Art and cultural property in London

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Simon Fitzpatrick leads the team at Boodle Hatfield LLP that has a strong reputation and a broad arts practice. It advises numerous wealthy clients and successfully advises on big art law litigation. The agile team is recognised for its work with leading landed estates that have valuable art collections. Other clients include galleries, artists, auction houses and HNWIs. Fitzpatrick has specialist knowledge of art law and art litigation including auction house misattribution, authenticity and provenance claims. He has been involved in a significant number of high-profile cases relating to alleged auction house negligence. Natasha Hassall is another name to note for her work with clients on long-term estate planning, onshore and offshore trusts, tax planning and wills. The group has vast experience of advising large landed estates with heritage property issues and substantial art collections. Eleanor Sepanski is another key member of the team. The associates also garner praise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Natasha Hassall; Eleanor Sepanski; Becky Shaw; Fred Clark; Rebecca Foden

Testimonials

It is a small, but impactful team, working on an impressive list of HNW individuals, trusts and cultural establishments. Simon Fitzpatrick is a strong team leader with a very patient approach to matters. Becky Shaw is a true rising star, making her name in the field. Same goes for Fred Clark, who has taken on some impressive clients‘.

Experienced team in the art world which as a client gives you confidence in the advice. Fred Clark is excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive‘.

Quite simply one of the best art and cultural property teams in the country. The strength and experience is second to none. Whether you are a collector, artist, auction house or financier Boodle Hatfield should be your first stop for any art-related dispute‘.

Simon Fitzpatrick is able, astute and accommodating – a fine leader and a good man. Rebecca Foden is clever, conscientious and client-focused – a real team-player who adds significant value. Becky Shaw is diligent and dependable – the sort of associate anyone would want on their side‘.

‘Simon Fitzpatrick – very smart, commercial, thoughtful‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised a foundation, which finances much of the work of the Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem, on the contractual arrangements to bring about collaboration and exchange of loan objects between the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art and The Al-Thani Collection Foundation.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a first-class and 'very client-orientated' team that covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters from the purchase, sale and financing of art through to advising on the restitution of art work that has been looted. It is also adept at advising on issues such as the donation of art in lieu of inheritance/estate taxes and is also recommended for its work on import and export licences. Other areas of expertise include advising street artists on the protection of their artworks in addition to advising on disputes about authenticity, provenance and title matters. The team, under the joint leadership of Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell, regularly advises museums and art galleries in addition to foundations, charities, philanthropists, insurance brokers and collectors and is recognised for its work with national institutions on projects of major cultural importance. Suzanne Marriott is highly regarded for her work with estates that hold significant art collections.

Practice head(s):

Rudy Capildeo; Tim Maxwell

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Marriott; Robert Blower

Testimonials

The team has unparalleled expertise in all matters relating to cultural property: heritage tax, offers in lieu, private treaty sales, Government Indemnity, export licensing, conditional exemption and all fiscal issues relating to chattels; artists and artists’ estates. I have no hesitation in recommending them as the best of the best in the field of heritage property‘.

Robert Blower, Suzanne Marriott, Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell  – all outstanding in all they do: expertise, handling particularly complex and sometimes contentious cases; they know who to ask. Last year I said that their late partner Ludo de Walden had the Midas touch and I know his legacy is safe with them‘.

As far as I am aware this is the biggest art and cultural property team in the country. It has well recognised people who are actively engaged in this niche area. They have a very good client base and do very good work. Suzanne Marriott,  Robert Blower, Tim Maxwell, Rudy Capildeo‘.

‘One of the most experienced and deep art law teams in the UK – covering transactional, litigation and private client advice. Rudy Capildeo – hardworking and very easy to deal with. Tim Maxwell – a determined and impressive litigator. Robert Blower – one of the most experienced private client advisors around‘.

What makes the CRS team exceptional among its UK peers is the breadth of expertise in both disputes and transactional expertise in the arts. Tim Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo are exceptional litigators‘.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys has been exceptional. Knowledgeable, patient, diligent and responsive.  Its handling of a complex restitution case, spanning historic case law and multiple jurisdictions has been superb. The lawyers have worked with desks across the globe to help verify the legality of certain areas, and gone above and beyond to support (pro bono) the charity I represent‘.

