We know there’s an art to doing business.
For over 20 years, Media Arts Lawyers has given practical and commercial legal advice to clients throughout the entertainment, media, and creative industries. Acting for high-profile talent and multinational companies alongside emerging and fledgling projects, we set the benchmark for creatively strategic legal solutions – no matter the deal size. Our combined experience means that we have the skill, deep networks, lateral thinking, and foresight to achieve the best commercial outcomes for our clients. We don’t just do the paperwork, we think creatively to develop strategic solutions and structure intelligent deals.
Applications for AIR’s Women In Music Mentor Program are now open to women, women-identifying and non-binary individuals.
The Women in Music Mentor program is a nation-wide mentoring and training program aimed at empowering women in the Australian music industry.
Since its inception in 2020, the program has helped connect and guide women, women-identifying and non-binary participants working in or aspiring to work in creative (solo artists, band members, songwriters), technical (engineers, producers, etc.) and/or business roles (managers, promoters, record labels, etc.) within the Australian music industry.
Apply now here
News2 months ago
Att. Designers and Creatives: Be sure to introduce yourself / say hi to Partner and creative industries maven, Yasmin Naghavi, at this year’s The Design Conference. She’ll be co-hosting the stage this Friday with Josephmark’s big thinker and all-round legend, Ben Johnston, and will otherwise be hanging around to enjoy the excellent speaker lineup (and slightly better than Melbourne weather). Check out The Design Conference Facebook Page here.
Mabo Day2 months ago
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the day the High Court of Australia handed down its landmark decision of overturning “terra nullius” and recognising native title in the Mabo case. Now, the 3rd of June is also known as Mabo Day and is the final day of Reconciliation Week. Mabo Day commemorates this historic moment in Australian and First Nation’s history and recognises the achievements of Eddie Koiki Mabo, a First Nations land rights activist and Torres Strait Island man. You can read more about it here.
News3 months ago
A defamation lawyers insight: Amanda Mason of Media Arts Lawyers weighs in on the ongoing defamation trial centred on Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and how it could change the way defamation claims involving US defendants are viewed in Australia. For more information, visit here.
The Golden Guitar Awards3 months ago
Congratulations to the incredible Troy Cassar-Daley. Troy has taken out the awards for both Male Artist of the Year and Top Selling Album of the year at the Golden Guitar Awards 2022 and now holds the record number of wins at the Awards at an amazing 40!!
You can read all about it here.
We’re Hiring a Film-Television Production / Commercial Solicitor4 months ago
We are on the hunt for an experienced Film-Television Production / Commercial Solicitor to join either our Melbourne or Sydney office.
This is an exciting role for a high performing, innovative and driven individual who is looking to work with the best in Australia’s entertainment industry.
If you know someone who should apply, you can visit the full job ad here
QMA’s4 months ago
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees of the 2022 Queensland Music Awards. Also, a special shout-out to our award winning clients (in no particular order)-
Soul/Funk/RNB Award: Lucian Blomkamp for his work on Miiesha’s Made for Silence
Folk Award & Pop Award: Aidan Hogg for his work on Asha Jefferies’ Crybaby
Indigenous Award: Jem Cassar-Daley Music for Letting Go
Highest Selling Album: Amy Shark for Cry Forever
Youth (Ages 10-17) Award: Paulina for Parasite
Album of the Year: The Jungle Giants for Love Signs
PSA6 months ago
Members of APRA AMCOS who have had to cancel gigs, concerts and festival appearances due to COVID-19 are now eligible to claim live performance royalties.
The initiative aims to give financial support to those who have lost royalties from performances in Australia in New Zealand from 1 October 2021 to 28 February 2022. Click here for more information.
