Media and entertainment in Australia

Allens

The powerhouse team of specialists at Allens utilises experience and advanced AI tools to build custom solutions for motion picture studios, technology multinationals, and major mass media corporations. The media and entertainment practice group advise such key market leaders as News Corporation, Twenty-First Century Fox, Fox Sports Australia, Special Broadcasting Service, and Google on a broad range of matters. These include sports rights deals, intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, and regulatory compliance with obligations under GDPR and the Broadcasting Services Act.  The team is led in Sydney by sports media rights authority Gavin Smith and backed by M&A and commercial law expert Kylie Brown.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Smith

Other key lawyers:

Kylie Brown

Testimonials

‘ The media and entertainment practice is fully integrated with other practices particularly M&A, tax, and competition law. The team is brilliantly led by partner Gavin Smith, with strong support from a cadre of younger and energetic partners.’

Key clients

News Corporation

Prime Media

Special Broadcasting Service

Twenty First Century Fox

Fox Sports Australia

Foxtel

Google

Work highlights

  • Advised Fox Sports Australia on its dispute with Cricket Australia regarding various changes to the domestic and international cricket calendars in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Foxtel on its ongoing data and compliance requirements throughout Australia.
  • Advised Fox Sports Australia on its new media rights agreement with the National Rugby League for 2021 to 2022, and from 2022 to 2027.

Ashurst

The media law practice at Ashurst remains a market leader, providing strategic counsel to high-profile clients involved in commercial transactions and media disputes. An experienced team led by Anita Cade advises television broadcasters, print and news media outlets, and global tech conglomerates such as Conde Nast, News Corporation, and Google, on a broad spectrum of matters. These include the liability of search engines for defamatory results, IP portfolio management, and responding to applications for permanent injunctive relief. The team is supported by media reform authority Robert Todd, IP expert Lisa Ritson and Peter Armitage, known for his expertise in competition law. All lawyers mentioned are at the Sydney office.

Practice head(s):

Anita Cade

Testimonials

‘Experienced partners, who have worked on a wide range of matters across the media industry.’

‘Anita Cade is the principal partner that we work with, and she is a standout. She understands our business and our needs, she is very responsive and provides practical solution-oriented advice on a wide range of areas from corporate, marketing, product counseling and content licensing and defamation matters.’

‘Anita Cade for general IP is engaging and client focussed. Robert Todd is very experienced in litigation for defamation and related matters – passionate about the industry and protection of journalists.’

The Ashurst team lead by Robert Todd is inquisitive, innovative and solutions focused. They are aware that the operation of the law occurs against and within policy and political spheres, and they bring broad experience across these spheres to clients. The team is comfortable with ambiguity and saying so, with planned strategies to deal with all foreseeable eventualities – while producing exceptional work product. They are very comfortable pushing boundaries and innovating to achieve clients’ outcomes.’

Key clients

Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited

News Corporation / Nationwide News

Google LLC

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)

Re.Group Pty Ltd and Naveen David Singh

Trusted Media Brands, Inc.

ITV Granada

News Life Media

Discovery Communications

Conde Nast Publications

Work highlights

  • Acted for clients Nationwide News, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, and journalist Annette Sharp in defamation proceedings brought against them over print and online articles published by them.
  • Acted for News Limited, the Sunday Telegraph, and its political editor Annika Smethurst in a successful High Court challenge to warrants obtained by the Australian Federal Police that sought to authorise a police raid on Smethurst’s property.
  • Managing the broad brand portfolio for Discovery Communications in Australia and advising on various copyright, trademark, and intellectual property matters, including a number of contentious matters involving intellectual property infringements.

