Dr Sage Leslie

Dr Sage Leslie

Before being called to the Bar, Sage was a solicitor in a prominent local firm which specialises in family law, wills and estate litigation, and was the Legal Associate to Deputy Chief Justice Faulks of the Family Court.

Sage focuses on all aspects of family law, including complex parenting disputes, property settlements, adoption, surrogacy, and care and protection matters. She also practises in succession law, including disputes concerning the construction of wills, capacity, probate and family provision.

She is active in the ACT legal community, having served 3 terms to date on the Council for the ACT Law Society, and as President of the Canberra Region Family Law Professionals Association.

In 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 Sage was recognised in Doyle’s Guide as a leading family law barrister for the ACT.

Sage has a passion for Art Deco design, classic ghost stories and detective fiction, and published in these areas in her previous life as an academic.

Called to the Bar

Admitted as legal practitioner

Juris Doctor, Australian National University

PhD Literary Studies, Griffith University

B.A. in Literary Studies and Behavioural Science (Hons), Griffith University

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02 6262 9599



Practice areas

Disciplinary proceedings
Family law
Family provision claims
Wills and Estates


  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2012) E-Consumer Protection and Confidence: Current Australian Law Governing Online Consumer Contracts and Some Ways Forward. ALSA Journal 17-38.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2012) “I See Dead People”: Ghost Seeing Children as Mediums and Mediators of Communication in Contemporary Horror Cinema. In Debbie Olsen and Andrew Scahill (Eds) Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema, Plymouth, UK: Lexington, 1-19.
  • Tutty, J and Leslie-McCarthy, S (2012) ANU Campus Quest: A Mobile App for Transition Proceedings of the 2012 ASCILITE Conference in Wellington, NZ.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S and Tutty, J (2011) Strategies for Developing Effective AALL Websites Journal of Academic Language and Learning Vol 5, No 2.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2009). Chance Encounters: The Detective as ‘Expert’ in Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan. Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies. 13(1), 35-45.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2008). Spectral Traffic. In Sue Thomas (Ed.). Victorian Traffic: Identity, Exchange, Performance (pp.273-283). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  •  Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2007). Asimov’s Futuristic Pharisees: Examining the Posthuman in Isaac Asimov’s Robot Novels. Law, Culture and the Humanities. 3(3), 398-415.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2007). The X-Files: Continuing the Psychic Detective Legacy. In Sharon Yang (Ed.). The X-Files and Literature: unweaving the story, unraveling the lie to find the truth (pp.130-151). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Leslie-McCarthy, S. (2005). Re-vitalising the Little People: Arthur Machen’s Tales of the Remnant Races. Australasian Victorian Studies Journal. 11. 65-78.


  •  Senior Fellow – Higher Education Academy
  • Member – Canberra Region Family Law Professionals Association (CRFLPA)
  • Member – Women Lawyers Association of the ACT
  • Member – Family Law Section Law Council of Australia
  • Member – ACT Bar Association.


  •  Member of the Council of the Law Society of the ACT

August 2017 to August 2020.

  •  Canberra Region Family Law Professionals Association

Secretary 2016/2017

President 2017/2018

President 2018/2019

Immediate Past President 2019/2020

President 2020/2021

President 2021/2022

  • Member ACT Bar Women Barristers Committee

2019 to present

  •  Member ACT Bar Family Law Committee

2019 to present

  • ACT Bar Representative – Legal Aid Grants Review Panel

2022 to present

  •  ACT Bar Bullying and Anti-Discrimination Policy Complaints Investigator

2021 to present


  • 2021/2022 Doyles Guide – Leading Family Law Barrister
  • 2020/2021 Doyles Guide – Leading Family Law Barrister
  • 2020   Finalist – Female Barrister of the Year – Women In Law Award
  • 2020 – Awarded ACT Women’s Barrister Scholarship
  • 2019/2020     Doyles Guide – Recommended Family Law Barrister
  • 2015  Australian National University Masters Excellence Award
  • 2013  Farrar Gesini and Dunn Prize for Family Law
  • 2013  Dean’s Juris Doctor Prize
  • 2012  Daphne Olive Memorial Prize in Legal Theory
  • 2012  Dean’s Juris Doctor Prize
  • 2012  Law Students Association National Essay Prize (2nd place)
  • 2011  Clayton Utz Prize for Torts
  • 2011  Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory Prize for Contracts
  • 2011  Dean’s Juris Doctor Prize
  • 2010  University of Canberra Academic Excellence Award
  • 2002  Griffith University Arts Medal
  • 1999-2002 Griffith Annual Academic Excellence Award


  •  Called to the Bar – August 2019

Blackburn Chambers

  •  Ongoing teaching in ANU College of Law and for Leo Cussens GDLP programme

Various subjects

  •  Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson Lawyers (DDCS)

Associate – February 2018 to August 2019

Lawyer – February 2016 to February 2018

Duties: family law solicitor (advice to private clients, drafting settlement and Court documents, advocacy at Court and alternative dispute resolution); business development activities.

  • Family Court of Australia

Legal Associate to Deputy Chief Justice Faulks

January 2015 to February 2016

Duties: file and case-load management, correspondence, legal research, in-court duties, assist with drafting judgments and orders, presentations and committee submissions. 

  • The Australian National University

Deputy Registrar Student Experience

August 2014 – January 2015

Duties: Participation in executive committees and working parties; oversight of academic skills, careers, orientation and transition teams; strategic planning; statistical and data analysis; policy development; critical incident reporting.

Manager, Academic Skills and Learning Centre

December 2013 to January 2015

Duties: Staff recruitment, staff and budget management, operational and strategic planning, policy development. Participation in executive committees and working parties. Presenting workshops on discipline related writing and research skills, individual tutorials with undergraduate and research students on writing and research methodologies.

Senior Learning Adviser 2012 – 2013

Learning Adviser 2008 – 2011

Duties: presenting workshops on discipline related writing and research skills, individual tutorials with undergraduate and research students on writing and research methodologies.

  •  Griffith University

Sessional Academic: School of Humanities

2003 to 2008


Great Books I

Great Books II

Romanticism and Modern Culture

Reason, Writing and Imagination

Duties: writing and delivering lectures and tutorials, drafting assessment items, marking assessment, providing feedback to students.

Employment details prior to 2003 available upon request.