Our People

Chris Hill

Senior Lawyer and Principal

Chris has been a practising lawyer for over 29 years and a financial adviser for over 25 years. He is a specialist accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria, a Certified Financial Adviser and an Accredited Self-Managed Super Fund

Specialist Adviser by the SMSF Association, the pinnacle body in Australia for self-managed super fund professionals. Chris is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Financial Planning Association of Australia and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with family inheritance and succession planning. He is also a former member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). Chris practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, self-managed super fund structuring and advice, asset structuring, business succession planning and more recently aged care advice. His experience as both a lawyer and financial adviser provides unique insight and the ability to adopt a strategic approach in delivering legal solutions to his clients.

Chris holds regular speaking engagements, educational workshops and guest radio spots, presenting on a wide range of both legal and financial topics, both in Australia and the United States.

Chris is the managing director of Hill Legal and Life Solutions Financial Advisers which both focus on providing holistic tailored legal and financial solutions to clients at different stages of their lives. He is also the managing director of Hollenstein Hill Australia Consulting, a business that is involved in providing consulting services to Australians working in the United States.

Chris holds other non-professional associations and sits on the board of various charitable and philanthropic organisations.

He is an avid adventurer and has climbed mountain peaks in Nepal and New Zealand and enjoys offshore racing, sailing and bike riding.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  E: chris.hill@hilladvisers.com.au

Maxine Firbasl

Wills & Estates Lawyer

Maxine graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Laws and completed her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Leo Cussen Centre for Law in 2018. Maxine also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Monash University.

Maxine joined Hill Legal in 2019, where she works primarily in Estate Planning and Estate related matters. Maxine has extensive experience in the drafting of Wills and Powers of Attorney, including testamentary trusts and estate planning solutions for blended families and vulnerable beneficiaries.

She also handles complex Estate related matters, such as disputed Estates and Family Provision claims. In addition, and outside of her Estate related matters, Maxine assists with applications to the State Revenue Office for Stamp Duty exemptions on eligible property transfers.

Out of the office, Maxine enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  E: maxine.firbas@hilladvisers.com.au

Fotios Manolopoulos

Commercial Lawyer

Fotios completed his combined Economics and Law degrees from Monash University in 1992, with further post-graduate studies in Applied Finance.

He has spent most of the past 30 years working in various roles, including Regulatory Compliance, for some of this country’s leading financial institutions.

During this period, he has managed to travel extensively, develop a keen interest in exercise science and fitness, and even pick up a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Medicine.

Fotios joined the Team at Hill Legal in November 2023 with a focus on the practice of Commercial Law.

Outside of work, Fotios enjoys spending time with his young family and making the most of the outdoors.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  Efotios.manolopoulos@hilladvisers.com.au

Henry Bayliss

Commercial Lawyer

Henry Bayliss is a dedicated and skilled commercial lawyer, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his clients. A graduate of the Australian Catholic University, Henry earned his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2022, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Leo Cussen Centre for Law in 2023.

Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in accounting, equipping him with a solid foundation in financial principles.

Henry specializes in assisting clients with superannuation law and self-managed super fund inquiries. His expertise includes reviewing trust deeds and ensuring compliance of fund transactions and strategies with superannuation legislation. Beyond his focus on superannuation, Henry is well-versed in a broad range of commercial law matters, providing comprehensive legal support to his clients.

Outside the office, Henry is an avid sports fan, enjoys spending quality time with friends, and is passionate about reading.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  E:henry.bayliss@hilladvisers.com.au

Cheryl Hill

Probate Paralegal

Cheryl started work in a legal firm in Mount Eliza as a receptionist after completing work experience at the tender age of 16 and while still at school. She has progressed to become a Law Clerk as a natural progression from her many years of experience and application.  Cheryl has been with Hill Legal since 2012 and prides herself on her client relationships. 

Cheryl has worked in large and small firms on the Mornington Peninsula and has experience in most areas of law but these days works in the areas of Probate and Conveyancing. 

Cheryl’s interests include AFL football (go Tigers!), travel, tennis, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  E:cheryl.hill@hilladvisers.com.au

Jess Van Der Linden

Conveyancing Team Leader

Jess started working for By the Bay Legal & Conveyancing in 2018 and moved to Hill Legal in 2021 when both companies merged.  To further her skills and knowledge she completed her Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing in 2021. Jess was promoted to Conveyancing Team Leader in late 2023 due to her expertise and natural leadership qualities.

