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Mark Leibler AC

LLB (Hons) (Melb), LLM (Yale), Hon LLD (Melb)


About Mark

Mark Leibler AC is a pre-eminent Australian tax lawyer and corporate strategist, with a strong commitment to social justice and reconciliation.

Senior partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler and head of the firm’s renowned taxation practice, Mark has acted for many of Australia’s largest businesses and corporate leaders for more than 40 years since becoming a partner in 1969. According to independent legal guide Chambers Asia Pacific Mark is praised by commentators as being "highly analytical and objective – the best strategic thinker and negotiator in Australia."  In the 2021 edition of the guide, Mark is described as "tax royalty in Australia”. 
Mark joined Arnold Bloch Leibler in 1966, after graduating with first-class honours from The University of Melbourne’s Law School, where he shared the Supreme Court Prize as the year’s top law graduate. He went on to study at Yale University Law School, graduating in 1968 with a LLM with honours. In December 2014 Mark was awarded The University of Melbourne’s highest individual honour, the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, an honour reserved for eminent individuals, distinguished by their leadership, significant commitment and service to the Australian and international community. In the citation read at the conferring ceremony, the university said Mark was one of Australia’s leading tax lawyers and corporate strategists.
The university acknowledged Mark’s significant contribution, particularly in the areas of support for Indigenous rights, service to the Jewish community and excellence in law. It said over his career he has played a significant role in the area of social justice and public affairs, and for more than two decades has been a tireless supporter of Indigenous rights and empowering Indigenous communities.

Mark was also appointed as a member of the University of Melbourne Council - the governing body of the University, by the Victorian Government, effective 1 April 2017.

Mark has been recommended by Best Lawyers®  International for Tax Law (2008 to 2021) and Wealth Management/Succession Planning (2012, since the category’s inception, to 2021) in Australia, as well as being consistently recognised as a leading individual in Tax by Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific.  He has distinguished himself over many years through his considerable contributions to improving Australia’s tax law, and developing relations between the legal sector, government agencies, taxation professionals and the public. 

“Mark Leibler has had close ties with some of the nation’s most powerful people in politics and business for decades.”

Power brokers of Canberra’s corridors, News Corp
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Law and taxation

Arnold Bloch Leibler’s taxation practice, headed up by Mark, has developed an unparalleled reputation in Australia, achieving exceptional results, particularly in the areas of complex tax audits, corporate tax strategy, and tax, estate and trust planning.

Mark provides cutting edge advice on Australian taxation law and policy to numerous government and industry bodies. He has served on the Taxation Committee of the Law Council of Australia as a Member since 1984, as Deputy Chairman from 1986-88 and Chairman from 1988-91. He was a Member of the National Taxation Liaison Group from 1986-92 and served on its Capital Gains Tax Sub-Committee from 1987-92, was a Member of the Commissioner of Taxation’s Advisory Panel from 1989-92, and a Member of the Self-Assessment Steering Committee during 1991-92. In April 2008, he was appointed to the Australian Tax Office’s High Wealth Individuals Taskforce consultancy group.

He has shared his expertise as a lecturer on taxation and related subjects at a number of forums, including Monash University, the Tax Institute of Australia, the Leo Cussen Institute, the Law Institute of Victoria, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, CCH, and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

A highly sought after keynote speaker, Mark regularly addresses industry groups on taxation issues and revenue law reform. He publishes articles on taxation and related subjects in major Australian professional and taxation publications and is a frequent media commentator on taxation issues.

Social justice and public interest

An activist in the area of social justice and human rights, Mark has a profound commitment to Indigenous rights and reconciliation. Under his leadership, Arnold Bloch Leibler has acted on behalf of the Yorta Yorta in their native title claim since 1993, provides pro bono advice to a broad range of other Indigenous communities and organisations.

Arnold Bloch Leibler was the first law firm to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan in March 2008, the year after Mark received a Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award from the Victoria Law Foundation for his tireless commitment to advancing Indigenous rights, both in the local and national settings.

Mark’s 2006 essay Crossing the Wilderness: Jews and Reconciliation, published in New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, examined the parallels between the Jewish and Indigenous Australian experience and considered the importance of land to both cultures.

