John MacPhail


John MacPhail is an Adelaide based commercial lawyer with 30 years’ experience in advising and assisting a wide range of clients in intellectual property, privacy, IT and telecommunications, internet and social media law, franchising, trade practices, and consumer and competition law. He has acted for clients in a number of industries including schools (on privacy issues and various commercial matters), universities and further education institutions.

He has worked with firms in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. John taught copyright and designs law and practice at post-graduate level at UTS in Sydney, he is a past President of the Copyright Society of Australia and a member of the IPSANZ (Intellectual Property Society of Aus. and NZ).

John sits on the board and is the Deputy Chair of the Hospital Research Foundation, a high-profile South Australian research-based not-for-profit organisation. He is also Chair of the Risk and Governance subcommittee and the HR and Remuneration subcommittee of the Foundation, and serves on its Cybersecurity and Big Data subcommittee. John is on the board of the Shorts Film Festival and also serves as a member of the Commercial Law Committee of the Law Society of South Australia.

John is consecutively listed in Doyle’s Guide as a leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyer (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020) and a leading Intellectual Property Lawyer (2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) in South Australia. Further, he is recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia list for 2013, 2014 & 2015 list as an ‘expert’ in Intellectual Property law. ALB Legal News magazine’s review of IP practitioners described John as being ‘… knowledgeable and helpful “right from the start“‘, as giving ‘good, practical advice‘, and as having ‘great availability‘ and being ‘responsible and astute’.

John is a commercial lawyer with over 30 years' experience in intellectual property law

Areas of Practice

  • Intellectual property, information technology and biotechnology
  • Cybersecurity and data breaches
  • Competition and consumer law
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Agribusiness

Memberships/External Appointments

  • The Law Society of South Australia – Commercial Law Committee (2014-2021)
  • Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • The Hospital Research Foundation, Deputy Chair
  • Shorts Film Festival Board