Meet Your Defenders

About Garde Wilson Lawyers -
Australia's National Criminal Law Firm.

Zarah Garde-Wilson

Zarah Garde-Wilson is a criminal defence law expert renowned for handling tough cases and championing her client’s rights before the courts. As a solicitor and barrister of the Supreme Court of Victoria and a registered practitioner of the High Court of Australia, Zarah has built an unmatched reputation for skilful advocacy and steadfast commitment to social justice.

Early in her career, Zarah was called on to provide legal representation in some of Australia’s most widely-reported criminal law cases during the height of Melbourne’s gang wars. Since then, Zarah has continued to successfully defend clients facing serious criminal charges, applying her sophisticated knowledge of the law and deep knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Zarah regularly appears and instructs in a diverse range of criminal matters in all jurisdictions in Victoria and across Australia including complex drug matters, violent crime, criminal syndicate, homicide and fraud matters.

Zarah is passionate about protecting defendants’ rights to a fair trial.

In her fight for fairness in the criminal justice system, Zarah has played a pivotal role in exposing the questionable tactics employed by police in obtaining convictions. Most recently, Zarah contributed to the uncovering of ‘Lawyer X’ and the launching of a Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants. Zarah regularly appears in the media to discuss criminal law issues and provide insights into the Australian criminal justice system.

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Not All Criminal Defence Lawyers
Are Created Equal.

Choosing the right criminal defence lawyer can be one of the most important decisions you ever make.

Garde Wilson Lawyers are criminal law specialists with a track record of success acting as both solicitors and barristers for our clients. This depth of talent and expertise means we can provide outstanding legal advice and strategy, as well as highly specialised courtroom representation in all criminal court jurisdictions.

Our lawyers have represented clients in high-profile cases and we pride ourselves on having the skills and expertise needed to win our clients favourable verdicts. We assemble the best legal teams to fight your case and draw on the best third-party providers to supply medical, psychological, forensic or technological expertise.

Get the criminal law defence you deserve. End the confusion and find clarity – contact Garde Wilson Lawyers today for you free case assessment.

Supreme Court of Victoria

High Court of Australia

Mitch Fraser

As Client Services Manager and Senior Law Clerk at Garde Wilson Lawyers, Mitch bridges exceptional service with tireless advocacy to create excellent client experiences and optimal legal outcomes. Justice-driven and motivated to help people through tough times, he excels in extending understanding; championing our clients’ well-being, as well as their legal rights.

Mitch provides start-to-finish support to Garde Wilson Lawyers’ clients; from first call through to courtroom appearances, and possesses a strong understanding of the Victorian Criminal Justice System and its processes. He has extensive experience preparing court documents, co-ordinating medico-legal assessments, and acting on clients’ behalf with prosecution and police.

With energy, empathy and an unshakeable dedication to upholding the highest professional standards, Mitch strives to empower each client we act for, both as a personal trademark and as the standard bearer of Garde Wilson’s culture and ethos.

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Tania Bolton

Tania graduated LLB (Honours) from University of Melbourne and having completed her articles of clerkship in both criminal and civil law, Tania was admitted to practice law in Victoria in 2002, curiously on the very same day as Zarah Garde-Wilson, whom she would face in Victorian courts during several high-profile cases as a senior criminal prosecutor. As fate would have it, Tania was destined to shift from adversary to ally and join Zarah as a highly valued member of the Garde Wilson Lawyers team.

Tania has vast knowledge of the criminal justice system. After being selected to the join the Victorian Bar as a Barrister in 2009, Tania served as Associate to the Director of Public Prosecutions, where she primarily focused on jury trails of serious, indictable charges including major drug offences, serious sexual offences, and violent crimes such as manslaughter and murder.

After accumulating unparalleled knowledge in dealing with all serious criminal matters for the state in all courts, Tania has joined the Garde Wilson team to defend the rights of our clients and protect them from unwarranted and difficult prosecution. Tania commenced with Garde Wilson Lawyers in 2022 and has transitioned into the role of Special Counsel to our Melbourne office where she passionately and diligently fights to obtain the best outcome for our clients.

“I believe in the law, not in sides. My job is to synthesise and analyse evidence from your perspective and ensure you’re afforded the best possible protection under the law”.

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Amanda O’Brien

Amanda ably supports our Gold Coast team and as a clerk at Garde Wilson Lawyers, she is entrusted to help our clients through a challenging period in their journey to justice.

“I understand that taking the first step is often daunting and it is my goal to make this process as easy and stress free as possible for you. I am committed to supporting you on this journey and look forward to helping you achieve the best result possible.”

With positivity and patience, Amanda prepares each of our clients for court, and provides a friendly and compassionate point of contact for all our Queensland clients. Amanda enjoys a number of hobbies including equestrian sports and show jumping, karate and boxing, yoga and running.

Kelvin Pearson

Kelvin Pearson is Garde Wilson Lawyer’s lead Barrister in Queensland.

He has over 25 years of criminal defence, and advocacy experience representing clients in ACT, NSW, QLD, TAS, and NT in highly complex criminal and civil matters in private practice and public service for individuals and organisations. His practice is informed by a coupling of rich professional experience and broad academic knowledge spanning law, accounting and finance, international banking, commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

His highest priority is the good carriage and management of each trial process for our Queensland clients. This includes the empowerment of each client through informative consultation, straightforward advice, and jargon-free explanations of client options to help them make complex legal decisions.

“The standard of providing frank and fearless advice is an important one. It assures clients they are never strung along on false hope of a slim chance, resulting in compounding costs if things don’t go their way. 

It’s our promise that while we’ will always be up-front and honest about their probabilities of success – be they good or otherwise. The decisions are ultimately our clients, and we follow instructions to the utmost, but our ethical obligation remains, from start to finish, to be completely honest”.

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