John Fairbairn
Partner, Sydney
I specialise in resolving complex intellectual property (IP) disputes, particularly in the media and telecommunications sector. This often brings me in contact with IP and regulatory issues arising out of new media platforms; online copyright piracy; and industry licensing schemes and disputes.

My work also involves handling matters involving privacy; biotech and computer technology; copy clearance and Australian Consumer Law disputes; and trademarks, including portfolio management and enforcement.

My approach is collaborative and considered – I always aim to create a cohesive team with my clients, focusing on practical solutions and cost-effective outcomes.

Career highlights

  • Appeared in recent test cases in the Federal Court of Australia, aiming to block internet pirate websites
  • Represented a number of industries – including subscription television, free-to-air television, online radio, internet video on demand and digital download services – in negotiations and disputes with collecting societies
  • Successfully acted for various organisations, including pharmaceutical and telecommunications companies, in misleading and deceptive conduct disputes in the Federal Court of Australia
  • Managed a number of significant global trademark portfolios, including acquiring and protecting trademark rights in Australia
  • Provided pro bono assistance to a number of organisations, including referrals from the Arts Law Centre of Australia
  • Member of the Law Council of Australia’s Intellectual Property Committee


  • Who's Who Legal, Leading Individual 2019, Life Sciences