Dominion Law – Music and Entertainment Law
Creative people are the way they are because they look at the world in a different way to everyone else. Unsurprisingly — they need something different from a lawyer.
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At Dominion Law, we do everything you'd expect from a law firm. The difference is, we're a little particular about who we do it for. That's because there's a particular type of person that we believe we understand better than most. We discovered through our history within the entertainment and music industries that we like dealing with creative people. And they seem to like dealing with us. Probably because, long ago, we realised that creative people need a different approach to the one they'd get from a more conservative law firm. Besides, we just enjoy working with people who are used to thinking a little differently. People who don't always conform to accepted models. People with crazy ideas. The kind that might just take the world by storm. So that's who we want as our clients. Creative people. Creative businesses. Musicians & entertainers or course. Film makers and artists. The entrepreneurs & mavericks. People with ideas, with vision. People that make things happen. It might be as complex and corporate as developing a film or starting a business. It might be as simple or small or personal as selling a house or changing a will. Whatever it is, creative people need creative lawyers.
The leading specialist entertainment law firm in New Zealand, Dominion Law acts for a wide range of clients, from internationally successful artists in the music industry, film studios and large media companies, to young bands and first-time film producers.
We are primarily commercial lawyers who have particular expertise in the music, film, television and related creative industries. We provide industry specific advice to our clients in how to exploit the rights that exist in their particular arenas, from hom to licence a song to a commercial or film, to how to obtain a record deal.
We provide a broad range of advice to New Zealand clients, as well as to international clients operating in New Zealand.
The services we provide include:
- Strategic Advice across all areas of rights exploitation
- Business and personal structures including companies, partnerships and trusts
- Deal negotiation across the music, film and television industries
- Preparing and reviewing contracts
- Dispute resolution
- Advice on all intellectual property issues
- Trade mark advice and applications
We also provide our clients with a wide range of general legal services including:
- Advice on employment issues
- Conveyancing services
- Will and trusts
- Relationship property
We are also able to advise clients about the various Government and non Government funding opportunities that are available to them in relation to their arts and entertainment activities.
All work we undertake for you is carried out according to our terms of business. You can download a copy here.
Terms of Business (95.7 KB PDF)
Chris is the managing partner and a specialist in entertainment law, with a particular bias towards music and new media.
He founded Dominion Law in 1995 and continues to represent the top echelons of the New Zealand Music industry.
He is one of NZ's leading legal experts in digital media and has a practical grasp of the issues involved in this rapidly changing area through his commercial interests. In addition he is the founder of the digital music services www.amplifier.co.nz, and theaudience.co.nz and the digital aggregator DRM NZ.
ddi: +64 9 847 9251
skype: chris.hocquard (location Auckland, New Zealand)
Tim Riley was a corporate lawyer for 12 years before he saw the light and crossed over from the dark side. He now specialises in film and TV, general commercial, IP and media law.
Tim is on the board of the company that runs the Qantas Screen Awards and is a member of SPADA and WIFT. He is the designated legal provider to the Screen Directors Guild and its members, a function that he also performs for Actors Equity. Tim writes regularly for TAKE and ONFILM magazines.
ddi: +64 9 847 9250
519 New North Road
PO Box 56545
P +64 9 847 9013
F +64 9 845 2082
Fabric Shelter Systems
They made the giant rugby world cup ball that resided next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the last world cup and will be in Auckland in 2011.
They made the giant rubber duck floating in Auckland harbour that was used to launch Mediaworks’ new TV channel – Four.
And they are making “the Cloud”; the new glass and steel structure being erected on Auckland’s waterfront to serve as a conference centre/entertainment venue/showpiece of NZ culture during the 2011 Rugby world cup.
Jesus! What the hell haven’t these guys done? Well in the field of temporary structures, both those with an artistic bent, and the purely utilitarian (for example the huge fabric and steel structure sheltering the construction site for the Victoria Park motorway underpass) there’s nothing they haven’t done.
Fabric Shelter Systems is a dynamic company with 3 principal shareholders, all of whom are working their arses off all over the world trying to keep up with the demand for their innovative and imaginative solutions to the simple human need for shelter.
Dominion Law’s association with FSS goes back a number of years. During that time we have acted for FSS in a number of significant transactions including construction contracts, acquisitions, mergers, corporate restructures, international partnerships and joint ventures; shareholder agreements and a range of related corporate and commercial work. We have also looked after them through some major disputes (including a dispute arising from the destruction by wind of an outdoor studio used in the Narnia film). We provide specialised IP advice on the design/artistic side of FSS’s business, including trademarks and patents, and we look after the personal, property and family affairs of one of the principals.
We are proud to be part of their business.
The Down Low Concept
As they say on their website, The DLC was started by Ryan, Jarrod, Nigel, and kune kune called Salmon.
They are the Auckland production company responsible for TV3’s acclaimed comedy panel show “7 Days”. Prior to this they earned their straps with the C4 comedy quiz-show “Pop Goes the Weasel” and now their multi-media empire extends from their base in Auckland’s swanky viaduct harbour far out into the visible galaxy with their new show “Bigger Better Faster Stronger“, a comedy drama series currently in production, award-winning short films; innovative digital projects, radio, music videos and advertising.
The Down Low boys are young, creative, entrepreneurial and hard working. They are bubbling over with ideas, and with the commercial and industry nous to make something of them. (Because we all know that an idea on its own is worth fuck all in this business). And after a hard year’s work, if they want to spend the whole Big Day Out drinking in the East Lounge, well, who’s going to blame them!
Hunter S Thompson called the TV industry a “shallow plastic money trench where pimps roam free and good men die like dogs”. Well, the DLC have turned that on its head and are good men roaming free in a deep money trench made of gold!
We have worked with the Down Low Concept for a few years now and have assisted them with funding applications, broadcast and other license agreements, distribution deals, format sales, director and other creative agreements as well as looking after their boring commercial stuff like leases. We love them!
It started as an experiment to see how a singles label might work in the NZ market and the first single from Kids of 88 just exploded.
We have been with them from the start, from the jottings on the back of a napkin at Shakey Isles, through the various short form agreements with the artists, the highs and lows of the US offers and the deals with Sony and EMI.
We have loved working with these guys, every step has been into the unknown as they try to crack the big markets.
Forget Paul Weller, in New Zealand Tim is the godfather.
We have been part of Tim's team since his return home in 1999. We have worked with him on his record deals, his publishing, his musical play and countless other projects.