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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Private client > Art and cultural property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Art and cultural property
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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At Boodle Hatfield LLP  ‘the level of service on all fronts and its response times are excellent; the team has a complete understanding of the complexities of the art market and its very strong and experienced art litigation team dovetails well with its excellent private client and art finance offering’. The ‘knowledgeable’ Simon Fitzpatrick  ‘gives one confidence in his ability’ and Natasha Hassall is recommended for her experience at handling both onshore and offshore trusts, tax planning and wills for large landed estates that have substantial heritage property and art collections. The ‘active team has prestigious clients’ that includes artists from a diverse range of disciplines spanning well-known, high-net-worth artists through to up-and-coming street artists and couture fashion designers. The full-service team advises on everything from high-value disputes to setting up new art-focused businesses. Becky Shaw is a ‘hardworking associate with a real interest in her work’.

Farrer & Co   has a number of ‘standout individuals’ among them the ‘very impressive’ Adrian Parkhouse, who acts for dealers, galleries, individuals and foreign governments in disputes over art and heritage property. The ‘brilliant and pragmatic’ James Carleton  has particular expertise in cross-border art and heritage law. The ‘exceptionally able’ Rhoddy Voremberg is well regarded for his advice on the tax treatment of heritage property; the ‘excellent and immensely experienced’ Mike Chantler is also recommended for his work on the administration and taxation of heritage property. Julian Smith  is highly respected for his work in advising charities and non-departmental public bodies. Adam Carvalho  is an ‘up-and-coming senior associate whose reputation continues to grow’. The team represents major museums and galleries such as the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum, and also acts for the international super-rich, dealers and collectors. Other major clients include Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, Historic Royal Palaces and the Art Fund.

Mishcon de Reya LLP   has a ‘strong name and is a major presence in the art world’. The ‘brilliant’ team is headed by the ‘extremely well-known’ Karen Sanig and is frequently involved in the biggest art transactions in the world and the most significant litigation in this area. Managing associate Amanda Gray is also recommended for her work on contentious and non-contentious matters. It recently advised a client who was acting as agent for the seller in a cross-jurisdictional sale and purchase of an extremely high-value Impressionist masterpiece. The team advised on the consignment agreement with the seller, the duties as agent, the terms of sale and the commission that was to be received out of the sale. In a matter that showcases the team’s knowledge of art loan agreements, art trust structures and the value of reputations in the art world, the team is representing the art dealer Anthony D’Offay in connection with his substantial gift to the nation of contemporary art that was valued at £126m which has come under pressure as a result of the Tate’s public response to various press allegations. Other clients include Halcyon Gallery, Museum of Everything, Contemporary Art Society and Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Stephenson Harwood  fields a ‘very well-respected and market-leading team that provides great customer service, very good representation and high levels of advice with a great ability to adapt quickly as needed’. The ‘pragmatic and friendly’ Roland Foord garners considerable praise as someone who is ‘very experienced in the art world with an excellent grasp of fact and detail’. The group has ‘great experience and expertise at all levels and its advice is consistently reliable, constructive and straightforward’. Stephen Roberts is known as a skilled litigator in the fine arts sector.  The team continues to be engaged in some of the largest and most complex disputes and has also been busy providing non-contentious advice to high profile individuals in the art market. In a significant matter that is attracting media interest the team is acting for Mark Weiss Limited and Mark Weiss (an established London old master dealer) in a dispute over a painting that was sold privately through Sotheby’s as a work by Frans Hals. There are now questions about the painting’s authenticity. Other clients include a major museum in the Middle East.

The ‘excellent’ Suzanne Marriott at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP heads the arts group and Edward Craig  heads the retail and leisure group. Marriott advises individuals, landed estates and charitable trusts where art is part of their assets on diverse issues from cross-border and UK tax planning to tax reliefs on art. Robert Blower  is ‘superb on heritage matters’ and the ‘very focused’Andrew Cameron  is also recommended. For art-related dispute resolution Ludovic de Walden  is described as ‘one of the best in his field about everything related to art’. The team advises a broad client base of dealers, artists, galleries and auction houses as well as wealthy individuals on a diverse range of issues from tax planning, escrow and valuation agreements to succession planning and insurance matters. The National Museum of the Royal Navy is an important client. In a key matter the team acts as a trustee of a charitable trust which endows the Arts, organises and funds art prizes and helps with exhibitions and the collections of leading museums and galleries throughout the UK. The firm is well placed to provide the full range of advisory, transactional and dispute resolution services to clients in this specialist area. The firm recently hired Tim Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo from Boodle Hatfield LLP .

