Our inspiration

As the first specialist boutique family law practice in Australia, Jones Mitchell Lawyers has strong historical and professional foundations which continue to be our inspiration for providing clients with excellence in family law today.

Established in 1990 by partners Warwick (Rick) Jones and David Mitchell, their vision was to create a genuine ‘centre of excellence’ in the practice of family and relationship law. From that vision, Jones Mitchell Lawyers was born.

Underpinning our ethos for excellence, is the inspriration, determination and perseverance of the late Judge of the Family Court of Australia – Appeals Division, the Honourable Steven Strauss QC.

Until his passing in 2010, Jones Mitchell Lawyers benefited from the wisdom and humility of this true gentleman and intellectuall leader of the court. A painting of the Honourable Steven Strauss QC proudly adorns the Jones Mitchell boardroom to remind us of the principles of hard work, determination, and perseverance which can lead to great achievements. This is his story.

The Honourable Steven Strauss QC

Steven Strauss was born in 1921 in Germany to a Jewish family. In early 1939, after Hitler gained power, he migrated to England on a children’s transport ship leaving behind his mother and sister, who he never saw again.

Following the declaration of war in September 1939, British authorities rounded up men of German and Austrian origin, classifying them as ‘enemy aliens’. At just 18, he was imprisoned and sent to Australia. Later released, Steven Strauss joined the Australian Army where he completed his English studies and subsequently put himself through law school at the University of Melbourne. He continued to obtain a Master of Laws in 1949.

In 1950, he began practising as a barrister at the Victorian Bar where he gained varied experience, including matrimonial and family law. In 1965, he was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel for the State of Victoria (QC). He was appointed a Judge of the Family Court of Australia in July 1976. In 1983, he was appointed a temporary member of the Appeals Division of the Family Court. Two years later, he was appointed a permanent member of the Appeals Division.

In 1994, he retired from judicial office. In 1995, The Honourable Steven Strauss QC began practising as in-house counsel with Jones Mitchell Lawyers and continued until his passing in 2010.

For those 15 years, which were the early days for Jones Mitchell Lawyers, Steven Strauss provided invaluable advice and mentoring to the firm’s lawyers. His administration and practice optimised Jones Mitchell’s mission statement which continues to inspire all Jones Mitchell family lawyers today.