appreciated asset to the firm.