We have exceptional knowledge and experience in dealing with sensitive, high-profile media matters and working with clients to protect their legal, commercial and reputational interests. Our team has extensive experience across all areas of media law, including defamation, pre-publication advice, litigation, privacy, contempt of court, suppression, urgent injunctions, privilege and breach of confidence.

We act for high-profile and boutique media organisations, including Channel Seven, JAM TV, Elliott Newspaper Group, The Conversation Media Group and The Big Issue. We also act for high-profile plaintiffs, including international and Australian actors and musicians, company directors and officers, politicians and athletes. Our team represented Rebel Wilson in her successful defamation proceedings against Bauer Media and Grant Denyer regarding defamatory publications by Are Media in New Idea.

We are respected for our sophisticated and pragmatic advice that encompasses legal, commercial and strategic considerations, including advising clients on managing risk. We are adept at negotiating and exploring alternative dispute resolution opportunities to achieve favourable outcomes for our clients. If a matter cannot be resolved without resort to litigation, we are also highly experienced in representing both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation proceedings in all jurisdictions, including the High Court of Australia, and doing so on a cost-effective basis.

We have deep industry knowledge and connections, and members of our team sit on several industry boards and committees.

Richard Leder’s knowledge and experience is recognised across several premium legal directories, including listings across four different categories in the AFR Best Lawyers Peer Review and a Band 2 ranking for Chambers Asia-Pacific: Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT): Media.

Recent work

Our team represented actor Rebel Wilson in her successful claims against Bauer Media after it published a series of eight defamatory magazine articles.

A jury found Bauer Media had defamed Ms Wilson in a the articles, which said she had lied about her age, real name and childhood.  Ms Wilson was awarded more than $4.7 million in compensation — the largest defamation damages payout ever ordered in Australia — after a Supreme Court judge found she missed out on film roles because of the claims in the articles.  His Honour Justice Dixon strongly criticised Bauer Media for failing to properly investigate the claims about Ms Wilson, and for publishing them despite knowing they were false.

The Court of Appeal later reduced the award for damages to $600,000 – which was still one of the largest defamation damages payouts in Australia.  The matter then proceeded to an application for special leave hearing before the High Court of Australia.

Our team provided advice and representation to media personality, Grant Denyer, and his dance partner in the series Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, Lily Cornish, regarding a defamatory front page article published by Are Media in New Idea and online.

Our team was able to negotiate a confidential settlement, including a published apology to Grant, Lily and Grant’s wife, Chezzi Denyer, and a retraction, without issuing proceedings.

Our team acted for Victoria Police and its current and former officers in their response to the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (Lawyer X Inquiry), including several former Chief Commissioners.  We managed a range of media disputes arising from the Commission and successfully negotiated the removal of defamatory content and the inclusion of disclaimers in publications, including statements that a program was a fictious representation of events.

We provide responsive and considered pre-publication advice to media clients across a range of mediums including print, television, radio and online.

Our team has provided pre-publication advice to Channel Seven for its news and other programs for over 25 years.  Recently, we have provided pre-publication advice to JAM TV for programs including AFL documentary series, Show Me The Money, which provides an unprecedented look inside the deals and drama of the AFL’s 2021 and 2022 Trade Period.  Show Me The Money aired on Stan in March 2022 and February 2023.