Pierre Valentin at Constantine Cannon LLP is skilled at advising on a full range of issues from commercial matters, to regulatory and contentious art related issues. Valentin acts for private banks lending against artworks in the USA, Europe and Asia and is well regarded for his expertise in art finance. Senior associate Azmina Jasani also has significant experience of working with international collectors, large and small galleries as well as auction houses, professional advisers, dealers and financial institutions on an extensive range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The team has considerable transatlantic capacity with both UK and US-qualified lawyers. Notable clients include a prominent European industrial family, a European governmental owned entity, a partnership of British antiquities dealers as well as a pre-eminent New York jewellery dealer and a UK ultra-high-net-worth private art collector.

Mark Stephens  heads a dedicated team at Howard Kennedy LLP that advises on all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property, from drafting agreements to litigation and the resolution of disputes for clients such as museums and galleries as well as public art organisations, photo libraries and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Other clients include governments and national institutions. The ‘robust’ Daniel McClean  divides his time between the US and UK and is recommended along with Robert Lands, who specialises in intellectual property and related IT and media work. Major clients include The Tate, Contemporary Arts Society, Mark Wallinger and the Design Artists Copyright Society. Sir Peter Blake and Art Basel are other significant clients. Tim Bignell  is leading the advice for a pre-eminent Middle Eastern gallery and art collector in a claim against the international art house Sotheby’s. The claim is for the alleged incorrect description and dating in a sales catalogue relating to the sale of a historical bronze statue.

Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans  fields a ‘professional and capable’ team under the leadership of Hetty Gleave who has an ‘excellent track record in this area’. It has ‘several very able and knowledgeable practitioners who deal with all aspects of art and cultural property from litigation to problem solving for clients with cultural assets. The team also has a nice human touch’. Gleave has a ‘wealth of knowledge’ and the ‘very responsive’ Gregor Kleinknecht  ‘has a great eye for detail and is very well-informed in this area’. Senior associatePetra Warrington  is ‘very patient and is building up considerable experience in this field’ and all three make a ‘great team’. The skilled team has a ‘very good ethos and range of clients’ such as artists, dealers, galleries and collectors as well as public and private institutions. It advises on the full spectrum of issues from title disputes to other issues such as questions of misattribution. It also advises on a myriad of other complex issues including claims regarding illegally excavated and/or exported artefacts and advice in relation to treasure. Gleave is a member of the Treasure Valuation Committee which advises the Secretary of State on the fair market value of declared treasure finds from the UK which museums may wish to acquire. Both Gleave and Kleinknecht are mediators and members of the Art Resolve (this is a specialist Art Dispute Resolution Service). In addition Gregor is a qualified arbitrator and is a member of the PAIAM (Professional Advisors to the International Art Market) board.

Clyde & Co LLP  is praised for its ‘strong international network. As an international firm, it has very good links to the New York, London and Asian art markets’. Tony Baumgartner heads the fine art group and is someone who ‘really sees the bigger picture of each case and is very good tactically. He has an intimate understanding of the art world. He is an intelligent and down-to-earth solicitor who has a knack of explaining difficult concepts clearly’. Baumgartner is also someone who ‘stays calm under pressure and remains reasonable and open to sensible compromise with counterparties while also being able to co-ordinate multi-jurisdictional issues well’. Some say that he is ‘best in the business – the ‘go to’ doyen’. The firm is a ‘top level insurance firm that does interesting work in the art world (art insurance, stolen art, title issues etc.)’. The specialist fine art and specie team handles a full range of fine art, antiquities, jewellery and specie matters for leading international insurers and reinsurers around the world together with major auction houses, galleries, museums and private clients. Clients appreciate that there is ‘good oversight by the partners who ensure high levels of service’. The ‘excellent’ Tim Crockford  joined the team from Gowling WLG and is regularly retained by some of the world’s foremost auction houses, art dealers and museums to advise on a range of issues from title queries to large and complex professional liability disputes.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP has the ‘very strong’ Ceris Gardner at the helm. Jennifer Chambers  andClare Maurice  are both ‘very experienced’. The team has extensive expertise in working with UK resident non-UK domiciled art collectors in the review and structuring of the ownership of their collections in line with the UK tax regime and their succession planning objectives. The group routinely advises collectors, dealers, museums and private individuals on art-related and heritage property matters. It advises on a broad array of matters from art loan arrangements, arrangements for the safe custody and sale of the artwork through to gallery contracts and negotiations with auction houses. Gardner is well known for her work on advising grant-making and operational charities on matters of charity law and tax pertaining to the acquisition, loan and sale of both collections of works of art and individual pieces.

