WHO WE ARE
Let's lawyer up
At Avis & Funk Law, we’re less about suits and briefcases and more about being real and accessible. We are a talented group of down to earth lawyers ready to take on your legal work. Our mission is to make legal services as simple as possible, which is why we deconstruct all your problems into plain English, free of clichés and legal jargon.
As Gold Coast locals, we know what’s important to our clients, from your legal needs to your morning coffee. That’s why we offer a wide range of legal services ranging from conveyancing, to dispute resolution, right down to witnessing and certifying documents. No job is too big or too small.
We pride ourselves on ongoing client contact and support, so you’re never left in the lurch. Our lawyers build strong rapport with each client and have a great reputation with our ever-growing client base.
Not only do we value the needs of our clients, but also the needs of our team and our community. We are a firm thinking about the future and recognising our role in it. That’s why we manage our environmental impact by minimising waste and by opting to be almost entirely paperless. This also helps us save on costs, which allows us to pass on even greater savings to our clients.
Small firm, big outcomes
You know what they say: from little things, big things grow. At Avis & Funk Law, we believe that there’s nothing wrong with being small. We’ve moved away from the accessibility hurdles of big law firms to provide simple, no-stress legal solutions. After all, it’s not the size of your firm that counts, but the quality of service.
The best part? Nasty surprise bills are just not our style. Our lawyers work with lower overheads and offer transparent fixed fee costs, so you can expect budget certainty every time. We only charge you for the work you need and only charge you when the work is done.
Want to know more? Contact us online, or book an appointment to visit our Gold Coast office. Can’t come to us? We can set up a consultation by phone or Skype. We can even come to you! Just ask us how!
Legal Practitioner Director
Having worked with property for much of his legal life, Ben is your go-to for anything and everything related to a block of dirt (or the apartment ten stories above it). Ben receives a strange amount of pleasure in helping clients with property transactions, which none of us can understand. Perhaps this is an indicator of something that we should be worried about, but for now, we will just enjoy his wealth of experience and passion for the industry.
Ben likes to think of himself as a “tech wiz kid”, but don’t let him fool you; he is really just a closet nerd. This has, however, put him ahead of the curve when it comes to internet and technology law, and has earned him the unofficial title of “tech support” around the office. However, his tech support always comes with a catch; a lecture on what you did wrong, followed by two pages of notes and a pop quiz to make sure that you were paying attention.
He earned the nickname “Sheldon” after the popular character from the Big Bang Theory for good reason; he is stubborn, argumentative, and always strives to be correct. Perfect qualities for a lawyer. However, those skills aren’t saved only for use in court, and there are a few topics that only the bravest of debaters would mention around him.
With a righteous outlook and a motivation to grow a law firm with a reputation for honesty, integrity and ethics (so much so that Gandhi himself would be proud), he is a perfect fit here at Avis & Funk Law.
Legal Practitioner Director (MARN: 1798794)
Larissa has always been full of wanderlust, having already seen more than 40 countries (and counting), so it only makes sense that she has become a brilliant migration lawyer. We keep hoping that she will stay still, but she is impossible to pin down in one place for long. Lucky for us, she keeps coming back, and every time with a few more tools in her Migration Law toolbox.
Larissa’s libertarian beliefs (not to be confused with librarian – even though she does love her books) have made her a crusader against the government, with her arena being the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Her zealous nature and passion for “standing up for the little guy” have earned her an incredible success rate in the Tribunal. However, sometimes her beliefs are a bit too strong, and we are surprised that she hasn’t started sporting a tin foil hat. Regardless, if you have an issue with the government, whether it be your local council or the Department of Immigration (well, the Department of Home Affairs now), you won’t find another lawyer more supportive of your cause than Larissa.
Larissa has always been up to date with health, style and fashion trends, which has presented us with a few issues around the office. Most recently, we have had to stop her from turning the office into a jungle of succulents and ivy; before that, it was replacing all of our seats with milk crates. Lucky for us, her ultra-modern tastes don’t stop there, and she is always two steps ahead of the curve when it comes to business and technology. She had signed up for Uber driving within a week of it coming to Australia, and is the proud owner of an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin and various alt-coins none of us have heard of. She has an uncanny ability to identify ground-breaking innovations, and is the visionary that will keep this firm ahead of the competition. If you want your business to stay ahead, Larissa is the one to talk to.
With a fastidious nature and an eye for detail, Larissa has her eyes set firmly on the future (both for ourselves and our clients). We are thankful that her backpacking adventures have landed her here in Varsity Lakes, and we are excited to see what she can bring to the table.
Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1800051)
Avelyn is a two-time immigrant; being originally from China, she moved with her family to Singapore and later settled down in Australia. After having been admitted as a lawyer in Queensland, she worked as a solicitor/immigration lawyer in New South Wales. She has since left traditional legal practice to specialise as a registered migration agent. She speaks Mandarin fluently. She has worked closely with immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and is extremely passionate about helping her clients secure their most favourable migration outcomes.
Avelyn currently works remotely from Brisbane.
Ockert ("Occy") Visser
Occy studied at the University of South Africa and the University of New England (New South Wales) and obtained a double Bachelor of Laws Degree in 2001. He was first admitted In South Africa as an Attorney of the High Court in South Africa in 2003, and in Australia as a Lawyer of the NSW Supreme Court in 2008.
After commencing his legal career as a prosecutor in the Magistrates Court and an estates examiner in the office of the Master of the High Court, he transitioned into private legal practice in 1999. Since then, he has gained more than 20 years of ‘trench’ experience in private legal practice, entrepreneurship and private equity ventures in Africa and Australia.
He relocated to Australia in 2011 to offer his family a safer future and settled in Queensland. For the past 9 years Occy has worked exclusively in Queensland as a solicitor for a national law firm headquartered in Brisbane and as a senior associate for a long-standing and reputable commercial firm on the Sunshine Coast.
Occy is accomplished at pursuing and negotiating favourable outcomes for his clients. He regularly advises his clients on complex commercial and property transactions and guides them on proven strategies and options to optimally structure their businesses, corporate structures, or individual wealth to manage risk, nurture growth and to save on tax. He has extensive experience in the commercial, corporate and property law arenas, and in relation to tax law, workplace law and succession law matters of all sorts. In addition, he has managed small businesses, teams, and projects of various sizes, provided leadership and guidance to corporate boards and social/community groups, and built and maintained networks and relationships over many years.
Outside of work, Occy spends a fair bit of his time camping with his family, at the beach or in the ocean as part of the surf-lifesaving community or supporting his two teenage sons and favourite rugby team on the sports field.
Occy currently works remotely from the Sunshine Coast.
Tobie has post-admission experience in a variety of practice areas including commercial law and property law.
Before commencing his career as a lawyer, Tobie volunteered pro bono at Community Legal Centres on the Gold Coast. He is passionate about providing valuable legal advice and support to those who cannot afford legal services and actively works towards giving back to the Gold Coast community whenever possible.
Some might say that Tobie is competitive, which is why he frequently participated in Mock Trials and Moots as a student. He has since stepped up his game to become a regular in the Southport and Beenleigh Magistrates Court.
Tobie strives to understand the position of his client’s individual needs, to build and maintain strong relationships, and to provide commercially viable services to deliver excellent outcomes
Joel began his legal career in personal injury litigation before carving out a niche in estate planning and wills. He is passionate about anything to do with death and taxes. Client outcomes are at the heart of his approach to law. He strongly advocates to prevent problems before they arise with planning and communication. Despite the grim specialisation, he always upbeat and cheerful. His mantra is that clients should leave the office with a burden lifted from their shoulders.
He is currently undertaking a Master of Laws and mulling further projects to pursue. In his spare moments, Joel is history obsessive and gym junkie (results notwithstanding).
Joel currently works remotely from Perth.
Miniature Dachshund, Grad.Puppy School
Business Development Manager
Since joining the Avis & Funk Law team in 2020, Millie has proven herself to be an invaluable asset time and time again. Whether by helping to bring new clients in the door with her puppy dog eyes, or by alleviating the team’s stress by offering herself up for pats and cuddles, Millie is quickly becoming a model employee.
BEcon(MU), LLB(UNE), MBA(UNE), GradDipLP (COL)
Ed began his rather multi-faceted professional career as a member of CPA Australia and was later awarded a Licenciate Degree of Laws by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain, which lead to his admission to the Spanish legal profession in 2006. He subsequently gained a Bachelor of Laws at the University of New England and was admitted as a Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2015.
During his legal practice Ed has served as a public defender and duty lawyer at criminal courts and police stations and has defended unrepresented illegal migrants facing criminal charges, administrative penalties or deportation. As part of his private practice he has also worked intensively in the corporate, commercial, immigration, real estate, wills and estates, torts and insolvency fields.
Ed first migrated to Australia from Spain in 1974, but has since travelled often back and forth, having alternatively lived and worked in both countries during lengthy periods of time. His main current professional interest is immigration law, although he also takes advantage of his very strong accounting, commercial and business background to carry out assignments in related legal areas.
Out of the office Ed is a keen motorcyclist, and from time to time, when work allows, participates in motorcycling tours around southern Spain, southern Portugal and Morocco.
Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1909511)
Yandy arrived from the Philippines on a student visa in 2012. After completing her nursing degree at JCU, she obtained her own subclass 485 and 189 visas and then Australian citizenship in 2016.
Being a migrant herself, she can very well relate to her clients’ migration needs and always make sure to put herself in their shoes. In this way, it enables her to achieve the best possible visa outcome for them.
Yandy is empathetic in nature and her passion to help aspiring migrants is her main driving force for a career change from nursing to migration law. She handles different visa applications, such as visitor, student, skilled and family visas. In particular, health and medical professionals can rest assured that their registrations, skills assessments and immigration needs will be handled by someone who knows the process firsthand.
Yandy is currently finishing her law degree from UNE and would like to continue practising in the legal field. Her aim is to be able to broaden her scope of practice and represent her clients not only in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, but even up to the High Court.
Despite her busy schedule, Yandy still manages to enjoy life with her family and they frequently go to the beach and play with Pepper, their fur-baby.
Pablo Vilaplana Diaz
Pablo completed his legal studies in Spain before deciding to migrate to Australia to both challenge himself with a completely new environment, and to enjoy the opportunities and lifestyle that are available in Australia.
For the time being Pablo works as a link between the firm and potential clients, mainly from the Spanish-speaking community with which he is well acquainted. However, Pablo is now completing his Masters in International Law at Griffith University, after which he hopes to become a lawyer in Australia practising in commercial and intellectual property law.
Pablo loves everything in nature and the ocean, and his main hobbies revolve around these. He particularly enjoys sailing and scuba diving, so you will find him out on the ocean with his brother whenever he gets the chance.