‘In particular, I would highlight Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell.  They have been diligent, extremely helpful, knowledgeable and ethics driven. They have the unique ability to translate confusing, complex (and sometimes unknown) details into digestible, clear options/position statements. They have undertaken extensive research and due diligence to ensure the best outcome for my organisation. A total pleasure to work with!‘.

Rudy Capildeo – Mr Capildeo has very deep knowledge of the art market and puts across very easy to implement solutions to complex issues in multimillion-pound, multinational transactions. His ability to deliver expert legal advice has made a huge difference to our business and we always feel we are in good hands. In comparison to his peers, Mr Capildeo excels in the understanding of not just the legal side of the transaction but also the specific asset, something that is very rare to find. Suzanne Marriot – Mrs Marriot is an extremely proficient operator who is always available to provide expert support to her clients‘.

Key clients

Vision Foundation

The Sir Denis Mahon Foundation

 

Constantine Cannon LLP

Constantine Cannon LLP has an international reach and is recommended for its work on cross-border matters with its team of both UK and US-qualified lawyers. The dedicated group, under the joint leadership of Pierre Valentin and Azmina Jasani, frequently advises key stakeholders on a large range of specialisms such as art financing, restitution and cultural heritage. It continues to be involved in an array of complex multi-jurisdictional transactions in addition to providing regulatory advice to foreign governments and advising on a myriad of complicated disputes including arbitrations and challenges to national legislation by way of judicial review. Clients include UHNW individuals and collectors, leading commercial galleries, museums and foreign governments. Fionnuala Rogers is particularly recognised for her experience of the emerging art markets and cultural destinations (especially the Gulf region). Associate Till Vere-Hodge is adept at handling restitution claims to looted artworks.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Valentin; Azmina Jasani

Other key lawyers:

Fionnuala Rogers; Till Vere-Hodge

Testimonials

‘Everyone at the firm is responsive, efficient and thorough in their work. We have worked closely with Azmina Jasani for more than a year and she has been attentive, thoughtful, kind and rigorous in her approach‘.

Having met several members of the team on numerous occasions they do not only work well together but also support each other and get along on a personal level, which is grounded in a good working atmosphere and a sense of often working as a team. I have also met several of the interns over the years and each one has only had positive comments to make and all have expressed the wish to stay on and work as part of the team. The firm has also worked towards expanding its art law team over the years’.

‘As the team at Constantine Cannon is passionate about art on a professional as well as a personal level and closely follows related issues, such as the continuing identification of Nazi looted art and the resolution of disputes surrounding it, they are perfectly placed to advise their clients on such matters‘.

Colleagues of mine have worked more closely with Pierre Valentin over the years and have always commended him on his perseverance and diplomacy’.

‘I have been working with Till Vere-Hodge over the last few years and have been very impressed by his professionality and his passion for art law. As he is bilingual (German and English) he is perfectly placed to advise on any cases which involve one or more German protagonists or which have a historic connection to Germany, such as cases involving Nazi looted art. He always adheres to the highest level of confidentiality where his clients are concerned and has shown great perseverance over the years in handling complex and lengthy cases‘.

The team is highly knowledgeable in all areas of art and cultural property law, and its approach in ensuring diversity within the workplace is commendable‘.

‘Till Vere-Hodge is my primary contact at Constantine Cannon, and he is a highly intelligent, friendly and approachable individual, whose knowledge pertaining to the specialist area of art and cultural heritage practice is unrivalled. Fionnuala Rogers is an equally valuable and knowledgeable individual, whose professionalism and experience within this sector is indisputable‘.

Constantine Cannon has proved a precious partner for our project. I particularly appreciated its attitude of stepping in the client’s shoes, even if that implied going the extra mile. This characteristic is reasonably necessary when dealing with a fast-paced regulatory environment, such as in Saudi Arabia. Besides, on a number of topics, Constantine Cannon has shown confidence to challenge its own original assumptions through additional research to build innovative solutions. Fionnuala Rogers‘.

Key clients

Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures Limited

Various UK dealerships and galleries

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a small group of dealers and collectors to bring a judicial review of the Ivory Act 2018, which bans the trade in ivory, save for five narrow exemptions.
  • Retained to advise a number of art dealers and galleries on their respective positions vis-à-vis their insurance provider in relation to business interruption cover.

