Sarah Barker > Withers LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Withers LLP
20 Old Bailey

Living Wage

Work Department



Sarah is deeply immersed in the art industry, having worked for almost twenty years with artists and their estates, galleries, agents and dealers, collectors, foundations, trustees, auction houses, art lenders, fractional ownership platforms, and other industry players such as art businesses within the technology sector.  Sarah advises on the various aspects of the complex and often idiosyncratic relationships in the sector (both from a contentious and non-contentious perspective), and acts as trusted adviser to many of her clients.
With a background as a City corporate lawyer, Sarah advises on high value transactions for the sale and purchase of fine art and other valuable moveable assets (such as musical instruments, antiques, and precious stones).  She also drafts the contracts underpinning the commercial relationships within the sector (such as consignment agreements, agency agreements, representation agreements, terms of sale, loan agreements, and auction house terms).  Sarah has a particular specialism in the anti-money laundering regulation of the art market.

Sarah is a regular contributor to Apollo – the International Art Magazine, and she has lectured at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She is a frequent panel speaker, and her views on art law and business matters have been sought by think tanks and various publications including RUSI, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Law, the Art Newspaper, Dazed, and Tatler. She is a member of Professional Advisors to the International Art Market, the Association of Women in the Arts and the Institute of Art & Law.

Listed in ‘Who’s Who’, Sarah sat for three terms on one of the UKs largest philanthropic giving committees for the arts, and she currently sits on the board of St Paul’s School.  Sarah also sat on the Advisory Committee for the Circa Art public art project at Piccadilly Circus, and currently sits on the Advisory Committee for ArtClear, a business using technology to link physical artworks to their verifiable digital records.



Lawyer Rankings

London > Private client > Art and cultural property

Notably featuring Sarah Barker and Eleni Polycarpou, the outstanding team at Withers LLP has ‘incredible depth and can pivot on issues quickly making it a lean, mean and agile litigation and advisory machine’. Barker works with collectors and creative entrepreneurs as well as successful artists and their estates, art dealers and artTech businesses on a whole host of commercial and transactional matters, while Polycarpou specialises in contentious art matters, many of which are multi-jurisdictional, and include stolen art cases, title and authenticity disputes, and consignment cases. The group added Natalie Sherborn to its ranks from Pinsent Masons LLP, who is adept at handling white-collar defence and investigations.