Ben Deverson Founder & Director | Chief Organiser
Founder, Director & Chief Organiser of Lawganised, Ben Deverson, has had a 25-year executive career of which over half has been managing and leading professional services firms. For four years (2016-2019), Ben was the Managing Director and an equity principal of a boutique law firm in Brisbane, Australia.
Whilst not being a qualified lawyer, Ben is an expert in the best practice operations of law firms. Throughout his career, Ben has gained an intimate knowledge of the challenges that law firm Principals face each day. Ben's strengths include strategic planning, people and culture, forecasting, cash flow management, process automation, performance metrics, leadership, and legal practice risk management.
Ben has a passion for helping law firm Principals build strong, positive cultures and cohesive teams built on vulnerability-based leadership and trust. Ben believes teams with these characteristics allow Principals to optimise their people and generate enormous value in their practices, leading to a positive outlook on their business and their lives.
That is why the Lawganised vision is simply: "To change the lives of law firm Principals".
Ben's unrelenting commitment and motivation to achieve excellence stems from his past unique leadership roles as an Australian Army Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Practice Manager for two global accounting firms, and a senior commercial role in a major Queensland infrastructure project.
Ben is a proud husband and father of three children, and happily admits he married well outside his weight division(!). He's an avid sports fan, animal lover, and Dad joke connoisseur. Ben always enjoys a good laugh and, in particular, enjoys a chat anything Seinfeld related. Ben is often guilty of excessive overuse of Seinfeld references and quotes given he believes there’s a Seinfeld moment in every day.
Ben is also a non-executive Director of the AEIOU Foundation for Children with Autism.
Melinda Thornton Senior Organiser | Client Manager
Melinda Thornton (aka, 'Mel') is Lawganised’s ‘Senior Organiser’ and Client Manager. Mel is an expert in all things legal practice management and has an unwavering commitment to helping law firm principals achieve operational excellence.
Mel’s legal experience stems from six years as the General Manager of a boutique law firm in Brisbane. Most recently Mel held a business management role in the banking and financial services sector and was responsible for the coordination of a portfolio of multi-million dollar property projects and corporate workplace strategy. Mel has also held key operational management roles in start-up businesses in the property development, hospitality, and retail sectors.
Mel’s strengths include hands-on operational management, compliance, and process improvement. Mel believes that team culture is the backbone of any successful business and prides herself on the cultural contribution she has made throughout her numerous management roles, and now continues to make for Lawganised clients.
Mel is a self-professed ‘Foodie’ and can often be found tasting some cheese and wine on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Lauren Phelps Senior Organiser | Culture & Wellness Advisor
Lauren Phelps is Lawganised’s dedicated Culture & Wellness Advisor. Lauren is a well-known criminal defence lawyer, holding Specialist Accreditation in Criminal Law. With nearly 15 years of experience in private practice, Lauren was a Director of one of Queensland’s leading criminal law firms, and has been actively involved in driving change and improvement within the legal industry through her involvement in Queensland Law Society’s Equity and Diversity Committee, and mentoring law students through the College of Law.
Lauren’s experience in the profession has shown her that lawyers are driven, hard-working, and committed individuals who often look after their clients and their firms over and above themselves. She understands that lawyers are their own worst critics, and that the profession is a tough one, but that individuals can have a happy and sustainable career if they have the right tools to look after themselves and to look after each other. It was this passion that led Lauren into legal education and professional development, where she most recently worked for the Queensland Law Society.
Lauren joined Lawganised to continue this work as our very own Culture & Wellness Advisor, with a focus on helping Principals drive their organisational culture, development, and wellness initiatives to ensure that they build their own thriving workforce that will, in turn, facilitate a successful and high performing firm.
Lauren’s practical background working within the industry gives her a real-world awareness of the challenges within the legal environment, as well as the initiatives and improvements that make tangible differences to Lawganised’s clients. Lauren is also an Accredited Mental Health First Aider, another example of her dedication to seeing change and supporting her fellow practitioners. Lauren’s passion shows through her education, facilitation, resources and consulting in a range of areas spanning leadership, wellbeing, resilience, mental health and more.
Lauren’s success is partly driven by her desire to impress Swayze, her Golden Retriever, who is not impressed by much at all. She also loves to spend the weekends plant shopping and testing out cafe menus across Brisbane. She’ll happily challenge Ben’s Seinfeld quotes with her quotes from Friends.
Rachel Barbaro Client Organiser
Rachel Barbaro (aka ‘Rach’) is Lawganised’s ‘Client Organiser’ and expands the capacity of both Ben and Mel in ensuring our clients’ needs are met.
Rach comes to Lawganised with 20 years of experience in legal assistant and office management roles, most recently with a boutique employment law firm in Brisbane.
Rach thrives on being organised and has an extensive background in creating procedures, precedents, management reporting, and enhancing productivity through technology. Rach is a self-professed legal practice management system geek and loves to find ways to help clients find efficiencies in their systems.
Like the rest of the team, Rach is also an animal lover and is often seen around her neighbourhood ‘being walked’ by her dog ‘Abby’. She otherwise spends her time being her cat’s ‘doorperson’ and hanging out with her husband and three children.
Lavinia Major Team Organiser
Lavinia Major is the 'Team Organiser' of Lawganised and performs the critical role of coordinating our client service activities and ensuring our lead Consultants (aka Ben and Melinda) are where they need to be when they need to be, and with what they need to have.
Lavinia has a background in retail management and legal secretarial roles and most recently was a legal secretary for a boutique legal practice in Brisbane.
Lavinia (aka 'Vinnie') also loves animals and moonlights as a House Sitter, caring for her clients' animals when they're on holidays. Lavinia and her family live on acreage and tend to a large array of animals including dogs, chickens, and ducks. Her pride and joy, however, is her dog 'Cleo' that just loves getting her face in front of a camera.
Lavinia is a proud Vegan and resides in the beautiful town of Wamuran, west of Caboolture.
Stanley Head of Security
Stanley is Lawganised's Head of Security and also assists Lawganised's clients with their debt recovery needs.
Stanley was voted most ferocious Head of Security in Law at the 1968 Bonnie Doon Show, a title he defended for three years before heading north to Queensland in 1972. There he joined a 'Motorcycle Club' in 1974 and was quickly promoted to Sergeant at Arms and was responsible for an enormous increase in 'collection activities' during his tenure. Stanley eventually hung up the leathers in 2019 to join his new owner at Lawganised.
After hours Stanley loves to maintain a high commitment to fitness and health in chasing tennis balls, sparring with his sister, and eating top shelf Science Diet.