Farrer & Co

Farrer & Co is recommended for its work with the international super-rich in addition to advising collectors, dealers and art advisers. The 'top notch' team also boasts considerable expertise in advising on philanthropic structures. It receives plaudits too for its impressive private banking practice and for its expertise in the art lending world. Adrian Parkhouse and James Carleton co-lead the group that also acts for leading museums, galleries and charities as well as top-class landed estates. Parkhouse has an enviable reputation for his work as an art litigator. Carleton has particular expertise in cross-border art, heritage law and philanthropy. Julian Smith is well-regarded too for his work with charities and non-departmental public bodies in the heritage sector while Rhoddy Voremberg has extensive experience of working with the owners of landed estates on long-term strategic planning matters. Peter Wienand also advises a range of bodies in the heritage and cultural sector.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Parkhouse; James Carleton

Other key lawyers:

Julian Smith; Rhoddy Voremberg; Peter Wienand; William Charrington

Testimonials

Best-in-show. Really super. Adrian Parkhouse: The best art specialist solicitor in the UK‘.

I have found that the firm has compendious knowledge and practice in the field of taxation of and pertaining to art and cultural property. I have worked mainly with Rhoddy Voremberg but also James Carleton. Their knowledge and attention to detail are invaluable‘.

‘A depth of knowledge about art and cultural property which is evident in all they do. Strength in depth: a broad, experienced team. Sound, focused commercial advice based on clear experience. William Charrington (senior associate) has been our principal contact at Farrer for English legal advice on art and cultural property, supervised by partner Adrian Parkhouse. Charrington is superb: he is smart, his writing is concise and he always appears unflappable. He clearly enjoys what he does and is terrifically good at it. I would not hesitate to recommend him‘.

The team was exceptional and always responded diligently. Adrian Parkhouse was very thorough and knowledgeable – giving great advice and delivering the right results‘.

Key clients

Natural History Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum

Imperial War Museum

Science Museum

Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College

The Art Fund

Museum of London

Historic Royal Palaces

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Geffrye Museum

Tate Britain

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Karen Sanig and Amanda Gray lead a large team at Mishcon de Reya LLP that is praised for the breadth of its art-related expertise. The well-regarded team continues to act on some of the largest art transactions, to manage some of the most significant collections of cultural property and be involved in some of the most ground-breaking litigation. The practice routinely advises galleries on buying, selling and exhibiting art as well as the lending and movement of art. It also advises collectors on financing issues and on import/export matters. In addition, the versatile team is adept at advising on bequeathing art to the nation. Other core areas of expertise include advising auction houses on sales and due diligence. Managing associate Abby Brindley advises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious art-related matters and Simon Chadwick has a wealth of experience in heavyweight art litigation in particular.

Practice head(s):

Karen Sanig; Amanda Gray

Other key lawyers:

Abby Brindley; Simon Chadwick

Testimonials

We chose Mishcon de Reya after careful consideration. Karen came highly recommended from everybody with whom I spoke to in the art world both in the UK and abroad. Her well-deserved reputation for excellence preceded her and we have been more than impressed with her skill, knowledge and experience in the area, coupled with the fact that her years of high level art world experience inspire confidence. We greatly value Karen. Karen is outstanding, knowledgeable, technically proficient and phenomenal at finding commercial and creative solutions to any technical and challenging issues. She is my number one choice of art lawyer‘.

High level of expertise in the arts field and wide ranging knowledge across other areas. Amanda Gray is our key contact and is always helpful and responsive. Her personal knowledge of and enthusiasm for art and culture make her a pleasure to work with‘.

I think that the team at Mishcon is experienced, knowledgeable, hardworking and personable. Frankly, the lawyers know their business and how best to conduct it. This is a firm that plays a great game and they are always playing at the top of their game. We worked with Karen Sanig, initially with Abby Brindley and then Simon Chadwick. We feel that we have made good friends with our legal team. They have a genuine interest in art generally and what we are doing in particular. I think that Karen, Abby and Simon  should be highly commended for the patience and good temper that they managed to display throughout‘.

‘The team to beat. Longstanding feature of the London art law world. Karen Sanig has built an impressive and versatile team, with Amanda Gray a standout. There are also a number of new and junior solicitors who have joined the ranks. A growing team, but superlative in every way‘.

