© Flying high over the Pilbara moon, WA.


About OSPREY Legal

OSPREY Legal started trading as a sole practitioner legal practice on 1 July 2013 after being created by its managing solicitor, Mr Michael Barker (Michael). OSPREY Legal is based in Karratha, but since 2013 has served the whole Pilbara including South and Port Hedland, Onslow, Roebourne, Newman and Tom Price. OSPREY Legal has assisted its clients to finalise matters in the Family Court of WA, Magistrates Court, District Court, and Supreme Court in Western Australia, and has assisted clients finalise matters in other jurisdictions including New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand, South Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Since 1 July 2013 OSPREY Legal has advised and/or represented 286 clients* in the Family Court of WA, Magistrates Court, District Court, and Supreme Court, and has advised and assisted clients with finance-related legal matters such as completing solicitor’s certificates.

OSPREY Legal’s clients have included advice and/or representation of 120+ clients for 160+ family law-related matters, and has advised and/or assisted 68 clients for drafting of Wills and enduring powers documents. OSPREY Legal has also advised and/or assisted 30 clients with solicitor’s certificate matters, and 90+ clients with Magistrates Court-related and District Court-related matters, including road traffic, driver’s licence and violence restraining order matters.

Although OSPREY Legal is a sole practitioner legal practice, Michael has a network of legal mentors and senior practitioners that he can draw on as advisers, and/or to bounce difficult legal problems off. Michael also assists other legal practitioners with their legal matters when requested. OSPREY Legal has assess to extensive legal databases on legal knowledge and legal processes that help Michael assist and represent his clients. However, when necessary OSPREY Legal provides a free referral service to other legal practitioners or organisations that Michael knows and trusts.

OSPREY Legal has been run from a home office since it first started trading on 1 July 2013, however for security reasons Michael meets his clients in their homes or at temporary office space available in Karratha and other Pilbara communities, at the client’s discretion. In most cases OSPREY Legal’s clients have been happy to meet Michael in their home at a time of their choosing, often after work.

Please explore the rest of the OSPREY Legal website for further details on the legal services we provide to our Pilbara clients, and our fixed-price policy and service guarantees.

Michael Barker
Managing Solicitor
13 September 2020

*: @ 13 September 2020.

A Brief History of OSPREY Legal

OSPREY Legal is a Karratha/Pilbara story of a professional who does not work in the mining industry and who moved to the Pilbara to support their partner’s mining-related career – how do they continue in their chosen profession in a small isolated city when the employment options in their profession are very limited?

OSPREY Legal is the trading name of sole practitioner Michael Barker (Michael), and commenced trading in Karratha on 1 July 2013. At the time Michael had lived in Karratha for 6 years, been admitted as a lawyer for around 4 years, had been an ‘experienced’ lawyer for around two years, and had two young children aged four and one. Michael was the primary carer of his children and wanted to combine the care of his children with continuing his legal career. Opportunities to have a legal career were virtually non-existent in Karratha. He experimented with being a Karratha-based representative for a Perth-based legal practice, but that option lost its attractiveness very quickly.

In those circumstances, Michael’s goals for setting up OSPREY Legal were a mixture of professional, financial and personal:

– To continue his legal career;
– To bring a private legal practice to the Karratha and Pilbara communities, which at the time were in short supply;
– To represent and assist Osprey Legal’s clients in their legal matters;
– To diversify his legal knowledge and broaden OSPREY Legal’s services over time;
– To manage OSPREY Legal and its clients’ matters around being the primary carer for his children;
– To be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (24/7/365) for his kids and give them, stability particularly during the recent ‘bust’ cycle; and
– To support his now ex-partner and free her to pursue her own career, including enabling her to travel for work and working-away purposes when necessary, particularly during the recent ‘bust’ cycle when she worked away every second week for 18 months.

Starting and establishing OSPREY Legal was a steep and often difficult learning curve, including developing necessary internal and external legal practice processes and requirements necessary to run a legal practice, maintaining a personal practising certificate, and representing and assisting OSPREY Legal’s clients with their legal matters. The administrative tasks required to maintain a legal practice can be particularly rigorous and time-consuming. Despite the difficulties, Michael met those challenges, internal and external processes are now routinely met and followed, and OSPREY Legal has maintained and/or exceeded the required professional standards for over seven years.

