There’s nothing much funkier than a lawyer who knows her way around the legal issues that artists, freelancers and creative entrepreneurs face. All of the following lawyers and organisations have experience working in the arts, and have been recommended by people from our mailing list. We don’t necessarily endorse them, but we do suggest you give them a call and find out more for yourself. If you have a funky lawyer that you’d like to add, please email email@example.com and tell us all about them!
Arts Law Centre of Australia
The Arts Law Centre of Australia is an independent national legal centre for people working in the arts. It provides free or low-cost legal advice, resources, and education to individual practitioners, creative businesses, students and larger organisations. There is a subscription fee for some of the more complicated services offered, but it starts at a very reasonable $140 per year. This organisation has been the legal saviour of many a creative person over the years, including Monica on a couple of occasions. Absolutely worth your interest and support!
Artists in the Black
Artists in the Black (AITB) is a specialised service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, communities and arts organisations – operated by Arts Law. The AITB service aims to provide access to free or low cost, culturally appropriate, specialist legal resources to support and strengthen the Indigenous arts sector.
The Australian Copyright Council is an independent, non-profit organisation that represents professional artists and content creators working in Australia’s creative industries. If you need information about copyright, education, resources or legal representation for an Intellectual Property issue, these are the gang to call. They also have an annual seminar series that is well worth attending.
Harvard Program on Negotiation
The Program on Negotiation (PON) is an American university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. The website contains a wonderful array of free reports on everything from how to negotiate salary to communication with cultural differences. Fascinating stuff, and very practical!
ASBFEO Dispute Resolution Service
The Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman helps operators of small businesses and family enterprises who may be in dispute with parties such as clients, other businesses or Commonwealth government agencies. State agencies can do the same, for little or no fee, so look them up!
Music Industry Legal Pack
The Australian Music Industry Network have been given a wonderful hand in navigating the legal complexities of the music industry thanks to their valuable (and free) Music Industry Legal Pack. Covering everything from management contracts to producer and remixer agreements, these fact sheets and checklists are aimed at equiping artists with some of the basic legal knowledge they need to deal with an increasingly complex industry. And can you believe it, it’s actually free!!
Raw Law – Arts Access
Raw Law is a wonderful web page provided by Arts Access Victoria, and explores the main legal issues for artists, musicians, writers, video and film makers, performers and other creative people who share their work in public. They particularly help people who experience major barriers to participating in the arts, in particular people with disabilities, mental health issues, artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people in remote communities, and indigenous practitioners. And they’re generally awesome and incredibly funky.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance offers lots of information about contracts for creative people, especially people working in theatre, performance, and film and TV crews. You can download contact sheets for free, even if you’re not a member.
Chris Chow Creative Lawyers
Chris Chow is a lawyer for practitioners in music, art, screen, performance, online content, games and design – and lots of others in the entertainment and creative industries. He is an expert with an understanding of both legal and commercial issues central to the entertainment and creative industries, and regularly presents on copyright and other legal issues in his area of expertise. He is also a truly funky guy and super friendly.
Studio Legal is a boutique intellectual property and commercial law firm for creative small businesses. They’re lawyers who love music, fashion, design, technology, good food, exciting brands and big ideas – just like their clients. If you’re looking for down-to-earth, practical legal advice from lawyers who are passionate about what they do, the hunt is over!
Creative Legal is very funky in that they’re a bi-coastal legal firm (Perth and Melbourne) offering advice and help to the arts entertainment and creative industries. They have a wide range of clients, from emerging artists and producers to established production companies and arts businesses. They’re also young, dynamic, experienced and very funky. And they have a very funny video. Tops!
Sharon Givoni Consulting – Lawyers for Creatives
Sharon Givoni Consulting is a leader in the field of intellectual property law for creatives. With a reputation for being straight-talking, down to Earth, experienced and practical and very user friendly when it comes to legal fees, the firm has clients Australia-wide with a strong focus on trade marks, copyright law, designs law and agreements including licences, assignments and all things IP. The principal of the Firm, Sharon Givoni, has recently released the book: Owning It: A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law which demystifies the law for creatives.
Sonya is a business affairs consultant and lawyer specialising in providing commercial advice to the entertainment industry, particularly in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Sonya has loads of experience and advises on all aspects of entertainment, including rights clearance, agreements, joint ventures and more. Get in touch with Sonya directly to find out more.
Brett Oaten Solicitors
Brett Oaten established his legal practice in 1992, and specialises in music, film, TV and other entertainment matters. In the music industry Brett principally represents artists and some current clients include 360, Angus & Julia Stone, Empire Of The Sun, Lorde, and Troye Sivan. Brett’s firm also represents a range of high profile film and television producers, based both in and outside Australia, as well as new media businesses, start ups and personalities across a range of media industries. Brett is also a founding board member and life member of FBI Radio.
Media Arts Lawyers
Based in Melbourne and Sydney, Media Arts Lawyers have been giving practical and commercial legal advice to artists, brands, events and companies throughout the entertainment industry for over twenty years. They act for high-profile acts and enterprises alongside fledgling creative and commercial projects. Check them out!
Davies Collison Cave
Davies Collison Cave are based all over Australia and are a multi-disciplinary IP practice providing strategic intellectual property law services and expert patent advice to small independent innovators through to the largest corporation. They can help with trademarks, copyright, designs, and a range of other IP needs.
Guest Work Agency is a curatorial and legal practice that provides innovative art solutions for the art industry and its audiences. They proudly represent clients based in Australia and internationally, including the select clients listed here. Guest Work Agency also initiates and collaborates on projects, exhibitions and writing at the intersection of art, technology and the law. In 2019 Guest Work Agency founded the Guest Club, a subscription-based art advisory service and support network for emerging art collectors.
Based in Melbourne, Ryser Group (led by its principal, Ryan Loewy) is a boutique law firm which specialises in intellectual property and commercial law. Having previously worked in legal and business affairs roles within the Film/ TV industry and then as legal counsel for one of Australia’s leading brand licensing and creative agencies, Ryan has a wealth of experience in drafting, negotiating and advising on development, production, financing and distribution agreements. Ryser Group also offers trademark registration services and licensing advice for corporate, sports and entertainment brands.
Verge Whitford & Co
Verge Whitford & Co specialises in the areas of film, television and digital media law and represents a variety of financiers, equity investors and independent producers. Verge Whitford & Co provide production legal representation as well as structuring film finance transactions. They provide fast and reliable legal assistance to clients, using plain English and appropriate technology.