Mark O'Brien, Principal

Areas of law
Media Law, Dispute Resolution and White Collar Prosecutions 

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Sydney University

NSW, 1970

T (02) 9216 9828
M 0412 637 304
Contact me via email

Mark brings more than 40 years’ experience in managing cases spanning most aspects of media law, commercial law, taxation and intellectual property. Mark’s pre-eminent reputation has been gained from high stakes work, having advised on many significant media and commercial cases. He is highly regarded by his media clientele for his edge and experience in providing prompt and strategic advice.

Key experience

Mark is regarded as a trusted advisor to media corporations on many commercial aspects of their business including defamation, broadcasting issues, contempt, copyright and intellectual property. Over many years Mark headed the litigation group in several national Australian legal firms, has supervised major litigation in the Federal Court and the Supreme Courts in all States of Australia and has worked with leading US, UK and European law firms. He has been consistently acknowledged and recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in independent peer review publications.
Mark has acted for public corporations, chief executives, non-executive directors, major media organisations, artists, small and medium sized businesses, politicians and community organisations. His clients now regard him as a trusted advisor on issues outside the media area including ICAC and ASIC investigations, dealing with government and statutory authorities, and disputes between public corporations.

Mark has a thorough understanding of government practices through his wide-ranging and extensive legal dealings with government. His experience includes:

  • Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG): Provision of legal advice and handling several commercial disputes for SOCOG in the lead up to the Olympic Games.

  • Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): representing private and corporate clients.

  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC): representing private and corporate clients.

Other notable matters include:

  • representing Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and the Australian Rugby League in the Superleague dispute with News Limited;

  • acting in Federal Court proceedings against Air Services Australia concerning the regulation of Australia airspace;

  • defending defamation proceedings against Nine Network and Seven Network;

  • successfully representing former Australian Treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey and West Indies cricketer, Chris Gayle in relation to defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media;

  • representing the Seven Network in highly publicised proceedings against Network Ten seeking to restrain a senior Executive from working for Network Ten

  • representing Government Ministers at ICAC private and public hearings;

  • representing Australian Consolidated Press in trademark litigation proceedings in the Federal Court concerning the right to use the Logies;

  • acting jointly with US Attorneys on Civil Rico proceedings in US District Court concerning the Timor Sea Oil and Gas Concessions;

  • representing white collar defendants in ASIC prosecutions for insider trading and money laundering breaches of the Corporations Act and Crimes Act;

  • representing high profile Plaintiffs in defamation actions against Nationwide News and Australian Broadcasting Corporation;

  • representing prominent sports people in disputes with governing bodies, including the Australian Rugby Union and National Rugby League;

  • commencing proceedings for three beneficiaries of the Lang Hancock Trust to remove Gina Rinehart as Trustee; and

  • representing prominent Chinese Australian businessman Dr Chau Chak Wing in defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media and Australian Broadcasting Corporation.