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Baron Alder

Partner

Sydney

+61 2 8651 4714

Baron has over twenty-five years’ experience in acting for professionals of all types in disciplinary and negligence proceedings. He is also recognised for his expertise in defamation. His professional indemnity experience includes acting for health professionals, construction professionals, auditors, lawyers, architects, mortgage brokers, engineers, insurance brokers and financial planners.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Baron specialises in defending negligence claims against company directors and professionals. He advises insurers on coverage issues. He also acts in defamation claims and advises on media law. He acts for professionals in disciplinary proceedings

He has acted for professionals in general commercial disputes in all jurisdictions, class actions, disciplinary proceedings, Royal Commissions (including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse) and public inquiries.

Other experience includes acting for insurers in litigated disputes concerning cover available under directors’ and officers’ policies and liability policies.

Baron has defended defamation claims against, school employees, barristers, solicitors, radio stations and their announcers, clubs and their officers, local councils and their mayors and councillors, universities and their lecturers and churches and their clergy. He has also provided pre-publication advice.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Baron’s experience includes:

  • Treasury Wine Estates Limited v Maurice Blackburn Pty Ltd [2020] FCAFC 226 – successfully defended a barrister against allegations of breaches of the Harman undertaking.  This is an important decision regarding the application of the Harman principle in Australia
  • Holt v Dental Council of New South Wales [2020] NSWCATOD 62 successful appeal against a decision of the Dental Council to overturn a suspension of a practitioner’s registration
  • Caason Investments Pty Ltd & Anor v Cao & Ors – a securities class action against company directors and its auditor
  • Bradgate v Ashley Services Group Limited – a securities class action against a company’s advisors
  • Ritson v Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Limited & Ors [2012] NSWSC 483 – an important decision on when limitation periods for defamation actions will be extended
  • Bofinger v Kingsway Group Limited [2009] HCA 44 – a High Court of Australia decision on a guarantors subrogation rights
  • Cheney v Duncan [2001] NSWCA 197 – successfully resisted a claim against a solicitor on a limitation argument. This is a leading decision on when loss first accrues.
  • Watkins v De Varda [2003] NSWCA 242 – a leading decision on when a solicitor can owe a duty of care to a non-client.

RECOGNITION

Publication and Papers
  • Risk management: You can be liable for clients' actions; Feb 2010; Law Society Journal, Volume 48, page 48
  • Risk Management: Emerging risk in discovery roller coaster; Feb 2006; Keeping Good Companies
  • Defamation: Social media risks for employers; (2013) 4 WR 52
  • Professional Practice: Keeping your witnesses’ evidence clean; Jul 2005; Law Society Journal, Volume 43, page 46
  • Baron has appeared on ABC Radio and Community Radio to discuss defamation issues. He has written for The Australian about recent defamation law reform.
Awards / Accolades

Ranked in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® in Australia list each year from 2019 to date.

Academic Appointments
  • Occasional lecturer in Media Law at UTS
  • Contributing Presenter to ‘Ready to broadcast: media law, regulation and ethic’; UTS Open

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), 1992, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws, 1996, University of Sydney
  • Master of Philosophy, 2003, University of Sydney

Memberships

  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Society of New South Wales