One of the first firms to create a dedicated art and cultural property unit. Karen Sanig has for a long time been a leader in the field of art and cultural property. She has great knowledge of the art market and acts for many collectors and dealers. She achieves great results through an engaging and pleasant manner, but when the situation requires it she can be very tough and a formidable opponent. Amanda Gray is successfully carving out a reputation as a leading art lawyer. Like Karen, she is great to work with but also has the capability to be steely when required‘.

‘Highly knowledgeable and experienced in art disputes. Friendly and collegiate approach. Karen Sanig – very well connected to the art market and has great dispute resolution skills in art disputes. Simon Chadwick – excellent client handling and ability to address client issues and find solutions. Abby Brindley – highly effective and efficient with wide experience of art disputes‘.

Key clients

Anthony d’Offay Limited

Art Africa Ltd

Camden Art Centre

Clore Wyndham Fine Art Limited

Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft

Halcyon Gallery Limited

Hales Gallery Limited

Maranello Rosso Limited

Marisa Bellani

Martin Rowson

Museum of Everything

Oliver Sears Gallery Limited

Rothstein & Held Limited

Simon C Dickinson Limited

Skartstedt Gallery of London Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hales Gallery in a claim – now settled on confidential terms – brought by the acclaimed artist Sir Frank Bowling OBE RA alleging breaches of his representation agreement. This much commented on case exposes the tensions that can develop between galleries and artists once an artist’s career is developed to a point of world renown. The lack of protections in place for such eventualities can often have severe but preventable financial implications for galleries that invest significant time and resources in nurturing new talent.
  • Represented leading UK art gallery Simon C Dickinson Limited in relation to a claim – now settled on confidential terms – relating to the hacked sale of the first artwork by Constable ever to be purchased by a Dutch public collection. This widely reported case demonstrates the enormity of the effect of cybercrime on the art market. It highlights for all art market clients the importance of cybersecurity, particularly against the backdrop of enhanced anti-money laundering regulations in the UK.
  • Acting for Maranello Rosso Limited in a £70m claim against auction house Bonhams, alleging (inter alia) unlawful means conspiracy, dishonest assistance in breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract, relating to the largest ever acquisition of world-renowned classic cars. This is a significant case that lifts the lid on auction house practices and the business of cultural property and collectibles.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has an experienced and well-established team that is led by Roland Foord. The group advises a broad range of clients, from auction houses and dealers to museums and private collectors, on a vast array of matters including the sale and purchase of fine art (both privately and at auction) in addition to advising on looted art, title and attribution. Other core areas of expertise include advising on loans and export licensing. Guy Harper  is another key figure whose strength lies on the contentious side. The practice has been active too in advising on cybersecurity risk management as well as the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. In addition the skilled team is well-equipped to handle complex cross-border matters and has been increasingly receiving new instructions on art market fraud.

Practice head(s):

Roland Foord

Other key lawyers:

Guy Harper; Danielle Maddox; Caleb Bompas

Testimonials

‘Unparalleled experience in the field, with noted leadership and unassailable credibility. Roland Foord leads the pack. He has superb experience and an excellent tactical sense for how a claim will play out. Danielle Maddox is also a measured and clever senior associate‘.

‘Stephenson Harwood has a very strong litigation team within the art and cultural field. Roland Foord stands out’.

Stephenson Harwood has been advising on art and cultural property issues for decades. Its understanding of the legal and business framework of the art world is unrivalled in the UK‘.

‘Roland Foord is the hub of Stephenson Harwood’s art and cultural property capability. His long term involvement in this sector makes him an authority. As one of the City’s most experienced litigators he has a strategic approach to litigation which focuses on outcomes. He has exceptional communication skills, is highly responsive and, despite being in high demand, makes you feel like you are his single most important client. Caleb Bompass is a rising star in the art and cultural property field. He has trained with Roland Foord and therefore has many of the same qualities. He knows the field, having worked in-house in auction houses, and he has great litigation instincts‘.

The team is always responsive, creative, expert, thorough and reliable‘.

