Our team

Unlike other firms, our practice did not develop as an add-on to other core practice areas.  Instead, it is one of our core practice groups with clients, people and a reputation envied by rivals.

Melissa Seremelis


Melissa is the founding partner of Shield Partners and has over 15 years’ experience advising private businesses and high net worth families and individuals in relation to business succession, estate planning, intergenerational wealth transfer, business structuring and property transactions. She gained much of this experience working within the Private Client division of Deloitte Australia and further developed this knowledge and experience at Mills Oakley Lawyers before founding her own legal practice.

Specifically, Melissa has assisted her clients with their Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney documents, trust and corporate structuring to facilitate asset protection strategies, property development structuring and advice and ATO audit defence management.

She acts for clients across a range of different industries including property and construction, retail and consumer business, manufacturing and tourism.

Melissa was admitted as a lawyer to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2002 and is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Nerissa Thompson


Nerissa Thompson joined Shield Partners in 2018 as an established property and estate planning lawyer.

Nerissa has worked in small and medium private practice firms in the areas of property with a focus on conveyancing, estate administration and estate planning. Nerissa focused the development of her expertise in the area of estate planning at an Australian trustee company servicing clients across three states including Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

 Nerissa prides herself on her client centric attitude, providing her clients with appropriate and comprehensive conveyancing and estate planning advice to suit their needs and circumstances.

Nerissa holds a Bachelor of Business – Event Management and Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University, graduating in 2009 and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2010.

Laura Costello

Graduate Lawyer

Laura joined Shield Partners in January 2018 after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International Relations. In 2015, she spent a semester of her degree studying abroad at Aalborg University in Denmark, focusing on International Law. When Laura returned to Melbourne, she began volunteering at her local Community Legal Centre.

Laura is passionate about translating complex legal concepts to clients, and making the law more accessible. Whilst studying she worked as a legal content writer for a leading Melbourne digital marketing agency, writing on a range of topics from employee rights to commercial dispute resolution. Laura is currently completing her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.



Business Succession

Estate Planning


Private Client Matters