Dr Matt Collins QC’s launched his new legal tome Collins on Defamation in Australia recently. The learned author, not to be deterred from his three editions of Defamation and the Internet, decided it was time to spread his wings and write an entirely new work. It is enormous.
Separate from content, to bring something of this scale from concept to execution speaks volumes of Matt’s tenacity.
For defamation practitioners with any exposure to the United Kingdom’s jurisdiction, the book deals with the heavily revised legal landscape in the world of defamation law. At the launch, Matt spoke eloquently about some of the changes, including his interpretation of their likely effect.
Matt and I look very ‘grown up’ nowadays, but it is not too long ago (okay, it was a long time ago) that we were junior lawyers employed by a certain large law firm in Australia where we had adjacent offices. When we studied defamation law together as part of our LLM at the University of Melbourne, we were inspired by our teacher, Sally Walker, to pursue this expertise in our professional lives. Matt subsequently obtained a doctorate in the discipline and is a leading barrister in the area, not to mention an international authority on the topic.
I cannot, however, let Matt off the hook completely! His passion for technology goes back at least to the early 1990s when I had purchased my first mobile phone. Unbeknownst to me, Matt and another friend entered my office and changed the ring tone to ‘siren’. Imagine the scene: Me attending to a client call on the landline, Matt and A in another room dialling my new mobile phone, siren sounding, coffee everywhere, chortling noises from the adjoining room…