Adam Moxon Simpson
Adam is a Director of the firm. He was the Managing Director of the firm from 2007 to 2017 and a partner and lawyer with the firm since 1997. Prior to Simpsons, he worked in London with a specialist intellectual property and media firm and in intellectual property chambers and, in Australia, at a multinational firm. Adam is also admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court of New Zealand.
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. He was a finalist in Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year 2018 and 2019.
The Chambers guide for the Asia-Pacific region described Adam as “an industry expert with a very pragmatic approach” and as a leading lawyer in copyright and trade mark matters in Australia. Legal 500 described Adam as having a ‘deep understanding of [his] core areas of expertise’ and regularly instructed on ‘business-critical and high-value IP matters’.
Adam represents a wide range of both private and public national and multinational corporations, Commonwealth and State government agencies mostly in the publishing, music, film and games industries and the arts and culture sectors.
His core areas of legal practice are intellectual property (copyright, trade marks, confidential information), contract, trade practices law and litigation.
Representative work includes advising:
• 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).
• Multinational book publishers in relation to high value rights control, contract and trade mark and copyright issues.
• In Federal Court litigation in relation to trade mark protection, removal and revocation (including for Dick Smith Investments (OZEMITE Federal Court Appeal)).
• In New Zealand High Court and Supreme Court copyright litigation in relation to the use of Eminem’s Lose Yourself by the New Zealand National Party (for the plaintiff publishers Eight Mile Style LLC, Martin Affiliated LLC and writer Jeff Bass).
• International music publisher in relation to long-running Federal Court copyright infringement litigation in relation to Kookaburra Sits in The Old Gum Tree and Down Under (Federal Court, Full Federal Court and High Court appeals).
• Commonwealth statutory body and national collecting institution in relation to multi-million dollar acquisitions, due diligence and foreign litigation.
• US New York Times best-selling author in Federal Court litigation against major media network subsidiary.
• Commonwealth statutory arts body in relation to intellectual property rights claim and divestment procedures.
• Multinational record and music publishing companies in relation to copyright and trade practices infringements including litigation in Australia and advising in relation to litigation in foreign jurisdictions (including the United States of America and New Zealand).
• National media company in relation to trade practices issues arising from digital distribution.
• In Federal Court trade mark and copyright litigation in relation to music software and app development.
• US celebrity in Supreme Court litigation in relation to alleged breaches of tour agreement.
• UK based multinational entertainment software provider on contract, copyright, defamation and trade mark matters.
• Internationally acclaimed photo-journalist in relation to high-value contractual dispute and copyright claims.
• Multinational game publisher and e-sports company in Australian compliance.
• US listed software company in High Court litigation and arbitration in New Zealand (and Australia).
Strategic Industry & Other Roles
He is currently on the advisory board of the Guardian Australia (GNM Australia Pty Ltd). 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 is a supporting member of Philanthropy Australia and has joined other members in meeting with major U.S philanthropic organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to better identify best practice in philanthropy. He has written in Generosity Magazine about observations on philanthropic practice. He is a supporter of the St James Ethics Centre and has been on the board of the Centre’s Foundation. He is retained by New Democracy Foundation and provides pro bono legal and advisory services.
Adam was appointed by the Commonwealth Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, to the position of Chair of the Enterprise Connect Creative Industries Innovation Centre Advisory Committee and member of the Enterprise Connect Advisory Council. This followed his role on the Centre’s Advisory Board.
He initiated and chaired the Contemporary Music Working Group for many years. This group consisted of key representatives of all the major music industry bodies including the two largest, Australian Recording Industry Association and the Australasian Performing Right Association.
For a number of years he was Chair of & Company Foundation Limited a registered arts charity established to support the development of a 1200 sqm “maker space” and creative entrepreneur hub in Sydney.
He was selected to attend the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit in the Creative Stream. From this, he helped initiate and was a member of the Federal Government’s Creative Australia Advisory Group along with others including David Gonski, David Throsby, Cate Blanchett.
Previously, he has been a director and pro bono Legal and Copyright Councillor of the Music Council of Australia and Viscopy, the collecting society for visual artists. For many years, he has acted as a volunteer lawyer at the Arts Law Centre of Australia advising those in the arts and entertainment industries in need of court representation and commercial advice on a pro bono basis. He has also been a visiting lecturer at the University of Western Sydney (School of Creative Arts-Music).
He began his legal career with one of Australia’s largest law firms, before working in London with the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, Simons Muirhead & Burton, Mr. John Baldwin QC and Lord Justice Robin Jacob of the High Court.