Richard Leder OAM is the Head of Commercial Litigation. He is a market-recognised leader in commercial litigation, personal injury, and defamation litigation and dispute resolution. He acts in many complex personal injury matters, including for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and other institutions in historic sexual abuse claims.

Richard is considered one of Australia’s leading specialists in media law and defamation. He has acted in many high-profile defamation cases, including for Rebel Wilson and Grant Denyer. He has advised Channel 7 Melbourne for the past 30 years and is also the longstanding advisor to The Conversation Media Group and The Big Issue.

Richard has worked across several Royal Commissions and inquiries into historical sexual abuse, mental health, aged care quality and, more recently, the police handling of the Lawyer X case.

More broadly, Richard is a seasoned commercial litigator and has acted for many leading Australian corporates. He is also an experienced negotiator with an impressive track record in assisting clients to avoid costly litigation.

Richard 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. He sits on a number of community and NFP boards as part of his willingness to give back to the community and is passionate about his pro bono work.

Inquiries + Investigations

  • Represented former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police Simon Overland in the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
  • Gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and advised the Catholic Church in Victoria on the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.
  • Led a team representing an aged care provider in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
  • Represented several public health services in the Victorian Mental Health Royal Commission.

Defamation + Media Law

  • Advises and represents Channel Seven Melbourne in defamation, contempt and commercial disputes over the past 30 years.
  • Advises The Conversation Media Group, The Big Issue and the Elliott Newspaper Group on media and pre-publication issues.
  • Led the team representing actress Rebel Wilson in her successful defamation proceedings against Bauer Media.
  • Acted for media personality, Grant Denyer, and his dance partner from the series Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, Lily Cornish, regarding a defamatory article published by New Idea.
  • Acted for several key media clients, including Google and DIGI (the industry association representing the digital industry in Australia), regarding proposed national defamation reform in Australia.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented a leading logistics provider in leasing and other property-related disputes, particularly make good disputes.
  • Represented a manufacturer in contractual and leasing disputes and advised on a range of contractual issues.
  • Represented a US corporation in its pursuit of misrepresentation and breach of warranty claims arising from its multi-million dollar business acquisition.
  • Represented a petroleum explorer in hard fought and long-running Supreme Court litigation involving contractual disputes, breach of duty claims, interpretation of security documents and injunction applications.

Regulatory / Government

  • Long-standing advisor to the Victorian WorkCover Authority on a range of commercial and administrative law disputes.
  • Represented a Victorian Government Department in disputes arising out of compulsory acquisition of interests in land.
  • Advised both government and private entities on FOI applications, including VCAT reviews.
Areas of Expertise
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Defamation
  • Government
  • Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
  • Investigations + Inquiries
  • Legacy, Sensitive + Complex Claims
  • LitigateSMART
  • Sports, Leisure + Entertainment Liability

Industry Representation
  • Sports, Leisure + Entertainment
  • Public Sector + Education
  • Professions + Business Services
  • Healthcare + Life Sciences
  • Technology + Cyber

Professional Affiliations
  • Member of the Media and Communication Committee, Law Council of Australia
  • Committee Member, Melbourne Press Club
  • Director, The Conversation Media Group