To reach these goals, OSPREY Legal was set up as a small, efficient, low-overhead business and legal practice, and has always been about finding the right balance between professionally assisting and representing his clients, running a profitable business, and Michael ‘being there’ for his children 24/7/365.
Despite life’s little turmoils, an increased local legal presence and a doom-bust cycle in the Pilbara, OSPREY Legal has achieved all of its original goals, and will continue to serve the Pilbara community into the foreseeable future.
Michael Barker
Managing Solicitor
13 September 2020

About Michael Barker, OSPREY Legal’s Founder &
Managing Solicitor

After leaving high school and living ‘previous lives’ unrelated to the law, Michael started studying law and biotechnology (biotech) at Flinders University as a mature age student in 2001.*

In mid-2004 Michael went on exchange to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where he completed his law degree and graduated from Flinders University law school with honours. Instead of returning to Flinders University to finish his biotech degree, at the end of the University of Copenhagen exchange in 2005 Michael moved to Salamanca in Spain to live and learn Spanish, which was where he met his future wife. In 2007 Michael moved with his wife from Salamanca to Sydney, then from Sydney to Karratha after his wife took an engineering job with the local port authority.

In 2007 Michael worked for six months as contract manager with Pilbara TAFE, then worked at the Pilbara Community Legal Centre (PCLS) as financial counsellor, and then as a paralegal as he completed his practical legal training. Michael was admitted by the Legal Practice Board of WA as a solicitor on 18 December 2009 and became an experienced solicitor in December 2011. After leaving PCLS in 2012 and after a brief experiment working as the Karratha representative of a Perth legal practice, in early 2013 Michael started to research and prepare for the creation of OSPREY Legal. OSPREY Legal started trading on 1 July 2013.

See ‘About OSPREY Legal’ above for factual information and the ‘when’ and ‘what’ about OSPREY Legal, and ‘A Brief History of OSPREY Legal’ about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ OSPREY Legal came into existence.

Michael Barker
Managing Solicitor
13 September 2020

*: As a law/biotech student Michael was in the unique situation of being a member of Flinders University’s law, science and medical faculties. Though very interesting and challenging, the law/biotech double had only one common subject (basic computer science) and completing the double degree would have taken six to seven years. Michael completed the Flinders University law degree with honours and first year biotech in four years, but life got in the away of completing the full law/biotech double.

A ‘Pilbara Gallery’ Legal Website

OSPREY Legal has had the website address www.ospreylegal.com.au since it started trading on 1 July 2013, however for various reasons, including lack of necessity and ‘cringe factor’, until recently Michael Barker (Michael), founder and managing solicitor of OSPREY Legal, has not built the webpages to populate the OSPREY Legal website. Although the website is now populated, the website is still a work in progress.

When developing this website Michael made the creative decision to make a ‘different’ legal website and combine information about OSPREY Legal’s legal services with photographs that he has taken around the Pilbara since he arrived in the region in 2007.

The photos in the webpages have a use. The ‘slider’ photos at the top of each menu page displays information on OSPREY Legal’s services for that particular area of law and OSPREY Legal contact information. The smaller photos on the main menu pages throughout the website act as navigation aids – clicking on the smaller photos will take you to that particular area of law where you will find that photo as larger slider on that page, and in future an outline of OSPREY Legal’s services for that area of law in the webpage below.

All the pictures:
– Were taken in and around the Pilbara by Michael;
– Are landscapes of the Pilbara or are of typical Pilbara events, scenes or action;
– Are cropped versions of original photographs (necessary to make them website-compatible), but otherwise are little modified from the original picture;
– Do not include people or identifying marks for vehicles, etc; and
– Each of the photos are captioned for those interested in the circumstance or location of where the photo was taken.

Please enjoy the photos from around the Pilbara while you explore OSPREY Legal’s legal services. If you have any questions on the services OSPREY Legal provides please contact Michael on 0400 998 420.

Michael Barker
Managing Solicitor
13 September 2020