Museums & Galleries

Simpsons acts for some of Australia’s largest museums and galleries, as well as many regional and New Zealand institutions. Simpsons also acts for the organisations (such as private and public Foundations and industry associations) that support such cultural institutions. Our experience includes both advice, and dispute resolution and we have developed particular expertise in collection management, provenance and “governance” issues.

Service Areas & Representative Work

  • Advising on collection policies and procedures, and legal and ethical matters such as issues with acquisitions, de-accessioning and disposal.
  • Drafting and reviewing collection documentation – including deeds of gift, purchase agreements, inward and outward loan agreements, co-exhibition agreements, copyright licensing and touring agreements.
  • Advising on “PCOL” authorisation (security from seizure status).
  • Reviewing provenance documentation ahead of major purchases or sales.
  • Advising on organisational structures – including for new non-profits.
  • Reviewing institutional policies and procedures, including in relation to conflicts of interest and on exhibiting controversial art, and the work of controversial artists.
  • General advice in relation to collection items, including defamation and obscenity.
  • Digital rights management for cultural institutions.
  • Advising on privacy policies and procedures (including drafting privacy policies).

Simpsons' Museums and Galleries team members are strategic thinkers with a deep knowledge of cultural institutions and the legal, ethical , political and cultural landscape in which cultural institutions operate. The Museums and Galleries team is led by Ian McDonald.

For museums & galleries related enquiries: