Susanna Ford practises in the firm’s dispute resolution & litigation department. Her practice focuses on advising public and private companies and individuals on a broad range of general commercial and corporate litigation and dispute resolution matters, competition and contractual and equitable disputes.
Susanna first joined Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2006 having previously worked with Freehills’ commercial litigation team in Sydney and as an adviser to the Commonwealth Attorney-General. In 2007, she took a position at the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department as Director of the Extradition Unit, and then as Assistant Secretary of the International Crime Cooperation Central Authority where she worked on international criminal law matters. In 2010, Susanna re-joined Arnold Bloch Leibler as a senior associate and was appointed as a partner of the firm in July 2014.
Susanna is recognised for her expertise in dispute resolution by prominent international legal guide Chambers Asia Pacific. She is also recognised by Legal 500 Asia Pacific in the area of dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency and white collar crime, and by Doyle’s Guide for commercial litigation & dispute resolution.
Susanna graduated from Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts with first class honours and a Bachelor of Laws with honours. She was admitted to practice in 1999 in the NSW and ACT Supreme, Federal and High Courts of Australia. In 2003, Susanna completed her Masters of Laws (International Public Law) from the University of London.
"She's client-focused and savvy. Susanna understands the law but knows that litigation and finding solutions to difficult situations is as much an art, and that's a craft which she has mastered."
Susanna’s practice focuses on the following areas:
- commercial litigation and dispute resolution
- regulatory investigations and enforcement action and white-collar defence work with a focus on commercial crime and fraud, anti-corruption and bribery investigations and prosecutions, sanctions, money laundering, and extradition, and
- litigation with respect to financial services and products, including the defence of class actions.
Susanna has acted for public and private companies and individuals, including on behalf of:
- the former CEO of an Australian engineering firm in the successful defence of a foreign bribery prosecution with the jury returning an acquittal;
- the former COO of then Leightons Holdings in his defence of prosecution for false accounting offences related to allegations of foreign bribery in Iraq;
- individuals accused of insider trading, market manipulation and other Corporations Act contraventions: in ASIC AFP and CDPP investigations and prosecutions and related liquidators’ claims and civil proceedings including class actions;
- an Australian listed company, Phoslock Environmental Technologies Limited in respect of alleged foreign bribery and other fraud offences: in investigations by the company and brought by the Australian Federal Police;
- individuals suspected of dealing in the proceeds of crime arising from alleged insider trading: in an ASIC investigation and in the defence of proceeds of crime proceedings brought by the Australian Federal Police;
- the former executive directors of Great Southern Limited: in defending numerous class actions in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales, ASIC investigations and liquidator’s examinations arising from the collapse of Australia’s largest agricultural managed investment scheme manager;
- MH Carnegie & Co: in its defence of misleading and deceptive conduct proceedings brought in the Federal Court by Brickworks and in its cross claim for oppression arising from the cross-shareholding between Brickworks Limited and Soul Pattinson Limited;
- Officers of Allco Finance Group Limited: in public examinations by the receivers and ASIC’s investigation into the collapse of Allco;
- AFSL Holders and senior executives in ASIC investigations and subsequent banning proceedings: for breaches of the Corporations Act in the provision of financial services;
- Slater & Gordon Limited, the world’s first publicly listed legal practice: in relation to proceedings commenced by former clients of Keddies Lawyers against the partners of Keddies which was acquired by Slater & Gordon in 2011;
- Challenger Managed Investments Limited: in defending a class action brought in the New South Wales Supreme Court in relation to alleged misleading and deceptive conduct claims by investors in the Penrith Mega Homemaker Centre;
- directors: in regulatory investigations and litigation arising out of alleged breaches of directors duties and corporate misconduct including ASIC investigations; and
- HIH Insurance: in relation to converting notes in Federal Court proceedings against the underwriter to the note issue.
Before joining Arnold Bloch Leibler, Susanna acted on behalf of:
- one of the world’s largest financial services companies: in its successful defence of proceedings commenced by ASIC in the Federal Court alleging failure to manage conflicts of interest and insider trading;
- broking houses, banking, superannuation and insurance clients: in relation to investigations by ASIC, ASX and APRA;
- listed companies: in relation to disputes with the Australian Taxation Office; and
- financial institutions: advising on financial sanctions, counter terrorism, foreign bribery and anti-money laundering regulations in Australia.
Awards & recognition
Susanna is recognised as a leading lawyer by various international guides to lawyers and law firms, including:
- Chambers Asia Pacific: anti-bribery & corruption and dispute resolution
- Best Lawyers® International: alternative dispute resolution and litigation
- Doyle’s Guide: commercial litigation & dispute resolution, and
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific: dispute resolution, restructuring & insolvency and white collar crime.