Who we are
On the ground we are an eclectic group.
Our talents, skills and passions vary but we all share the common passion to provide quality legal services, enjoy what we do and have a positive impact on our community.
Dan Simmonds, Lawyer
Dan has over 40 years’ experience in advising private businesses including family businesses and farming families on their growth and succession issues, providing innovative but practical solutions. This includes being involved in strategic and business planning processes either as an adviser or member of a governing board.
He is accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as a Business Law Specialist, and by Family Business Australia as a Family Business Advisor. He has also undertaken the Family Business Institute course in family business advising.
He has been awarded the Law Institute of Victoria President’s General Award in recognition of excellence and outstanding contribution within the legal profession.
Dan is the Chairperson of the Committee for Geelong and, amongst a range of other appointments, is a member of the Deakin University School of Law’s Academic Advisory Board, Chair of the Barwon Health Foundation Future Fund, a Director of each of Kardinia Health Limited and ACE Radio Broadcasters, and a member of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust board.
We don’t know how he fits it all in but he does – being one of the most efficient and passionate people we know helps. Away from his professional commitments, Dan is a lover of sport – especially AFL and cricket – and enjoys walking, English crime novels and spoiling his grandchildren.
Melanie Twomey, Lawyer
Mel has extensive experience in the areas of superannuation, trust advice, taxation, duties and state taxes, business structuring and commercial contracts and transactions. Mel works with private business owners, accountants, financial planners, and individuals.
Mel is a board member of the Cherished Pets Foundation and Leisure Networks.
Away from the office, Mel is a mother to two beautiful girls, and loves animals – especially her dog Tex. She also enjoys music, the Arts, and running with her eldest daughter.
Ashleigh Wall, Lawyer
Ash is an experienced lawyer and has a great ability to think innovatively. She practises in the areas of asset protection, business and investment structuring, trusts, business and personal succession planning, commercial contracts and transactions, and family business specialist services.
Ash is a passionate advocate for creating positive change through business — for people, the environment and our communities.
Ash is the Chairperson of Surfing Victoria, and is currently completing an MBA at Melbourne Business School. Ash has also undertaken advanced tax courses with the Tax Institute of Australia, and the Family Business Institute course in family business advising.
Ash is also Mast’s resident adventurer – she enjoys surfing, all things outdoors and travelling (anywhere and everywhere).
Simon Tait, Lawyer
Simon has vast experience as a commercial and intellectual property lawyer, with focus on the areas of general corporate law, trust law, business structuring and restructuring, asset protection, tax and succession planning.
Prior to joining the team at Mast, Simon worked with one of the world’s largest international legal firms in Jersey for 11 years. Among other areas, he specialised in offshore corporate, finance and restructuring work, banking and asset finance, corporate restructuring and insolvency.
Simon is a member of the Northern Futures board.
Simon enjoys surfing, practising yoga, the French language and loves to travel.
Stuart Monotti, Lawyer
Stuart has over 30 years’ experience in the areas of property transactions, mortgages, local government, property development and subdivisions.
He has worked for private clients, government authorities, water corporations and local government with particular expertise in property sales and acquisitions, broadacre subdivisions, development agreements, easements, adverse possession claims and encroachments, conversion of land from general law to Torrens title, leasing and security documentation.
He is accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as a specialist in both Property Law and Commercial Tenancy and is a member of the LIV Property and Commercial Tenancy Advisory committee.
He is past chair of Courthouse Youth Arts (now Platform Arts).
A regular cyclist (yes, lycra) he enjoys the vicarious benefit of travel that comes with accompanying his wife to concerts by ageing rock stars, particularly the one named Bruce.
Nikketa Anderson, Lawyer
Nikketa is experienced in the areas of sale of business transactions, commercial and retail leasing (including agreements for lease, sub-lease agreements, renewal of lease, transfer of lease, surrender of lease, termination of lease, variation of lease), leasing disputes, licence agreements, bespoke commercial agreements.
Nikketa is a mentor for Victorian Women Lawyers and a member of the Geelong Law Association.
Outside the office, Nikketa enjoys spending time in the kitchen cooking all sorts of delicious and challenging recipes, gardening in the veggie patch, exercising, travelling and she loves her dog Billie.
Haley Santilli, Assistant
Haley is our assistant, office manager and problem solver. The Mast team would not be complete without her. When she is not running around and keeping the office in order, Haley is mum to two gorgeous children – and is very handy behind a camera and with a guitar.
Fleur Freeland, Assistant
Fleur is an assistant and an asset within our team, who will often be found reducing, reusing and recycling her way around the office. Being one for adventure and unable to sit or stand still for too long, you can find her hanging upside down at aerial yoga or chasing her audacious daughter around their beach hometown.