Baker McKenzie

The media and content group at Baker McKenzie continues to craft bespoke solutions for major broadcasters, tech companies, and streaming services involved in high-value media disputes. A multidisciplinary team led by internet privacy expert Andrew Stewart in Sydney advises such clients as Fox Sports Australia, Britbox, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), on a broad range of matters. These include copyright, digital content acquisition, regulatory compliance, and defamation issues. Adrian Lawrence brings his digital media expertise to the practice and is backed by regulatory specialist Allison Manvell in Brisbane and senior associate Nicholas Kraegen, who is the Motion Picture Association's key contact for site-blocking activity.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Stewart

Key clients

Motion Picture Association (MPA)

ByteDance Inc (TikTok)

Meltwater Australia Pty Ltd

Macquarie Media Limited

Fox Sports Australia Pty Limited

Universities Australia

Britbox

Work highlights

  • Providing complex site-blocking work for a number of household name media companies, Australian filmmakers/distributors, and other content owners.
  • Providing advice and input on setting up operations for Australian audiences, including in relation to ByteDance’s hugely popular TikTok app.
  • Advising and representing Fox Sports Australia Pty Limited in a highly publicised matter in the District Court involving a defamation claim by Josh Massoud, a high-profile former Channel 7 NRL reporter.

Bird & Bird

The media and entertainment group at Bird & Bird assists major media corporations, sports organisations, and computer game companies that are engaged in high-profile disputes. Led by media M&A expert Shane Barber and defamation authority Sophie Dawson, the team advises such clients as Nine Entertainment, Rugby Australia, and RockStar Games on a full range of matters. These include defamation, M&A, pre-publication advice, brand management, and sports sector transactions. The group is supported by Rich Hawkins, who handles sports law matters, media litigation specialist Joel Parsons, and Bridget Edghill, who advises on the implementation of global policies. All lawyers mentioned are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Shane Barber; Sophie Dawson

Testimonials

‘The Bird & Bird Media and Entertainment practice has done a masterful job of quickly and effectively educating us as to the pitfalls and challenges presented by Australian media and defamation law, particularly with intermediary platform liability issues.’

‘Very experienced lawyers and access to international resources when needed. Both litigation and commercial issues can be dealt with, across the team.’

‘Sophie Dawson, Joel Parsons, and Rich Hawkins are all excellent and experienced practitioners. They are responsive, engaging, and good people to deal with.’

‘Sophie Dawson is a rock star. She and her colleagues are seemingly always available and have guided us superbly in terms of identifying business challenges as well as opportunities.’

Key clients

Nine Entertainment Co. Pty Ltd

Rugby Australia

City of Sydney

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc; RockStar Games, Inc

Epic Games Inc

Australian Police Journal

The Players’ Tribune

Sportsbet Pty Ltd

Vodafone

GlaxoSmithKline No

Lebara Mobile

Work highlights

  • Acted for two global computer game companies on proceedings to protect high-value intellectual property from threats emanating from Australia.
  • Advises two of Australia’s leading media companies on regulatory, privacy, and defamation matters, including acting for them on significant litigation.
  • Advising on a global thought leadership project for the privacy-compliant design of the evolving adtech landscape.  

Clayton Utz

The telecommunications, media, and technology team at Clayton Utz advises high-profile television networks, sports organisations, and tech clients on the full range of entertainment matters. These include sports media rights deals, IP, privacy issues, content agreements, advertising clearance, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance. Headed by commercial M&A authority Bruce Lloyd, the group’s client base hosts such clients as Seven Network, Free TV Australia, and the Australian Rugby League Commission. The team is backed by sports media rights specialist Walid Sukari, disputes expert Tim Webb, and senior associate Akmal Chunar. All lawyers mentioned are at the Sydney office.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

Walid Sukari; Tim Webb; Akmal Chunar

Testimonials

‘Clayton Utz has a strong reputation for expertise and is seen as a market leader. Its pricing reflects this but it can still structure its arrangements to accommodate a variety of clients.’

‘Walid Sukari, Partner. He is highly intelligent yet very personable. He is well-respected by his peers and has a great reputation in my industry. He has a very commercial approach to contracts and is responsive to the needs of the client.’