Former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, appointed Mark in 2010 to co-chair the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians. He served for more than a decade on the board of Reconciliation Australia, a not-for-profit organisation established by the Commonwealth Government to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for the wellbeing of the nation. He served as co-chair for six years from February 2005.

In December 2015, the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, announced Mark’s appointment as Co-Chair of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The Council reported in June 2017. 

Mark has been recognised as a leading individual in the Charities category by Chambers Asia Pacific since its inception in 2017.

“He’s significantly involved in advancing less-advantaged members of society, he’s an incredible advocate and a terrific lawyer. Everyone admires what he’s done.”

Client quote, Chambers High Net Worth

Deep commitment to Jewish affairs

Mark is deeply involved in Jewish affairs, occupying senior leadership roles in several Australian and international Jewish bodies. In 2014 he was named in the Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.

He is one of a small number of recipients of the Israel Goldstein Award for distinguished leadership by Diaspora leaders, presented by Israeli President Shimon Peres in June 2011.

In Australia, he holds the positions of National Chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Life Chairman of the United Israel Appeal of Australia and Governor of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Patron of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University.

Mark served for 10 years as President of the Zionist Federation of Australia and for six years as President of the United Israel Appeal of Australia. Internationally, Mark is a past Chair of the World Board of Trustees of Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal, serves on the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and holds office as a Governor of Tel Aviv University.

At the 2008 launch of the United Israel Appeal in Melbourne, Australia’s then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, publicly recognised Mark saying: "I acknowledge the great contribution you have made as an Australian business leader and as a member of the Jewish community. We thank you for your leadership".

Business leader and contributor to Australian community

Mark is an active contributor to Australia’s wider corporate community. At the invitation of former Prime Minister, John Howard, he was a delegate to the 2007 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Business Summit in Sydney. He served almost 10 years as a director of Coles Myer Limited, then Australia’s largest retailer, where he was publicly acknowledged for his outstanding contribution in the areas of audit, corporate governance and legal issues.

Successive governments have recognised Mark’s remarkable contribution to political and legal life in Australia, his service to the Jewish community and Australia-Israel relations.

In 2003, then Prime Minister, John Howard, attended Arnold Bloch Leibler’s 50th anniversary celebration and observed of Mark whom he has known for more than 20 years: "I don’t think in my life I have met a person with a keener intellect, a sharper sense of advocacy for the causes in which he believes, and also a great capacity to generously see another point of view".

In 2013, on the occasion of Arnold Bloch Leibler’s 60th anniversary, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to Mark Leibler and his significant role in trying to build a better society. Speaking about the need for Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, the Prime Minister said the reform must be a unifying and healing project, not one that divides us. “Mark, you have done a power of work in this area already,” he said.

In 2023, when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke at Arnold Bloch Leibler's 70th anniversary, he paid tribute to Mark and the firm for putting their values into action over a long period of time. Mr Albanese described Mark’s role in working to advance constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples as one of “influence and insight”.

"Arnold Bloch Leibler has always served a higher purpose - from the 1950s, when Arnold Bloch created a haven for the displaced, the disempowered, and the vulnerable Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees striving to build new lives in a new land, through the enduring pro bono commitments you have made over 70 years. You've never forgotten where you've come from. You've never forgotten why you are here."

An unauthorised biography, The Powerbroker: Mark Leibler, an Australian Jewish life, authored by prominent journalist Michael Gawenda, was published in 2020 by Monash University Press. The biography generated extensive media coverage, with extracts appearing in both the Australian Financial Review and The Australian.

Mark’s service to the nation was recognised in 2005 with his appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest degree for community service. This follows his appointment in 1987 as an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the community, in particular to the Jewish community. His appointment as a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia was made in recognition of his service to business, to the law, particularly in the areas of taxation and commercial law, to the Jewish community internationally and in Australia, and to reconciliation and the promotion of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The Powerbroker: Mark Leibler, an Australian Jewish Life

'The Powerbroker' is about Jewish life in Australia - the interaction between private wealth and politics, and about a man whose ambition and energy have made him a highly effective player in Australian affairs. Award-winning journalist, author and former editor of The Age, Michael Gawenda, skillfully tells this multi-layered story of Mark Leibler’s life so far. Through interviews and meticulous research, he describes how Mark Leibler rose to a position of immense influence in Australian public life and how he became a committed advocate for radical reform on behalf of Australia’s Indigenous people.

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