Art And Cultural Property

Artwork, collectibles and other cultural property are amongst the most valuable assets you can own and remain an excellent investment.

If you invest in this way, whether for a private or public collection, you need dedicated and specialist support to advise you on the myriad of legal considerations that may apply.

We offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ of legal services for your art investments. Passionate and creative about cultural property and the arts, your adviser, Mark Stephens CBE, a former chair of the Contemporary Arts Society, is seen as a leading expert in the field with over 30 years experience providing the art market with practical, culturally and technically astute advice. Our expertise covers all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property from the drafting and negotiation of agreements to litigation and the resolution of disputes.

However complex a matter may be, we can work with you to find creative solutions.

We advise on all aspects of commissioning, purchasing and selling of art and cultural property, often with an international element, co-ordinating transactions that involve several jurisdictions. We liaise with brokers, insurers, charterers, auctioneers, galleries and other interested parties to facilitate production of the documentation and information to satisfy registries, lenders and auction houses.

We are regularly asked to advise on the recovery of stolen items of art and cultural property and to provide estate planning for collectors. We have an extensive and exclusive network of contacts and our clients include museums and public collections, galleries and dealers, public art organisations, charities/foundations, collectors, artists and estates, photographers, photo libraries as well as high net worth individuals.

You may find that you need legal assistance in relation to your investments on a wide range of issues, such as:

  • Dealing with acquisitions, disposals and loans
  • Negotiating and documenting artwork commissions and production
  • Dealing with deaccessioning of artwork
  • Negotiating gifts in lieu of inheritance tax
  • Seeking compensation or remedy for spoliation
  • Negotiating and drafting agency and partnership agreements
  • Dealing with copyright and moral rights
  • Negotiating gifts in lieu of inheritance tax
  • Dealing with and negotiating resale royalties.

In all matters, our specialist experience means that we can be on hand to offer you all the advice you need, with sensitivity and discretion.

We are leading experts in helping high net worth clients invest in art and cultural property and in dealing with the various matters that arise in connection with their investments.

Our recent work has included:
  • Securing the return of artwork looted during the Holocaust
  • Advising on the repatriation of human remains from the Natural History Museum to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
  • Advising the Republic of Greece on the looting of the Parthenon Marbles
  • Advising our client about the ongoing dispute with the Italian Governments regarding the unlawful export of a valuable early renaissance painting in Italy, the painting is currently in London and we have advised the client about its permanent export from the EC.