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Fiona Phillips

Executive Director, Australian Copyright Council (ACC)

A highly regarded advocate with a life-long interest in the arts, Fiona Phillips has spent over 20 years advising government and the private sector on copyright law and policy issues. She brings to the Australian Copyright Council (ACC) a unique combination of commercial pragmatism, government experience and is one of the most knowledgeable copyright practitioners in the country. 

Prior to leading the ACC, Fiona was Special Counsel at independent commercial law firm Banki Haddock Fiora and remains a consultant with the firm.  

From 2007 to 2011, Fiona was an Assistant Deputy General Counsel at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including responsibility for major litigation in the Federal Court and Competition Tribunal of Australia.  While this role enabled Fiona to maintain an interest in copyright (overseeing the ACCC’s involvement in two matters in the Copyright Tribunal) she advised on infrastructure and regulatory issues in relation to industries as diverse as telecommunications, post, grocery, water, petrol, and energy. 

Her life-long career in the law commenced with an associateship with the Hon Justice Gaudron in the High Court of Australia.  Fiona then worked as a solicitor in the intellectual property group at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) acting for key commercial on a range of advisory and litigious matters. She was called to the Victorian Bar in 1996 and practised in intellectual property, constitutional, native title and general commercial law, appearing in the Supreme, Federal and High Courts. 

In 1999 Fiona joined the Australian Attorney-General’s Department (AGD).  There she worked on the Copyright Law Review Committee’s reference on the Jurisdiction and Procedures of the Copyright Tribunal, Copyright and Contract and Crown Copyright references.  She was also instrumental in a number of major reforms including the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000, the USFTA Implementation Act 2004 and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006.   

In recognition for her work with AGD, Fiona was a joint recipient of an Australia Day Award. During this time she also represented the Australian Government on copyright issues at major international meetings of WIPO, APEC and in free trade agreement negotiations.  She has continued to play an active role in international matters since joining the private sector, leading a WIPO mission in 2013 and attending the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference.  

Fiona has been a member of a number of Government committees, notably the Advisory Committee to the Australian Law Reform Commission for its Copyright and the Digital Economy Reference.  She has been a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand since 1995 and was the Victorian chairperson and translational committee member 1997-1999, during which time she was also Secretary of the Equality Before the Law Committee of the Victorian Bar. 

She has also been a member of the Copyright Society of Australia since 1999 and was responsible for organising the highly successful Copyright Law & Practice Symposium in 2014 and 2015.  Fiona has been published in the Australian Intellectual Property Journal and numerous other journals and is editor of the Copyright Reporter. She is also an experienced conference speaker and media commentator.  

Fiona holds bachelors of Arts and Laws from Monash University and a current New South Wales practising certificate. 

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