Celia Lloyd Davidson is the UK head of art law at Withers LLP  and is praised for her ‘excellent technical advice and strategic guidance on key matters’. Lloyd Davidson advises on all aspects of commercial art law and is regularly instructed by leading museums, galleries, artists and intermediaries. Newly promoted partner Eleni Polycarpou  leads the UK art litigation team and is ‘very knowledgeable and is exceptional with clients’. Clients benefit from its network of international offices through which the team can service its globally mobile client base. It is also well-regarded for its work on tax and estate planning issues particularly for the owners of major art collections. Other key areas of expertise include advising on the full range of contentious matters in the art sector from restitution claims, to disputes about title and contested provenance and contractual issues. Major clients include the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Naxos Art Inc. The team is also part of initiatives in Switzerland and in London through which the art world is kept informed about using arbitration as a preferred form of dispute resolution.

The ‘very knowledgeable, experienced and very user-friendly’ Susan Johnson  co-heads the team atBircham Dyson Bell  with the ‘very experienced’ Hugo Smith . Smith acts for a number of clients with large art collections and advises them on the use of structures and tax reliefs to enable collections to be protected for future generations. Team members are ‘professional, fiercely bright and approachable’. Its ‘client list is expanding’ and clients range from individuals, executors and trustees to galleries, art dealers and charities. The team continues to advise its long-standing client the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on various contractual and regulatory matters. Other clients include the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Historic England, the Crossrail Art Foundation and Handel House Trust Limited. Areas of expertise include advising on the formation of charities to hold art and cultural property to make works available for public display. The team also routinely advises on issues such as the sale and purchase of works of art, advises on issues of provenance and intellectual property matters as well as on succession and tax planning matters.

Alex Watt  at Browne Jacobson LLP  has extensive experience of advising both artists on the protection of their intellectual property as well as advising galleries on their relationships with artists. Watt has particular expertise in advising artists, galleries and other institutions on ‘street art’ or ‘urban art’ and acts for a large number of urban artists and well known writers such as CEPT and SHOK-1. The team acts as the sole counsel for the world-renowned street artist Ben Eine (also known as EINE). Declan Cushley  is the key partner for the National Trust. It has variously advised the National Trust on matters such as intellectual property issues regarding the Trust’s major heritage sites through to the terms and conditions for the hire of National Trust properties as wedding venues.

Rupert Mead  at Forsters LLP  has a particular interest in the preservation of heritage property and its exemption from tax. Mead acts as a trustee of a number of significant estates in England and Wales, many of which include pre-eminent collections of chattels. The ‘very experienced’ Catherine Hill  is ‘able to draft complex bespoke documents which succinctly capture a client’s requirements’. Hill advises clients who own and invest in art and has a particular expertise in advising living artists (several of whom are Royal Academicians) on legacy, succession and taxation issues. The group has a wealth of experience in acting for influential individuals and institutions in the UK and in the major international art markets. Clients range from families and their trustees owning old masters and chattels of national importance through to living contemporary artists seeking to establish structures to safeguard their artistic legacies. Its client base includes international collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities.

Payne Hicks Beach  has a ‘team that is excellent in every way’. It is adept at advising private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities and has particular expertise in the administration of high value and extensive collections of art and the trusts associated with these collections. James Bacon heads the art and cultural property team and is well regarded for his work on heritage property taxation. Bacon has niche expertise in the use of maintenance fund settlements for land. His clients include owners of very substantial art collections and landed estates. Alastair Murdie , who is the head of private client, routinely handles the legal and tax implications of large art collections owned by his clients. Murdie is experienced at advising on conditional exemptions as well as handling applications for the creation of maintenance funds. The team is also well-regarded for its experience in the resolution of disputes and the recovery of misappropriated items.

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP  advises high-net-worth individuals, royal family members, art foundations and cultural institutions as well as artists and government bodies on their art collections. Richard Hart  routinely advises clients on the structuring of their collections and on their philanthropic endeavours through cultural foundations. He also advises clients on facilitating donations to cultural institutions and is skilled at advising on issues as they arise on large international touring exhibitions. The group is adept at advising on all types of art including traditional fine art, art and sculpture and is also skilled at advising on video and digital art, street art and jewellery. Highlights included advising a large multinational company with a portfolio of art investments on the establishment of a website to showcase some of the client’s collection of gemstones, jewellery and artefacts. The team has also been engaged to advise a foreign art investing corporate on its global trade mark filing strategy for its vast collection.

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