16 May
All Our Exes Live in Texas at the Arts Law Pro Bono Awards. Photograph by Jay La Photography.

Arts Law Pro Bono Awards 2017

Arts Law’s Pro Bono Awards recognise the enormous contribution that volunteers from across the country make to Arts Law and Australia’s artists. The 2017 awards were generously hosted by Dentons in their Sydney offices on Thursday May 11. 

Arts Law awarded a limited edition print specifically commissioned for the event to the 35 lawyers and professionals who were exceptional in their support of Arts Law’s clients – the artists and arts organisations of Australia. In 2017 Arts Law commissioned Melbourne based artist Brett Mallon’s print Mademoiselle. Hosted by Arts Law’s Artists in the Black Coordinator, artist Bibi Barba, the night also featured a performance by four of Sydney’s finest singer-songwriters, the fantastic All Our Exes Live in Texas.

The winners have been involved with Arts Law in a range of ways, from providing legal advice to taking on ongoing case work to travelling on Artists in the Black outreach trips to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in remote communities around the country. As well as recognising individual lawyers, two law firms were awarded for their support of Arts Law in many varied ways over the past year.

The importance of pro bono support for artists is huge. The lawyers often go above and beyond when assisting clients and they are a crucial part of Arts Law’s mission to empower Australia’s artists and creative communities through the law.

Arts Law’s CEO Robyn Ayres said of the event: “The lawyers and other professionals who support Arts Law pro bono are a fantastic bunch. Arts Law estimates the value of this pro bono contribution at about $1.5 million per year. It is also worthwhile acknowledging that doing pro bono also makes people happier and that was reflected in the warmth in the room last night.”

Arts Law also takes the opportunity to award the Arts Community Pro Bono Award to a lawyer who provides outstanding assistance to an arts organisation. In 2017 it was awarded to Michael Frankel from Frankel Lawyers, who was nominated by the Australian Directors’ Guild for his assistance and pro bono work he has provided to the film community in Australia for over 20 years.

Congratulations to all the award winners:

Stephen Boyle
Stephen Boyle Media and Entertainment Law

Garey Campbell
Volunteer assistance

Mandy Chapman
Beyond International

Rachel Chua
Australian Government Solicitors

Rob Clark
Tenth Floor Chambers

Wayne Covell
Worthy of the Name

Stephen Digby
Digby von Muenster Law

Jamie Doran
Clayton Utz

Michael Easton
Michael Easton Legal

Dimitrios Eliades
Intellectual Property Barrister

Harriett England
Fundraising assistance

Tim Guy
Funtastic Limited

Matthew  Hall
Artifex Advisors

Angela Hayward
Department of Community Services, WA

Andrew  Komesaroff
Colin Biggers and Paisley

Joanne Lim
MFS Investment Management

Allens Linklaters

Lander & Rogers

Kim Leontiev
Thomson Geer

Tom Lynch
Kay & Hughes Arts & Entertainment Lawyers

Chloe Martin-Nicolle
Sony Music Australia

Grant McAvaney
ABC Legal Services

Sally McCausland
McCausland Media Law

Ian McDonald
Simpsons Solicitors

Moira McKenzie
Sanicki Lawyers

Jules Munro
Simpsons Solicitors

Yasmin Naghavi
Media Arts Lawyers

Kelvin O'Keefe
Kel O'Keefe Solicitors

Shariqa Shaheed
Simpsons Solicitors

Isabella Street
Sony Music Australia

Michael Tucak
Creative Legal

Mandy van den Elshout
ABC Legal Services

Robyn Weatherley

Megan West
University of Wollongong

Arts Law Community Pro Bono Award Winner
Michael Frankel
Frankel Lawyers