Professional Practical and Approachable Legal advice


With offices in Adelaide, Clare, Port Augusta, Murray Bridge, Whyalla, and Roxby Downs

For a complete list of How we can help see our services guide.

At Johnston Withers we have a proud history of ensuring everyone has fair access to the power of the law.

Our difference is our people: people who know the law for people who need the law, and practical legal advice.

Or more simply, people for people.

Our philosophy of fairness has always attracted people who are not only experts in their field of law but also have a willingness to go the extra yard for their clients.

There are all kinds of law, so we have all kinds of lawyers.

We are a genuine one-stop legal shop, based in Adelaide and with regional offices, providing excellent legal advice.

We believe that families and businesses should only need one law firm in the same way you have one doctor.

No-one really wants to see a doctor, like no-one really wants to see a lawyer, but when you have to, you need to know the person you’re seeing is the best.

That’s why Johnston Withers is here for you, when you need advice.

We are a team. We embrace working with client advisers (accountants, financial planners, bankers, doctors) to reach the outcomes the clients need. We know the law and we know how to apply it to support you.

‘We will take your legal worries off you and protect you to the full extent of the law.’

Graham Harbord

Family law.

She said. He said. They want. I want.

Family law is by nature personal.

It’s about you, it’s about your children and it’s about those who have been closest to you.

When a relationship breaks down, we take the time to listen, explain your rights and obligations and guide you through what can be a very stressful period in your life.

Our experienced lawyers know that each client’s situation is different and that you need clear, practical and cost-effective legal advice.

We help draft consent orders and other documents that set out and implement agreements that clients have made with their spouses personally or after mediation.

Our expertise includes:

‘Family law is about people. Everyone’s relationship is complex in its own way. We focus on identifying a client’s needs and concerns and help solve their problems.’

Vanessa Balnaves

Wills and estates

Forethought and preplanning are such simple precautions to ensure your family’s long-term financial security and avoid disputes over property and entitlements after someone dies.

We can help sort out what should and will happen and, if the right documentation wasn’t in place, help untangle the problems afterwards.

Our expert legal advice includes:

‘Getting comprehensive expert legal advice and preparing a valid will can save family members significant stress, legal fees and delays when you pass away.’

Emma Wilkinson

Commercial and property

The commercial world brings its own set of legal issues and challenges.

We believe your lawyer should be a silent business partner – there when you need them to provide advice on a wide range of issues.

We’re there to help with leasing arrangements (either as the lessor or lessee) doing the documentation for finance, business structures, contracts and confidentiality and so much more in the corporate spectrum.

Our expertise includes:

‘Think of us as an extension of your business.’

Andrew Mitchard


If you want peace of mind for your real property clients, prompt advice and search services with a strong emphasis on meeting deadlines, then Johnston Withers’ conveyancing services are the right choice for your business.

We take care of the detail and can help you manage the contract negotiation special conditions, drafting and power through to settlement.

Our conveyancers are conveniently located in our Adelaide, Clare and Port Augusta offices and offer a high level of personal service.

Our expertise includes:

  • Advice on Form 1 preparation
  • Advice on special conditions
  • Stamp duty advice
  • Full search service
  • Title and valuation search (ARE)
  • Electronic conveyancing and document registration (PEXA friendly)
  • Estate and matrimonial transactions
  • Fixed conveyancing fees
  • Mobile VOI and conveyancing service

‘We are committed to ensuring your success by facilitating a smooth, punctual and stress free process.’

Gemma Wallace

Litigation and dispute resolution

In any dispute it’s both wise and advantageous to have good legal muscle on your side, and to know that you are being provided the legal advise you need.

This is the traditional province of lawyers and our team comes with many years of experience and, more importantly, a very high success rate in gaining successful outcomes for our clients across all sectors of law.

Our expertise includes:


‘Disputes are a rarity in your life; they are what we sort out and resolve every day.’

Holly Gardner

Criminal law

Everybody has a right to be presumed innocent rather than guilty. If you, or someone you care about, should ever find yourself in the horrifying position of being charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you do is call us.

We take it from there.

It’s great to know someone who knows the law and your rights when the cards seem stacked against you.

Our expertise includes:

  • Major criminal offences
  • Fraud and ICAC investigations
  • Driving offences.