Key clients

Isentia Group Limited

NOVA Entertainment Pty Ltd

Racing.com Pty Ltd

Australian Rugby League Commission and National Rugby League

Seven Network

SANZAAR

Free TV Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for Free TV in relation to its procurement, and on-licensing, of television programs/content as part of the Government’s “PacificAus TV” initiative, which seeks to strengthen relationships between Australia and its neighbours in the Pacific by providing television programs/content on a free basis to broadcasters.
  • Acted for the Unions in relation to their sale of rugby union media rights to Nine/Stan replacing Fox Sports as rights holder.
  • Acting for ASX-listed Isentia, a media monitoring organisation in the Asia-Pacific, in Copyright Tribunal of Australia proceedings with respect to the licensing arrangements offered by Copyright Agency Limited.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The technology, media, and telecommunications team at Corrs Chambers Westgarth builds custom solutions to advise major broadcasters, tech companies, and other high-profile media outlets on a broad spectrum of issues. These include licensing, regulatory compliance with media ownership laws, market strategy, and defamation claims. Spearheaded at the Sydney office by entertainment law authority James North, the group’s portfolio features such clients as ViacomCBS, Comcast, Network 10, and Southern Cross Media. The team is supported by media ownership expert Adam Foreman in Melbourne. In addition to its work in media and tech, the group assists in the NGO sector, recently providing pre-publication advice to The Australian Centre for International Justice on a report detailing human rights abuses in Myanmar. Jennifer Dean  has now joined Johnson Winter & Slattery.

Practice head(s):

James North

Other key lawyers:

Adam Foreman

Testimonials

‘I have found that the staff we have used at Corrs Chambers Westgarth provide us with a wealth of knowledge and experience at a reasonable price. They have the depth of staff to handle all situations at various levels within their billing structure.’

‘Our media partner Richard Leder shows initiative and sensitivity when advice is needed. He makes a decision dependant on the problem if he should work on the issue or pass it on to one of his other lawyers at a lower cost.’

Key clients

ViacomCBS

Comcast

Network 10

Southern Cross Media and Southern Cross Austereo

REA Group Limited

News Limited

Channel 7 Melbourne

DIGI

Racat Uno

Work highlights

  • Advising Google on its negotiations with major news and media outlets in Australia including Nine Fairfax, ABC, SBS, and The Guardian.
  • Continues to act as a key advisor to ViacomCBS across a range of strategic areas, providing regular, ongoing advice in relation to regulation and in particular in relation to ViacomCBS’ compliance with Australian media ownership laws.
  • Advising NOVA Entertainment on proposed changes to radio spectrum management and television licensing including ACMA’s report released in March 2020 on “The future delivery of radio” and subsequent proposed reports on changes to spectrum management in particular markets and the government’s Green Paper on “Modernising television regulation in Australia.”

Gilbert + Tobin

The multi-disciplinary media practice at Gilbert + Tobin leverages the combined strength of its intellectual property, technology, disputes, and regulatory groups to advise motion picture studios, major recording artists, and tech multinationals on a diverse spectrum of issues. Led by IP infringement authority Michael Williams, the team represents such clients Microsoft, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the electronic band Glass Candy, across such sectors as financial services, entertainment, tech, and mining. The group’s full service covers digital rights management, financing, M&A, advertising clearance, content and licensing, and support on strategic transactions. The team is supported by IP litigator Siabon Seet and Rebecca Dunn, who specialises in social media law. All lawyers mentioned are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Michael Williams

Other key lawyers:

Siabon Seet; Rebecca Dunn

Key clients

Motion Picture Association, Motion Picture Association of America, Australia New Zealand Screen Association, and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment

BCI Media

Mr Tolga Kumova

State Street Global Advisors

TEG Group

Quadrant Private Equity

Telstra

TEG Live

Take-Two Interactive, Inc

Microsoft

Glass Candy songwriters Johnny Padgett and Lori Monahan

Work highlights

  • Advising Microsoft on the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry, and the News Media & Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.
  • Acted for State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), in a high-profile case against law firm Maurice Blackburn, and HESTA and Cbus over the use and promotion in Australia of a replica of SSGA’s iconic Fearless Girl statue that sits outside the New York Stock Exchange, and the use of SSGA’s trade mark and copyright in the statue.
  • Advising businessman Tolga Kumova in Federal Court defamation proceedings against the operator of the social media account “@stockswami”.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

