Legal advice guidelines

General principles

Arts Law provides assistance, in so far as practicable, to Australian or Australia based artists and arts organisations in relation to arts-related matters. The designation “arts-related” matter covers a wide range of legal issues including copyright, trademarks, and designs. It also involves diverse operational issues such as business structures and related internal constitutional issues, insurance, employment and leases.

When determining whether to advise you on a matter, Arts Law exercises discretion by giving consideration to at least three factors:

  • Is the matter arts-related?
  • Does the matter fall within one of Arts Law’s areas of expertise? and
  • Are you in a financial situation which would preclude you from obtaining legal advice elsewhere?

In addition Arts Law must ensure that it is not precluded from giving legal advice because of a conflict of interest and must decline to advise you if there is such a conflict.

Types of assistance

Apart from referring you to its own resources such as legal information and sample agreements or to other organisations or advisers, Arts Law usually deals with your enquiry by providing either telephone legal advice or a document review.

More information on the types of assistance Arts Law provides.

Request assistance from Arts Law using our online form.

Telephone legal advice service

Arts Law provides free or low-cost telephone legal advice. Generally, lawyers only provide a “one off” telephone legal advice on a given matter. Telephone legal advice can take between 15-45 minutes.

Arts Law provides a free telephone legal advice service (TLA) to individual artists on arts related matters provided they satisfy our means test. The TLA service is also available to arts organisations and individuals earning above our means test on a subscription basis. Before receiving advice, individuals who do not meet our means test and arts organisations are asked to subscribe to Arts Law and pay the subscription fee. This subscription then entitles you to two (2) Document Review sessions (DRS) and five (5) Telephone Legal Advice (TLA) sessions in the twelve month subscription period, as well helping to support Arts Law’s delivery of legal and business services to Australian arts practitioners.

Document review service

If your enquiry requires Arts Law to review any documentation, we will process your enquiry as a document review. In general, this means that Arts Law will outsource your enquiry to one of our volunteer lawyers  who will provide you a review consultation on behalf of Arts Law. Alternatively, one of Arts Law’s lawyers will review your enquiry depending on the agreement sent in for review and the capacity of the lawyers at Arts Law.

You must be a subscriber to access Arts Law's document review service. A Subscriber you are entitled to two (2) Document Review sessions (DRS) and five (5) Telephone Legal Advice (TLA) sessions. Each review consultation may run for a maximum of 2 hours. Arts Law only advises once on a document or matter but may exercise discretion to re-advise where amendments are made to the document or the matter changes.

As Arts Law’s volunteer lawyers provide their time on a pro-bono basis, we do not guarantee that we can source a lawyer to advise you at all times. Your relationship with this lawyer is not independent of Arts Law and you must not contact him/her directly to request further assistance unless this has first been agreed with Arts Law. The volunteer lawyer is not expected to draft any document for you or provide you ongoing assistance.

If your enquiry involves documents and you do not wish to use Arts Law’s document review service, any telephone legal advice an Arts Law lawyer gives you will be limited to general principles as it will not be possible to determine how the law operates in your specific situation.

Services for Indigenous artists and arts organisations

Arts Law’s Artists in the Black service is dedicated to Indigenous artists and arts organisations. Artists in the Black has Aboriginal staff to assist you and provides specific resources.

If you are an Indigenous artist or arts organisation, contact Arts Law to clarify the conditions under which you can access Arts Law’s services as they are partly different from the conditions listed in these Legal services guidelines.