Jess has experience in a range of conveyancing matters including residential sales & purchases, commercial sales & purchases, subdivisions, and related party transfers.

Out of the office, Jess enjoys netball, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500  E: jess@hilladvisers.com.au 

Katrina Smith


Katrina commenced working in the legal sector in 2015 as a receptionist, since then she has progressed her career through various administrative roles, including her time as the Personal Assistant to Chris Hill.

While at Hill Legal, she had gained an interest in property law and organised to complete her Advanced Diploma in Conveyancing at RMIT, graduating in 2021, to progress her into her current position.

Katrina will be happy to welcome and assist you with any enquires or questions you may have during your conveyancing transaction.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 E: katrina.millar@hilladvisers.com.au

Kendelle McCullough


Kendelle graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and completed her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Leo Cussen Centre for Law in 2017.

She has previously had experience at a small law practice on the Mornington

Peninsula, practicing in mainly Property Law and Conveyancing, before joining Hill Legal at the start of 2024.

Kendelle currently practices in the area of Property Law and Conveyancing, and she is extremely passionate about it. She is also very passionate about Aged Care and Retirement Living, and Elder Rights.

Outside of work Kendelle enjoys Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, along with anything pink, the beach, and spending time with family and friends.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 Ekendelle.mccullough@hilladvisers.com.au

Shelley Phillips


Shelley commenced working in the legal sector in 2016 as a legal assistant and since then she has progressed her career to conveyancing, joining Hill Legal in 2024.

Shelley manages her files efficiently and is devoted to her work to ensure clients enjoy the best results possible.

In her spare time Shelley enjoys spending time with family and friends and getting to the beach whenever possible. With her friendly, positive personality Shelley looks forward assisting you with your enquiry.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 Eshelley.phillips@hilladvisers.com.au

Rebecca Hilbert

Practice Manager

Rebecca “Bec” Hilbert joined the firm as Practice Manager in May 2023 and comes from a background in Real Estate, Hospitality and Corporate Businesses, bringing over 30 years of administration management experience to our team of professionals.

As a mum of 3 children, Bec maintains a work life balance by keeping fit and enjoying a healthy lifestyle and loves nothing more than chilling by the pool in her downtime or holidaying in the warmer climates when possible.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 E: rebecca.hilbert@hilladvisers.com.au 

Nikki Bowler

Personal Assistant to Chris Hill

Nikki Bowler commenced working in a small New Zealand legal practice in 2008, completing her Diploma in Paralegal Studies in 2012 and shortly after, moved to Australia where she continued her career with an in-house legal department specialising in franchising, litigation, and business law.

Nikki is the Personal Assistant to Chris Hill, assisting with the preparation of Superannuation Fund documents, the smooth running of Litigation files and Wills and Estate matters.

In her spare time, Nikki enjoys spending time with her family, exploring all the outdoor wonders.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 E: nikki.bowler@hilladvisers.com.au

Susie Parkes

PA to Maxine Firbas

Susie works part-time as Maxine’s assistant.  Susie has held a variety of administrative roles over different sectors including Medical and commercial construction. 

Prior to this role Susie spent a decade in the financial services sector as a paraplanner and holds a Diploma of Financial Services. 

Away from the office Susie enjoys swimming and gym, as well as spending time with her friends and family including her two children.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 E: susie.parkes@hilladvisers.com.au

Ameila Takacs

Receptionist – Monday – Tuesday

Amelia joined Hill Legal in August 2023 and is apart of our friendly reception team. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University with the goal to become a Lawyer once she has completed her degree. Amelia has a strong interest in Property Law and can see herself practising in this area in the future.

Outside of the office, Amelia enjoys going to the gym and living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 EReceptionist@hilladvisers.com.au


Lauren Passmore

Receptionist - Wednesday - Friday

Lauren joined the company in August 2023 and is one of the two friendly faces you will see when you visit our office. She has previously worked in various industries including aged care administration support and performing arts and design.

When not at work, Lauren loves being at home with her family, and creating clothing and accessories in her studio with her cats.

Ph: (03) 5976 6500 EReceptionist@hilladvisers.com.au