Key clients

Qatar Museums Authority

Sadie Coles HQ Limited

Christie’s

Phillips Auctioneers

Mark Weiss

The Modern Institute

Waddington Custot Galleries

The Society of London Art Dealers

Hazlitt Gooden & Fox Limited

The Royal College of Art

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Howard Kennedy LLP

Mark Stephens CBE leads the department at Howard Kennedy LLP that advises museums and public collections, galleries and dealers as well as public art organisations, charities/foundations and collectors. Other key clients are artists and estates, photographers, photo libraries and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Its expertise covers all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property, from drafting and negotiating agreements to litigation and the resolution of disputes. The key types of work it is involved in includes advising on the recovery of stolen and looted items of art and cultural property and the provision of estate planning for artists and collectors. Stephens has undertaken a significant number of cases in relation to spoliated art too. Daniel McClean is also well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stephens CBE

Other key lawyers:

Daniel McClean

Testimonials

Dynamic and adaptable – cases involving everything from art (and their artists) through to horses. Good at getting to the nub of the issue and cutting through the noise‘.

The team at Howard Kennedy brings a unique combination of directly relevant and practical skills in this area involving substantial knowledge and experience of the international art market and the expectation and aspiration of clients, together with sound practice base in how the law works in terms of international business transactions and also international criminal law, and finally a solid ground in the practice and procedures of the English domestic courts‘.

Daniel McClean has unrivalled knowledge of and experience in international art law generally and knows the substance of the law and how the market works internationally‘.

Howard Kennedy has exceptional experience of, and understanding of, the art market, with all of its eccentricities. They should absolutely be ranked prominently in this sphere‘.

Key clients

Delahunty Ltd trading as Delahunty Fine Art

Mrs Simonis

Sir Frank Bowling OBE, dispute with Hales Gallery in London

Acting for clients in dispute against Blain Southern (liquidation)

Working on repeated major secondary art market transactions over $5 Million US dollars

The Tate

Lisson Gallery

Ocula (online art platform)

Sprueth Magers Gallery

Art Basel

Hunters Law LLP

Gregor Kleinknecht now leads the team at Hunters Law LLP. Kleinknecht has particular expertise in assisting European clients in historical and restitution claims. In addition he is a qualified mediator and arbitrator with Art Resolve. The multi-disciplinary offering advises auctioneers, valuers, dealers, galleries, collectors as well as public and private institutions on a wide range of contentious and transactional matters. Julia Richards is also recognised for her work on tax and trusts matters in this area, along with senior associate Petra Warrington who has a primary focus on the art and the antiques market. The former head of department, Hetty Gleave, is now at Fladgate LLP.

Practice head(s):

Gregor Kleinknecht

Other key lawyers:

Julia Richards; Petra Warrington; Anastassia Dimmek

Testimonials

‘A small, but insightful team (mainly centred around Gregor Kleinknecht and Petra Warrington). Both are a delight to work with. Gregor is a patient and understanding European-UK lawyer with great knowledge of the art sector. Petra is a lovely and intelligent associate, with a great handle on the sector‘.

‘Gregor Kleinknecht is the partner at Hunters in this area that I know best. He has built a a good reputation in the area (eg board member of PAIAM), is pragmatic and good to deal with as an opponent‘.

‘Hunters has a very strong art and cultural property team covering both advisory and contentious work, led by Gregor Kleinknecht. They have recently been joined by Anastassia Dimmek‘.

Gregor Kleinknecht has established himself as one of the leading practitioners in the field of art and cultural property. He is an exceptionally able lawyer, with an in-depth knowledge of the art market and all aspects of art-related litigation‘.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP is recommended for its work on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters such as probate, international estate planning, philanthropy and partnership advice for clients both inside and outside the UK. It acts for artists (and their personal representatives), collectors, national galleries and museums. With Ed Powles at the helm the group also frequently advises philanthropists and entrepreneurs and is adept at advising on significant disputes, sales and purchases, financings and loans. Other clients include traditionally wealthy families who have extensive collections in their family homes. Ceris Gardner, Clare Maurice, Jennifer Chambers and Jennifer Emms are all well-regarded in this area.

Practice head(s):

Ed Powles

Other key lawyers:

Ceris Gardner; Clare Maurice; Jennifer Chambers; Jennifer Emms

Testimonials

‘What makes the MTG team stand out is that they are genuinely nice people. You get the feeling that the lawyers really do want to help you and will go the extra mile when needed, and this is in a sector full of “nice” lawyers. Ceris Gardener. “Auntie” Ceris just makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. You just know you are in good hands. She is the kind auntie you always wanted to have‘.

‘A very strong offshore practice.  It runs excellent seminars on points of law and art. Jennifer Chambers, Ceris Gardner and Ed Powles‘.

