Commercial and Corporate Law
Expert lawyers assisting with business and commerce
Building and Construction Law
Providing advice at all stages of the process
Planning and Environmental Law
Proactive advice to avoid pitfalls in planning and environmental matters
Property Law
One of the largest property practices in the Hunter


Incorporating O'Sullivan Saddington

McDonald Johnson Lawyers was established in 1916 with the merger of two small Newcastle law firms. It ethically practised law with wisdom for decades and gained a great reputation and respect. The firm O’Sullivan Saddington joined with it in 2018. It grew to have more than a team of 10 solicitors when it merged with a UK firm in 2019. That merger was unwound in 2021 when the firm recommenced trading as a Newcastle practice.

The main areas of practice are commercial and property transactions, commercial and business disputes and Estate planning and administration issues. The firm leverages its reputation of respect, transparency, honesty and knowledge for a mutually rewarding relationship with clients. It teams with clients to achieve innovative and accurate results.

The firm is headed by a principal who is an Accredited Specialist in both Business Law and Commercial Litigation and an Arbitrator of the Local Court. The firm has a Notary Public, can draw on the resources of relevant professionals from related disciplines and other lawyers and students. It is a boutique practice and specialises in core and chosen areas of the law. 

The Team

After unwinding of the 2019 merger, the firm was recommenced by Craig Doyle and his long-term assistant, Cathy Catlow. The firm will recruit staff who are technically accurate and precise yet understand the industry.

The firm wants to build open and honest relationships with clients so that it can contribute to acceptable outcomes of problems and issues

The firm prides itself on being flexible and pro-active which enables us to build open and honest relationships with each other and our clients. We allow our people to be individuals, express opinions and contribute to outcomes for clients.

We have a real commitment to our people who in turn have a real commitment to our clients.

Home » McDonald Johnson Lawyers


McDonald Johnson Lawyers provide a range of legal services to the Newcastle and surrounding areas. Our Newcastle lawyers are client focused, professional and experienced experts at hand to help.

Commercial Law

The firm’s strength is working with other professionals to provide accurate and appropriate advice.

Property Law

The firm does substantial legal work compromising all types of property transactions. The firm has gained a strong reputation and experience in Property Law.

Liquor Licensing & Gaming Law

McDonald Johnson has developed expertise in the liquor and gaming industry by acting for hoteliers, licenced clubs, restaurateurs and investors. We regularly assist clients with the transfer of liquor licenses and are familiar with the Liquor Act and requirements such as the need to undertake courses concerning harm minimisation and the responsible service of alcohol courses.

Insurance Claims & Compensation

McDonald Johnson Lawyers has extensive experience in the resolution of insurance disputes. We can help you understand the terms of an insurance policy and explain legal concepts such as exclusion clauses and disclaimers.

Building & Construction Law

Many clients engage in commercial, residential or industrial building and construction projects, and we are able to assist them by providing advice at all stages of the construction process to ensure that they are able to minimise risk and fulfil their commercial objectives.

Litigation Law

McDonald Johnson’s litigation lawyers advise and act for clients who wish to exercise or enforce their legal rights or wish to defend claims made against them.

Wills & Estates

McDonald Johnson assists a diverse range of clients with Estate planning and related issues. Our principal services in this area of the practice relate to drafting wills, including the establishment of testamentary trusts, preparing Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Enduring Guardians, assisting with the administration of Estates and applying for grants of Probate and Letters of Administration.

Planning & Environmental Law

Over the years McDonald Johnson has been involved in a large number of high profile Land and Environment Court matters. In particular we have acted for a number of prominent property development groups in progressing development consent in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales following refusals at the local council level.

Notary Public

Craig Doyle is a Notary Public and can provide all Notary services including Verification of Identity and Documents, Certificates of Authentication and all documents needed to accompany an Apostille.


McDonald Johnson Lawyers are ready to assist you with your next legal matter.


Our partner portal, Lease Hub can assist you with all legal matters relational to property law and leasing advice. From understanding leasing contracts to your obligations as a tenant, Lease Hub can answer all your questions and provide you with advice to make the best decisions in your best interests.