Matthew Lees is a partner in Arnold Bloch Leibler’s competition and intellectual property practices. He focuses on achieving outstanding results for clients by understanding their commercial objectives and finding innovative legal strategies and solutions. His clients include leading organisations in the agricultural, chemical, financial services, construction and petrol industries.
Matthew Lees ‘delivers complex advice in an easy-to-understand manner’.
After graduating from The University of Melbourne with first class honours in law and a degree in pure mathematics, Matthew joined Arnold Bloch Leibler as an articled clerk in 2003 and was admitted to practice in 2004. After practising broadly in the areas of commercial litigation, competition and consumer law, regulatory investigations, white collar crime and investor class actions, he was appointed a senior associate in 2008 and partner in 2011. Matthew has completed a Masters of Laws, during which he studied economics at Melbourne Business School. His opinions have been reported in the mainstream media on a number of occasions, and he has been recognised by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific in the areas of competition & trade and intellectual property.
On behalf of the firm, Matthew has contributed submissions to numerous government reviews. This includes the ACCC’s review of its cartel immunity policy, the review of the unfair contract terms legislation, the Productivity Commission’s review of intellectual property, and the Competition Policy Review (Harper Review), which recommended a number of Arnold Bloch Leibler’s proposed reforms.
As a published author, Matthew has written articles on ACCC prosecutions, contract interpretation and other topics in the Australian Law Journal, Melbourne University Law Review and the Journal of Contract Law, as well as a chapter in the textbook Regulation, Litigation and Enforcement (Thompson Reuters, 2011). One of his co-authored articles on contract interpretation was endorsed by the Supreme Court of Western Australia in a multi-billion dollar mining dispute.
As an accomplished speaker, Matthew regularly delivers seminars at academic institutions, bar associations, professional organisations and for the CEOs of some of Australia’s largest companies, including as part of compliance programs.
Matthew has a long-standing interest in business between Australia and Asia. He is actively involved in the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee and has worked on matters with some of Japan’s premier law firms.
- cartels, misuse of market power and other anticompetitive practices;
- ACCC approval of mergers, acquisitions and other transactions;
- misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, unfair contract terms and consumer protection;
- trade mark, copyright and patent infringement;
- product liability, safety and recalls; and
- contract interpretation.
Directorships & memberships
- Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee, Future Leaders Program
- Australia Japan Society of Victoria.
Matthew has acted in a range of matters, including:
- Nufarm, JB Hi-Fi and various clients: in the agricultural and construction industries in ACCC cartel investigations;
- Successfully defended Fonterra, the largest dairy exporter in the world, in a high profile investigation by the ACCC;
- Tasmanian Ports Corporation: in relation to obtaining approvals from the ACCC for the privatisation of mooring services at commercial sea ports in Tasmania;
- ACCC investigations into franchise disputes, organic food labelling, an on-line price comparator, door-to-door selling and draught beer supply arrangements;
- Defending investor class actions against Timbercorp Securities, Nufarm and Challenger Financial Services Group;
- Recovering intellectual property and other assets for the international headquarters of a Japanese religion from its breakaway Australian chapter;
- Smiggle: in a dispute with Officeworks over copyright in cartoon superheros;
- TPI Enterprises: in opposing a patent application by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary relating to opium poppy plants;
- A multi-million dollar arbitration between two international chemical companies about the interpretation of supply and distribution contracts;
- Successfully defending the managing director of an international software company in a criminal prosecution for fraud and forgery;
- ASIC investigations and prosecutions for suspected insider trading, market manipulation and related offences;
- Nufarm: in relation to claiming compensation from a government body for failure to protect Nufarm’s product innovation from being exploited by competitors;
- Industry Super Australia: in relation to government regulations designed to modify the “best interests” duty of financial advisers;
- Obtaining compensation for companies defrauded by employees and suppliers in civil litigation and related criminal prosecutions;
- Breville: in successfully opposing an injunction sought by Sunbeam to prevent pre-Christmas sales of a new product;
- Investec Bank: in a series of cases regarding missing Porsches and enforcement action against a defaulting borrower;
- Nufarm: in a series of cases against Dow Chemicals and other companies regarding applications for Tariff Concession Orders;
- Telstra Corporation: in disputes with major corporations, suppliers and consumers;
- Austock: in a share-trading dispute with Eddy Groves, founder of ABC Learning, in the Supreme Courts of Queensland and Victoria;
- Bupa: in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings concerning rights of subrogation against a medical indemnity insurer;
- Federal Court proceedings for a carpet supplier against Godfrey Hirst regarding alleged copyright infringement in marketing material;
- Defending defamation proceedings on behalf of litigation funder IMF;
- A publicly-listed technology company in a dispute with its head contractor regarding a government IT infrastructure project;
- Beyond International: in a dispute with Endemol over the naming of a new online media business;
- Peter Alexander: in a dispute with David Jones concerning copyright in a product pattern; and
- A supermarket landlord in Federal Court litigation concerning the exit of Franklins Supermarkets from the Australian market.
Awards & recognition
Matthew is recognised as a leading lawyer by an international guide to lawyers and law firms:
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific: competition & trade and intellectual property.