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Vanessa is an experienced commercial litigator with a particular interest in shareholder class actions.

Vanessa is a commercial litigator with specialist expertise in defending class actions. She has acted in several of the most high-profile class actions in Australia and has experience in both shareholder and product liability class actions.


Vanessa studied at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She commenced her career in law at Buddle Findlay in Wellington before moving to London where she worked for Clifford Chance for almost seven years and the Financial Services Authority (now the FCA) for two years. She joined Herbert Smith Freehills’ Sydney office in 2011 and has been specialising in class actions since then.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • Worley: defending one of the longest running shareholder class actions in Australia, alleging disclosure breaches arising from its FY14 earnings guidance
  • Sims Limited: defending a shareholder class action, alleging disclosure breaches arising from its FY16 and FY18 earnings guidance
  • DePuy and Johnson & Johnson: defending one of Australia’s largest product liability class actions in relation to the production and supply of metal-on-metal hip implants
  • AMP: defending class action proceedings arising out in respect of AMP’s superannuation products.