Art and cultural property

With over 100 years' experience of advising clients in the art market we provide commercial advice with real authority.
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  • Experience
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Our art law team has a deep understanding of the art market. Our lawyers combine extensive experience of advising clients operating in the art market with a passionate interest in art and cultural history. Many in the team have first-hand experience of working within the art industry.

Our team comprises lawyers from all of the firm’s main practice areas and advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters. As well as advising on art and cultural property law issues, we can provide clients with general commercial, tax, employment, real estate and corporate advice. As an international firm, we can also provide clients with a range of local advice.

We act for a diverse range of clients including:

  • artists
  • art advisers and valuers
  • auctioneers
  • collectors
  • dealers
  • financial institutions
  • Government bodies
  • national galleries and museums
  • private galleries
  • trade associations.

We advise on an equally diverse range of matters:

  • acquisitions and disposals of art
  • agency and commission agreements
  • attribution and authenticity disputes
  • borrowing and lending against art
  • CITES regulations
  • criminal law
  • competition law 
  • corporate strategy and investment
  • export licensing
  • insurance claims
  • intellectual property
  • internet trading and distance selling
  • professional negligence disputes
  • regulatory and compliance
  • risk management
  • stolen and looted art
  • standard terms of business
  • tax and VAT
  • title disputes.
"They have people who genuinely have art world experience" and "their work is excellent".
Chambers UK 2017
  • Art disputes
  • Commercial advice
  • Regulatory and compliance
  • Intellectual property

Challenge to conditions of sale

Successfully defending a claim challenging the enforceability of an auction house’s conditions of sale.

Alleged breach of a title warranty

Advising dealers in a hotly disputed claim alleging breach of a title warranty.

Bidding dispute

Advising an art collector on a bidding dispute with a major auction house.

Enforcement of an authenticity warranty

Acting in the defence of proceedings seeking to enforce an authenticity warranty in conditions of sale.

Professional negligence dispute

Representing an art dealer in a professional negligence claim in the High Court against its former advisers.

Enforcement of sale contract

Acting in proceedings to enforce a contract for the sale of a sculpture to our client.

Title dispute

Successfully resolving a dispute over ownership of a historically significant object.

Attribution and description dispute

Acting for the sellers of artworks sold through a dealer in a dispute with the buyer regarding the attribution and description of the objects.

Due diligence in art acquisitions

Advising a government institution on best practice due diligence in art transactions.

Purchase agreement

Advising a government institution on a contract for the acquisition of a sculpture.

Digital artworks

Advising collectors on the sale and loan of digital artworks.

Commission agreement

Advising a government institution on the commission of a large piece of public art.

Consumer rights legislation

Advising on issues relating to the EU Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU.

Standard consignment terms and conditions

Advising a number of dealer organisations on standard consignment terms and conditions.

The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA)

Acted for LAPADA in developing the standard terms of sale for use by it's over 600 members.

Export licence application

Advising an overseas art collector in relation to an application to export an artwork which was found by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art to meet the Waverley Criteria.

CITES

Advising in relation to a police investigation and subsequent proceedings relating to the sale of an item containing ivory.

Alleged bribery

Advising dealers in a dispute concerning an alleged secret commission payable on a transaction involving a net return price.

Compliance with court orders

Advising an auction house on compliance with a court order permitting the seizure of consigned goods in its possession.

Copyright infringement

Advising an auction house in relation to disputes relating to a consigned artwork which was alleged to infringe a third party’s copyright.

Art commissions - ownership of copyright

Advising on issues relating to the ownership of copyright in the context of the commission of an artwork.

Artist’s Resale Right

Advising an auction house in relation to whether a particular category of works for sale was subject to the Artist's Resale Right Regulations.

Trademark infringement

Advising an auction house in relation to potential liability for use of a third-party trademark in a catalogue.

Lawyer

Roland Foord Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2315
M:  Email Roland | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

02 Nov 2017

From Insights

Largest provider of online bidding platforms in the UK changes practices amid complaints alleging anti-competitive behaviour

The UK's main competition law enforcement authority, the CMA has intervened to resolve competition law concerns in the fast-growing online auction house sector. This i..

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02 Nov 2017

From Insights

Secret commission

A recent case from the US is a reminder of the risks of art dealers making secret commission.

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02 Nov 2017

From Insights

The Iranian artefacts dispute

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the long running dispute involving the seizure of Iranian artefacts.

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30 May 2017

From Insights

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017: a threat to the London art market?

In February, a significant piece of legislation for the art world was introduced which will finally implement in the UK the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cult..

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30 May 2017

From Insights

New US law facilitates claims to recover Nazi-looted art

Proceedings were brought in the US courts against the Federal Republic of Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation by the heirs of a consortium of Jewish ..

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30 May 2017

From Insights

Protecting artworks on loan to the US from foreign states - new US law attracts mixed response

The FSIA (Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act) contains a number of exceptions to the general rule that foreign states and institutions owned by foreign states cannot be ..

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30 May 2017

From Insights

Consumer Contracts – on or off premises?

The law provides special rights to consumers entering into contracts with traders. In the context of the art market, a key issue for dealers / galleries is the consume..

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30 May 2017

From Insights

Charging Bull and Fearless Girl – a test case for a right to protect the integrity of ideas in conceptual art?

The iconic sculpture “Charging Bull” by Arturo Di Modica has stood in Bowling Green in Manhattan for several decades. However, in March this year another bronze sculpt..

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09 Sep 2016

From Insights

No more knock off Eames

If you want a knock off replica Eames chair you have less than six months to pick it up, otherwise you will have to wait until 2048.

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09 Sep 2016

From Insights

The 200 year fight continues

The cultural battle continues over the Elgin marbles, one of the finest collections of classical art.

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09 Sep 2016

From Insights

The curious incident of the Doig

An unusual art authenticity case has come to an end, pending any future appeal. The US Federal Court in Chicago has ruled that Peter Doig, whose paintings have earned ..

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09 Sep 2016

From Insights

Brexit and art law

There is enormous uncertainty about the impact of Brexit. In the art world, Brexit could mean changes to arts funding, the Artist’s Resale Right, copyright law, export..

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28 Jun 2016

From Insights

Parliament considers new law ratifying the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

On 18 May 2016, it was announced in the Queen’s Speech that the UK government would finally introduce a bill to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of ..

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28 Jun 2016

From Insights

Graffiti art continues to provoke legal battles worldwide

A dress worn by Katy Perry at last year’s gala has not only landed her in a number of “worst-dressed” lists but has also sparked a bitter legal dispute.

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28 Jun 2016

From Insights

Has the freedom of panorama been restricted?

If you take photographs in European public spaces, are you free to use those photographs as you wish? The answer to this question is actually very complex.

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28 Jun 2016

From Insights

French Court of Appeal refuses to compel the inclusion of a disputed Monet in a catalogue raisonné

The French Court of Appeal has refused an application to compel the inclusion of a riverscape, purportedly by Claude Monet, in a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s wor..

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