HOTTEST 1006 months ago
Triple J’s iconic Hottest 100 countdown happened last weekend and was choc-a-block full of the biggest songs of 2021. Congratulations to all involved, including our incredible clients:
Spacey Jane, RÜFÜS DU SOL, The Jungle Giants, Amyl and The Sniffers, Peach PRC, Middle Kids, Peking Duk, King Stingray, Dune Rats, Dom Dolla, G Flip, Luude, Tame Impala, The Amity Affliction, The Terrys, Hayden James, Telenova, Slowly Slowly, Tyne-James Organ and Client Liaison.
For a full list of the winners, click here.
ARIA Winners 20218 months ago
Congratulations to everyone who took home an ARIA Award last night as well as to everyone who was nominated.
We wanted to do a big shout out to our clients for the following awards –
Song Of The Year – Booster Seat by Spacey Jane
Best Group – RÜFÜS DU SOL
Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist – Budjerah
Best Country Album – The World Today by Troy Cassar-Daley
Best Dance Release – Alive by RÜFÜS DU SOL
Best Original Soudtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album – Life Is Strange by Angus and Julia Stone
GRAMMY Awards 20228 months ago
The nominees are in for the 64th Grammy Awards which will be presented on 31 January 2022. Congratulations to RÜFÜS DU SOL, who has been nominated for Best Dance / Electronic Recording and Arooj Aftab, who has been nominated for both Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance.
ARIA Awards 20219 months ago
The finalists for Australia’s most illustrious music awards, the ARIA Awards, have been announced and the range of artists who have been nominated are truly outstanding in all genres. We are proud to represent some of Australia’s finest musicians and want to shout out a massive congratulations to our clients Amy Shark, Big Scary, Budjerah, Cosmo’s Midnight, Dom Dolla, Gretta Ray, Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald, Julia Stone, Masked Wolf, MAY-A, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Spacey Jane, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers, Thelma Plum, Troy Cassar-Daley and Ziggy Alberts.
We advise some of the industry's biggest & brightest.
Our clients include Grammy and ARIA award winning musicians, Golden Lion award winning creative agencies, AACTA and Logie awarded television and film talent, international fashion houses, APRA/AMCOS winning composers, Emmy awarded production companies, media and entertainment companies, streaming services and technology platforms, labels, celebrity chefs, publishers, national festivals and local events, designers, authors, visual artists, influencers, content creators, venues, illustrators, top-rating radio presenters, managers, agents and industry bodies.
Some of our clients include (in alphabetical order): 1300, #1 Dads, AB Original, Accompany Group, AGWA, AIR, Aldous Harding, Allday, Amy Shark, Amyl & The Sniffers, Andy Allen, Anya Brock, Archetype, Arooj Aftab, Australian Design Council, Backwoods Gallery, Bad Apples, Becca Hatch, Becky Lucas, Benja Harney, Beyond the Valley, Big Pineapple Festival, Big Scary, BMG Rights Management, Bolster, Bone Digital, Bornbred, Bounce Patrol, Briggs, Bronson, Buxtock, Carla Wehbe, Chaii, Chloe Ting, Christopher Doyle & Co, Click Management, Client Liaison, Cord & Berg, Courtney Barnett, Craig & Karl, Daniel Johns, Darkroom, Dean Tuza, Dom Dolla, Downtown Music Publishing, Drax Project, Dune Rats, Electric Avenue Festival, Electric Fields, Entropico, Eves Karydas, Fish Entertainment, Flume, Fortress, Foster Type, Future Classic, Gemma O’Brien, Golden Features, Gotye, Grant Denyer, Groovin’ The Moo, Haiku Hands, Hardware, Hatchie, Hidden Valley Festival, Hilltop Hoods, Hollie Smith, Hoyne, Ian Strange, IMNZ, Isa Guha, Jacky Winter Group, Jaguar Jonze, Jalals, Jason Lei Howden, Josephmark, JOY, Julia Morris, Karina Carvalho, Kayla Coombs, Kim Dracula, King Stingray, Kwame, L.A.B., La Prairie, Leo Burnett, Lucky Ent, Mallrat, Manu Crooks, Marlon Williams, Masked Wolf, Matt Corby, Matt Preston, MAY-A, McClymonts, Melanie Bracewell, Melanie Schilling, MG-MT, Mighty Car Mods, MMF New Zealand, MONA, Motion Sickness, Nadia Hernandez, Native Tongue, Nazeem Hussain, NB Content, Northlane, Notable Pictures, NZ Film Commission, Ocean Grove, Oh Yeah Wow, Oliver Twist, OneFour, Onelove, Peking Duk, Pieater, Planet Broadcasting, Pond, Projucer, Qsic, Rhythm & Alps, RUEL, RUFUS