Founded in March 2009, the firm’s many practice areas are reflective of our team's background where their creative and commercial endeavours feature prominently.

Principal

Darren Sanicki

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Darren completed his law degree with honours at Monash University in 2003 and has also completed post graduate courses in copyright law, trade marks, intellectual property, and industrial designs. Darren also holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Latrobe University.

Darren’s legal career was forged at Marshalls & Dent Lawyers where he worked in areas including: residential and commercial conveyancing, business sales and acquisitions, commercial leases, corporate restructuring, and civil litigation. He was made a senior associate after three years.

As a one-time musician, Darren used his networks in Melbourne’s music scene, to commence and expand his music and entertainment client base while continuing to work in areas of commercial and property law.

Since opening the firm in 2009 (originally Darren Sanicki Lawyers), Darren has consolidated a substantial entertainment industry client base representing some of Australia’s best known bands, artists and creative businesses.

Darren has been selected by the Artists from The Voice for all 5 Seasons as their legal representative having previously represented contestants from X-Factor and Australian Idol.  He has represented clients in high profile litigious matters including the current Federal Court Case concerning a legend of the Australian music scene and the fixing of a statutory licence for use of an iconic song for the services of the Commonwealth. Darren also successfully represented Michael Barker (Split Enz) in a defamation action against News Ltd and Today Tonight.

Darren also has a substantial commercial client base comprising creative and corporate businesses including Moshtix, Windor Smith, Medical One, Strikeforce AMC, Wesley College and the  Meatball & Wine Bar.

Darren also volunteers his services as a pro-bono solicitor for the Arts Law Centre of Australia and is a 3 time recipient of the Arts Law Pro Bono award.

Darren is a board member of The Push, a not-for profit Government funded Victorian youth music organisation, and has held the role of Chairman since 2007. In 2010, Darren was a founding board member of Music Victoria, Victoria’s peak contemporary music industry body, leading the fight to preserve the Victoria’s live music scene and the general rights and well being of musicians. Darren has also taught in the Music Business and Music Law degrees at Victoria University.

Notwithstanding any of this, Darren is still best known for having a song he co-penned, “More Than A Game” used as the theme song for Channel 9’s The Footy Show for the past 23 years!

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Consultant

Paul O'Gorman

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Paul joined Sanicki Lawyers as a consultant in 2015.

Notwithstanding that Paul completed his law degree in 1975, he was a full time performer / recording artist /songwriter for more than a decade during the 70’s and 80’s. He recorded with Festival Records, released a couple of albums and singles, toured with the likes of Cliff Richard, wrote songs for local and international artists, and generally “lived the life”.

Paul’s career took a turn in the mid 80’s when he was asked to join Fable Music as a publisher where he successfully pitched songs to John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite and many international artists who recorded songs pitched by Paul from the Fable catalogue.

In the early 90’s, Paul managed Tommy Emmanuel, The Badloves, Debra Byrne and Russell Morris and also during that time managed Paul Dainty’s publishing company Marble Music.

Paul returned to law practice in the mid 1990’s and has since acted as legal adviser in the entertainment industry to a variety of the major and independent bands and performers, producers, songwriters and record labels in Australia ranging from Tex Perkins, Havana Brown, Ella Hooper, Megan Washington, Nathaniel, and British India to Russell Morris, Renee Geyer, Daryl Braithwaite, James Reyne and many others.

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Senior Associate

Moira McKenzie

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Moira holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Music, Bachelor of Laws and joined Sanicki Lawyers in 2011. Specialising in entertainment and intellectual property law, Moira has a passion for working with creatives across a range of industries, with a focus on music, fashion, gaming and start-ups.

She represents some of Australia’s best-known music makers, as well as artist managers, record labels, producers, music festivals, ticketing providers and has acted for the artists on The Voice and X-Factor.

With expertise in the area of Trade Marks law, Moira maintains the local and international Trade Mark portfolios for a number of high profile commercial and entertainment clients and regularly advises on Trade Mark related matters, including oppositions, co-existence agreements and Trade Mark disputes.

Moira also has experience in trade promotions including assisting her clients obtain relevant permits as required, as well as drafting terms and conditions for trade promotions. She is also well versed in the legal requirements for packaging and labelling of various products.

Moira currently serves as Chair on the Board of youth music organisation, The Push, and has served on the Board of Victoria’s peak contemporary music body, Music Victoria. She regularly volunteers her time as a pro-bono lawyer for Arts Law Centre of Australia, BIGSOUND and Face the Music/Changes. In 2014, 2016 and 2017, Moira was awarded a Pro-Bono Lawyer Award from the Arts Law Centre. She also plays in a couple of bands with friends just for fun.

