Customer Service is our Mission

We understand that poor communication and over commitment by solicitors leads to disappointed clients.

We strive at all times to ‘under promise and over deliver‘ to our clients.

Originating in Cheltenham VIC in lovely bayside Victoria, we have clients in all suburban regions, other states and internationally. If we are the best choice to assist you, we will utilise technology to facilitate remote meetings and overcome the ‘tyranny of distance’.

About Us


Cogent Murphy Hawkins

Murphy Hawkins

Principal Solicitor

Murphy Hawkins is the founder and Principal Solicitor of Cogent Legal Pty Ltd.

He has studied in both the United States as well as in Australia; with an MBA and MCom Master degrees from Deakin University as well as a Juris Doctor from RMIT.

Before becoming a solicitor in Australia, Murphy has worked in Human Resources for an ASX 200 company as well as working in banking and finance. He has owned businesses and knows, first-hand, how it feels to be a small business owner in Australia.

Murphy has worked for Balfe and Webb, Canaan Lawyers and PCL Lawyers before opening his own law firm.

Murphy is also a Mining Warden for the State of Victoria as appointed by the Governor in Council and by the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic).

Murphy enjoys reading and engaging with business owners and leaders in Victoria.

Glenn Hindmarsh Partner Cogent Legal

Glenn Hindmarsh


Having practiced in commercial law for over 18 years, in multiple jurisdictions within Australia,  Glenn combines experience, expertise and commercial understanding to assist clients to reach commercial outcomes and achieve business goals.

Glenn acts for a wide range of clients including large corporations and family operated businesses, real estate developers, manufacturing and importing/exporting businesses.

Glenn brings a common sense and pragmatic perspective of the legal aspects of business and commercial law to advise and assist clients in relation to the acquisition, operation, growth and sale of businesses as well as commercial disputes by acting as a trusted advisor to analyse opportunities with clients and advise on potential pitfalls and opportunities.

Glenn practices across a broad range of property and commercial law matters including:

  • Business acquisitions and sales;
  • Franchise Law;
  • Commercial property acquisitions and sales;
  • Acting for landlords and tenants in commercial and retail leasing;
  • Commercial dispute resolution;
  • Company director and shareholder rights and obligations;
  • Partnership disputes;
  • Trusts;
  • Business intellectual property;
  • All aspects of private business and entity structuring.

Cogent Elise

Elise Steegstra


Elise Steegstra is a qualified lawyer with 12 years of experience as a Patent & Trade Mark Administrator.

She is the a seasoned board member in the not-for-profit sector and passionate about diversity, inclusion and empowering women.

Elise is skilled in governance, legal research and drafting as well as assisting clients with commercial litigation and employment law needs. 

Cogent Legal Paula Appelhans

Paula Appelhans


Paula Appelhans earned her JD from Washburn University Law School in the US, a degree in Health Care Law and Human Rights from University of Essex (UK), and is a qualified Solicitor to practice in Australia.

Paula’s experience has focused on health care commercial, administrative, and regulatory matters in the US, UK, ASEAN and Australia. Paula’s approach brings operational and legal experience together. Paula’s legal research and policy initiatives have focused on UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in ASEAN and access to the highest attainable health strategies specifically, in Singapore and Viet Nam.

Paula continues to advise on health care law revisions and regulations in Viet Nam utilising an international comparative approach to licensing and scope of practice for allied health professionals, Traditional Medicine, medical facility accreditation and working with the WHO on a National Rehabilitation Strategy for Viet Nam.

Paula has made Melbourne her permanent home. Paula serves on several local not for profit boards and is a co-founder of ExpatWomen@Work. Paula enjoys her motorcycle, her dog Milos, softball and a good pub trivia night.

Cogent Milton

Milton Cheng


Milton joins Cogent Legal after being a pilot for Cathay Pacific for over 13 years.

He excels in research and drafting of commercial claims and is passionate about aviation law.

Milton speaks Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.


Sonia Langworhty


Tara Davis


Meg Cyriac Cogent Legal

Meg Cyriac

Accounts and Bookkeeping

Meg acts as the accounts and accounting team member for Cogent Legal.