Caitlin Surman

Caitlin practises in the commercial litigation team at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers with a focus on competition and consumer protection law, regulatory and governance investigations and enforcement actions, privacy, intellectual property law and brand protection, media entertainment law and contractual disputes.

Caitlin has assisted clients in relation to the conduct of commercial dispute resolution and regulatory matters in many different industries, including higher education, gaming, media, energy and resources, media, information technology, and health and government. Those clients range from individuals and small businesses to large corporations and regulatory bodies. Caitlin’s practice also includes the regular provision of commercial advice to these clients in respect of regulatory compliance and privacy issues.

In January 2020, Caitlin was recognised as a key lawyer and Rising Star in Media & Entertainment by the Legal 500. In May 2021, Caitlin was named in the national list of Rising Stars in Intellectual Property & TMT by Doyle’s Guide. In May 2022, Caitlin was named in the South Australian list of Rising Stars in Intellectual Property & TMT by Doyle’s guide. Caitlin is also a member of the Legal Technology Committee and the Women Lawyers Committee of the Law Society of South Australia, and a regular writer on legal issues with her work being published regularly in the Law Society Bulletin of SA and the Privacy Law Bulletin.


Caitlin’s experience includes advising:

  • Commonwealth regulatory authority in respect of its initial investigations into potential breaches of financial regulatory legislation and competition and consumer legislation by former company directors, and in respect of its subsequent prosecution of those breaches in the Federal Court;
  • State Casino in respect of an independent, regulatory investigation conducted by a state regulator into its suitability to hold a casino licence;
  • Commonwealth statutory authority in respect of an investigation into competition concerns arising from a proposed merger;
  • Councils in relation to the investigation of conflict of interest issues, and various matters arising under the Local Government Act 1999 (SA) including code of conduct complaints;
  • Higher education institutions in respect of FOI and privacy issues, including the impact of new mandatory data breach notification schemes, as well as advice in respect of the GDPR;
  • National health insurer in respect of competition and consumer law issues affecting its marketing/advertising campaigns, and consumer and competition law issues arising from customer complaints; and
  • National media networks including News Corp and Seven Network in relation to defamation proceedings and pre-publication matters, as well as various clients in relation to defamation matters, including claims arising from electronic publications and social media

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