Johnston Withers

Nic Kernahan.


A director of Johnston Withers Lawyers, Nic heads up our criminal law practice. He’s widely regarded as one of Adelaide’s best criminal defence lawyers.

Working on Kaurna lands (Adelaide), Barngarla lands (Port Augusta & Whyalla), Kokatha lands (Roxby Downs), and Ngadjuri lands (Clare)

“Career highlights include assisting the state Coroner in the 2002/3 inquiry into the Whyalla airline crash and, in 2007, assisting Commissioner Mullighan in the State Commission of Inquiry into Children in State Care.”

Nic's experience

Nic started his life as a lawyer in the country in 1994, when he opened Johnston Withers’ Whyalla office. That regional experience has shaped his practice, giving him wide experience in many aspects of the law. He has a particular focus on strong advocacy with practical, sensible, cost-effective solutions. Nic moved to the Adelaide office of Johnston Withers in 1997, and became a director of the firm in 2005.

Prior to practising law, Nic worked for five years in the finance industry, giving him a strong grasp of financial issues.

Nic's expertise

Nic heads up the firm’s criminal law practice. He specialises in serious crime including white collar offences.

He also has specialist expertise and interest in family law, litigation and employment law. Nic represents clients in Court and during internal investigations and in disciplinary tribunals. He also has significant experience in inquests and enquiries, and regularly appears in the Coroner’s court.

Though based in Adelaide, Nic has a long-standing interest in the state’s north. He carries responsibility for our regional offices in Whyalla, Port Augusta, and Roxby Downs, supporting the local staff there and visiting regularly.

Outside of Law

Nic has a keen interest in most sports.

An avid footballer, he’s played in both country and metropolitan leagues, and has coached both senior grade football and youth teams. He feels privileged to count a number of the current crop of AFL and SANFL players among his protégées.

He serves as a member of the Adelaide Footy League Disciplinary Tribunal, is an avid surfer, and loves reading, fishing and music.

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