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      Vanessa Harley


      Vanessa is criminal defence lawyer who has been regularly appearing in courts for a number of years.

      Prior to joining Astor Legal she worked as a solicitor in a number of other firms where she was able to hone her advocacy skills. This has made her a formidable courtroom lawyer who is able to think on her feet and respond to arguments from prosecutors, Magistrates and Judges alike. She has regularly appeared in hearings throughout her legal career.
      Her results speak for themselves, as she is one of the few lawyers in Australia who has been able to persuade a Court to impose a section 10 for high range drink driving. She is also regularly able to have assault and domestic violence charges withdrawn by police after drafting and filing legal representations.
      Vanessa also has significant experience in financial matters, including tax law. This gives her a significant advantage  when dealing with complex fraud charges and financial crimes.

      Vanessa has a passion for criminal justice. She believes in fighting for those who are unable to fight for themselves. She leaves no stone unturned and works tirelessly to ensure that each of her clients achieve the best possible outcome, no matter how difficult the case.

      Her empathetic nature helps reassure clients and put their minds at ease. This is crucial as they will often be going through the most difficult time in their life when they face down serious criminal charges. With Vanessa by your side, you can be assured that you will not only have an exceptional and dedicated lawyer, but someone who genuinely cares about the outcome of your case and your well-being.

      Call our friendly team on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at to arrange a consultation with Vanessa Harley today.


      Astor Legal IconAstor Legal

      Level 3 Suite 5/1 Horwood Place, Parramatta

      5.0 145 reviews

      • Avatar Ahmed Elsaedy ★★★★★ 2 months ago
        I reached out to Astor legal last year April 2023 for help in relation to a assault charge that I was facing where I was involved in a soccer match incident where I had to use self defence to protect myself from being assaulted. The matter … More was very complex however Astor legal especially Vanessa and Nandita were very professional and cross examined the opposing side that pressed charges against me. They managed to bring out the inconsistencies from the opposing side aswell as investigated that the police did not do a fair and thorough investigation before pressing charges against me and presented to the court that the statements from the referee who was the one unbiased person who’s statements should have been collected were not done therefore presenting infront of the court that I was not given a fair investigation to the lead up of the assault charge being given as it was seen as biased by the police as only statements from the other team were collected before pressing charges against me. Astor legal we’re very patient with the matter and listened to my side of events and stuck by me for a whole year and fought very hard in court to prove that I should not have been charged. Astor legal managed to get me a not guilty conviction as to which I could not have been more grateful as it dropped a lot of stress of my shoulders and allowed me to continue with my life happier than I could ever be. If your looking for a professional and top quality law firm I highly recommend Astor legal as they really work day and night to fight for your rights and me and my family are beyond happy to say the least of the outcome. A big thank you once again to Nandita and Vanessa who were there for me throughout this whole matter I highly would recommend Astor legal to anyone looking for professional legal representation.
      • Avatar Grant Dyson ★★★★★ 4 months ago
        I would like to thank Astor Legal for their hard diligent work in getting a great outcome for my traffic case.It was an extremely stressful time for me. Vanessa and Avinash were amazing. Thankyou so much.


      • Section 10 for Breach of Good Behaviour Licence
      • Recently Astor Legal appeared at Downing Centre Local Court for a client who had breached a good behaviour licence.

        Our client did not have the best driving record. In particular, he had offences ranging from use mobile phone while driving to speeding. 

        He had breached the good behaviour licence by committing a further speeding offence. He came to us concerned that a loss of licence would mean that he was no longer able to maintain his work duties or take care of his children as a single parent. As he lived in a country area he was unable to access public transport.

        We immediately got to work. We obtained references from his friends and family which supported our client’s good character and need for a licence. 

        Our client also enrolled into a Traffic Offender Program. This allowed us to address his traffic record by submitting that he now appreciated the dangers of speeding as well as other traffic offences. 

        We appeared at Downing Centre Local Court on his behalf and made detailed submissions before the Presiding Magistrate. We drew upon our client’s executive government position and ambitions for further studies in law. 

        Despite our client’s lengthy traffic record, His Honour was persuaded to deal with the offence by way of a conditional release order without conviction. This means that our client remains on the good behaviour licence and does not face any suspension. 

      • Section 10 for Special Range PCA at Liverpool Local Court
      • Our client is a sole director of an air conditioning company located in Australia. As part of his business, he drives on average 1000 kilometres every week. 

        His licence was suspended as a result of an unpaid parking ticket in July 2023. 

        On the night of the incident he was stopped by the Police for a random breath test. Earlier in the night he had consumed beer. As such, he thought he would be under the limit for an unrestricted licence holder (0.05 BAC). 

        Unfortunately, due to the unpaid parking ticket his licence was suspended. This meant that he did not have the benefit of the unrestricted licence holder limit. Hence, he could not have any amount of alcohol in his bloodstream. He was charged with special range drink driving and drive while suspended.

        He came to us one week before his matter needing us to represent him at Liverpool Local Court. The situation was dire as not having a licence midway through completion of major projects would have had a disastrous impact on his business. 

        We immediately got to work preparing the case. Our Liverpool drink driving lawyers provided him with our character reference and apology letter guide so that he could obtain references from his contractors, friends and wife. We also guided him to complete the Traffic Offenders Program.

        We appeared at court for and with him. Our submissions were based on his good character, the steps he has taken to ensure this does not happen again and the impact the loss of licence would have on his business.

        In the result, we were able to persuade the Magistrate to deal with him pursuant to Section 10 for drink driving as well as for driving while suspended. As such he is able to keep driving. He was overjoyed with the result. 

      • AVO Dismissed at Burwood Local Court
      • Our client is an IT professional in a senior leadership role within Australia. 

        Late last year he came to know his daughter had been taken advantage of by a colleague of his while she was in a vulnerable mental state. Our client held concerns for his daughter and his granddaughter’s welfare. 

        Consequently, he attended his colleague’s residence to speak to him about his intentions towards his daughter and his disapproval of their relationship. A heated argument took place between our client, his colleague and our client’s son. 

        Nine days later the colleague contacted Police claiming he had fears for his safety and required an AVO. The Police took an AVO against our client. 

        Our client contacted us wanting to know how to beat an AVO. We began the process of attempting to have the matter withdrawn. Despite our representations, police insisted they wanted to press on with the matter – in large part due to the colleague wanting the AVO to remain. 

        We arranged the taking of witness statements from our client’s son and his friend who were present when the argument took place. We also filed a statement from our client detailing what actually occurred and that it was merely a heated argument. 

        The case proceeded at Burwood Local Court where the police officer in charge of the matter gave evidence. Upon cross-examination by one of our AVO lawyers, we were able to expose the investigation of the matter as being inadequate, as the police officer conceded that she had not contacted the witnesses who had been present at the time of the argument. 

        During cross-examination of the complainant, we were able to expose the fact that he did not ask our client to leave his home at any time. We also highlighted the delay in his complaint to police which pointed to his lack of fear. These factors were emphasised in our closing submissions

        The Court was ultimately not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the PINOP had fears for his safety as as such they dismissed the AVO application. Our client and his family were overjoyed with the result and can now continue with their lives

      • Soccer Player Not Guilty of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm 
      • Our client is a 23-year-old soccer player who was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

        It was alleged that during a soccer game, our client punched the opposing team’s player, breaking their nose. The complainant made a statement to the Police claiming that our client was aggressive towards him, including pushing, grabbing and then punching him to the face. The alleged victim told the Police that he suffered injuries which included bruising and a broken nose. 

        Police obtained one witness statement from a player in the same team as the complainant. 

        This was despite there being a number of players who witnessed this alleged incident take place, including the referee and our client’s teammates. No statements were obtained from any of those persons. 

        Our client told us that he acted in self defence as the victim grabbed him by the neck and he felt threatened for his safety. 

        With this in mind, we commenced with issuing subpoenas to the Football Association (FA) for their records to obtain any statements made in concurrent disciplinary proceedings as well as the details of the referee. Unsurprisingly, this was a fruitful exercise as we were able to obtain statements made by the complainant and his witness which were inconsistent with the police statements they had made.

        Following this, we began preparing a cross-examination of the police officer in charge of the matter, the alleged victim and the witness. 

        In the course of our cross-examination of the police officer at Blacktown Local Court, we were able to have him concede that he should have interviewed and obtained statements from our client’s teammates as well as the referee.

        Our cross-examination of the complainant and witness meticulously exposed the differences between the accounts they gave to police and the accounts they gave to the FA. It quickly became apparent that both witnesses were neither credible nor reliable. 

        Thirdly, we called our own witnesses – the teammates of our client. They gave evidence that at all times our client was acting in self-defence. 

        Ultimately, the Magistrate agreed with our submissions and our client was found ‘not guilty’ of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. Our client and his family were overjoyed with the result.

      • Successful Licence Appeal at Newtown Local Court
      • Astor Legal recently appeared on a successful licence appeal at Newtown Local Court. Our client was a 20-year-old female facing a three-month suspension for exceeding the speed limit over 30km/hr. 

        We initially sent our client our specialised guides on character references and apology letters for licence appeals.

        We also referred her to complete one of the traffic offenders programs which the court prefers. 

        Prior to the appearance, we took significant time to review her documents and ensure they addressed all relevant matters.

        Despite the client having a lengthy traffic record, our licence appeal lawyer argued that our client had a strong need for her licence as part of her employment.

        We submitted that she was on call 24/7 and often travelled to her workplace outside of public transport hours. We further submitted that she was the only grandchild who regularly assisted her grandfather with day-to-day tasks and attending medical appointments. 

        In the result, we were able to persuade the Magistrate to allow the appeal. Our client was able to continue driving and she was overjoyed with the result. 

      Our Team

      The team at Astor Legal is headed by an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law. We focus on each individual client and the specifics of each case to gain the best possible outcome.

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