MTG is really staking its claim to the art law sector. It has put a real and impressive effort into becoming the perfect private client/art go-to firm for the City. Ed Powles is a brilliant and committed practitioner. Jennifer Emms is a rising star. Ceris Gardner is a wonderful family lawyer‘.

‘MTG has some of the most outstanding legal practitioners in the UK. With a depth of knowledge and ability to handle complex matters easily. Ceris Gardner: senior partner of MTG with responsibility for charitable and trust work. Very approachable and knowledgeable on all matters charitable and concerning trusts. Explains any problem area clearly in non-legal terms. Very responsive to queries. Jennifer Emms – a consummate practitioner, very responsive. Very clear thinking and administratively excellent. Prepared to explain details to a layman in easily understandable terms‘.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals including members of the Royal family, artists, cultural institutions and government bodies on their collections. The practice has an international reach and is adept at also advising on issues such as anti-money laundering and fraud as well as assisting with art investment structures. It is experienced in all aspects of disputes and ADR where there are disputes about art recovery, provenance, restitution and historical claims. It also works with its tax teams regularly to advise on diverse issues such as import/export matters. Richard Hart is head of the department and is well-regarded for his assistance to clients with their philanthropic endeavours.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hart

Other key lawyers:

Michael Fletcher

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Michael Fletcher on two sizeable matters. I think he is terrific – he has a very good eye for the right point. He has a calm, measured approach to everything – I can’t imagine Michael ever becoming flustered or over-excitable, and that is very reassuring indeed for clients. He has a great future, as do Pinsent Masons in this quite niche area of litigation‘.

‘Really know its stuff on art and antiquities on an international scale – not just the UK. This is an incredibly specialised area of law and the lawyers understand all the nuances and are able to articulate their advice in a succinct manner. Very responsive and on hand 24/7 to their clients. Good personalities and sense of humour as well which is often needed under the pressure we work under. Richard Hart – real trusted advisor to his clients, very commercial‘.

‘They are multi faceted and can advise on a large number of subjects, all in house with experts in all departments. Attention to detail, understanding the subject matter and diligence in their work’.

Key clients

Saffery Champness (through their clients)

Various members of Middle Eastern Royal Families and Ultra High net worth individuals

Swiss Foundation

 

Work highlights

  • Advising a cultural foundation that was set up by a prominent Middle Eastern 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 in the course of the next 20 years in a new gallery of the renovated Hôtel de la Marine.
  • Acting for the collector on a series of purchases of a set of Greco Roman antiquities from a London gallery, including instructing scientific experts and counsel on the wider provenance piece.
  • Acting for a Swiss based Foundation on the loan of a collection of artworks (including pieces by David Hockney and Anish Kapoor) to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has an excellent reputation for its work with owners of significant art collections on issues such as funding the purchase of art in a tax-efficient way, as well as strength in advising collectors and trustees on the loan of art to public collections or for public display in temporary exhibitions. The nimble team has a substantial international reach through its network of international offices and is skilled at advising on the full range of contentious issues in the art sector. Other areas of expertise include advising on the protection of collections by way of intellectual property or through complex estate planning measures. Eleni Polycarpou heads the department.

Practice head(s):

Eleni Polycarpou – UK Head of Art; Diana Wierbicki – Global Head of Art Law

Testimonials

Highly knowledgeable in the field of art and cultural property taxation‘.

Deep understanding of art market and interplay between art world and IP rights and personality rights of artists. Extremely responsive, clear communication, great strategists‘.

Very good reactivity, deep knowledge of the legal and cultural worlds, very nice contact‘.

‘The team at Withers was relatable, responsive and extremely knowledgeable. Its response times were better than others in the sector and the team was able to translate complex information into clear, digestible formats. I found Eleni Polycarpou to be brilliant to work with, excellent in her subject matter and responsive to the needs (and timeline) of the organisation/scenario‘.

‘Eleni Polycarpou handles art disputes as a part of her commercial/arbitration practice. She is excellent, very thorough, with good commercial judgement and very pleasant to work with‘.

‘Good cross-border team, broad and deep approach. Eleni Polycarpou has a broad expertise and good network in the area’.

Very knowledgeable in a diverse field of legal requirements. Very efficient and very professional. Prompt responses in easy to understand plain English‘.

