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Sue Gilchrist

Sue Gilchrist

Head of Intellectual Property, Australia

Sue is a senior IP disputes partner and the former regional managing partner, Asia and Australia.



Sue is an IP disputes partner and is recognised as a senior IP lawyer experienced in all intellectual property areas, including patents, designs, copyright, trade marks, passing off and confidential information.

Sue also has extensive experience in consumer law matters, and regularly advises clients on advertising, marketing campaigns and disputes. 

Sue was the lead partner acting for Apple in the Apple v Samsung patent and design litigation relating to tablets and smart phones, and 3G mobile connectivity technology.

Sue’s practice covers a range of industries including the consumer electronics, life sciences and healthcare, TMT, consumer goods, entertainment, advertising and financial services industries.

Other significant cases in which Sue has been lead partner include:

  • Becton Dickinson v B. Braun in patent litigation relating to medical devices
  • Bradken Resources Pty Ltd v Lynx Engineering Consultants Pty Ltd in patent litigation relating to rail technology for the mining industry
  • ACPA Pty Ltd and Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C. ats Anchorage Capital Partners Pty Ltd regarding trade mark infringement
  • Patent litigation for 3M against Seibu and Tyco
  • Vittoria Coffee v Lavazza in relation to confidential information
  • Tibra Trading Pty Ltd and Others ats Optiver Australia Pty Ltd and Another regarding copyright and confidential information in the context of computer software
  • TAB Limited and Tabcorp Holdings Limited v Sportsbet Pty Limited regarding copyright infringement
  • The Movie Network Channels Pty Limited v Optus Vision Pty Limited regarding a licence agreement
  • Tabcorp Holdings Ltd v Sportingbet Pty Limited regarding misleading advertising
  • First Currency Choice Pte Ltd and Others ats Mainline Corporate Holdings Ltd and Others in patent litigation relating to electronic payment systems


Sue has been recognised consistently in the directory rankings as one of the top patent litigators in Australia regularly acting in multi-jurisdictional litigation for Australian and international clients.

  • Practice head Sue Gilchrist is widely acknowledged for her extensive expertise across the gamut of IP issues. Interviewees recognise that "they do an excellent job at Freehills and she runs the team very well."
    Chambers and Partners 2017
  • “one of the firm’s leading lights; she is a fearless litigator with a striking track record”.
    World Trade Mark Review 2017
  • Department head Sue Gilchrist is “tactically very astute and fiercely determined” and is ranked as a leading individual
    Asia Pacific Legal 500 – 2015
  • Ranked in Gold Band for first-class performances on multi-faceted projects in uncharted territory. Her “exceptional breadth of experience in contested issues” ensures she is a premier choice for some of the world’s most famous innovators
    IAM Patent 1000 - 2014
  • “Dangerous litigator” Sue Gilchrist is frequently singled out as “one of the best operators in the field”
    World Trade Mark Review 2015
  • A ‘best lawyer’ in the Litigation and IP categories in Australia each year since 2008
    Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers list


Sue is admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia. Sue has a combined Arts/Law (Honours) degree from The University of Sydney (1985) and a Master of Laws (1992) also from The University of Sydney. Sue joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 1986 and became a partner in 1995.


Sue is a member and former Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Council of Australia. Sue is a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ) and a member of Chief Executive Women. Sue is a board member of Legal Aid NSW.