About Us

Where it all began

The idea of formalising a network for HR professionals working in the legal sector began around the time of the last Award negotiations.

A group of 15 law firms pooled resources to provide an employer and HR perspective on the draft Award. While contributing their time and energy to the Award process, the HR people involved benefited from getting to know each other and sharing ideas.

Discussions were held about how to set up a network that would assist with the support and ongoing professional development for HR professionals in the legal sector. From these discussions, the idea for a formal association was raised.

The “foundation council” is a group of HR professionals giving their time to develop and guide the establishment of an association. The name HRMinds was chosen and the association was launched in May 2012.

Name and Position Biography

Nick Grant
Nick is the Director of HR at K&L Gates in Australia, managing a team of professionals located in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.  He has spent more than 10 years working in human resources for law firms in both Australia and the US.  Nick is also a Chartered Accountant and earlier in his career worked in Australia, the UK and US with PricewaterhouseCoopers.   

Lisa Filetti


Lisa has extensive HR experience having worked for both domestic and international law firms and is based out of Sydney.  As such she is passionate about people and creating high performing cultures that increase productivity by assisting leaders, and managers to get the best from their teams. Lisa’s key strategic imperatives are the development of people across all levels of the business and managing and leading key HR initiatives and programs.

Prior to K&L Gates Lisa was the National HR Manager at TressCox Lawyers.
Leigh Dunlop
Leigh is the Senior HR Adviser for the Sydney Disputes team at Herbert Smith Freehills, a global law firm. Leigh has been with the firm since 2010, where she commenced in the Graduate Recruitment team. Leigh works closely with the partnership and management teams at both the strategic and operational level to deliver successful HR and commercial outcomes for the business.   

Leanda Nissen
Deputy President

Leanda is the Human Resources Manager at Russell Kennedy Lawyers, a medium sized Law firm in Melbourne and Canberra. She manages the strategic and operational outcomes for the business with support from her team. Leanda is particularly passionate about engagement & retention, recruitment & selection, senior leadership development and project management. She is a member of the Russell Kennedy Women’s network which focuses on actively promoting the development of women as leaders in the profession, in business and in the community.


Odile Shepherd
Board Member

Odile commenced her career in human resources at global professional services firm Ernst & Young and has led the people and development function for national law firm DibbsBarker for 13 years.
Odile is highly regarded as a trusted advisor to the firm, combining her strategic skillset with top-class operational expertise to drive business performance and market leadership through its talent. The firm was named Employer of Choice (fewer than 500 employees) and a top-performing firm for career progression and work-life balance by Australasian Lawyer in 2015.



Helen Ayres
Board Member

Helen Ayres is the Head of Human Resources at Holding Redlich, a national law firm with 400 staff and offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.   She develops and leads the strategic HR initiatives and oversees the national operations for the firm.   Helen has over 17 years human resources experience in the legal industry.  She recognises that its people is its most important asset and aims to provide a career and work environment which is challenging, satisfying and enjoyable. 
Helen completed a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations & Human Resources (with Distinction).  She attended London Business School Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organisations in 2013.
Helen has been directly responsible for Holding Redlich achieving Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (previously known as Employer of Choice for Women in the Workplace) since 2008.  She is particularly passionate about diversity, mental health issues, staff engagement, performance management and reward and recognition.  She strongly supports the HR and  business partnering relationship to achieve positive commercial outcomes.

Natalie Stafford-Smith
Board Member

Natalie is the Remuneration Manager at King & Wood Mallesons. She joined the firm (previously Mallesons Stephen Jaques) in 2008 where she has held various roles across the People and Development function including graduate resourcing, global mobility, health and wellbeing, and as a generalist.  Natalie is responsible for developing and implementing performance and remuneration policies, and provides remuneration consulting and analysis to management, partners and across P&D to support the firm’s remuneration and reward strategy. 

Natalie has a client-centric approach and prides herself on her ability to consult, engage and influence others across the business.  Outside of her role, Natalie balances work, motherhood and an active lifestyle, enjoying running and Pilates to maintain her wellbeing. 
Sarah Hargrove
Board Member

Sarah Hargrove is the Director of Business and Practice Development and People at TressCox lawyers which is a national firm with offices in Sydney
Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.  Sarah is on the firm’s Executive team and has more than 20 years corporate experience in developing and implementing People, Marketing and Business Development strategies. With extensive international and national experience, her strength is in leading and managing highly effective teams and HR programmes to deliver on strategic imperatives, while introducing initiatives around engagement, innovation and change management, to deliver on business objectives.
Nadine Cooper
Board Member

Nadine is the HR Manager at Bartier Perry.  Having completed a Bachelor in Commerce majoring in Human Resources and completing a Masters in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations at Sydney University, she has a great love for food, wine and hospitality, which is where Nadine commenced her career as a restaurant manager.

After 8 years human resource management experience in legal firms she is passionate about partnering with the executive team to provide leadership and direction on how the firm can develop and grow through its most important resource - its people.


HRMinds is proud to Partner with:


If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Partner with HRMinds, please

download a prospectus here or contact our Secretariat.