‘Everybody seems to have an opinion about you when you have tough times: We have the law, and provide the advice you depend upon’

Nic Kernahan

Injury and insurance claims

If you’ve suffered some form of injury, chances are it was caused by someone else’s negligence, breach, or perhaps ignorance of the law.

You could have a claim for damages, which is all well and good, but getting that claim resolved successfully and in a timely manner is another matter.

That’s where we come in.

We can give you legal advice and a plan of action up front and guide you through the process and the red tape.

We can also help you claim total and permanent disability benefits from your superannuation or insurance.

Our expertise includes:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Unsafe premises
  • Defective goods or products
  • Work injuries
  • Medical negligence
  • Total and permanent disability claims.

‘Ensuring you get what you’re entitled to and protecting you from being legally stone-walled…that’s what we do.’

Hugh Rischbieth


In this era of changing patterns of employment and more complex legislation, knowing your rights as an employee or employer is getting harder day by day.

At times you need to bring in an expert.

Our team focuses on the shifting world of employment law.

We can work with you to find successful and fair outcomes.

Our expertise includes:

  • Employment contracts
  • Discipline proceedings and investigations
  • Discrimination and bullying complaints
  • Dismissals
  • Equal opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Wages claims
  • Workplace health and safety

‘Workplace relations are too often a collision waiting to happen rather than a careful conversation.’

Graham Harbord

Workers’ compensation – Return to work SA

At Johnston Withers, we strive to ensure injured workers’ rights are protected, including the right to proper compensation and rehabilitation.

We are recognised experts in this complex field of law.

We have represented employees in the courts and tribunals over the past 75 years and have been successful in winning substantial payments.

We also represent partners in death claims and have successfully obtained either lump-sum or ongoing payments to ensure financial security.

Our expertise includes claims for:

  • Weekly payments
  • Medical expenses
  • Lump-sum payments for non-economic loss
  • Rehabilitation assistance
  • Disputes

Agri law

At Johnston Withers we recognised early that this area of legal specialisation was long overdue in South Australia and some city lawyers are not always equipped to advise someone from the land and understand their problems.

Our agri team of lawyers have farming and wine-industry backgrounds and experience, so that we can provide relevant legal advice. We have regional local offices in Clare, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Murray Bridge and Roxby Downs.

Our expertise includes:

  • Estate and succession planning for rural families
  • Protection of family assets – particularly during marriage and separation
  • Business contracts for farms, vineyards and sheep stations
  • Brand protection, licencing, event management
  • Negotiating with mining companies, wind-farm operators, government agencies, insurance and other rural litigation (for example for crop losses, defective machinery, product liability issues)
  • Managing employment issues for farm workers
  • Share-farming agreements, leases, partnership agreements, companies and trusts, will and estate disputes
  • Conveyancing and boundary realignment and land division
  • Researching competing interests between mining and farming
  • Wine law

‘We live and work in the local community and know its needs. We can also draw on specialist skills from our city office.’

Jason Bell, Clare

Aboriginal legal issues

Johnston Withers has a proud history of acting for Aboriginal people and their organisations, especially in the areas of land rights and native title recognition. The founder of our firm, Elliott Johnston QC, was appointed by the Federal Government to conduct the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

In addition, Johnston Withers acted for the Aboriginal people from Maralinga in successfully negotiating millions of dollars in compensation from the UK government arising from the atomic bomb tests of the 1960s.

Our expertise includes:

  • Land rights and native title
  • Joint management of national parks
  • Negotiations with mining companies, and government agencies
  • Organisation support
  • Commercial

This is an area of personal involvement and importance for all of us at Johnston Withers.’

Richard Bradshaw.


Our team has extensive expertise in this area.

We will defend you against all kinds of publications that cause harm and damage to your reputation and may cost your business or undermine your good standing in the community.

We also act for people accused of defaming others, because reasonable publications also need to be defended.

Defamation can be verbal, broadcast or in written publications and now includes social and digital media, which may seem different in form but the same rules and protections are in place.

If you are the subject of a malicious or thoughtless article or post, or are being accused of publishing one, talk to us and we will put the law to work on your behalf.

‘You probably have more rights than you’re aware of and you don’t have to accept being maliciously targeted.’

Richard Bradshaw