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John-Paul is a lawyer who always puts his clients first. Understanding that in litigation most clients are going through challenging times, John-Paul ensures his clients know they are in good hands and can be confident in the advice they are being provided.
John-Paul’s passion for his clients and their work comes from understanding the important role the media plays in society. His deep knowledge of the laws they operate under puts him in the right position to be able to defend the media when they challenged their right to free speech.
“In our work, we can be down in the trenches with clients and it forms a strong bond. Even when it’s difficult, you know you’re working towards a common purpose and that’s exciting.”
John-Paul has extremely broad experience in media law and has developed extensive skills. He has worked with most publishers, radio stations, newspapers and TV networks, in every state and territory and in every court. This breadth of experience sets him apart and has seen him work on every type of issue his clients may face, whether it’s contempt of court, defamation, breach of confidence or injunctions.
breach of confidence
misleading and deceptive conduct
chambers asia-pacific, media ranking, 2014-2019
In March 2014, Herald Sun newspaper broke a story about ‘Lawyer X’, prominent Victorian criminal Barrister Nicola Gobbo, who advised her clients for decades while informing on them to the police. The paper was immediately hit with an injunction application. John-Paul appeared in the Supreme Court on the same evening, successfully resisting the application. In the following five years, the newspaper would repeatedly print details about the story and the Victoria police would respond with legal action, threatening criminal charges against the journalists involved, seeking countless injunctions and suppression orders. John-Paul appeared more than 25 times, defending numerous applications and ran two fully litigated injunction proceedings. John-Paul guided the client through the entire process, navigating through hundreds of legal landmines. Not only did the client avoid all criminal charges and penalties, John-Paul worked tirelessly to ensure they were able to tell a story they believed the public had a right to know.
The Teacher’s Pet is a highly rated true crime podcast in Australia, USA and UK, in which The Australian journalist Hedley Thomas examines the cold case murder of New South Wales woman, Lynette Dawson. John-Paul and team provided all legal advice on the podcast since its inception. This included preliminary work formulating the podcast’s structure and navigating the potential legal risks including defamation and contempt of Court. The podcast is widely regarded as instrumental in having Christopher Dawson, Lynette Dawson’s husband, charged with her murder. Mr Dawson’s legal team have made numerous document requests as well as requesting Mr Thomas to give evidence in the murder proceedings. John-Paul continues to work closely with the client to steer him through these complex legal issues.
David Otto sued the Nine Network, Gold Coast publications, Queensland newspapers and the Daily Mail for defamation. Mr Otto alleged the publications conveyed imputations that he is a con-man and misled vulnerable young women. John-Paul and team ran a four week trial in the District Court of NSW representing the media outlets, in which the clients were successful in every element of the case. Not only was this a significant freedom of speech matter, it involved witnesses who were vulnerable young women being asked to give sensitive and personal evidence. John-Paul and team managed these witnesses, ensuring they were cared for throughout the case. This was as important to the clients as winning the case.
Ben Roberts-Smith sued Fairfax Media over a series of allegations in which he was accused of being a war criminal. The Australian Government attempted to suppress a large amount of information relevant to the case on the grounds of Public Interest Immunity and sensitive military information. John-Paul is acting for The Australian newspaper and other media as he attempts to have the material made public. As the case involves one of Australia’s most highly decorated war veterans and possible war crimes, John-Paul will be utilising his breadth of experience as he navigates the complicated legal questions around Public Interest Immunity. John-Paul has been successful in obtaining some information, and the legal battles are on-going.