Case Studies

Shankari Chandran: The Benefit of Legal Advice on her Creative Contract 

Photograph of Shankari Chandran smiling at camera
Shankari Chandran

Shankari Chandran is an award-winning Australian author. She is also a former Arts Law client. In 2023, Shankari’s third novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, won the prestigious Miles Franklin literary award.

A few years earlier, Shankari needed some legal help. 

Shankari had an issue about a contract for a creative project. Despite being a lawyer herself, Shankari struggled to understand the complicated contract and there was a power imbalance between her and the other party to the contract. Shankari was unsure about her options and found it hard to see a way forward.  

Shankari received advice from Arts Law about the contract. Arts Law discussed and explained the contract to Shankari. Together, we workshopped different practical approaches and steps that Shankari could take. Shankari took some of those steps and achieved a great resolution. 

“The lawyer explained the advice, but also had a really practical discussion with me about what might happen if I chose to do different things. They took the time to talk to me and to understand the context. Good lawyers don’t just explain the contract but take the time to understand where the client and the parties are at, consider the practical and best approach to achieve the outcome that the client wants”.   

Shankari Chandran

Talking to Arts Law helped Shankari not to feel alone. Shankari said she found the advice that she received to be extremely helpful. 

It is important for authors and other creative artists of all types to understand their contracts, and to receive accurate legal advice about them. Arts Law can provide creators with advice about contracts before they are signed. This may include what terms might operate unfairly for the artist and what additional terms are needed. Arts Law can also provide advice about contracts after they have been signed. We often assist creators understanding their options and the steps that they can take to protect their rights and their interests. 

If you are a creative artist or an arts organisation, and you would like advice from Arts Law about a contract, you can submit a legal query here

More information on Shankari’s work can be found here: