6 June
Celestine Doyle from Queensland Art Gallery

Arts Law recognises valuable pro bono contributions to the Australian art community

On Wednesday night at Artspace in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, the Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) held their annual Pro Bono Awards, recognising the enormous contribution that volunteers from across the country make to Arts Law.

Each year Arts Law commissions a talented artist, usually a final year student from one of Australia’s tertiary art schools, to produce a limited edition print which they award to 30 lawyers or other professionals who have made a significant pro bono contribution to Arts Law’s clients – the artists and arts organisations of Australia. This year the print, entitled Body Conglomerate, was by Lotte Smith, an artist in her honours year at the National Art School in Sydney.

Executive Director of Arts Law, Robyn Ayres said that “It is an incredibly difficult task to choose the winners as we have about 240 lawyers on the pro bono panel who help us in all sorts of ways – providing telephone advice, the document review service, delivering education to artists, assisting with law reform work, and helping us to put in place strategic initiatives to benefit the arts community. We also receive other types of pro bono services such as marketing, business and advertising advice, assistance with fund-raising events and our fantastic team of legal volunteers, both students, interns, lawyers and our secondees who help us at the Arts Law offices on a daily basis.”

These volunteers and pro bono supporters are vital to the delivery of Arts Law services. As the President of Arts Law, Justice Margaret Beazley said “The value of the pro bono contribution to the clients of Arts Law is enormous. In 2013 we estimated it to be approximately two million dollars which is very impressive.”

The winners of the Arts Law Pro bono Awards for 2013 were: Jonathan Adamopoulos (Allens/Linklaters), Claudia Adams (Herbert Smith Freehills), Charles Alexander (Minter Ellison), Lishan Ang (Frederick Jordan Chambers), Stephen Boyle (Stephen Boyle Media and Entertainment Law), Elizabeth Burrows (Influence Legal), Mandy Chapman (Beyond International Ltd), Christopher Chow (Chris Chow Creative Legal), Rob Clark (10th Floor Chambers), Stephen Digby (Digby Law), Katherine Giles (ABC Legal Services), Rob Glass (Media Arts Lawyers), Melissa Goode (Herbert Smith Freehills), Chris Govey (Allens/Linklaters), Monique Hennessy (Arts Law Centre of Australia), Ishan Karunanayake (Ministry of Sound Australia), Ben Kay (Kay & Hughes), John MacPhail (Finlaysons), Grant McAvaney (ABC Legal Services), Moira McKenzie (GI & Sanicki Lawyers), Renu Menon (Gadens), Julie Robb (Banki Haddock Fiora), Ian Robertson (Holding Redlich), Michael Tucak (Creative Legal), Mandy van den Elshout (ABC Legal Services), Caroline Verge (Verge Whitford and Co), Marcus Walkom (Media Arts Lawyers), Tracey Wren (Orica Australia) and Clare Young (Allens/Linklaters).

The winner of the Arts Community Pro Bono Award, which allows arts organisations to acknowledge the voluntary work done by a lawyer for the arts community, was Paul Spiro (Gadens, Brisbane). Paul was awarded this prize for the dedicated and significant pro bono assistance he gives the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.

Meet the winners of the Pro Bono Awards here.