Kelly  vanessa

Vanessa M. Kelly

Senior Counsel


210 Carnegie Center
Suite 102
Princeton, NJ 08540

New York

830 Third Avenue
Suite 200
New York, NY 10022
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Fax: +16097852999
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J.D., with Honors, George Washington University Law School, Washington DC, 1988
B.A., cum laude, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, 1985
State Bar Licenses
New Jersey
New York
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., District of New Jersey 1988
U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 1988
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of New York 1993
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of New York 1993
U.S. District Ct., District of Arizona
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1999

Vanessa M. Kelly

Senior Counsel

Vanessa M. Kelly’s clients seek her experienced, confident counsel in addressing their employee management needs. She provides legal services including risk assessment and risk avoidance in employee terminations, accommodating disabilities, addressing workplace misconduct, protecting key personnel and proprietary information, performing reductions in force, and implementation of workplace policies designed to avoid disputes and comply with state and federal law.  Her clients appreciate her focused and pragmatic approach to resolving their problems, her creative and collaborative energy and her passion for assisting her clients achieve the best possible outcome.  Vanessa’s clients know she has the experience and aptitude they require.  She is a Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent rated attorney and a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.® 

Employers turn to her to defend them against employment claims in state and federal courts and in prosecuting and defending enforcement of restrictive covenants, both in New Jersey and in other jurisdictions. Vanessa works collaboratively with employer practices liability carriers in defense of claims asserted against their policyholders. She is an experienced trial lawyer having conducted jury and bench trials and arbitration. She also has experience defending employers against claims raised in state and federal administrative agencies, especially human rights agencies and wage and hour forums. 

When employers need to investigate employment issues, Vanessa performs those investigations on their behalf and counsels her clients through the process of investigation and remedial measures. Vanessa is a certified Title IX investigator.  Vanessa has significant experience in drafting employment agreements, restrictive covenants, separation agreements, and independent contractor agreements. She has created human resource functions and processes, and their implementing forms and policies for new or growing businesses, employee handbooks, operating manuals and other important employment policies. 

Vanessa writes and speaks on employment law issues. She is a frequent speaker for the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law. She serves as a Management Co-Chairman of the Executive Contracts and Compensation Subcommittee and recently spoke at the ABA's Employee Rights and Responsibilities Subcommittee Meeting in March 2013. She has addressed members of the Employers Association of New Jersey on protecting proprietary information and the Society of Human Resource Professionals on Discrimination issues. She has been a contributing editor to the American Bar Association, Employment Section and BNA's jointly prepared State-by-State compendiums, including Covenants Not to Compete, Defining Proprietary Information, Employee Duty of Loyalty, and serves a Regional Editor for the Employment At Will treatise. 

Vanessa currently serves as the Co-Chair of Clark Hill BOLD - Princeton, the firm's strategy to promote women within the firm, the legal profession, and the business community.

Vanessa received her J.D., with Honors, from George Washington University Law School and her B.A., cum laude, from Bucknell University. She is licensed to practice in New Jersey and New York.

 Vanessa’s experience includes:

  • Defense of employment claims
  • Training, investigation, audits
  • Title IX investigation, counseling, training and litigation
  • Creation and implementation of employment policies and human resources practices
  • Restrictive covenant litigation and counseling
  • Representation of executives
  • Employment Agreements
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Provision of Mediation Services
  • Business Counseling
  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Products liability litigation

Publications / Presentations

  • Are You Prepared for Immigrant Enforcement, CFMA, April 2018
  • Co-Author, "Failure to train managers on FMLA costs emplyer $248K", Nevada Employment Law Letter, December 2017
  • Simple Steps Can Help Cos. Avoid Costly FMLA Verdicts, Law 360, November 2017
  • Presenter, “Age Discrimination Plaintiffs Hit the Jackpot: Lessons Learned from Recent Big Ticket Jury Awards,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar, June 2017
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law,” Delaware Valley Labor and Employment Law Conference, April 2017
  • Presenter, "Unemployment Hearings - Trends and Tips," Delaware Valley Labor and Employment Law Conference, April 2017
  • "Medical Residents May Sue Under Title IX," E-Alert, March 2017
  • Simple Steps Can Help Cos. Avoid Costly FMLA Verdicts, Law 360, November 2017
Rated AV-Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell
Top Legal Minds in New Jersey
Bar Register Preeminent Women Lawyers
New Jersey Bar Association, Appellate Practice & Legal Education Committees; former Chair, Women in the Profession Section
American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law, Employee Rights & Responsibilities Committee; co-Chair Executive Agreements and Compensation
Hunterdon County Bar Association