Top 10 Australian TMT: Media Lawyers to Watch in 2023

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Australia is home to a cohort of accomplished and versatile lawyers who specialise in Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) – with a particular emphasis on Media. Such professionals offer essential services in today’s digital age, acting as legal defenders for reputations and navigators of the unique complexities of media law. This article presents a roundup of several noteworthy Australian media lawyers who have distinguished themselves in this field.

Media law encompasses a broad range of legal disciplines, including but not exclusively, issues related to defamation, privacy, intellectual property and freedom of speech. As media platforms continue to evolve, so too does the intricacies of media law, making the role of media lawyer increasingly vital. In Australia, where progress and innovation in the media sector are ceaseless, media lawyers provide an indispensable service to their clients.

Through a blend of expertise, experience, and an astute understanding of the media landscape, these professionals promote the rule of law within the media sphere. From defamation disputes to matters concerning breach of confidential information, these individuals have dedicated their careers to the intricate legalities of the media industry.

Brett Oaten – Brett Oaten Solicitors

No firm website available. Brett Oaten, principal of Brett Oaten Solicitors, has zealously defended the interests of prominent figures in Australia’s entertainment scene for over three decades. Known for his expertise on media sector issues, Oaten is regularly lauded as one of Australia’s leading entertainment lawyers. His clientele primarily comprise artists, producers, and creative businesses.

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Dean Levitan – MinterEllison

Dean Levitan owes his recent rise to prominence to his role in Australia’s notable ‘defamation trial of the century’ led by war veteran Ben Roberts-Smith. His media law practice is based at the international law firm MinterEllison.

Justin Quill – Thomson Geer

With over 25 years of exclusive practice in media law, Justin Quill is a renowned figure in the industry. He represents major print, online publishers and broadcasters on a wide range of contentious issues, including defamation, contempt of court, and breach of confidential information claims.

Patrick George – Kennedys

Author of the standard text on Australian defamation law, Patrick George stands out in the legal field of reputational risk. With over 35 years of experience,
he is particularly well known for representing leading political figures, including former Commonwealth Prime Ministers, and noted sporting bodies.

Mark Bamford – Simpsons Solicitors

Mark Bamford provides counsel on a slew of issues affecting clients from the film, television, music and new technology entertainment media. He operates from the Sydney office of Simpsons Solicitors.

Richard Leder – Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Located in Melbourne, Richard Leder stands out for his involvement in some of Australia’s most high-profile defamation cases. He also advises extensively on regulatory issues in the media sector.

Mark O’Brien – Mark O’Brien Legal

Mark O’Brien is celebrated for his solid track record in representing prominent personalities from the business, political and sporting realms in significant litigation against leading print and broadcast media outlets.

Paul Svilans – Mark O’Brien Legal

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Paul Svilans, highly experienced in defamation practice, specializes in representing media publisher clients. His service spans from advisory mandates, including pre-publication counsel, to court proceedings.

Peter Bartlett – MinterEllison

No firm website available. A seasoned professional with over 35 years in media law, Peter Bartlett has amassed a reputation as a pre-eminent litigator of defamation cases. He provides trusted advisory on the full range of publication risks for print and broadcast media, and is based in Melbourne.

Marlia Saunders – Thomson Geer

Based in Sydney, Marlia Saunders is a sought-after media lawyer, recognized for her prowess in handling defamation cases, non-publication and suppression orders as well as providing pre-publication advice.

These media lawyers stand as the vanguard of media law in Australia, working tirelessly to uphold the principles of free speech, protect reputations, and ensure compliance with law within the media sector. Their commitment to their specialisation attests to the incredibly significant role that media lawyers play in our increasingly interconnected and digital world.

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