Leanne is a Senior Lecturer in Law and a dual qualified solicitor in New Zealand, and England and Wales. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese and an honours degree in law from the University of Auckland. Leanne completed her Master of Laws degree with first class honours while practising as a commercial solicitor in New Zealand. Leanne worked on the Shipman Inquiry, a public inquiry which investigated the deaths of the United Kingdom’s most prolific serial killer, Harold Shipman. Leanne also specialised in employment law, working at Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Armitage Sykes LLP and one of the United Kingdom’s top law firms, Eversheds LLP.
Leanne’s research interests focus on alternative dispute resolution and the interface between sports law and employment law. Leanne completed her PhD at Trinity College, Dublin and has published in sports law journals nationally and internationally. She has presented at international conferences on aspects of her research. Leanne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has chaired disciplinary and grievance proceedings for national and international sports governing bodies. She is an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a member of the Sport Resolutions (UK) Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators and an adjudicator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London.
- PhD – ‘Collective Organisation and External Regulation of Professional Rugby League in the United Kingdom’, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2010
- LLM (Hons) – ‘Redress for Medical Misadventure: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Perspective’, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2001
- BA/LLB (Hons)(Conjoint), University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1997
- Diploma of International Arbitration, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, UK, 2019
Professional Memberships / Appointments
- Arbitrator, Court of Arbitration for Sport
- Sport Resolutions (UK) Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
- Adjudicator, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
- Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (non-practising)
- Solicitor of England and Wales (non-practising)
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
- Member of the Governance Committee for the International Netball Federation
- British Canoeing Disciplinary, Dispute and Appeal Panel Member
- England Boxing Safeguarding Review Panel Member
- LAW3036 Employment Law
- LAW3054 Alternative Dispute Resolution
- LAW1001 Legal Methods and Systems
- Sports Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
Employment and Labour Relations Law in the Premier League, NBA and International Rugby Union (2017), TMC Asser Press/Springer
“Regulating the Employment Relationship in Professional Team Sports in the European Union” in Prof Jack Anderson, Richard Parrish and Borgia Garcia (eds) Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy (June 2018), chap 19
O’Leary, L., “Regulating the Employment Relationship in Professional Team Sports in the United Kingdom”  41(2) Industrial Law Journal 184.
O’Leary, L., “If It Moves Out There, We Sell It”: Super League and the Intellectual Property of Players”  32(4) European Competition Law Review 178.
O’Leary, L., “Player Release: Securing the Pathway For Rugby League Players Selected to an International Representative Team”  17(1) British Association of Sports Law Journal.
O’Leary, L., “Regulating against Player Movement in Professional Rugby League: A Competition Law Analysis of the RFL’s ‘Club-Trained Rule’”  3/4 International Sports Law Journal 38.
O’Leary, L., “The RFL’s ‘Club Trained Rule’: The Case for Judicial Review of Sports Governing Bodies  2 International Sports Law Review 15.
O’Leary, L., “Price-Fixing between Horizontal Competitors in the English Super League”  3/4 International Sports Law Journal 77.
“Legal Aspects of the Duty of Care for Athletes”, Sport Wales Integrity in Sport Conference, Principality Stadium Cardiff, 14 November 2018
“Professional Athlete Representation: Premier League & International Rugby Union”, Cologne Sports Politics Symposium, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany, 1/2 December 2017
“Collective Bargaining at an International Level in Sport”, Fédération Internationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (FIFPRO) Legal Congress, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, 28/29 June 2017
“Social Dialogue and Competition Law in the Sports Labour Market”, Plenary Meeting: “Supporting the Test Phase of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee For Sport and Active Leisure (VS/2015/0333), Berlin, Germany, 23/24 March 2017
O’Leary, L. (2010), “Collective Organisation and External Regulation: Rugby League”, International Sports Law and Business Conference, University of Istanbul, Turkey, 8 September 2010.
O’Leary, L. (2010), “Player Release: Securing the Pathway For Rugby League Players Selected to an International Representative Team”, Sport and the European Union Conference, University of Ghent, Belgium, 1 July 2010.
O’Leary, L. (2009), “The RFL’s ‘Club-Trained Rule’ and Article 81 (EC)”, Sport and the European Union Conference, University of Stirling, Scotland, 23 June 2009.
Case Comments and Short Pieces
“Deflated Balls and Disciplinary Proceedings in the NFL”  77 Student Law Review 57 – 58
“Match-fixing” (2019) Westlaw Insights
“The Return of ‘Promotion and Relegation’ in Super League  72 Student Law Review 51-52
“The Break-Even Rule” – Justified or Not?”  70 Student Law Review 64-66
“United States Anti-Doping Agency v Lance Armstrong”  68 Student Law Review 40 – 41