DU SOL, SAHXL, Select Music, Seventh Street Media, Shapeshifter, Shouse, Simone Giertz, Snack Drawer, Spacey Jane, Steaphan Paton, Stella Donnelly, Steven Rhodes, Tali Gal-on, Tame Impala, Tash Sultana, Teeny Tiny Stevies, Terrance Plowright, The Amity Affliction, The Black Seeds, The Chats, The Design Files, The Inspired Unemployed, The Mik Maks, The Scranline, The Smith Street Band, The Teskey Brothers, The Thought Police, Tigerlily, Timmy Trumpet, UMNZ, Untitled Group, Uppercase Studio, Urzila Carlson, Vance Joy, Wicked Witch, Wolfmother, Yours & Owls, YNG Martyr, Ziggy Alberts. We also handle work for international artist within ANZ such as Drake, Halsey, Nirvana, One Direction, Vampire Weekend, and Victoria Beckham.
We've got the industry covered.
Our combined experience means that we have the skill, deep networks, lateral thinking, and foresight to achieve the best commercial outcomes for our clients. We don’t just do the paperwork, we think creatively to develop strategic solutions and structure intelligent deals.
We advise clients on all commercial matters from establishing the most appropriate legal structure to sales and acquisitions of businesses and assets. During the last five years, our firm has been instrumental in structuring and negotiating over $150 million in commercial transactions. Additionally, we guide clients through stakeholder and governance issues, investments and fundraising, corporations and partnership legislation, and act for clients in business affairs and board advisory roles.
From exclusive publication rights for celebrity announcements, to brand endorsement deals, to takedown notices, we understand how to protect and extract the most value from image and brand rights. We advise on endorsements and sponsorships, advertising standards and marketing practices, celebrity appearances and publicity agreements, events and touring agreements, image use and infringement, management agreements, and trademarks.
A highly technical area of law, we can help you protect your brand and personal reputation. We provide advice, issue concerns notices, letters of demand, and cease and desist notices, as well as litigation. We represent clients in respect of various reputational matters including defamation (both pre- and post-publication), passing off, misleading and deceptive conduct, injurious falsehood, misuse of personal image, and falsely implying an endorsement or sponsorship.
We understand what goes into running and working with design and creative industries. We act for leading graphic and motion design firms, agencies, creative directors, photographers, artisan craftspeople and makers, painters, muralists, typographers, sculptors, and industry organisations. We assist clients with all commercial matters including services agreements, commissioning agreements, licensing and assignment of copyright, gallery-artist relationships, exhibitions and touring, employment and freelancing, releases, restraints and restrictions, non-disclosure agreements, copyright infringement, moral rights, value and charge-out rate advice, disputes, and everything else in between.
From standalone websites and apps to gaming engines, we assist clients throughout all stages from idea inception to MVP to product launch to sales/acquisitions. We advise local and international companies in relation to website terms and conditions, software as a service agreements, online game of chance competition rules, Spam and Privacy Act compliance, and negotiating with collecting societies. In addition, we assist clients with funding applications, music and third party copyright clearances, cybersquatting, employment, contractor, and developer agreements, R&D advice, non-disclosure agreements, engine licences, and commercialisation of creative projects.
We don’t just advise on the legal position in relation to HR matters but also the commercial realities of what it is to employ/contract or be employed in Australia or New Zealand. We draft and negotiate employment agreements and exits for companies, high-level executives at multinational entertainment, talent, fashion, and design companies and regularly attend Fair Work Commission conciliations. We also provide industry-specific advice in relation to workplace entitlements, intellectual property, confidentiality, employment restraints, as well as contractor vs employee hiring.
