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Arnold Bloch Leibler negotiates historic settlement for descendants of Albert Namatjira

Intellectual Property, Native Title & Public Interest Law
RESIZED Mark Zav Gab 1

Having secured the return of the copyright into the lifetime works of revered Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira for our clients, the Namatjira Legacy Trust, last October, Arnold Bloch Leibler lawyers have now negotiated a landmark settlement with the Northern Territory Government.

In an article published in The Weekend Australian, journalist Rosemary Neill explains that the settlement comes 35 years after the Northern Territory Public Trustee sold the Namatjira copyright to a non-Aboriginal publisher, Legend Press.

Competition partner and IP specialist Zaven Mardirossian (pictured above, right), who approached the Namatjira Legacy Trust mid-last year and offered the firm’s services pro bono, said that the NT Government had negotiated the settlement “honourably , graciously and quickly after a demand was issued earlier this year. 

“Clearly, for the family, this settlement – and of course the return of the copyright - is deeply significant, not just in terms of the dollar amount, but in terms of having put to rest a very painful aspect of the family’s history,” he said.

Senior partner Mark Leibler (pictured above, centre), who led the team which, alongside Zaven, included public interest partner Peter Seidel and lawyer Gabriel Sakkal (pictured above, left), said: “While the settlement does not include any admission of legal liability, it is a tangible outcome for Albert Namatjira's descendants and a credit to the Northern Territory Government of 2018. 

“The very existence of this settlement recognises that Australia has matured in the last 35 years, and can recognise the consequences of past decisions, which have an ongoing impact down the generations”

To read Rosemary Neill’s article, click here.

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