Vanessa advises government and private clients on all aspects of the employment relationship.
Considerate of the environment in which she advises, Vanessa acts for clients on workplace restructures, performance management, disciplinary issues, flexible working arrangements, confidentiality and restrictive covenants, independent contracting arrangements, management of ill and injured employees and termination of employment issues. She also advises employers and boards on executive employment matters.
Vanessa drafts and negotiates enterprise agreements, advises on termination and variation of enterprise agreements, award and agreement interpretation, industrial relations strategy and industrial relations disputes.
A skilled litigator, Vanessa represents employers in a broad range of employment related litigation, including unfair dismissal, adverse action, anti-bullying orders, discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, and misleading and deceptive conduct claims, as well as claims for breach of confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants.
Vanessa regularly conducts training for employers and managers on matters such as appropriate workplace behaviour, including bullying and harassment, and management of performance and conduct issues. She also conducts training about, and advises on, investigations for employers into allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct.
According to Chambers, Vanessa is “an excellent lawyer that offers practical solutions and technical guidance.”
- employment and industrial litigation and disputes
- executive contracts
- industrial and enterprise agreements
- termination of employment
- anti-discrimination and harassment prevention
- equal employment opportunity (EEO)
- employment policies and practices
- employee fraud and investigations
- employment mediation and dispute resolution
- Acting for the NSW Police Force in a range of workplace and administrative law matters including unfair dismissals, anti-discrimination claims, disciplinary advice, applications for prerogative relief in the Supreme Court, applications for government information, firearms reviews and privacy litigation.
- Acted for a large state public sector organisation in a reinstatement claim made by an injured former employee. The claim was successfully defended both at first instance and on appeal. The matter received media attention and was a “test case” for similar claims.
- Acting for professional services firms in matters concerning partner exit and transition, avoiding contractual disputes including those relating to restrictive trade covenants.
- Represented a large national insurer in injunction proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Successfully obtained ex-parte orders to restrain an ex-employee from engaging in competitive activities. The substantive claim was resolved via a negotiated settlement.
- Acted for a residential university college in claims of disability discrimination and victimisation by an ex-resident. The matter was resolved avoiding an expensive and protracted hearing.
- Assisted a large financial institution in conducting a sensitive workplace investigation which had ramifications for the institution’s reputation. This investigation involved over 50 employees nationally. The report provided the institution with a concrete foundation for disciplinary action.
- Represented a large national retailer in two claims by an employee in the Fair Work Commission – an application for a stop bullying order and an adverse action claim. The claims were made by an employee on workers’ compensation who was also participating in a workplace restructure. The claims and complaints were resolved without negative impact on the restructure.
- Acting for NSW government departments and local councils in external review of decisions in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, including conducting the advocacy.
- Acted for a large private sector employer in swiftly and amicably resolving a sexual harassment claim which had ramifications for the employer’s reputation due to widespread negative media coverage.
- Successfully resolved a disability discrimination claim for a large state public sector agency by a high profile member of the public who complained about the amenity of the agency’s infrastructure.