Meet the team that successfully defended Network Ten in the Bruce Lehrmann defamation case

April 22, 2024

The Thomson Geer team that successfully led Network Ten's defence in the Bruce Lehrmann defamation case was led by Partner Marlia Saunders

Marlia joined Thomson Geer as a Partner only two years ago from News Corp and has quickly cemented herself as a key member of the firm's Media team and been recognised by legal directory Chambers and Partners with a Band 3 ranking. 

Based in Sydney, Marlia was Senior Litigation Counsel for News Corp for nearly four years and before that a media, IP and privacy law specialist at a top tier international firm.  

She has had a long association with the media and issues that affect the sector and is Deputy Chair (NSW) of the Law Council of Australia's Media & Communications Committee and Secretary of the Communications and Media Law Association. Marlia recently worked pro bono for the Alliance for Journalists' Freedom drafting a proposed Media Freedom Act. 

"Our team did an amazing job presenting Network Ten's defence and managing the case in a professional, respectful and sensitive way," Marlia said.  

"Defamation cases are complex and difficult. We are pleased that our client's truth defence succeeded and that Brittany Higgins' account of what happened to her was upheld on the balance of probabilities." 

In the Lehrmann defamation case she was assisted by: 

  • Senior Associate Conor O'Beirne – has worked with the team for just over four years and will soon be joining the Victorian Bar.
  • Associate Amelia CausleyTodd –has practised in media and IP law since her admission in 2020.
  • Lawyer Sophie Meixner - a former ABC reporter and Associate to Victorian Supreme
    Court Chief Justice Anne Ferguson. 

Defamation expert barristers Dr Matthew Collins, KC, and Tim Senior were briefed to act for Network Ten.

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