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Special Counsel

Peter Haug

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Peter joined Sanicki Lawyers in May 2019 as Special Counsel.

He brings with him over 40 years’ experience as a Commercial Lawyer and is an Accredited Business Law Specialist.

Previously, Peter worked with a number of prestigious city legal firms, including Browne & Co (the AFL’s Lawyers), Mills Oakley and Marshalls & Dent.

Peter specialises in most aspects of Commercial Law including:

  • Mergers & Acquisition
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Succession Agreements
  • Business set-up & Re-Structure
  • Franchising
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Commercial Disputes, including Alternative Dispute Resolution

In addition, Peter also deals with Wills & Estates including Enduring Powers of Attorney and Appointments of a Medical Decision Maker.

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Solicitor

Ariel Wang

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Ariel completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business at the Australian National University in 2014.

Ariel joined Sanicki Lawyers as a part-time paralegal in July 2017. She commenced full time practice as a solicitor in October 2017.

Prior to commencing at Sanicki Lawyers, Ariel gained invaluable experience in a number of corporate roles including; investment advisory, stock control, strategy advisement and management, working within large teams. Much of this experience was gained in the fashion industry working at Christian Dior Parfums, Gucci as well as her family business, wholesaling extreme adventure gears and clothing. These experiences have helped Ariel develop her strong sense of entrepreneurship and has grown her enthusiasm for working with people.

Ariel practices primarily in commercial and property law, representing individuals, small businesses and commercial entities. She is experienced in all aspects of residential and commercial conveyancing acting for both purchasers and vendors. She has worked closely helping first home buyers secure their first property as well as downsizers and investors alike.

Ariel also has experience in dispute resolution and has recently taken care and conduct of a matter before the County Court.

Ariel is also fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Being a chatter box, in her spare time (not that she has much of it), Ariel enjoys brunching and a glass of bubbly at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. She religiously believes in beautiful shoes, pearls and love!

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Paralegal

Hannah Kelaart

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Hannah is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International Studies, majoring in International Relations, at Deakin University. She looks forward to being admitted to practice by 2020.

Hannah commenced her internship with Sanicki Lawyers in 2018 and was offered a permanent position in early 2019. Since commencing her paralegal role, Hannah has gained experience in residential and commercial conveyancing.

After completing parts of her degree in the Czech Republic at Masaryk University, Hannah enjoys travelling and experimenting with culinary dishes. She also enjoys cuddles with her dog, Tonks.

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Solicitor

Jonathan Xian

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Jonathan completed a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and Bachelor of Music at Monash University in 2018. After completing a period of PLT placement at Sanicki Lawyers, he was invited to join the firm as a paralegal in August 2019. Jonathan was admitted to practice in November 2019.

Jonathan has a keen interest in intellectual property and defamation law, as well as litigation and dispute resolution. During his time at Sanicki Lawyers, he has also developed experience in commercial law matters, including shareholder agreements, joint ventures and sales of business.

Outside of the law, Jonathan is passionate about classical music and continues to give public piano recitals and teach private students. He has performed regularly with BottledSnail Productions and the Melbourne Lawyers’ Orchestra. In his spare time, Jonathan also enjoys dancing and playing with his cat, Uni.

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Solicitor

Natalie Au

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Natalie holds a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and joined Sanicki Lawyers in 2019.

Prior to joining the firm, Natalie gained extensive commercial and litigation experience representing Australia’s largest pharmaceutical retailer, and subsequently as In-House Counsel at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.  She enjoys working closely with her clients and uses her unique ‘client-side’ perspective and strong sense of commerciality to provide frank and comprehensive legal advice in all areas of corporate and commercial advisory, including business structuring, business sales and acquisitions, and commercial and retail tenancies.

Natalie is also passionate about litigation and dispute resolution and has represented clients across a broad range of matters, including intellectual property, building & construction, employment law and contractual disputes.  When she isn’t in the office, she can be found in the courtroom, or at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In her spare time, Natalie enjoys creative writing, exploring the Victorian countryside and playing with her cat, Wally.

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Legal Bookkeeper

Kelly Ho

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Kelly completed her Commerce/Accounting degree at Adelaide University.  She has also completed her qualifications at the Institute of Chartered Accountants and her MBA.

Kelly has a background in Agriculture and Grain Trading, working in the finance team of  ASX listed, and large global companies before started her own bookkeeping and finance consulting business in 2016.

With exposure to different industries (not for profits, medical, construction, architecture, logistics, professional services and startups), Kelly ensures Sanicki Lawyer is up to date with the latest finance systems and processes.

Kelly is known to be a bit of a coffee snob (lucky she lives in Melbourne) and loves to chill out at a local café with a good book in hand.

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