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ILLAWARRA-BASED FIRM Kells The Lawyers, has appointed two new partners while retiring another.Bringing the number of partners at the firm to eight, Michael Mantei and Michael Hatfield have…

ILLAWARRA-BASED FIRM Kells The Lawyers, has appointed two new partners while retiring another.

Bringing the number of partners at the firm to eight, Michael Mantei and Michael Hatfield have joined the partnership in the wake of John Peedoms retirement in February of this year.

Mantei will assume responsibility for the strategic and operational control of the local government, planning and environment team.

He came to the firm after the merger with Peedoms Lawyers in 2004, after graduating from the University of Wollongong in December 2001 with a bachelor of laws honours degree. He also holds a bachelor degree in town planning from the University of NSW.

In 2005, Michael was appointed as an accredited specialist in local government and planning law by the Law Society of NSW. He has a range of clients including councils, property developers, business owners and operators as well as private individuals.

“[Mantei] and [Hatfield] are typical of our lawyers in that they have both dedicated their careers to specific areas of focus,” chairman of partners, Roger Downs, said.

“You would be hard pressed to find a lawyer who rivals [Mantei’s] understanding of local government, planning and environment law, and when it comes to property law, [Hatfield’s] experience and local market knowledge is very impressive and much valued by his clients,” Downs said.

Hatfield will supervise all of the firms’ residential property teams, along with continuing to provide commercial legal services to businesses in the Shellharbour area.

“Kells has a strong tradition of promoting from within and these two promotions reward the contributions made by [Hatfield] and [Mantei] in their respective practice areas,” Downs said. “These promotions also recognise the strategic importance of having a partner in charge of each of the restructured teams.”

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