The media group at Johnson Winter & Slattery employs its experience and advanced AI tools to provide solutions for a roster of major multimedia clients, including commercial television broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, tech multinationals, and motion picture companies. Led from the Sydney office by media law specialist Kevin Lynch the team advises such household names as Microsoft, Verizon, and the Seven Network, across the tech, entertainment, education, and health care sectors. The group’s full range of services covers defamation, pre-publication matters, and media venture capital matters. The team is backed by pre-publication expert Sam Johnson in Sydney and dispute negotiation specialist Eve Thomson in Adelaide. The team has also been boosted since senior associate Jennifer Dean joined from Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Lynch

Other key lawyers:

Sam Johnson; Eve Thomson ; Jennifer Dean

Testimonials

‘Johnson Winter Slattery have a well established media-law practice. They advise a broad range of clients, mainly media publishers, and are skilful and adept at managing both large and smaller litigation while always maintaining a commercial focus. Their advice is practical, realistic and commercial.’

‘Johnson Winter & Slattery provide a lean and efficient service to their clients. Their media law team is comprised of a small number of specialists in the field who are able to provide quick and practical advice and who run litigation efficiently and effectively – perhaps more so than other firms in this area.’

‘Kevin Lynch, partner, is an experienced and shrewd litigator who is highly effective and extremely responsive to his clients’ needs.’

‘Johnson Winter & Slattery is responsive, flexible with timing, accommodating to difficult circumstances, and generous with their time. The firm has innovative ideas and through the pandemic communicated effectively using technology.’

‘Working with Johnson Winter & Slattery has meant that communication is seamless, and work is delivered in a timely manner, to a high standard.’

‘Kevin Lynch is very experienced, practical, commercial in approach and cost-effective.’ 

Key clients

Seven Network (Operations) Ltd

Are Media Group

Verizon Inc

Oath Inc.

Verizon Media Australia Pty Limited

Microsoft Australia Pty Limited

Microsoft Corporation

Australian National University (defamation)

Endemol Shine Australia Pty Ltd

The Huffington Post Holdings LLC

Chanel Contos

TCT Mobile (Australasia) Pty Ltd

Turn It Up Media Pty Ltd

Desert Pea Media Inc

Tantalus Media Pty Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended an internet corporation in two separate proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria for defamation arising from publication of search engine results, image search results, and the underlying third party webpages.
  • Defending Federal Court of Australia defamation proceedings on behalf of Verizon Media in relation to an article published to the Yahoo News Australia website.
  • Defended a claim by Daniel Johns, the lead singer of the band Silverchair against Bauer Media for a publication in Woman’s Day.  

Minter Ellison

The experience media group at Minter Ellison provides support to major newspapers, tech multinationals, and news broadcasters involved in high-profile media disputes. It is acting for the defendant Nine Entertainment Co in the defamation case brought by former soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith. Led by renowned defamation authority Peter Bartlett in Melbourne, the team represents household names Al Jazeera, CNN, the New York Times, Google, and the Australian Broadcasting Company. The group’s full service covers such issues as digital data rights, licensing, media privacy matters, and freedom of information requests. The team is supported in Melbourne by experienced media litigator David Poulton, senior associate Dean Levitan, and copyright specialist John Fairbairn, in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bartlett

Testimonials

‘A strong team of experienced and determined lawyers, currently handling the most complex case of defamation in Australian history for my media organisation.’

‘Peter Bartlett is an expert in media law and brilliant litigator, as well as a keen negotiator who has obtained settlement deals that no one else thought possible. Dean Levitan is a dedicated and experienced media lawyer, who works exceptionally hard in representing his client’s interests.’

‘John Fairbairn is an expert advisor on copyright, trademark, and privacy matters and has a deep knowledge of the media and entertainment industry, including fair dealing, licensing, collecting societies, and brand protection. He provides cost-effective, strategic, and timely advice.’

Key clients

Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC)

Nine Entertainment Co.

Foxtel

Google

News Limited

Al Jazeera

Network Ten

Commonwealth Government of Australia

The New York Times

CNN

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nine Entertainment Co. in significant defamation proceedings brought by Ben Roberts-Smith, in relation to three articles published by Fairfax Media mastheads in 2018 that implicate the plaintiff in serious misconduct amounting to murder, war crimes, and domestic violence
  • Advised Christian Porter, Australia’s (then) Attorney General on how to respond to serious accusations made against him in the media.
  • Acted for Fairfax(Nine Entertainment Co.), The New York Times, CNN, and Crikey in relation to various aspects of the prosecution of Cardinal Pell story.

