For Lawyers

Our principal, Vanessa Leishman has practised law in the New Zealand and Australian jurisdictions for more than 28 years, primarily in family law, but also in other areas.

Vanessa’s Trans-Tasman legal experience has given her unique insight into the “international” aspects of family law. The immigration policy arrangements between New Zealand and Australia make it relatively easy for families to live and work between those two countries, however, the respective Family Law jurisdictions, as well as broader social welfare frameworks, are sufficiently different to have unexpected consequences on those families, when they breakdown.

There are some quite distinct differences in the law in each jurisdiction which can result in a significant difference in the final outcome, for example, in relation to property settlements. It is therefore incumbent on legal practitioners to provide accurate advice to clients who are involved in a family law dispute that crosses into both jurisdictions.

Leishman Legal regularly represents clients in both Australia and New Zealand who find themselves in disputes over parenting matters, including the challenging area of international relocation and proceedings under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, as well as complex Trans-Tasman property transactions.

We are able to provide advice including a written opinion to lawyers in either Australia or New Zealand in relation to the following issues:

  • A comparison of the process and potential outcomes in each jurisdiction such as in property settlements or estate claims
  • Which jurisdiction is the more appropriate forum to resolve the dispute
  • How to respond to a court proceeding that has already commenced where jurisdiction is disputed
  • the differences between the respective social welfare systems and the potential financial impact on a client whose children may be the subject of a Return Order from one country to the other or who wishes to relocate with the children

Should you need any assistance with a Trans-Tasman legal matter, please contact Vanessa Leishman at [email protected] or telephone our Australian office on +61 7 3630 1649 or our New Zealand office on +64 9 363 2767