Wotton + Kearney is delighted to announce that a team led by Richard Leder OAM will be joining its Melbourne office.

Richard Leder will bring a team of six from Corrs Chambers Westgarth including Georgie Austin (Partner), Jacquie Goodwin (Senior Associate), Blake Pappas (Senior Associate), Simone Tagliaferro (Senior Associate), Renata Romeo (Associate) and Karolyn Connelly (Practice Administrator).

Richard Leder is recognised nationally as a leading disputes, media and defamation lawyer. He has acted in many complex personal injury matters, including acting for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in institutional abuse claims. He is highly regarded for his media law practice, which includes acting in many high-profile defamation cases including representing Rebel Wilson and Channel 7. He has also acted in Royal Commissions, Inquiries and Inquests including the Aged Care Royal Commission. He was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia in 2019 for his contribution to the community, including his involvement with the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, which he chairs.

Also joining Wotton + Kearney as a Partner is Georgie Austin, an experienced disputes lawyer and sports lawyer who has advised on Royal Commissions and Inquiries, commercial disputes, including defamation matters. Georgie Austin has also served on a number of community and not-for-profit boards, most recently as a director of Gymnastics Victoria.

Wotton + Kearney Chief Executive Partner, David Kearney said: “I welcome Richard, Georgie and their team to Wotton + Kearney and am particularly excited about the contribution they will make to our growing national commercial disputes offering. Our firm has built a very significant dispute resolution team across Australia and New Zealand off the back of strong support from the insurance industry. That support has led to an increasing number of relationships with corporations looking to better manage risk. A natural next step is to strengthen those relationships by building out our commercial disputes offering – particularly given the changing nature of risk transfer over the past few years.

“Under Richard’s leadership and with new Partner Georgie Austin and senior team adding to our bench strength, we look forward to providing our corporate clients with an exceptional commercial disputes offering”, said David Kearney

Commenting on his team’s attraction to Wotton + Kearney, Richard Leder said: “We are delighted and excited to be joining Wotton + Kearney at a time when the firm’s growth strategy is really starting to accelerate. In particular, the opportunity to lead and grow the firm’s commercial disputes offering is one I am enormously looking forward to.

“Wotton + Kearney has a first-class reputation for the respected and sensitive approach it adopts in the challenging area of institutional abuse claims. I know the firm will enthusiastically embrace the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as a client to further enhance its reputation for this important legal work.

“Wotton + Kearney has a deep commitment to its clients and a strong and collaborative culture which we are excited to become part of. Coupled with its well-established community and pro-bono work, it is a firm where I feel my team can make a valuable and lasting contribution”, said Richard Leder.