Sarah Stoddart - Director
Sarah Stoddart is the founder and sole director of Vitality Law Australia. She is a partner, Mum, stepmum, organisation extraordinaire and lover of champagne, good coffee and beach holidays.
In November 2020, following the start of a pandemic and the birth of her first child, Sarah launched her firm. Why do such a thing you ask? Because she wanted to do law differently, flexibly and on her terms. And they say if you can dream it, you can create it!
Although Sarah is based in sunny Brisbane, she helps clients from all across Australia. Sarah has over a decade of legal experience. She started out at an international law firm, before moving to an in-house role and then into boutique firms. She is recognised as a leader in the healthcare industry and is one of only a few lawyers in Australia with specialist experience working with pharmacy businesses.
Sarah has extensive experience with the purchase and sale of businesses and applications to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority and the Commonwealth Department of Health including applications for change of ownership of pharmacy businesses and applications for the exercise of Ministerial Discretion. She can also assist with objections to these applications.
In addition to her focus on healthcare businesses, she is also highly skilled in conveyancing and employment law matters and works with clients to:
- navigate the sale and property of residential and commercial property;
- transfer property as a result of a relationship breakdown;
- improve the management and induction of employees by developing workplace policies and drafting employment contracts;
- manage ill or injured employees;
- advise on issues relating to performance management or termination of employees.
Sarah works closely with her clients to understand their business, provide them with education about issues relevant to their industry and to help them achieve business and professional growth. She regularly speaks at conferences, delivers workplace training and offers guidance on issues facing current or prospective business owners via free blog posts. She is reminded daily of how privileged she is to be a trusted advisor and a small part of some of the most significant milestones in her client’s lives.
As well as her work at Vitality Law Australia, Sarah is an Adjunct Lecturer at both the College of Law Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast. She regularly contributes to articles in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy and for a period of almost 5 years prior to November 2021, she was also a Board Director and Chair of the Governance Sub-Committee of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health.
In 2021, Sarah was named the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Australian Sole Practitioner of the Year. She was also a finalist in the AusMumpreneur Business Awards in the categories of Disabled Business Excellence and Emerging AusMumpreneur. The category of Disabled Business Excellence recognises Sarah’s achievements in business despite suffering from a chronic illness.
In 2022, Sarah was named as a finalist in the Women in Business Awards for The Hills and Districts Chamber of Commerce in the community category and as a finalist in the Australian Law Awards in the category of Sole Practitioner of the Year.
Sarah is the co-author of a business book, “Courage and Confidence”. The book is a collection of inspirational stories combined with practical tools, tips and advice written by small group of Australian women in business. If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book, please click here.
Clients describe Sarah as friendly, approachable and efficient. She understands the demands of life in small business, particularly with a growing family, and is genuinely interested in building strong relationships and helping her clients succeed.
As seen in
George Hanger – Senior Associate
George is an experienced commercial and corporate lawyer. He works on a broad range of commercial matters and has specific experience in assisting clients who work in the medical and health care industries, including pharmacists. He has three daughters and loves spending time with his family. He also enjoys following most sports and often catches up with friends over a round of golf or hit of tennis.
Amongst other things, George is able to help clients who are looking to:
- obtain legal feasibility advice with respect to a new business model;
- establish a new business;
- sell or purchase a business;
- sell or purchase an interest in an entity such as company or trust;
- enter into an ownership agreement for their business such as a Shareholders Agreement, Unitholders Agreement or Partnership Agreement;
- obtain advice in relation to a new or current leasing arrangement; and
- obtain advice in relation to commercial agreements including Service Agreements, Terms and Conditions and Supplier Agreements.
George prides himself on his personable and approachable nature. This allows him to create and maintain genuine and longstanding relationships with those he works with. Whilst he likes to take an analytical approach to issues and always ensures all relevant options are considered, he is also able to provide direct and clear commercial advice in way that is easily understood.
Michelle Neil – Lawyer
Michelle is a newly admitted lawyer with experience working in property law and estate planning. She is a wife, stepmum, and lover of animals. She spends her spare time with her friends and family on her Sunshine Coast acreage, and volunteering with various animal charities, organisations, and research groups. She also loves travel and has completed bucket list goals of traveling to Antarctica and her ancestral home of India.
Law is Michelle’s second career, born from a long existing passion to help others feel empowered when making difficult decisions in their life. In 2020 while completing her law degree, Michelle started working at a well-established and reputable property law firm on the Sunshine Coast. Michelle progressed quickly from working as an office administrator to working as a solicitor. Michelle’s legal experience includes assisting property developers with the sale of development lots, drafting residential and off-the-plan contracts, providing pre-contract advice on residential and off-the-plan transactions, and providing advice on estate planning matters.
Prior to 2020, Michelle worked in the veterinary industry as a general and emergency vet nurse for both domestic animals and native wildlife. She worked at organisations such as Guide Dogs New South Wales and Queensland, and Australia Zoo. She has also worked as a veterinary nurse trainer and assessor, and as a nursing and business manager for two large veterinary corporations. She continues to have a passion for the veterinary and health industry and aims to expand this passion in her role at Vitality Law Australia.
Anita Sodhi – Practice Manager
Anita is the administration and organisation extraordinaire at Vitality Law Australia. She is a mother to three beautiful girls and loves spending time with her family, reading books and drinking coffee.
Anita’s career in the legal industry started in 2008 when she worked at McCullough Robertson Lawyers. During her time at McCullough Robertson Lawyers, she completed a Certificate III in Legal Administration. A few years later, Anita moved to a small boutique which is where she first met and worked with Sarah Stoddart.
In 2014, Anita relocated to Coffs Harbour. During her time in northern New South Wales, she worked in a number of customer service roles including for Guide Dogs New South Wales and the National Australia Bank. She also spent some time working on her husband’s blueberry farm which she thoroughly enjoyed!
After some time out to have her family, Anita decided to return to the workforce and joined Vitality Law Australia in March 2022 in a part time capacity. She is excited to be back on board and working with “a Stoddart” once again.
Anita assists our clients with onboarding procedures as well as conveyancing matters. She is also our “behind the scenes” systems and processes guru and makes sure that our firm operates as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Sana Perfect – Administration Assistant
Sana is one of our valued administrative assistants. Sana is a busy mother of three young children who loves spending time with her family, going to the gym, camping, and reading.
Sana’s love of the legal industry began right after she graduated from high school. She has over 10 years’ experience working at some of Queensland’s largest law firms and continues to grow her skill set and understanding in a wide range of legal practice areas.
After many years of raising her family, Sana is excited to be working in a more hands-on capacity here at Vitality Law Australia.