Areas of Expertise

Intellectual Property, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Advertising and Marketing, Media, Broadcasting and Entertainment

Marlia is an experienced media/entertainment, intellectual property and privacy lawyer who has extensive top-tier law firm expertise and a unique client perspective after working as a senior in-house lawyer for many years.

She was the Senior Litigation Counsel at News Corp Australia for four years, and previously worked at a top-tier international firm for 13 years where she acted for and advised most of Australia’s major media organisations, social media and streaming platforms, large corporates and government bodies.

Marlia specialises in defamation, contempt of court, suppression orders, freedom of information and court access applications, confidential information claims, prepublication advice, copyright, consumer law and privacy matters.  She has acted in a large number of high profile media and intellectual property disputes; advised on sponsorship, production and licensing deals; and given prepublication advice in relation to newspaper and online articles, television programs, podcasts and marketing/advertising materials.

She is respected for her deep understanding of the issues facing media clients, as well as the commercial outlook she brings to engaging with clients and addressing their needs.

Marlia is passionate about the media and its role in a healthy democracy. She is a member of industry bodies that aim to educate and lobby for regulatory reform on issues affecting the sector.

What others say

"Band 3, Media"
Chambers Asia Pacific 2024
"Marlia Saunders is an extremely proficient media lawyer who is trusted by many major media organisations to represent them in complex matters."
Testimonial, Chambers Asia Pacific
"Recommended Lawyer, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Australia & New South Wales"
Doyle's Guide 2023
Recommended, Media and Entertainment
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024


World-first defamation

Acting for News Corp Australia in a world-first defamation case brought by a former youth offender, Dylan Voller, in which the High Court held that media outlets are publishers of comments made by third parties on their Facebook pages.

Truth defence

Successfully defending the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph in defamation proceedings brought by former sport journalist Josh Massoud. The NSW District Court found the media had made out its truth defence and proved that Mr Massoud was a bully who threatened and intimidated his work colleagues.

Cardinal George Pell

Acting for News Corp Australia respondents in the Cardinal George Pell contempt of court proceedings over the publication of articles relating to his conviction on child sex abuse charges (overturned on appeal). Marlia’s evidence resulted in charges against individual journalists and editors being withdrawn by prosecutors.

Geoffrey Rush case

Acting for The Daily Telegraph in the defamation case brought by actor Geoffrey Rush.

Pre-publication advice

Providing pre-publication advice to News Corp Australia in relation to over 130 newspaper and website publications and podcasts throughout the country.

News Corp Australia

Representing News Corp Australia publishers in applications for access to court documents, opposing suppression and non-publication orders and freedom of information requests.