Suzie Leask

Partner

Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BA (Hons), GradDipACG, GAICD

Industries

Practices

Suzie is a highly regarded specialist in corporate and commercial law. With over 15 years’ experience, Suzie assists companies and their boards, directors, company secretaries, management, in house legal teams and key business stakeholders to comply with a variety of commercial transactions, corporate governance and regulatory compliance obligations. Suzie is experienced in a range of areas including business transactions, corporate advisory, commercial contracts and procurement, IT and intellectual property, privacy law and cyber security, regulatory compliance, competition and consumer laws including unfair contract laws.

With particular expertise in the technology, manufacturing and NFP sectors, Suzie is known for her commercial insight into the extensive range of risks and legal issues facing organisations and the importance of maximising revenue while minimising risk to the business in all commercial transactions. She is also a sought-after presenter and works with businesses and industry associations to provide bespoke training, including her popular Business Contracts training and Director Masterclass.

Experience

  • Appointment as lead investigator on a high profile corporate governance investigation of a large not-for-profit organisation. The project involved interviewing stakeholders at all levels of the organisation, reviewing evidence and corporate governance practices, addressing a range of corporate governance issues raised by complainants including allegations of director misconduct, and whole-of-organisation best practice corporate governance recommendations, followed by implementation of those recommendations including drafting updated corporate governance documents and policies.
  • Advising a leading scientific and medical research institute on a corporate governance review and update of its internal governance, policies and structures, to support a shift in strategic direction of the organisation. This involved a mixture of commercial, corporate governance and strategic advice to key members of the board and executive team, along with production of a new suite of documents to implement the results of a major organisational review.
  • Advising a national industry association in the tourism sector on a number of key strategic projects, including legal guides to contracts, Covid & cancellations, member webinars, corporate governance reform, and commercial advisory.
  • Providing business critical legal services and counsel to a corporate group as they navigated a complex restructure. This involved: commercial and corporate governance advice on member terms and organisational restructuring, improvement of governance and risk frameworks, acquisition of media platform and associated IP, business critical IT transactions and commercial contracting, and management of an extensive trade mark portfolio including the acquisition of the the new brand for the restructured entity.
  • Providing legal counsel and commercial legal advisory services to a member-based business and industry association. We supported both members and the not-for-profit organisation in relation to its registered charity and not-for-profit corporate governance, as well as day-to-day legal advice and outsourced legal counsel advisory service for its commercial services entity. This has included ongoing negotiation of various commercial contracts with large national corporates and undertaking a major corporate governance review and restructure project, working closely with its boards to advise on best practice corporate governance.
  • Acting on the acquisition of multiple businesses (both asset and share sales) as part of a national expansion of a company in the professional services sector. Suzie also provides outsourced legal counsel services advising on day-to-day business legal needs, commercial contract management and negotiations, and ad hoc advice and regulatory compliance.
  • Advising on numerous corporate transactions including the sale of a NDIS sector business, the acquisition and roll-up of multiple dental practices across the Central Coast, Sydney and NSW region, acquisition of a marina shipwright service businesses and acquisition of a specialist medical practice.
  • Negotiated a multi-party joint venture agreement bringing together key business, industry and government organisations for a combined defence project.
  • Acting for the purchaser of a media business and online media platform which required simultaneous negotiation of various IP assignment and licensing arrangements and long term commercial service provider agreements with the vendor.
  • Advising an innovative Australian company on international IP licences and commercial contracts between industry and University research institutes to facilitate government grant funding and further develop and commercialise innovative technology. This involved joint collaboration and knowledge sharing initiatives relating to inventions and technology that are leading the way in electric vehicle technology and the mining sector.
  • Negotiating complex technology contracts, software licence agreements, support and maintenance and service level agreements for various IT companies, and advising a range of corporate and SMEs on large IT procurement projects, app and website development agreements.
  • Conducting data privacy audits and compliance reviews for corporate groups, including implementation projects of best practice privacy by design, privacy policies, data retention and data breach response plans, and advising on the application of and compliance with the notifiable data breach scheme, regulator and public notices in the event of a cyber security incident.
  • Management of trade mark portfolios and brand protection strategies for businesses including advising on trade mark applications, availability and oppositions, IP protection and infringement, licensing and commercialisation strategies.

Awards and recognition

WLANSW Awards
Winner of Private Practice Lawyer of the Year 2019
Australian Law Awards
Winner of Commercial Team of the Year 2020 (Finalists 2017 - 2022)
WLANSW Awards
Finalist for Woman Lawyer of the Year (2019, 2020)
WLANSW Awards
Regional Lawyer of the Year (2019, 2020)
Australian Law Awards
Finalist Regional Lawyer of the Year 2018
Newcastle Business Club Awards 2018 and 2019
Hunter Business Chamber Awards
Finalist 2014 Young Business Leader

Professional Membership

  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Fellow, Governance Institute of Australia
  • Member, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • Member, The Law Society of NSW

Latest thinking

Corporate Governance & Directors’ Duties | 30 Jan 2024

Federal Court imposes significant financial penalties on individual directors for breach of duties

ASIC secured a $390,000 financial penalty along with disqualification orders following findings of serious breaches of duties by directors and officers.