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Ian Robertson AO


Ian is a corporate, commercial, media and regulatory lawyer who advises a wide range of Australian and overseas clients with particular emphasis on the media, entertainment and technology industries.

Ian joined Holding Redlich in Melbourne as a lawyer in 1989 and was appointed as a partner in 1990. In 1994 he relocated to Sydney to establish the firm’s Sydney office and he was the Managing Partner of the Sydney office until 1 July 2015 when he became National Managing Partner.

He has been listed in Best Lawyers in Australia as a leading lawyer in the categories of Corporate Law and Entertainment Law since 2011 and he is recognised as a Leading Technology, Media and Telecommunications Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide.

On 26 January 2018, Ian was appointed as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the arts, particularly the Australian film industry and screen production sector, and to the law.


Ian's experience includes:

  • public policy, public sector governance, and regulatory issues including as the Chair of a Victorian Government statutory agency (Film Victoria), Deputy Chair of two Commonwealth Government statutory agencies (Screen Australia and Film Australia) and a board member of  an Australian Government regulator (the Australian Broadcasting Authority, including jointly leading the radio “cash for comment” inquiry)
  • extensive broadcasting regulatory experience including serving for seven years on the Board of the predecessor agency to the ACMA, the Australian Broadcasting Authority
  • acted for the media group Southern Cross Austereo in respect of all legal and regulatory aspects arising from a prank call made by Sydney radio station 2Day FM to a London hospital, including proceedings before the Full High Court
  • advising advertising agencies on all aspects of their activities including ensuring that advertising campaigns comply with all applicable laws, regulations and industry codes
  • mergers and acquisitions in the Australian media industry
  • all aspects of the development, financing, production, co-production and distribution of film and television projects, including large budget motion pictures, for Australian and international clients.


16 June 2020 - Knowledge

Advertising agencies and the law: Liability for the content of advertisements (part 4)

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

In the last of our four-part series, we examine the liability for the content created by advertising agencies and why prudent advertisers should ensure they ultimately vet the content created for them by others prior to it being published.

10 June 2020 - Knowledge

Advertising agencies and the law: Who owns the intellectual property developed by an advertising agency? (part 3)

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

In the third part of our series, we examine some of the issues that can arise when developing creative materials as part of an agency-client relationship, and answer the all-important question of who owns the intellectual property in these materials.

02 June 2020 - Knowledge

Advertising agencies and the law: Essential terms in an advertising contract (part 2)

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

In the second of our four-part series, we look at some essential contractual terms that should be included to govern the unique relationship between an agency and its client.

26 May 2020 - Knowledge

Advertising agencies and the law: Determining the relationship between agency and client (part 1)

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The nature of the relationship between an advertising agency and its client is not clear-cut. This is particularly so when the relationship between the parties, and the key issues at play, are not adequately set out in a contract or there is no contract in writing at all.

15 April 2020 - Knowledge

Ad Standards reiterates the importance of advertisements complying with community standards on health and safety

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

A recent decision by the Ad Standards Community Panel confirms that even the smallest detail in an advertisement is important when considering compliance with prevailing community standards on health and safety.

26 February 2020 - Knowledge

Further regulation will harm Australian broadcast news

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The Australian Communications and Media Authority recently announced that it is inquiring into impartiality and commercial influence in Australian commercial free and pay broadcast news and current affairs.

22 January 2020 - Knowledge

ACMA targets broadcast news and current affairs

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced that it is inquiring into impartiality and commercial influence in commercial and subscription broadcast news and current affairs.

10 July 2019 - Knowledge

Senate Committee report on the changing landscape of the Australian screen industry

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The Australian screen industry is facing a myriad of challenges in an increasingly globalised world. The strong take-up of streaming video on demand services, in particular, has drastically changed viewer consumption habits and has fundamentally altered the commercial and competitive landscape.

16 April 2019 - Knowledge

Australian Government allows programs produced for online streaming to access two important tax incentives

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The Australian Government has decided to alter its interpretation of the relevant taxation legislation to allow television series and mini-series which are produced for streaming to the public on online platforms to qualify for the Location Offset and the Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Offset. The decision applies to applications for those Offsets received from 11 April 2019.

12 September 2018 - Knowledge

Ad Standards determination confirms law reflects prevailing community standards on health and safety

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications

A recent decision of the Ad Standards Community Panel serves as a reminder to advertisers that advertisements should not depict an activity which would breach a law in any Australian State or Territory in which the advertisement is broadcast.

22 August 2018 - Knowledge

Trends: M&A strong in first half

#Corporate & Commercial Law

Many commentators predicted 2018 as a strong year for M&A - Holding Redlich’s experience in the first half of 2018 is consistent with this.

11 July 2018 - Knowledge

Expansion for Holding Redlich’s Cairns office announced

#Construction & Infrastructure, #Immigration Law, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Workplace Relations & Safety, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation

National law firm Holding Redlich has significantly expanded its Cairns office as it joins forces with two local law firms.