Hall Of Fame

Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Media and entertainment: Art

IP specialist Marc-Olivier Deblanc leads the art offering at Barnett Avocats, which is experienced in handling matters involving various art forms, including photography and film, with a niche expertise in dealing with art produced through technology.

Media and entertainment: Art in France

De Baecque Fauré Bellec

The ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ team at De Baecque Fauré Bellec, is headed by Olivier De Baecque, who is ‘deeply entrenched in the Parisian art world’. The team is experienced in advising on the full spectrum of complex matters for its clients, which include the Dallas Museum of Art as well as galleries, experts and collectors. It is also a firm fixture in litigious matters in the space, both civil and criminal; a recent example being its successful representation of the University of Oklahoma in a cross-jurisdictional matter involving looted art.

Practice head(s):

Olivier de Baecque


‘Specialists in the field of art. We entrust them with both complex and varied criminal cases and civil cases. The firm has the necessary collaborators and knowledge to do both.’

‘We fully trust Mr de Baecque. Our relations with his associates are also very good.’

‘The team is extremely professional, responsive, pleasant to work with, efficient, and exceptionally knowledgeable in their field.’

Key clients

University of Oklahoma museum

Simon Hantaï estate

Dallas Museum of Art

Work highlights

  • Advised University of Oklahoma in a looted art, and restitution matter, obtaining dismissal of the claimant’s requests and favourable settlement before the Paris court.
  • Obtained the cancellation of a donation for the Simon Hantaï Estate in an action for the recovery of 13 major paintings from a non-profit organization and Total energies.
  • Represented auction house Enchères Rive Gauche against state organisation URSAFF in the landmark decision that no social taxes may be asked for upon auction of African and Oceanic art.

August Debouzy

August Debouzy‘s team predominantly assists with matters involving the sale and purchase of high-value assets at auction, as well as advising on negotiations regarding partnerships involving supporting artworks. It also has notable experience in dealing with art proceedings relating to forgery. In addition, many of the team’s matters involve tax issues relating to donations, as well as audits, involving art. Basile Ader and Mahasti Razavi are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Basile Ader; Mahasti Razavi

Key clients

Thierry Curial de Brevannes

Goya Subastas

Work highlights

  • Advised the art seller Thierry Curial de Brevannes as part of a dispute before the civil and criminal courts regarding the purchase of a Giacometti lamp.
  • Assisting Goya Subastas, a major Spanish auction house located in Madrid, in the context of the recovery of the price of the sale of a pair of vases to a French buyer.

Pamina Avocats

Rémi Sermier, leads the team at Pamina Avocats. The team’s workload consists in large part of assisting its notable clients with the legal aspects of negotiations, auctions, and the sale and purchase of reputable artworks, such as the recent cross-jurisdictional and high-value auction of the assets of the Karl Lagerfeld estate. In addition, it is equipped to handle criminal proceedings involving high-profile forgeries, as well matters pertaining to contentious ownership.

Practice head(s):

Remi Sermier

Key clients


Wildenstein Plattner Institute

Palais de Tokyo

Work highlights

  • Advising the state-owned entity that manages the Palais de Tokyo, dedicated to contemporary art, on their contractual matters.
  • Advising Sotheby’s on all legal aspects of the Karl Lagerfeld sales.
  • Assisting Wildenstein Plattner Institute in defending proceedings before the US court against an action from Restellini over the Modigliani papers.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP‘s art team is headed by Melina Wolman from the Paris office, with support from London-based partner Richard Hart. Wolman has a strong reputation in the sector for her expertise handling high-profile international cases involving the return of high-value art looted during WWII. The team is able to advise on a broad range of matters, including the loaning of art pieces and negotiations therein. There is an evident specialism in litigious matters also; the group regularly acts for its clients against reputable establishments in alleged looted art matters. Senior associate Sandy Wirtz, described as an ‘expert in art law’, provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Melina Wolman; Richard Hart

Other key lawyers:

Sandy Wirtz


‘The firm has great expertise in the art of disputes with an international dimension.’

‘Melina Wolman is a great professional. She perfectly masters her field and has a real passion in the field of art. The ramifications of the various disputes are always well-known to Melina Wolman.’

‘The Pinsent Mason team and, in particular, Sandy Wirtz, are experts in art law. It was a pleasure working with Sandy on an emblematic real estate file on very specific subjects concerning works of art and heritage.’

Key clients

Mondex Corporation

Middle Eastern Royal Family members

Middle Eastern Royal Family corporate vehicles

Work highlights

  • Assisting despoiled families through Mondex Corporation, before the CIVS, on a regular basis.
  • Advised the cultural Al Thani Collection Foundation set up by a prominent Qatari family, on the loan to Hôtel de la Marine of numerous artworks from its Collection, to be showcased as part of temporary exhibitions to be held over the next 20 years.
  • Advised the cultural Al Thani Collection Foundation, set up by a prominent Qatari family, on the loan from Calouste-Gulbenkian Museum of Lisbon of 97 pieces from the Gulbenkian Museum’s collection for an exhibition at the Hôtel de la Marine.

UGGC Avocats

UGGC Avocats has a noteworthy ability to handle a broad range of complex and often cross-jurisdictional matters concerning art law; it regularly deals with cases ranging from title disputes to the protection of trademarks. It is equipped to deal with both advisory and contentious matters; significantly, the team has recently been appointed by the renowned Musée du Louvre to represent and defend its interest in a major criminal investigation involving the international trafficking of stolen artefacts. Jean-François Canat, noted for his ‘deserved reputation in the art world’, heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jean-François Canat

Other key lawyers:

Philippe Hansen; Laure Assumpçao


‘Jean’s competence in the range of multidisciplinary issues involved in my art transaction case made him a pleasure to work with – his knowledge is unique and he has an excellent and deserved reputation in the art world.’

‘The team is among the best, both for professional competence and personal skills in examining topics.’

‘Laure Assumpçao has shown great responsiveness and efficiency as well as great maturity in handling our particularly difficult file, in view of the stakes. Given the tight deadlines and the urgency required, she has also shown great resilience. I have been impressed by this young lawyer and the finesse of her involvement in our case.’


Key clients

L’Etablissement Public du Musée du Louvre

GIACOMETTI, Berthoud Consorts

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme

Elyx Productions

Meriem Bouderbala

Luc Bellier


Collège de France

Bertrand Cure

Work highlights

  • Representing and defending the Musée du Louvre’s interest in the context of a major criminal investigation in a case involving the international traffic of looted art, in which it is, for now, indirectly involved.
  • Assisting The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, a beautiful historical museum, in connection with protection and defence of its trademarks.
  • Assisting the Consorts Berthoud, who hold Diego Giacometti’s copyrights since his death, successfully suing the famous Parisien Botella art gallery which was selling sculptures of Diego Giacometti that appeared to be counterfeited.


VARET PRÈS KILLY is a boutique law firm with a focus on IP, IT and media. As a recently established practice, it is developing a strong reputation for its abilities in art law. It is frequently entrusted to assist with high-value projects involving the production of artworks; heritage and the inheritance of works; and donations. Additionally, the team is able to handle litigation involving the alleged infringement of the moral rights of artists. Xavier Près and Vincent Varet are the practice heads; the former has notable expertise and experience in art law in particular.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Près; Vincent Varet

Key clients

Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

Philharmonie des enfants

Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet

Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais Champs Elysées (RMN – GP)

Musée du Louvre

Ville de Vichy

Collection Lambert