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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. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Boodle Hatfield LLP is β€˜a very prestigious law firm for art and cultural property work. It has been handling art and cultural property matters for its private clients for many years, so it has an intimate understanding of how the whole market works. The team really takes the time to get to know its clients and has the added bonus of cross-departmental expertise from its IP and fraud divisions, to name but two’. Key individuals in the β€˜first-rate team’ include Simon Fitzpatrick, who is β€˜strong on the contentious side’; he has specialist expertise in art litigation, including claims concerning auction house misattribution and negligence and provenance claims. Tim Maxwell also has a specialism in art law and art litigation, and is β€˜an experienced litigator who can handle large and complicated matters with ease’. Natasha Hassall is recommended for her expertise in both onshore and offshore trusts, tax planning, and wills for large landed estates with substantial heritage property and art collections. Fiona Graham is praised for her β€˜great technical knowledge’, and the β€˜dynamic’ Sue Laing β€˜fights hard for her clients’. Senior associate Rudy Capildeo β€˜exudes confidence and has huge in-depth knowledge of the art and cultural property space’, and associate Becky Shaw is β€˜a safe pair of hands who provides solid support’. Clients include privately owned businesses and very wealthy entrepreneurs, alongside numerous landed estates such as the Folkestone Estates. The group has considerable expertise in street art, representing major artists such as Stik, and has advised on some of the largest art financing transactions of recent times. The β€˜excellent and swift’ team has been instructed to advise an organiser on a groundbreaking proposal to bring a historic musical instrument to the UK for the first time. Overall, the team has β€˜a keen interest in the field. The lawyers do high-end work, have in-depth knowledge and are incredibly friendly’.

β€˜A great team that has a formidable and merited reputation for the wide range and high quality of legal services it provides’, Farrer & Co has β€˜a depth of expertise it can call upon coupled with a great skill to provide clear responses’. Head of department Adrian Parkhouse is β€˜a wizard who really knows his stuff’, and β€˜combines meticulous professionalism with a realistic and pragmatic approach to complicated art and heritage issues’. Rhoddy Voremberg is β€˜a senior statesman who is a very, very safe pair of hands’. Other members of the team include Peter Wienand and associate Jane Randell, both of whom are β€˜unfailingly polite, prompt and clear’. The β€˜technically excellent and very experienced’ James Carleton β€˜thinks laterally and has a natural empathy with his clients’. Mike Chantler is well regarded for his work in devising tax-saving strategies for artworks and other heritage property, and senior associate Adam Carvalho stays β€˜very calm and collected’. The firm’s β€˜long association with many of the grandest landed estates gives it great experience and confidence to deal with a wide range of art-related matters whether they be unambiguously commercial or heritage related’. It has a diverse client base ranging from the international super-rich, dealers and collectors to the foremost galleries and museums. It recently advised the Tate Modern on the return of a Turner sketch, Beaching a Boat, Brighton, which had been looted by the Nazis from its Hungarian owner during World War II.

Mishcon de Reya LLP has β€˜in-depth knowledge of the art world and its ability to solve problems’, and is β€˜always available and provides immediate responses’. Karen Sanig heads the team and is β€˜probably the most experienced art lawyer in the country. If you need an art litigation lawyer she is the "go to" person’. She and managing associate Amanda Gray are both β€˜meticulous, and live and breathe their work’. Sanig represents clients from across the globe, and advises on a wide range of matters including disputes over attribution, authenticity and ownership, as well as on the restitution of looted cultural property. The β€˜excellent’ team is regularly involved in the largest art transactions in the world and the most significant litigation in the area. In a major matter, it represented longstanding client the Arab Republic of Egypt on the possible prevention of the export of the sculpture of Sekhemka (an Egyptian royal scribe), which had been sold at auction in 2014 by the Northampton Museum for Β£15.8m to an anonymous foreign owner; the export was blocked until the end of March 2016. In another key matter, it advised the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) on a potential sale of Figure Study 11 by Francis Bacon, worth approximately Β£60m, by Kirklees Council, CAS having gifted the painting to Kirklees Council on condition that if the Council attempted to dispose of the artwork it would automatically forfeit the title and ownership would then revert to CAS. The team is β€˜hugely knowledgeable from being in this sector for such a long time’, and is β€˜highly efficient: if it says that something is done, it is done and done well’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has β€˜a very good reputation’, with the β€˜very sensible’ Suzanne Marriott β€˜highly regarded’; she is β€˜very clear-sighted about her clients’ aims and objectives’ and is noted for β€˜her ability to then use imaginative ideas to come up with solutions’. The β€˜very user-friendly team’ team was pleased to add β€˜outstanding litigator’ Ludovic de Walden to its ranks from Bird & Bird LLP; he is a well-known name in the field of art-related dispute resolution, acting for museums, collectors, dealers, sovereign states, artists’ estates and other industry bodies, and β€˜always tries to get the best for his clients’. Bart Peerless is β€˜very experienced’, and Robert Blower is β€˜fantastic’ at advising art collectors. The team advises a broad client base of dealers, artists, galleries and auction houses in addition to wealthy individuals, on issues ranging from tax planning and escrow and valuation agreements to succession planning and insurance matters. Sotheby’s and The Design Museum are key clients. Highlights included advising the trusteeship of a charitable trust which endows the arts by organising and funding art prizes, exhibitions and collections, on matters including export licences and loan agreements.

