Adam has been the Managing Director of the firm since July 2007 and has been a partner and lawyer with the firm since 1998. Prior to Simpsons, he worked in London with a specialist intellectual property and media firm and in intellectual property chambers.
He has been recommended in the legal review publications Chambers (Leading Individual), Legal 500 and Legal Profiles in the fields of intellectual property and entertainment law. 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’. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice area of Intellectual Property Law (the rankings system used by the Australian Financial Review).
The majority of his clients are Australian and multi-national corporations in the publishing, music, film and games industries, Commonwealth government institutions and those in need of specialist intellectual property advice.
His core areas of legal practice are intellectual property (copyright, trade marks, confidential information), contract, trade practices law and litigation. Representative work includes advising:
- Multinational book publishers in relation to high value rights control, contract and trade mark and copyright issues.
- 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.
- 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.
- International music publisher in relation to long-running Federal Court copyright infringement litigation (including Full Court and High Court appeals).
- 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.
Strategic Industry & Other Roles
He is currently Chair of & Company Foundation Limited a registered charity (on the Register of Cultural Organisations) and emerging creative industry hub. He is a supporting member of Philanthropy Australia and has written in Generosity Magazine about observations on philanthropic practice. He is a supporter of the St James Ethics Centre. He has been on the board of the Centre’s Foundation and continues to work with the Centre.
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 consists of key representatives of all the major music industry bodies including the two largest, Australian Recording Industry Association and the Australasian Performing Right Association. The group’s work has resulted in substantial benefits to industry as well as Government.
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 and Julianne Schultz.
Previously, he has been a director and 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.