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Vanessa Leibman

Special Counsel


+61 2 9234 4598

Vanessa’s key areas of practice involve advising local and international insurers on coverage issues, particularly in relation to professional indemnity disputes, and defending professionals across a broad range of industries, with a particular focus on financial planning disputes.

Vanessa’s ability to quickly identify the key issues involved in a dispute and formulate a strategy, is valued by clients recognising it as a factor that has resulted in the early and commercial resolution of disputes.


Vanessa has acted for a number of professionals both in the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of NSW and in various Tribunals. Her experience has included acting for licensees and financial advisers, mortgage brokers, auditors, accountants, lawyers and architects.

She has also provided coverage advice in relation to enforceable undertakings provided by licensees to the corporate regulator, and acted for licensees in Australian Financial Complaints Authority (‘AFCA’), including managing multiple complaints arising from an enforceable undertaking.

Vanessa’s experience includes advising insurers on coverage issues in professional indemnity, D&O, management liability and crime disputes.

Vanessa’s eye for detail, coupled with her ability to quickly identify the key issues in a dispute and formulate an effective strategy for the management or early resolution of a matter, is praised by clients.

Since the establishment of AFCA, Vanessa has worked tirelessly with licensees to achieve commercial and cost-effective outcomes. Her collaborative approach to managing these disputes has resulted in a number of favourable outcomes. Amongst her colleagues, Vanessa is regarded as the go to person for AFCA disputes.


Vanessa has saved her clients’ substantial legal fees through the early resolution of disputes and the negotiation of favourable settlements.



  • Bachelor of Arts, 1998, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
  • Bachelor of Laws, 2000, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
  • Harry Frank Memorial Prize – Best LLB Student in Persons and Family Law, 1998
  • Post Graduate Diploma Business Administration, 2005, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
  • Requalification as a solicitor in NSW (Academic Requirements), 2010, University of Sydney


  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Society of New South Wales
  • Women in Insurance NSW