Banki Haddock Fiora

The media and entertainment team at boutique firm Banki Haddock Fiora in Sydney specialises in defamation and pre-publication work, acting on behalf of major media outlets and publishing groups. Led by respected media and defamation law authorities Leanne Norman, Bruce Burke, and founding partner and IP doyen Peter Banki, the team’s client portfolio includes household names News Corporation Australia, ITV Studios, and Nine Radio. The group offers services on a broad span of matters, from suppression orders, trade practices, statutory reporting restrictions, film contract work, and content clearance. The team is supported by newly-promoted partner and IP litigation expert Marina Olsen and special counsel Alessandra Steele.

Other key lawyers:

Marina Olsen; Alessandra Steele

Testimonials

‘Banki Haddock Fiora provides thorough, professional, and personalised service and advice across a number of disciplines. They have our complete confidence. BHF are excellent to deal with, accessible, and go to great lengths to understand the nuances of our business and operating environment.’

‘Leanne Norman provides outstanding service and expertise in media law.’

‘Highly knowledgeable and experienced in media law. Provide effective advice and legal services to clients.’

‘Leanne Norman – unrivalled knowledge and experience. Tactically astute. Marina Olsen – forensically indefatigable.’

‘Bruce Bourke is a stand-out. He goes the extra mile, has great depth of experience and our internal clients feel supported and understood.’

‘Leanne Norman and Bruce Burke, have decades of media law expertise and an excellent client base. Their newest partner Marina Olsen offers a fresh and energetic perspective to the mix. Marina is energetic, hard-working, and fantastic to deal with.’

Key clients

Nine Entertainment (formerly Fairfax Media Publications)

HarperCollins Publishers Australia

WIN Television

Australasian Performing Right Association

News Corporation Australia

Are Media (incorporating Pacific Magazines)

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

Shameless Media

Nine Radio (formerly Macquarie Radio/Harbour Radio)

Network TEN Pty Ltd

Australian Radio Network

M&C Saatchi Agency Pty Ltd No

Copyright Agency Limited No (more than 25+ years)

ITV Studios No

Work highlights

  • Acting for HarperCollins and ABC journalist Steve Cannane in an appeal hearing following a successful defence in an 8-week hearing in the Federal Court of Australia in defamation proceedings commenced by two former psychiatrists.
  • Acted for Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd and its high-profile columnist Joe Aston in Federal Court defamation proceedings commenced by Dr Elaine Stead, following articles in The Australian Financial Review commenting on Stead’s work as a venture capitalist.
  • Provides general pre-publication, commercial and intellectual property advice to regional publisher Australian Community Media (ACM) on an ongoing basis.

Hall & Wilcox

The sports and entertainment team at Hall & Wilcox represents national and global sporting organisations, athletes, sponsors, and corporations involved in high-value transactions and disputes. Headed by sports media authority Martin Ross, the multidisciplinary team advises on sponsorship agreements, media rights matters, sports M&A, regulatory compliance, IP infringement, and media litigation. The group is supported by technology procurement expert James Deady and special counsel Mark Lebbon. The team also provides pro-bono work, serving as the primary legal advisor to Australia’s Mother’s Day Classic, an annual run and walk which raises funds for breast cancer research. All lawyers mentioned are at the Melbourne office.

Practice head(s):

Martin Ross

Other key lawyers:

James Deady; Mark Lebbon

Testimonials

‘The team cover a wide range of speciality so that whatever our issue is we receive expert attention from a variety of individuals.’

‘Martin Ross is our lead Partner and he has a deep understanding of our business. He has a unique ability to communicate with our team in a way that we understand the reasoning behind the advice.’

Herbert Smith Freehills

The experienced team at Herbert Smith Freehills advises major media companies involved in high-value cross-border disputes and transactions. Spearheaded by global media and entertainment sector co-leads Tom Joyner (at the Perth office) and Rebecca Maslen-Stannage (in Sydney), the group represents such major media news outlets and international music companies as Seven West Media, Sky News Australia, Bloomberg, and BMG Rights Management, on a diverse range of matters. These include broadcasting rights, sponsorship agreements, content issues, IP, and regulatory compliance. The team is backed by content licensing expert Kristin Stammer and competition, regulation, and trade head regional head Linda Evans in Sydney.