Key clients

Tate

Client purchasing Banksy work

Trustees of a trust which holds an extensive collection of valuable works

Gazelli Art House

Vortic Limited

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA)

Victoria Miro Gallery

Work highlights

  • Advising the Tate in respect of English and Chinese law advice in relation to the Museum of Art Pudong.
  • Advising Gazelli Art House on various legal matters including transactional and charity advice.
  • Advising the Royal Academy of Arts on a variety of matters across the firm including IP.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has an established reputation for providing tax and structuring advice to the owners of art and cultural property, as well as advising well-known artists on suitable ownership structures for their artworks and on agency agreements for their works. The versatile team frequently advises too on the formation of charities to hold art and cultural property as well as advising on a whole host of other issues such as the sale and purchase of art, advising museums and other cultural bodies on issues of governance and fundraising. Co-heads of department Susan Johnson and Hugo Smith are highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Susan Johnson; Hugo Smith

Testimonials

‘This is a strong team with expert art knowledge and commitment to running an art and cultural team – Susan Johnson and Hugo Smith‘.

Key clients

Royal Opera House

Historic England

The Landmark Trust

Forsters LLP

The art and cultural property group at Forsters LLP comprises a cross-disciplinary team of lawyers who have extensive experience of advising on art matters on behalf of artists, collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities. It advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious art and cultural property matters, often involving niche areas of law and complex trust and ownership issues. Catherine Hill heads the team and has particular expertise in advising living artists on legacy, succession and taxation issues. Rupert Mead specialises in advising on the taxation of heritage property (both chattels and historic land and buildings).

Practice head(s):

Catherine Hill

Other key lawyers:

Rupert Mead; Rebecca Welman

Testimonials

This firm has an excellent client list of landed estates and offshore work. It runs a dedicated art team both through private client and litigation. Catherine Hill and Rupert Mead‘.

Forsters is a great firm for contentious trusts and estates work. I believe it is developing an art practice and I have assisted it with one very interesting (and high value) matter‘.

Rupert Mead is very professional and approachable. His knowledge of tax and heritage is excellent and he is absolutely my go-to person on this subject‘.

‘Real depth of experience in art and cultural sector particularly in the context of country house collections and heritage assets‘.

Lee & Thompson LLP

Lee & Thompson LLP has a dynamic team that has significant industry experience in the art, design, photography and wider visual arts sector. It advises on all issues including commercial, intellectual property, corporate, finance, employment, digital and regulatory matters. It has been busy too advising its gallery clients on the new Anti-Money Laundering obligations. Sarah Barker leads the team that continues to expand its client base across all sectors from major art broking businesses to galleries and successful artists. Its art litigation practice is also thriving.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Barker

Testimonials

A passionate desire for its clients to be well protected and advised. An ability to go above and beyond in delivering a world class service. Highlight committed, passionate and invested in clients’ welfare beyond the standard 9-5‘.

‘The art and cultural property team has a broad base of experience which bridges the commercial and charitable aspects of the cultural ecosystem. Hugely knowledgeable, Sarah Barker brings her obvious passion for art to inform her professional, commercial advice in respect of art and cultural projects and transactions’.

Key clients

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Gurr Johns Inc

Simon Lee Gallery

Thomas Dane Gallery

Karsten Schubert Gallery

Stephen Friedman Gallery

Lehmann Maupin

Steve McQueen

Magnum

Artangel

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

The group at Payne Hicks Beach LLP advises private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities. It is particularly skilled at advising on tax, title and bailment issues for private owners of art as well as heritage land and buildings. Other strengths lie in advising on the planning laws that apply to heritage fixtures where they are subject to listed building status. The team also boasts extensive experience in the administration of high-value private art collections as well as resolving public access/conditional exemption issues. James Bacon leads the team that is also adept at advising on title disputes and the recovery of misappropriated items. Rosamond McDowell is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Bacon

Other key lawyers:

Rosamond McDowell

Testimonials

The team has a very wide reaching knowledge basis and ability to connect with wider parties to provide a tailored and detailed service. The team has a structured set-up which allows the practice to support you as a client throughout your workstream and provide the advice required no matter how challenging or specific‘.

The individuals are very professional, trustworthy, punctual and detailed with their feedback to you. Its working practice is always available and allows you to connect at any interval throughout the year. Its support is felt as an extension to your internal team and is gratefully received when matters require its input‘.