We represent fashion houses that show at MBAFW, NYFW, and Paris Fashion Week and understand how and when the Copyright/Designs Act overlap occurs and what steps you need to take to exploit your designs and copyrights and protect them from infringement. We also represent clients in respect of manufacturing and fabrication agreements, distribution and supply agreements (exclusive and non-exclusive) with Australian and global retail and online outlets, licensing agreements, agency agreements, employment matters, outworkers agreements and advice, labelling, customs seizure, copycat or counterfeit merchandise, and all other related matters.
There is a huge amount of risk involved when putting on a live event of any sort. We have an extensive client base of promoters, talent, booking agents, and venues. Having regularly acted for clients from all sides of the business, we have deep experience in the nuances of live performances and promoting.
We have an extensive hospitality client list, including licensed venues, restaurants and cafes, celebrity chefs, and some of the most influential hospitality interior designers and architects. Our work includes advising on purchase and sale of businesses, employment, leasing, property purchase, venue fit-outs, television and event appearances, book and other publishing deals, sponsorships and endorsements, and other related matters.
Intellectual property is the backbone of our practice. Whether it be creation, ownership, registration, transfer, licensing or protection of intellectual property (or ideas), we give our clients the assistance they need to protect or assert their intellectual property rights in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the world. Alongside representing our clients in respect of copyright matters, we handle some of the biggest trade mark portfolios in Australia and can assist with trade mark and designs searches, applications, adverse reports, oppositions, registrations and certifications.
We have extensive experience litigating matters in all major Australian courts and tribunals relevant to our areas of practice. We bring a practical and commercial approach to dispute resolution.
Our core business developed within the music industry, so we can assist with everything from deal negotiation to dispute resolution. Our clients include musicians, bands, songwriters, composers, producers, festivals, agents, managers, labels, publishers, distributors, streaming services, and content providers.
Our clients often need legal assistance with matters outside of the entertainment industry. For many people, buying real estate will be their most significant investment. Our property lawyers are not only highly experienced in conveyancing, but are also across all areas of property law, contract law and other areas of the law which can be relevant to the sale, purchase or lease of commercial and/or residential property. In addition, we regularly advise and prepare paperwork in relation to estate matters (wills, probate, estate planning) and powers of attorney.
We represent radio talent and producers as well as radio stations and streaming services. We advise in relation to employment and contractor agreements, codes of practice and conduct, and other matters relating to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, including representing clients in respect of ACMA investigations and submissions.
Thanks in part to streaming, content in shortform, longform, and limited format is being created and consumed more than ever before. We advise clients both in front of and behind the camera as well as all the other people that support the creation or distribution of content for both digital and terrestrial broadcast and communications. Our clients include streaming services, TV hosts, actors, media personalities, talent management entities, production companies, directors, writers, animators, composers, and distributors. Our services include advising on talent performers and key-creatives’ rights, agreements and releases, television format protection, script option rights agreements, classifications, and pre-broadcast defamation and explicit content review and advice.
We represent journalists, publishers, and authors of books (fiction and non-fiction), magazines, columns, blogs, articles (longform and shortform) and other online and in-print publications in respect of rights, advances, royalties and how works get used and exploited in other mediums. We regularly advise clients in respect of publishing deals, co-author agreements, ghostwriters, literary agents, copyright infringement, exploitation of subsidiary rights, pre- and post-publication defamation review, and option agreements.
We are more than just lawyers.
We are the largest boutique entertainment law firm in Australasia and our team is amongst the brightest and most experienced in the industry. Whether you require some simple advice or need an adept international deal-maker, we will always help you achieve the best solution for your needs.