Other key lawyers:

Kristin Stammer; Linda Evans

Key clients

Seven West Media

BMG Rights Management GmbH

Tabcorp Holdings Limited

WPP AUNZ Limited

Dentsu Aegis Network

Sky News Australia (Australian News Channel)

TX Australia Pty Limited (TXA)

Bloomberg LLP

JCDeaux SA

The Australian Ballet

Art Gallery of NSW

Orchestra Victoria

Work highlights

  • Advised Pacific Magazines, part of the Seven West Media Group (SWM), on the sale of its magazine business to Bauer Media.
  • Advising Seven West Media on a day to day and strategic business issues on a range of media issues, including regulatory advice and content issues.
  • Advising SKY on its 10 year media rights deals with Racing Queensland (RQ) and Brisbane Racing Club(BRC) for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing

Kennedys

The media team at Kennedys combines experience with sophisticated AI tools to advise major corporations, politicians, and sporting groups on high-profile defamation matters. Headed by senior partner and defamation authority Patrick George at the Sydney office, the group’s client base includes the Australian Olympic Committee, and former prime ministers the Honourable Paul Keating and the Honourable Kevin Rudd. The group’s expertise covers pre-publication clearance, reputational management, drafting broadcast agreements, and product licensing and distribution issues. The team is supported by special counsel Nathan Buck in Sydney, and, in Melbourne, by Emily Schneider, who specialises in social media defamation claims.

Practice head(s):

Patrick George

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Buck; Emily Schneider

Key clients

Australian Olympic Committee

John Coates, Vice President International Olympic

Committee/President Australian Olympic Committee

The Honourable Paul Keating, Former Prime Minister

The Honourable Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister

The Honourable Kristina Keneally, Former Premier of New South Wales, now Senator

Hillsong

Singapore Press Holdings

Toll Group

Audiocraft

Work highlights

  • Advised The Honourable Kevin Rudd in relation to statements issued in the context of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act (FITSA) in relation to the Murdoch media group.
  • Acted on a defamation and injurious falsehood claim by an international bank and its chairman against Nine Entertainment Co. in relation to a lead story aired on 60 Minutes alleging involvement by the bank in money laundering.
  • Defending a surgeon in a defamation claim before the Victorian Supreme Court, commenced by a fellow surgeon, concerning the plaintiff’s treatment of patients.

Simpsons Solicitors

The media practice at boutique firm Simpsons Solicitors advises major streaming services, publishing houses, games developers, and music rights holders involved in high-value disputes. The group provides clients with solutions for a full range of matters, including film finance, pre-publication advice, copyright infringement, performers’ rights, and defamation. Headed by IP litigation authority Adam Simpson, music industry group head Jules Munro, and film finance specialist Mark Bamford, the team’s portfolio includes household names Netflix, Universal Music, as well as Hachette, and Riot Games. The group is backed by Janine Lapworth, who advises on television production and distribution arrangements and experienced IP litigator Clare Young.

Other key lawyers:

Janine Lapworth; Clare Young

Testimonials

‘The firm delivers big firm service in a specialist practice – personal attention from senior lawyers, flexibility, and value for money. It is unique in its breadth and depth of knowledge in the media, entertainment, and arts sectors which means the deliver tailored advice to our business needs. An outstanding firm.’

‘Adam Simpson has over 26 years’ experience in specialist entertainment practice and his expertise covers dispute resolution and commercial advice. He is one of the few specialist publishing lawyers in the country. He is available and responsive, understands our business and the law.’

‘Simpsons offer sound and balanced advice and recommendations, and they have handled all matters with great diligence, professionalism, and skill. Of the matters that they have handled, we have had an almost 100% success rate in achieving either victory or a favourable outcome.’

‘For commercial, copyright, and transactional issues, we work with Jules Munro. For litigation matters, we work with Adam Simpson. Jules Munro stands out for his industry knowledge and pragmatism. Adam Simpson is very experienced with copyright-related litigation, and is a calm and expert hand in contentious matters.’