Constantine Cannon LLP has β€˜a highly skilled team that is strong in the international arena’. The β€˜outstanding and very analytical’ Pierre Valentin has β€˜superb market knowledge’ and is β€˜extremely thorough, hardworking, and highly ethical’; he β€˜thinks creatively to always try to get the best solution for his clients’, whose β€˜interests are always foremost in his mind’. The team has significant transatlantic capabilities, and Valentin has β€˜considerable knowledge not only of the UK art market but also of other systems of law’, which β€˜gives him a unique advantage in London’. β€˜Very helpful’ senior associate Azmina Jasani is β€˜meticulous and very client-orientated’. Both Valentin and Jasani are β€˜very fair to all people they deal with and are very understanding that these matters can often be very emotional for family members’. The practice provides the international art market with the full range of advice, and has a diverse client base which includes artists, galleries, auction houses, private collectors, banks and private art foundations. Notable clients include Paddle8, Art of Kindness and Blain Southern.

Mark Stephens is β€˜a brilliant strategic thinker’ and heads a skilled team at Howard Kennedy LLP which has β€˜an excellent understanding of the practicalities of the art market and is therefore particularly well able to assist its clients in potentially contentious situations’. Robert Lands is β€˜very experienced’ on all aspects of intellectual property, and Daniel McClean is β€˜really hungry to get the best results for his clients, with an excellent understanding of the art world and a sophisticated understanding of artists’. Jonathan Sellors is β€˜very practical and adopts a good strategic approach to matters’. The team is best known for its work in relation to impressionist, modern and contemporary art, and looted art and cultural property, and covers both transactions and contentious issues. It acts for high-profile artists, galleries, estates and charitable foundations including The Tate, ArtAngel, Sir Peter Blake and Turner prize-winner Mark Wallinger. Tim Bignell recently led the defence of a client in High Court litigation brought by the Art Loss Register for breach of confidential information, employment covenants and solicitation of company clients. In another major matter, the group acted for Meem Gallery (Dubai) on behalf of a group of leading Iranian artists and estates against Christie’s (London) and Darius and Marc Azari in relation to 300 disputed artworks.

Stephenson Harwood has β€˜a great team across the board, and is and should be the first port of call for anyone looking for either non-contentious advisory work or contentious dispute resolution advice and representation’. It is β€˜one of the few firms that has a true art specialisation and is also very experienced in cultural property work due to its long-running association with clients in the art world such as galleries, dealers and auction houses’. β€˜Very able litigator’ Roland Foord heads the team, and his β€˜calm and measured approach is born out of years of extensive experience. He has an impressive roster of clients’. He advises on other matters ranging from the sale and purchase of fine art to standard terms of business for the major market players in the art world, and is also experienced in export issues and looted art matters. Stephen Roberts has β€˜an excellent forensic mind which he brings to bear in providing superb advice on the prospects and risks of litigation’. In a significant matter, the team is acting for Mark Weiss Limited, an established London Old Master dealer, in a dispute over a painting sold through Sotheby’s as a work by Frans Hals; the authenticity of the painting has now been questioned. It also acts for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Royal College of Art, the Society of London Art Dealers, Hazlitt Gooden & Fox Limited, and Mark Adams Fine Art Ltd.

At Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans, Hetty Gleave β€˜is doing high-quality work and is a real art expert who really knows her stuff’; Gregor Kleinknecht is β€˜prominent in the area and is known as a tough litigator’; Alexandra Sarkis is β€˜excellent with clients and is also very knowledgeable and experienced’, acting for a number of major landed estates with significant heritage property; and associate Petra Warrington provides β€˜great support within the team’. The multi-disciplinary team acts for over 60 landed estates and has specialist experience in relation to art and antiquities. It regularly advises dealers, galleries, collectors, and public and private institutions on title disputes, questions of misattribution and authenticity, IP issues, and matters relating 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, a specialist art dispute resolution service.

The β€˜very knowledgeable and empathetic’ Ceris Gardner heads the team at Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP; she has β€˜a real depth of expertise and inspires confidence in her clients’. The β€˜very responsive, sharp and clever’ Clare Maurice β€˜fights her clients’ corner very well’. The team is experienced in assisting art collectors in the review and tax structuring of the ownership of their collections, and is also well versed in succession planning. Gardner has a wealth of experience advising individuals, families, estates and trustees on UK and international art and heritage property matters, and is also notable for her work for grant-making and operational charities on matters of charity law and tax concerning the acquisition, loan and sale of both collections and individual pieces.

