013_webAbout Vanessa

Vanessa is a litigation solicitor with extensive experience in dispute resolution. She is an experienced advocate appearing in various tribunals, the District and Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Federal Court and High Court of Australia.  She also focuses on all aspects of insurance law, including personal injury, professional indemnity and all other risk classes.

Before Whiteleys

Before joining Whiteley Ironside & Shillington in 2014, Vanessa worked for over 10 years in general litigation and commercial law in Sydney CBD, most notably at a leading mid-tier national law firm and in-house at the world’s leading international insurance broker.

Whilst in private practice she practised across a vast area including federal litigation for migration matters, employment law, commercial litigation, insurance and personal injury.   When Vanessa moved to Aon (the premier international insurance broking house) she provided insurance and claims advice to the company, persons and entities, whether insured or uninsured.  Advice she gave includes contractual indemnities, risk profiles and risk management and dispute resolution.  She also acted as an advocate for Aon clients and negotiated with insurers to ensure efficient management of insurance claims, challenge denials of insurance cover and achieve settlements of claims to the clients’ satisfaction.

Vanessa’s most notable achievement to date was overturning a denial of indemnity by an insurer and settling a construction dispute at mediation, resulting in a payment to Aon’s client for over $4 million.

What she does

Vanessa practises in general litigation, migration, employment and all aspects of insurance law including personal injury, directors and officers, professional indemnity, products and public liability, property, employment practices, construction all risks and contract works.

Vanessa advises on all insurance matters, concerning damages, risk and risk management, contractual indemnities, the scope of insurance coverage, disputed insurance claims, under-insurance, dual insurance, insurance claims’ management and litigation arising from insurance.

She also acts on migration issues, applications and appeals to various migration tribunals and courts. Finally, Vanessa advises employees and employers on all employment matters including contracts, dispute resolution, health, work and safety, risk minimisation and employment claims and investigations.

 What her clients say

"I have had the pleasure of working with Vanessa for some years in her role with Aon Risk Services where she provided strategic and legal advice in respect to managing insurance claims and disputes with insurers where a claim may at first be denied. She has vast experience in all aspects of the insurance industry, types of insurance from directors and officers liability to construction and professional indemnity, to public liability, and her knowledge of insurance law is extremely beneficial when assessing a claim and advising on the approach for any disputes that may have arisen. Vanessa takes a practical approach to the law as it applies to the particular circumstance and that assists in achieving efficient turnaround of insurance claims. She is well respected by her peers and that also assists in dispute resolution, mediation and if required litigation in order to achieve the desired outcome for her client." 
Grant Harrison, Chief Financial Officer - Sunland Group Limited

When she’s not at Whiteleys

Vanessa’s main preoccupation is her three adorable children. Her husband is her rock and is sometimes as immovable as one. She loves netball, even through Orange’s sleet and snow. Vanessa has an unhealthy obsession with good food and wine especially when coupled with travelling to exotic places around the world. Although, it’s true what they say… there is no place like home, and Orange is home.


Bachelor of Arts
University of Western Sydney

Bachelor of Laws
University of Western Sydney

Registered Migration Agent
MARN 1681278
Code of Conduct



Migration Institute of Australia
Member 14528




Contact info

Email Vanessa
Phone: (02) 6362 1866
Fax: (02) 6362 1837


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