Our Team

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John Adlington, LL.B., B.COM.
Property Law and Conveyancing, Wills, Estate Administration, Commercial Law and General Practice.

A partner at Power & Bennett Lawyers, John Adlington was born at Castlemaine, where he completed his schooling before studying Law and Commerce at Melbourne University. Graduating in 1978, he then completed his articles of clerkship at the Leo Cussen Institute in Melbourne, before taking up a position at Power & Bennett Lawyers in November of that year.

John became a partner in the firm on July 1, 1984, specialising in commercial and property law, including the sale and transfer of businesses and the leasing of commercial premises. He handles all forms of land conveyancing and also has extensive experience in wills and estate administration and planning.

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Gary Nicholas, B.Ec., LL.B.
Property Law and Conveyancing, Wills, Estate Administration, Commercial Law, Leases, Sales and Purchases of Businesses and General Practice. 

A partner at Power & Bennett Lawyers, Gary Nicholas was born in Melbourne, and was educated in both Melbourne and London. He studied Law and Economics at Monash University and graduated in Law in 1986.

Gary completed his articles of clerkship with the large Melbourne firm Madden Butler Elder & Graham. Admitted as a barrister and solicitor to practice law in Victoria in March 1987, Gary began practice in Horsham in 1987. He was later president of the Wimmera Law Association during 1991 and 1992 and a member of the Law Institute of Victoria Council in 1991.

Gary practiced in Maryborough, Central Victoria for six years from 1992 before returning to Horsham in June 1998. Having gained extensive legal experience over the years, his main areas of practice now include wills, estate planning and administration, commercial and property law, conveyancing, retirement arrangements for farmers, business transfers, and commercial leases.

Melissa Schilling, B.A, LL.B, GDLP
Family Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Disputes. 

Melissa joined Power & Bennett in 2012 upon completion of a Bachelor of Laws at Charles Darwin University. She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism in 2009 and from the Acting Course at the National Theatre Drama School at St Kilda in 1989.

Melissa was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 2013 having completed the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at ANU, and in 2016 became the first woman to achieve partnership at Power & Bennett. 

Melissa’s principal areas of practice are Family Law, Criminal Law, and Civil Litigation, having worked from 1985 until 1993 variously as a Clerk of the Magistrates Court of Victoria, Personal Assistant to the Chief Magistrate of Victoria, Judge’s Associate at the County Court of Victoria, and Court Officer at the Supreme Court of Victoria and Family Court of Australia.

Melissa was also a presenter and producer at ABC Local Radio at Horsham from 2005 until 2008.

Previously a resident of Adelaide, Melbourne and the UK, Melissa raised four children on a Wimmera broadacre farm for more than 20 years and understands the unique issues and challenges facing rural families and communities.


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Graeme Hardman, B. JURIS, LL.B.
Family Law, Civil Litigation and General Practice.

Formerly a longstanding partner in the firm, Graeme Hardman studied Law at Monash University, graduating with his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Jurisprudence on April 9, 1976.

Graeme was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Victoria on November 1, 1976, and specialises in family law and general court-based litigation. Having appeared regularly in Magistrates’ Courts since 1977, Graeme has developed considerable expertise in family law matters and is now one of the most senior court advocates in the Wimmera.

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Contact Us

Call us today on 03 5382 0061 for professional legal advice in the Wimmera.

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