Key clients

Elevate Production Finance

Fulcrum Media Finance Pty Ltd

The Finch Company

Woolworths Group Ltd

National Gallery of Australia

Hachette Publishing Group

Netflix, Inc

Universal Music Publishing and Songs of Universal, Inc

Riot Games Inc

Elevate Production Finance

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Universal Music Publishing and Songs of Universal in a copyright infringement claim against Clive Palmer, in relation to his unauthorised use of the Twisted Sister hit “We’re Not Gonna Take IT” for his 2019 election campaign.
  • Advising Fulcrum Media Finance in its involvement in film & TV deals in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Assisting Woolworths Group in negotiations with prominent recording artists, book publishers, and a technology provider to produce a nationwide literacy campaign.

HWL Ebsworth

HWL Ebsworth advises on a wide range of matters for television networks, publishing houses, advertising agencies, film companies, e-commerce and multimedia providers, and sports teams. These include pre-and post-publication advice, preparing documentation for film financing, regulatory compliance, and assisting advertising agencies on national campaigns.

Kay and Hughes

The team at boutique firm Kay and Hughes in Sydney bring experience and an established national presence to advise agents, artists, venues, and arts organisations on a diverse spectrum of media and entertainment matters. These include copyright services, defamation services, contract review, corporate structuring, and pre-publication advice. Led by managing partner Ben Kay, the group represents such clients as Special Group Australia, Live Performance Australia, Sydney Dance Company, and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). The team is backed by commercial dispute experts Ruthanna Klawansky, Tom Lynch, and Nicola McLaughlin.

Practice head(s):

Ben Kay

Key clients

Special Group Australia

Belvoir Theatre Company

Sydney Writers Festival

Sydney Dance Company

National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

Live Performance Australia

Chadwick Models

Olsen Gallery and John Olsen

Work highlights

  • Advised Special Group Australia Pty Ltd in regard to Special Group’s award-winning “Tonight I’ll be Eating” advertising campaigns for Uber Eats Australia featuring talent including Sacha Baron Cohen, The Wiggles, and Simon Cowell.
  • Acting for Giant Dwarf Pty Ltd and The Checkout Pty Ltd in their Supreme Court of NSW claims against Cordell Jigsaw Productions Pty Ltd.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons

Mark O'Brien Legal

Mark O’Brien Legal

Thomson Geer

The media team at Thomson Geer crafts bespoke solutions for major media publishers and broadcasters involved in high-profile disputes. Led by media law experts Justin Quill and John-Paul Cashen, the group represents such clients as News Corp Australia, Twitter, Seven West Media, advising them on matters including defamation, contempt of court, suppression orders and freedom of information requests. The team is backed by experienced associates Corey Jankie and Samantha McGeoch. All lawyers mentioned are based in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Justin Quill; John-Paul Cashen

Other key lawyers:

Corey Jankie; Samantha McGeoch

Key clients

ViacomCBS – Network 10

News Corp Australia

Nationwide News Pty Ltd

The Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd

Twitter Inc

Seven West Media Limited – Channel Seven

Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd – Channel Nine

Fairfax Media entities (acquired by Channel Nine)

Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd

Leader Associated Newspapers Pty Ltd

The Geelong Advertiser

Macquarie Media Limited (publisher of Radio 3AW

Melbourne and Radio 6PR Perth)

Southern Cross Austereo Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for a substantial number of media organisations and individuals charged with contempt of court for their reports about Cardinal Pell’s child sex offence conviction.
  • Acting for Nationwide News Pty Ltd and Brenden Hills in defence of defamation proceedings launched by Daniel Taylor, John Ibrahim’s son, following an article in July 2019 titled “Inside the house of Ibrahim: Unauthorised”. Taylor alleges that the article conveyed imputations that he was a mobster, a member of the mafia, and a criminal involved in organised crime.
  • Acting for Network Ten, successfully negotiated an incredibly rare and important COVID-19 travel ban exemption on behalf of the entire cast and crew of The Masked Singer, which enabled them to avoid a double quarantine and the Network to film and air its final episode without catastrophic delay.