Governor of NSW opens HBA Legal’s new Sydney office

Date: May 31, 2019


Media Release:   Insurance law specialists HBA Legal has raised close to $5000 for a national community legal centre, after using its recent Sydney office opening event to stage a fundraiser.

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) is a community legal centre based in Sydney providing education, advocacy and free or low-cost legal advice to Australian artists and arts organisations.

HBA Partner Dr Andrew Lu OAM, who sits on the board of Arts Law, said the not-for-profit organisation provides a national service that many artists would not be able to receive otherwise.

“Thanks to Arts Law, the rights of Australian creatives working across all art forms can be better protected. Arts workers are incredibly generous with what they create and share with audiences, but they are vulnerable to exploitation.

“Through its ‘Artists in the Black’ program, the Arts Law team does particularly valuable work in remote Indigenous communities where there are no lawyers to explain how best to protect their rights.

“Sustaining the good work of Arts Law is only possible due to much appreciated support from different friends and sources including government, philanthropists, and the generosity of industry partners across the legal profession,” Dr Lu said.

CEO of Arts Law Robyn Ayres said funding is a constant challenge so any donation is gratefully received.

“Artists should be able to earn an income from their work. But if their work is reproduced without permission, effectively stolen, their copyright infringed, then they are losing income to which they are entitled – this is the exact thing we are trying to protect against.

“We have a current campaign called ‘Fake Art Harms Culture’ focusing on the exploitation of Indigenous culture and tradition while addressing the economic and cultural damage caused by inauthentic Indigenous art. This is a significant problem in this country,” Ms Ayres said.

To shine a spotlight on this issue, HBA ethically sourced a large Indigenous artwork by respected Ngaanyatjarra artist Elizabeth Holland, a member of the Warakurna community in the Goldfields-Esperance region on WA’s border with the Northern Territory. The artwork was raffled to raise funds for Arts Law.

“It was never going to align with our values to put on a fancy office opening cocktail party without substance,” said HBA co-founder Nathan Hepple.

“While we wanted to celebrate moving into our beautiful new space, we felt strongly that it was important to make something of the occasion that would add value to the community and Arts Law was the perfect fit,” he said.

Dr Lu added: “Marking our office opening in this way is a clear demonstration of the values-driven culture we strive to foster, and our commitment to social inclusion via our four core values of being collaborative, creative, genuine and generous.”

Around 80 people gathered in the firm’s new space within a heritage building on Pitt Street, as Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of NSW, declared the office officially open. Her Excellency is the immediate past-President of Arts Law.

Guests included many of HBA’s clients and employees, as well as barristers and members of the judiciary.


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About Arts Law

The Arts Law Centre of Australia is a national community legal centre (not-for-profit) providing education, advocacy and free or low cost legal advice to Australian artists and arts organisations.

Artists in the Black (AITB) is a specific legal service offered by Arts Law, for Indigenous artists, communities and arts organisations. It was established in 2004 in response to the needs of the Indigenous arts community. While Arts Law has been providing services since 1983, when it looked deeply at the exploitation of Indigenous artists, the case for specialised services was overwhelming. Through the introduction of the AITB program, the legal service provision to the Indigenous community now comprises between 30-35% of all Arts Law’s legal work.

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Background on HBA Legal

HBA Legal formed in 2011 as a specialist insurance law firm, with offices in Sydney and Perth and a team of just 11 people.  Today HBA services clients across Australia and overseas and has offices in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle, with a team of around 70.

HBA is one of Australia’s leading defendant-only insurance practices, forging the way in creative problem solving and commercially oriented solutions.   At inception, HBA removed the shackles of bureaucracy and traditional thinking so often seen in big law firms, enabling true business partnerships with clients.  It achieves this the ‘HBA Way’, following NewLaw principles pivoting on flexibility, accessibility and innovation.

HBA’s clients include underwriters, brokers, insurers, insureds, and large self-insured companies. They are car park operators, managers of shopping centres, cleaning companies (and their insurers), one of Australia’s most high-profile supermarket giants, hospitals, aged care facilities, doctors, engineers, accountants, and the Commonwealth government.



Media contact:

Sarah Tempest 0402 946 603

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