1 May
Robyn Ayres speaks at the 2023 Pro Bono Awards. Photo by George Zeaiter.

Congratulations to our Pro Bono Award Winners!

Last year our clients benefited from 3999 hours of pro bono work. Each year we recognise extraordinary contributions of volunteer lawyers, firms and other professionals at our annual Pro Bono Awards event of the legal community to Arts Law and Australia’s artists.

Pro Bono Award winners each receive a limited edition print Bushasb, from the Imaginarium series by artist Hootan Haghshenas. Hootan is an Iranian-based artist known for the art of cinematic and television colour grading and digital image making. His digital image works often explore themes of a hyper-realistic and imaginary world in his interpretations of Persian stories or narratives.

This year the awards were generously hosted by New Chambers in Sydney, where James Sheller SC warmly welcomed our guests and spoke passionately about the significance of Australia’s artists and Arts Law’s place in supporting them.

The services provided to Arts Law on a pro bono basis are many and varied. Our Document Review Service (DRS) Panel of volunteer lawyers provide our DRS directly to clients, this magnifies the number of clients we are able to support. Individual lawyers also assist drafting publications like info sheets and contract templates, and present workshops and webinars.

Firms provide lawyers on secondment to Arts Law or support outreach trips, giving us not only financial support but additional lawyers who are able to talk to artists, draft wills and advise art centre staff. We have also had a huge amount of support from firms with our advocacy and law reform work, helping draft submissions to government and providing Arts Law itself with pro bono legal advice.

Arts Law is fortunate to have a revolving roster of student volunteers, interns and volunteer lawyers who work in our Sydney office to assist the team in day-to-day operations. The Hearts for Arts Law Committee and our own Board of Directors generously donate their time to support Arts Law.

Needless to say, selecting winners for our Pro Bono awards is an almost impossible task because there are hundreds of worthy potential recipients. Thank you to all our pro bono lawyers, firms, volunteers, students, interns, partners, committee members and Board. Your extraordinary support and commitment means that we can reach more artists, provide more services and increase the impact of our work.

Congratulations to the 35 individuals and firms who received an award in 2023 for their pro bono support in 2022.

Individual Winners:

Paul Mersiades – Allens/Linklaters

Richard Potter SC  – 153 Phillip Barristers

Moira McKenzie – Moira McKenzie Legal

Mandy van den ElshoutAustralian Broadcasting Corporation

Rachel Chua – Australian Government Solicitors

Sophie Ciufo – Marque Lawyers

Chloe Taylor – Hall & Wilcox Lawyers

Darren Sanicki – Sanicki Lawyers

Derek Baigent – Griffith Hack Lawyers

Harry Knight – Xero

Howard Adams – Corner Soul

Lee Elsdon – Simpsons Solicitors

Tom Bridges – Webb Henderson

Emma Berry – Dentons

Lucinda Edwards – SBS

Nicholas Linke – Dentons

Jack Collings – Griffith Hack Lawyers

Jennifer Arnup – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jo Teng – SBS

Marcus Walkom – Media Arts Lawyers

Bella Cameron – Allens

Wendy Ng – Aesop

Amy Grondal – Simpsons Solicitors

Melissa Michael – Eastern Suburbs Mediators

Jennifer Goh – Lander & Rogers

Guy Donovan – Holding Redlich

Ed Lyons – Lander & Rogers

Stephen Dodd – Dentons

Winning Firms:


Hall & Wilcox

Collin Biggers & Paisley

King & Wood Mallesons



If you’d like to know more about how you or your firm can contribute to Arts Law please contact us.