About Us.

TP Legal & Associates

TP Legal & Associates are experienced, specialised lawyers practising in Child Protection, Youth Crime, Adult Crime, Intervention Orders, and VOCAT jurisdictions.

Founded by Terri Papoutsoglou, a lawyer with over 25 years working in Victoria’s Children’s Courts, and now supported by a team of lawyers, TP Legal & Associates has made a noticeable impact in the state’s legal arena. This has included two Victoria Supreme Court challenges and subsequent victories, as well as achieving positive outcomes for far more cases per lawyer than the average firm.

Based in South Melbourne, our team is able to service all metropolitan, regional, and rural locations across Victoria. We regularly travel to courts in rural areas where amongst other cultural groups we specialise in supporting indigenous cultures. Our service remains fully operational throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Compassion, Respect, Unity

At TP Legal & Associates, our clients can rest assured they’ll experience a professional service where each and every person is treated with dignity and respect. You won’t be judged by us; we’re here to help and are focused on achieving the best outcome for you, your family, and your children.

Clients looking to find the best representation possible, alternative representation, who are in a rural area and have yet to be allocated a lawyer, or those who chose to represent themselves but then realised a professional lawyer would offer a better result, all come to see our team and are pleasantly surprised.

TP Legal’s compassionate approach is based on helping vulnerable children, parents, and families. We focus on family values, keeping children with their families, and ensuring indigenous people remain with their culture. Our clients can receive Legal Aid if eligible, and if you’re experiencing financial hardships, unlike many other law firms, we do our utmost to provide the fairest rates possible – Everyone deserves a fair go, and everyone deserves their day in court.

Support and Empower

TP Legal & Associates is renowned for being genuinely passionate about advocating and defending the rights of children, parents, and carers. One of our aims is to empower you via our guidance, advice, and support. We take an intelligent, careful, hard-working, and transparent approach to our legal representation, and always treat you with the respect all human beings deserve.

Our level of experience in the Children’s Court jurisdiction allows TP Legal & Associates the opportunity to take the time to explain the key stages in court proceedings, which further adds to your chances of achieving the best possible outcome. We quickly ascertain your case’s key points, understand what needs to be done, how we’re going to do it, and after preparing all of the necessary documents, represent you in court to help you resolve your dispute.

Our People

Terri Papoutsoglou

Principal lawyer

Terri Papoutsoglou is the Principal lawyer at TP Legal & Associates. Terri has over 25 years of experience in the legal industry and has a Graduate Diploma in Criminology and Applied Psychology. Terri obtained her Law degree in 2003 and shortly afterwards was admitted to practice. Terri has worked in rural and metropolitan law firms, establishing her own legal practice in 2013.

Terri has a passion for assisting vulnerable members of the community and has volunteered for many charity groups in and around St Kilda and metro Melbourne. She has a wealth of experience in the Children’s Court and is well known for her expert advocacy skills. Outside of work Terri enjoys time with her teenage son, family and friends based in and around Melbourne. When she is able to do so, Terri loves to travel to Greece to connect with her overseas family and friends while enjoying some much-deserved rest and relaxation time.

Aisha Kaukau

Associate lawyer

Aisha Kaukau is an Associate Lawyer with over 10 years of experience in the legal industry and offers a wealth of knowledge to her clients. She studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University. Aisha studied and completed her degree while caring for her daughter who was born in her second year of Law studies. After graduation Aisha studied at the Leo Cussens Institute completing a further 12 months in legal training.

Aisha is enthusiastic about assisting children and working closely with youth and their families. Being a mother herself, Aisha offers empathetic and valued insights to both children and parents. Aisha is mentored by our Principal Lawyer, Terri Papoutsoglou, and works closely assisting Terri in Child Protection, Youth Crime, Adult Crime, Intervention Orders, and VOCAT Matters. Outside of work Aisha enjoys motherhood, friends, and holidays to New Zealand where she spends time with all of her extended family.

Sita Samtani

Associate lawyer

Sita Samtani is an Associate lawyer at TP Legal & Associates. Sita completed her Bachelor of Laws at Curtin University and was admitted to practise in 2018. Sita is currently completing her Masters of Law at the College of Law.

Sita began her career as a lawyer for the Aboriginal Family Legal Services in Broome, Western Australia.  In this role, Sita assisted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of family violence, some of the most vulnerable people in Australia. Sita provided legal advice and representation in child protection and family matters. She also assisted clients with IVO matters and victims of crime claims.

Sita has an interest in child protection, social justice and human rights law. 

Outside of work, Sita enjoys travelling, yoga, and exploring Melbourne.

Charlotte Cooper

Graduate lawyer

Charlotte Cooper is a Graduate Lawyer at TP Legal & Associates. Charlotte has completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University, majoring in History. Whilst at university Charlotte was an active member of the Deakin Law Students Society with a particular interest in social justice and equality. After graduating, Charlotte completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

Coming from a large family herself, Charlotte has always had a passion for working with children and their families. Charlotte is dedicated to bridging the gap between families and the court system, ensuring that all clients are treated with empathy and respect. Outside of work Charlotte enjoys spending time with her extended family and 3 pet dogs, dancing and travelling.

Fatuma Jacob

Administrative & Legal Assistant

Fatuma Jacob is TP Legal’s Administrative/Legal Assistant. Fatuma is a graduate lawyer with sound paralegal experience gained in both private and community based organisations. Fatuma completed a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing Major) at Australian Catholic University.

Fatuma is passionate about social issues/justice and is focused on developing her legal skills in this area. Fatuma has previously provided legal support at the ASRC, Job Watch and participated in a community/pro bono project, where she met with Supreme Court judges, to understand the state of Indonesia’s legal system.

In 2020, Fatuma was awarded the New Colombo Plan Mobility Scholarship and continues to be a Young Lawyers Member.

Outside of work Fatuma enjoys travelling, spending time with family/friends and keeping fit (boxing and body building).

Christine Politis

HR Manager

Christine Politis is TP Legal’s HR Manager. Christine completed undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Industrial Relations/Human Resource Management, at the University of Melbourne. Christine has also completed an Arts degree (Majoring in Criminology/Politics).

Christine brings a wealth of IR/HR knowledge and expertise gained in a variety of industries including: financial services, ICT, pharmaceuticals and community services. Christine’s focus is on delivering innovative IR/HR strategies, practices and initiatives that drive business performance.

Outside of work Christine enjoys Melbourne’s gastronomic delights, socialising, travelling and keeping active.

Our Offices

Melbourne Office

TP Legal and Associates have been based in Melbourne since 2014. We are conveniently located in the CBD along the busy and vibrant St Kilda Road. Our convenient office location means our staff are easily accessible to both our clients and the local metropolitan courts. All visits to our office are strictly by appointment only.

Ballarat Office

TP Legal and Associates have been regularly servicing Ballarat families for many years. In 2022 we decided to open our very own office in the heart of Ballarat CBD to provide a more in person experience to our rurally based clients. At TP Legal and Associates we are proud to service the gap in legal representation experienced by many families as a result of local practitioner conflicts, and/or unavailability. All visits to our office are strictly by appointment only.

Fees

At TP Legal and Associates we are predominately a Legal Aid focused law firm. This means the majority of our clients fund our legal representation through Victoria Legal Aid.

We assist clients with their applications for Victoria Legal Aid. Our experienced administrative team is able to assess each client’s eligibility for Legal Aid on the spot. This means we can process applications immediately via our direct portal with Victoria Legal Aid. To view the current Victoria Legal Aid application form, please see below:

 Victoria Legal Aid Application Form (Apply here)

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, our law firm is happy to negotiate reasonable fees in accordance with your personal circumstances. Unlike the majority of law firms, we are willing to set a fee structure that caters to your existing financial pressures and life situation.

Based in Melbourne, we service all courts within metro & rural Victoria