Stephen practises in all facets of commercial and entertainment law; with a particular focus on music, particularly within the independent sector through his representation of the Australian and New Zealand label associations and numerous independent record labels within Australia, New Zealand and internationally. Stephen combines his legal knowledge with his vast experience in the music industry, including in private practice in the UK representing major artists, labels and industry bodies and in Australia as the Business Affairs Manager for Festival Mushroom Records. Stephen is a supporter of local music and provides pro-bono services to Music NT and Arts Law members. Stephen is the manager of the multi award winning artist, Georgi Kay and of ARIA Award winning producer, Dean Tuza and co-owner of Wilson Street Studios.
David is the founder of Media Arts Lawyers and Australia’s preeminent music lawyer. With over 25 years’ experience dealing in all facets of entertainment law, David represents many high-profile musicians, celebrities and entertainment companies. In addition, he oversees the firm’s general commercial practice and in the last five years he has concluded over A$100M in mergers and acquisitions including sales of entertainment businesses, festivals and sports tournaments. A passionate advocate for local music and creative industries, David chairs the board of Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), is a board member of Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), and a past board member of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
Julian represents high profile musical talent, managers, labels, publishers, events, executives and start-ups. He has been a musician signed to major and indie labels, has a post-grad degree in corporate finance and was the inaugural Music Industry Observer Music Lawyer of the Year. His artist clients include Flume, Courtney Barnett, RUFUS DU SOL, Tash Sultana, and Matt Corby. In addition to his extensive music law practice, he also represents film and TV projects, content creators, creative agencies, celebrities, media and technology companies, fashion companies, designers, and NGO’s. Julian is strategic and commercially savvy and has an extensive international network, making him the first contact for many international operatives looking to do business in the region.
Yasmin practises in creative industries law, representing world-class graphic and motion design studios, agencies, tv/radio talent, influencers, format and content creators, illustrators, streaming services, visual artists, authors, managers, fashion designers, photographers, and game/app developers. Additionally, Yasmin has a strong employment law practice at the firm. Holding both a Juris Doctor (hons) and an MBA, Yasmin combines experience with expertise, industry insight, and a passion for the creative sector. Working in close partnership with her clients, she brings clarity to their legal rights and obligations, and advises with the intention of achieving the very best strategic and commercial outcome. Committed to giving back to the industry, she’s a serving board member of Writers Victoria, Never Not Creative, and Youth Activating Youth, and a pro bono lawyer for the Arts Law Centre of Australia.
Rob specializes in music and entertainment law and for more than a decade has guided the careers of some of Australasia’s leading talent, taking them from home grown heroes to international success stories. Personally representing household names on both sides of the Tasman, from Masked Wolf, Dom Dolla, Client Liaison and Golden Features; to Shapeshifter, Hollie Smith, Dallas Tamaira (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and The Black Seeds; Rob procures and negotiates the deals that form the backbone of the music business. Registered to practise law in both New Zealand and Australia, Rob represents record labels, festivals, agents and executives, and his IP practice includes working with tech, software, design and start ups and more recently international clients on the convergence of music, art and cryptocurrency.
Marcus has experience in all facets of entertainment and commercial law and as a litigator having practiced both in Australia and the UK. With his practice focused primarily on the music industry, Marcus has represented high profile artists, managers, producers, labels, publishers, festivals, events and start-ups throughout the world, and with a particular interest in working with new and emerging talent he has assisted in procuring, negotiating and advising on local and international deals for his clients. Marcus also runs independent label and management company ‘We Are Golden’.
Having worked at entertainment industry, IP and commercial law firms for over 10 years, Amanda brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. Practising across the spectrum of defamation, commercial law, IP and entertainment industry law matters, Amanda’s particular focus is on defamation, commercial law, disputes and litigation. Amanda represents clients from all corners of the commercial and creative industries including media outlets, festivals, promoters, comedians, artists, musicians, game developers, and various other commercial entities. Her three years as assistant editor of Heavy Music Magazine and current involvement in the local music scene managing artists and running events provides her with a unique perspective that allows her to best understand and anticipate the needs of her clients. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music Business Management.
