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Dr Leanne O’Leary

Reader in Law

Law, Criminology & Policing

Dr Leanne O'Leary

Department: Law, Criminology & Policing

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Leanne is a Reader in Law and dual qualified solicitor (NZ and England/Wales).  She commenced her legal career as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, appearing as counsel in the High Court and junior counsel in the NZ Court of Appeal. Leanne is an employment law specialist and has previously worked at Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Armitage Sykes LLP and one of the United Kingdom’s top law firms, Eversheds LLP. Leanne also worked on the Shipman Inquiry, a public inquiry which examined the crimes of the United Kingdom’s most prolific serial killer, Harold Shipman.

Leanne’s research interests focus on athletes’ employment rights and dispute resolution in elite and professional sport. She was co-investigator in the European Commission-funded EMPLOYS Project, which evaluated good governance in athlete relations in Olympic sports, and is co-investigator in a follow-up project, the SOPROS Project, which examines the social measures extended to elite athletes in Olympic sports.

Leanne completed her PhD at Trinity College, Dublin and has published in leading sports law and employment law journals, including the Industrial Law Journal, The International Sports Law Journal and the European Competition Law Review. Leanne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a CEDR-Accredited and CMC Registered Mediator. She was a member of the Sport Resolutions Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators in London between 2012 and 2022, and is an Arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.


Leanne teaches on the following modules:

LAW3036 Employment Law

LAW3054 Alternative Dispute Resolution

LAW3058 Mediation