John-Paul Cashen is recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent media lawyers, with extensive experience in all aspects of media law. He is a specialist in defamation, contempt of court, suppression, privilege, breach of confidence, freedom of information, urgent injunctions and racial vilification claims.
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 media outlets and journalists when their right to free speech is challenged.
He acts for high profile media organisations including News Corp, Channel Nine, Nine-Fairfax newspapers, SBS Australia and Harper Collins. He provides daily prepublication advice on an urgent basis to editors and newsrooms across the country, making difficult and high stakes editorial decisions at all times of the day and night, seven days a week on a 24/7 basis.
As a result of his extremely broad experience in media law, John-Paul 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.
John-Paul is regularly asked to comment publicly on a range of media matters and has appeared as a commentator on Channel Nine, Channel Seven, Channel 10, Sky News, Radio 3AW, Radio 4BC and Triple M, The Australian and the Herald Sun.
John-Paul has been recognised by his peers in Best Lawyers in Australia as ‘Lawyer of the Year’ (2021) and a leading lawyer (2022) in the area of Defamation and Media Law. He has also been recognised in Doyle’s Guide (2020 – 2021) as a recommended lawyer in Technology, Media and Telecommunications in Victoria.
John-Paul Cashen’s recent experience includes:
- Acting for The Herald Sun newspaper in a five year campaign to overturn suppression orders in the “Lawyer X” scandal that reached the High Court and now appearing in The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants in relation to the matter.
- Advising on production of Australia’s most downloaded podcast “The Teacher’s Pet” about a man accused of murdering his wife more than 30 years ago. Providing extensive prepublication advice through the production phase of the podcast, and dealing with an Australian journalist’s involvement in the criminal trial of the accused.
- Acting for the Nine Network, Gold Coast publications, Queensland newspapers and the Daily Mail in a defamation case brought by David Otto. 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.
- Acting for News Corp Australia and Nationwide News in the successful defence of serious allegations of conduct that contravened s18c of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).
- Acting for The Australian newspaper and other media outlets in relation to Ben Roberts-Smith Suppression order. 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 media outlets in an attempt to have the material made public.