Chris’ practice spans the full scope of trade mark services. He has over ten years’ experience in intellectual property and has worked in a number of Australia’s leading top tier firms. Chris is passionate about all things IP and provides trade mark advice across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Chris has extensive experience in the fashion, design and retail industries. He represents market-leading brands in contested proceedings and has successfully represented a number of high profile artists and celebrities, protecting their brand assets both locally and internationally. Chris was recognised as Managing IP’s Rising Star in both 2018 and 2019, and is currently considered as a Notable Practitioner. Chris was previously a chair of the INTAs Non Traditional Trade Marks Committee (East Asia and Pacific), and is currently a member of the Trade Marks Office Practices Committee (East Asia and Pacific). Chris is also a member of the New Zealand and International Trade Mark Committee of the Institute of Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys of Australia.
Jessica works across the firm’s core practice areas, advising both high profile and emerging clients on the creation, protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights. Jessica is particularly passionate about working with breakthrough talent to guide and support their careers in the entertainment industry. Listed in The Music Network’s “30 Under 30” Class of 2021, Jessica is quickly becoming a regular face on music law industry panels and is building a reputation as one of Australia’s up and coming entertainment lawyers. Jessica also currently serves as a non-executive board member for Arts On Tour, the peak industry body for performing arts touring in NSW, and is a volunteer lawyer for the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication/ Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Isabel commenced her legal career in intellectual property, specifically focusing on trade mark prosecution, brand clearance and commercial agreements. She seeks to help creatives and brands of all sizes to understand and navigate their legal rights through a commercial lens. Having lived in Shanghai and Tokyo, Isabel has an aptitude and interest in approaching business and intellectual property with a global mindset. She also has hands-on experience in media analytics, radio and television broadcasting, and is particularly interested in supporting those in the creative and hospitality industries. Isabel draws on her legal experience and industry knowledge to support both the creative and commercial interests of her clients. Isabel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communications and Advanced Japanese Language and a Juris Doctor.
Tahlia has been actively and passionately involved in the music industry for a number of years. She joined the firm in 2019 having completed her law degree in Perth, WA and draws on a range of different experiences across the music industry including artist management, communications and live performance. Tahlia is particularly passionate about artist development and empowering artists through the use of legal tools. Tahlia is an Artist Manager with We Are Golden and holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts/Communications and an Advanced Diploma of Music Business.
Mary began her career in the music industry over 15 years ago specialising in copyright, royalties, and licensing. She has worked for major and independent record labels and music publishers in Melbourne, Sydney and London where she facilitated the licensed use of some of the world’s most valuable copyrights to compilations, film, TV & games. Mary came to law having been inspired by the legal framework of the music industry and her passion in seeing creators remunerated for their work. Mary was admitted to practice in 2020 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry Business) (Distinction).
Maria Amato is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association and has worked in the Arts and not-for-profit sector for over 25 years specialising in finance and business management through her own consultancy firm, Results Management. Maria has held former positions as Chair of the Creative Industry Advisory Board and member of the board of directors for the Australian Institute of Music, CEO/CFO of the Melbourne International Film Festival and board member of Music Victoria.
Jessica started her career in the film industry, working on various Australian productions within the art department. Following years working on motion picture, she entered into the corporate world, working for one of Australia’s largest e-commerce businesses as the Office Administrator. Along the way, Jessica never lost touch with the arts community and found herself involved in award-winning independent productions and large corporate activations. Now working with Media Arts Lawyers, she is the friendly first point of contact for new and existing clients.
Feel free to phone, email or make an appointment to see us.
Our normal office hours are between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm.
Work with us
If you have strong ties to the entertainment industry, are intelligent and have an excellent work ethic, then Media Arts Lawyers might be the place for you.
A successful candidate will have previously worked within the legal field (with a minimum of 3 years PAE) or the broader entertainment industry.
We don’t have any current job vacancies, but if you think you’d be a perfect fit for our team, please register your interest by submitting the following application: