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Wotton + Kearney poaches Corrs team

Wotton + Kearney has appointed a team of six from Corrs Chambers Westgarth, led by Richard Leder OAM.

user iconLauren Croft 18 January 2023 Big Law
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As reported by the AFR on Wednesday (18 January), Mr Leder will bring a team of six from Corrs to Wotton + Kearney — one partner, three senior associates, one associate, and one practice administrator.

Mr Leder is a recognised disputes, media and defamation lawyer and has acted in many complex personal injury matters, including acting for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in institutional abuse claims. He has also acted in royal commissions, inquiries, and inquests, including the Aged Care Royal Commission, as well as in high-profile defamation cases, including representing Rebel Wilson and Channel 7. He was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia in 2019 for his contribution to the community, including his involvement with the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, which he chairs.

Also joining Wotton + Kearney as a partner is Georgie Austin, an experienced disputes lawyer and sports lawyer who has advised on royal commissions and inquiries and commercial disputes, including defamation matters. She has also served on a number of community and not-for-profit boards, most recently as a director of Gymnastics Victoria.


Senior associates Jacquie Goodwin, Blake Pappas and Simone Tagliaferro will also join the firm, as well as associate Renata Romeo and practice administrator Karolyn Connelly.

Commenting on the move, Mr Leder said he was excited to continue his work with the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne at a new firm.

“We are delighted and excited to be joining Wotton + Kearney at a time when the firm’s growth strategy is really starting to accelerate. In particular, the opportunity to lead and grow the firm’s commercial disputes offering is one I am enormously looking forward to.

“Wotton + Kearney has a first-class reputation for the respected and sensitive approach it adopts in the challenging area of institutional abuse claims. I know the firm will enthusiastically embrace the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as a client to further enhance its reputation for this important legal work,” he said.

“Wotton + Kearney has a deep commitment to its clients and a strong and collaborative culture, which we are excited to become part of. Coupled with its well-established community and pro-bono work, it is a firm where I feel my team can make a valuable and lasting contribution.”

Wotton + Kearney chief executive partner David Kearney welcomed the team — and said he was “particularly excited about the contribution” they will make to the W+K national commercial disputes offering.

“Our firm has built a very significant dispute resolution team across Australia and New Zealand off the back of strong support from the insurance industry. That support has led to an increasing number of relationships with corporations looking to better manage risk. A natural next step is to strengthen those relationships by building out our commercial disputes offering — particularly given the changing nature of risk transfer over the past few years,” he said.

“Under Richard’s leadership and with new partner Georgie Austin and senior team adding to our bench strength, we look forward to providing our corporate clients with an exceptional commercial disputes offering.”

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