Shane Simpson

AM, LLB (HONS), M. JUR, D.UNIV (HC) Special Counsel

Contact Shane


Shane Simpson established the firm in 1986.

In 2011, the Federal Government awarded Shane a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the law and to the arts through leading roles in intellectual property and entertainment law, and as a contributor to a range of cultural organisations.

He has lectured extensively on the law relating to intellectual property, new technology, publishing, visual arts, music and museums. Shane has written or edited numerous books including: Music Business, Museums and Galleries: a Practical Legal Handbook, The Visual Artist and the Law in Australia, Discovery and Interrogatories, Music -The Business and the Law, and numerous articles in both Australian and international periodicals, most of which tackle various aspects of the often difficult relationship between copyright, innovation, arts practice, and the legal system. His current project is ‘Collections Law: Legal Issues in Archives Galleries Libraries and Museums‘. He headed the Federal Government Inquiry into “Copyright Collecting Societies in Australia” and acts as a consultant to governments, NGO’s, other law firms, institutions and major corporations, both nationally and internationally.

Shane Simpson has written or edited numerous books including “The Visual Artist and the Law” and “Museums and Galleries”, still the leading texts. He conducted the first Federal Government Inquiry into Australian Copyright Collecting Societies, leading to the establishment of VISCOPY, the collecting society for visual arts and design in Australia.

Representative Work

In Federal Court copyright litigation in relation to the music and lyrics of the Australian classic “Love Is In The Air” (for Kobalt Music) as well the 1980’s rock anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (for Universal Music).

He is an independent trustee of the Anindilyakwa Mining Trust a future fund for the traditional owners of the Groote Eylandt archipelago in the Northern Territory.

He has been recommended in the legal review publications Chambers (Leading Individual), Legal 500, Doyles and Legal Profiles and the Australian Financial Review‘s Best Lawyers in the fields of intellectual property and entertainment law.

Australian Financial Review‘s Best Lawyers in the fields of intellectual property and entertainment law

Arts Law Centre

Shane founded the Arts Law Centre of Australia, and has been on the board of cultural organisations including the Cultural Grants Advisory Council (NSW), Craft Australia, ArtSpace, the William Fletcher Trust, the Visual Artists’ Benevolent Trust, the Australia Exhibitions Touring Agency, and the National Association of the Visual Arts and Chairman of Museums and Galleries NSW – the principal services provider to the public museum and gallery sector in New South Wales.