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Legal advice and support

'I have found the ISM's legal service personal and unlimited, and they have been particularly useful when it comes to the complex contracts I have had to negotiate.'

Bushra El-Turk, Composer and Artistic Director, Ensemble Zar

How can we help?

Just some of the questions our members come to us with:

'My employer is asking me to sign a new contract, what should I do?'

'I need advice on this publishing agreement'

'GDPR - help!'

'Can you recover an unpaid fee for me?'

'If I sign this contract will I be signing away all my rights in my music?'

'Is this management agreement safe for me to sign?'

'Can you represent me at a meeting with my employer?'

One-to-one legal assistance

Our specialist in-house legal team is here to help you with professional advice and to look after your interests in numerous ways.

There's no time limit on how long our team can spend on your case or how often you can use the service.

In 2019, we won a landmark victory at the Court of Appeal for our member in a case surrounding holiday pay entitlement for musicians. This victory was the culmination of six years of support from the ISM's legal team. Find out more about the case.

We are the only membership organisation that offers this level of comprehensive legal support and representation for musicians.


We cut through the legal jargon and help you understand exactly what is involved in a contract, whether it is for recording, publishing, performing, teaching or any other contract you may need for your work.

We can help draft contracts and provide a range of ready-made templates for you to use.

Employment advice

We help you navigate the complexities of employment law. From changes to terms and conditions to redundancy, and from discrimination to holiday pay, our legal team is here to support you.

Disciplinary and grievance support

We help you make your case at grievance, disciplinary and redundancy meetings. Our team can advise, draft, correspond or negotiate directly for you. This includes representation for orchestral musicians.

Copyright advice

We advise on all aspects of copyright for songwriters and composers, performer's rights and music licensing. We can also help draft and negotiate licences and other legal documents.

24-hour legal helpline

Our legal helpline, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is exclusively for ISM members. Get telephone-based advice on any legal issue, whether work-related or not.

We're proud of the bespoke legal service we offer our members

member cases opened by our legal team in the last two years.

£150,000 recovered for our members in the last two years.

Unpaid fees recovery

Our legal team help recover money owed to you in relation to your work. Every year we recover thousands of pounds for members from contracts and engagements of every kind.

    DBS disclosure service

    We can apply for a standard or enhanced DBS check on your behalf. For more details, read our DBS Frequently Asked Questions.

    Discounted legal services

    As an ISM member, you will be able to take advantage of specially negotiated discounts on a wide range of legal services, from will-writing and property, to matrimonial and family law services.