Jeanette is an entrepreneur and a highly experienced corporate lawyer with strong interests in digital services and privacy law. She’s a leader in her field and takes an active role in shaping the future as a board member or chair of several national and international organisations.
After working in litigation, Jeanette concluded that she’d far rather protect clients against legal action than defend them once they’d become ensnared. Prevention is better than cure, after all.
Jeanette has always respected people with the skill to grow things.
Some of her strongest childhood memories are of her father growing produce in their garden. Now she equips clients to grow their businesses, using her legal skills and creativity to build a protective framework and remove barriers to innovation.
Having worked as in-house counsel in a number of businesses, she understands what companies really need from their lawyers and respects their choices about the level of risk they’re willing to carry.
As the owner of several businesses herself, Jeanette’s goal is to make business life easier for clients using her natural enthusiasm, strategic thinking and clear communication style – exemplified in her 2016 book, Cover your arse online: a guide to protecting your online business assets.
A ‘plain English’ approach to law is part of that. Since her earliest days as a law student, Jeanette has worked to demystify the law, turning dense contracts written in ‘legalese’ into much shorter documents that everyone can understand. This makes businesses run more smoothly since suppliers and contractors are happy to sign and start work without delaying for their own legal advice.
Jeanette has a strong belief in literacy as the gateway to opportunity.
As a lawyer, she constantly works with words. At her instigation, Onyx now sponsors three children through The Smith Family.
Mental health is another strong interest. Jeanette is chair of the board of On the Line, a professional social health organisation that provides some of Australia’s most vital and trusted services including MensLine Australia and Suicide Call Back Service.
Jeanette’s formal qualifications include:
- Cert. Digital Transformation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018
- Strengthening Financial Governance, AICD, 2015
- Graduate of the Company Directors’ Course, AICD, 2014
- Master of Laws, QUT, 2001
- Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, QUT, 1997
- Bachelor of Laws, QUT, 1996
- Bachelor of Arts (Japanese)/Laws, Griffith/QUT (transferred), 1990.
Beyond work, Jeanette enjoys reading, swimming, jujitsu and watching native wildlife on her rural property.