Withers LLP has β€˜a very strong practice that fits in very well with its overall excellent private client offering. It has a well-organised and helpful team that is completely dedicated to its clients’. Celia Lloyd Davidson is β€˜very alert to the commercial realities of each situation’; the β€˜phenomenal’ Peter Wood is β€˜very good at identifying arcane points of law and identifying the potential traps before the client walks into them’; Robin Paul has β€˜a wealth of knowledge and experience’; Eleni Polycarpou, who heads the art litigation team, is β€˜an excellent litigator to have on your side and is relentless in pursuing her clients’ best interests’; and β€˜up-and-coming’ associate Simon Chadwick has β€˜an unparalleled work ethic and his client manner is perfect’. The firm has considerable international and transatlantic capabilities. In a significant cross-border matter, it is advising Gazelli Art House (a leading Mayfair contemporary art gallery) in a claim against a Taiwanese gallery; and, in another substantial international matter, it is instructed by Naxos Art Inc in a dispute over the ownership of more than 300 paintings.

Susan Johnson and Hugo Smith co-head an β€˜excellent’ team at Bircham Dyson Bell, whose client base includes wealthy individuals, museums, galleries, historic estates, artists and their estates, livery companies, and charities. It continues to advise longstanding client the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on various contractual and regulatory matters. It has also been acting in a dispute over valuable and rare pieces of 17th century Chinese porcelain which were collected by Sir Michael Butler, who gifted the pieces to his four children; the practice successfully acted for two of the children in a claim for the issue of an order for the division of the pieces under the Law of Property Act 1925. Other areas of expertise include the formation of charities to hold art and cultural property to make works available for public display; the sale and purchase of works of art; and matters of provenance, intellectual property, succession and tax planning.

Alex Watt is a leading intellectual property lawyer at Browne Jacobson LLP, and has extensive experience advising both artists on the protection of their rights as well as galleries on their relationships with artists. He has developed considerable expertise in advising artists, galleries and other institutions on fine art within the β€˜street art’ or β€˜urban art’ categories; he is sole counsel for world-renowned street artist Ben Eine (aka EINE), and also acts for Stik, who is another major urban artist. The group is also recommended for its work on cultural property matters, and has acted for the National Trust for over nine years, advising it on a wide variety of matters.

The β€˜very personable’ Tony Baumgartner heads the fine art team at Clyde & Co LLP, which deals with the full range of fine art, antiquities, jewellery and specie matters for leading international insurers and reinsurers worldwide, as well as many major London insurers of fine art. Baumgartner has β€˜genuine expertise in this area and is very experienced’, covering both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters as well as more general disputes for key insurance clients.

Rupert Mead heads the art and heritage group at Forsters LLP, which draws on specialist knowledge from across the firm and has a focus on advising individuals, trustees and companies on the tax implications of owning art and heritage property. It is also experienced in contentious matters involving art, and is increasingly active in matters with a foreign law component. Clients include contemporary artists, art collectors, auction houses, museums, charities, dealers, and families and their trustees. Mead advises the owners of landed estates and has a particular interest in the taxation of heritage property (both chattels, and historic land and buildings). He acts as trustee of a number of major estates in England and Wales, many of which have a significant collection of art and chattels. Catherine Hill is experienced in estate planning and succession issues; and David Robinson is also recommended for his work with the owners of landed estates, offering detailed knowledge of the tax exemptions affecting fine houses and works of art.

Payne Hicks Beach is experienced in advising private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities, and has particular strength in the administration of extensive, high-value collections of art and associated trusts; there is β€˜very little about the art and cultural property sectors that the firm has not mastered’. Practice head James Bacon has considerable knowledge of heritage property tax and niche expertise in the use of maintenance fund settlements for heritage land; β€˜he has the ability to handle the most complex art and cultural property matters, and does all this sensitively’. Alastair Murdie’s work for significant landed estates includes regularly advising on the legal and tax implications of large art collections owned by his clients.

Richard Hart heads an β€˜excellent’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP which is β€˜very responsive and provides robust and tailored advice that shows the firm’s expertise and ability to link together different specialisations (for example tax and art advice)’. Associate Fionnuala Rogers is β€˜knowledgeable and passionate about art, and this shines through in the quality of the advice that she gives’. Hart acts for several ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families on matters such as acquisitions and refurbishments of historic houses, and advises on art collections. The team has a strong transactional practice, with notable capabilities on the contentious side also. It is representing Mondex Corporation in a major dispute on behalf of the heirs of a Jewish gallerist who was dispossessed in World War II of the Modigliani painting Seated Man with a Cane. Other key clients include Deutsche Bank, University of the Arts London, Sussex University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and various members of Middle Eastern royal families.

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