Attorneys in our Art Law + Art Funds practice group routinely represent a broad range of participants within the fine art community, including art collectors, art dealers, art advisory firms, art galleries, art investment funds and their managers, artists and their estates/foundations, art insurance purveyors, auction houses and other art market professionals. Our full range of services covers all issues arising from the acquisition, disposition, collection and preservation of fine art, from art-related disputes to commercial transactions to art succession and philanthropy. Moreover, attorneys in our Art Law + Art Funds practice are dedicated and passionate art collectors and therefore truly understand the intricacies of the art market as well as the value that our clients impute to their own art collections.
Art Investment Funds
Our Art Law + Art Funds practice is chaired by Enrique Liberman, one of the world’s foremost authorities on art fund formation and governance. Accordingly, our firm is uniquely positioned to advise clients operating within the art fund industry. We have extensive experience in the structuring of art investment vehicles and in working with their managers to articulate their investment strategies and guidelines. We also have a comprehensive understanding of the many regulatory and compliance issues involved in forming and operating art investment funds and regularly counsel art fund managers in connection with SEC, ERISA and broker-dealer compliance. We excel in the preparation of private placement memoranda and other offering documents for art fund managers, advisors and administrators. Our attorneys are also adept at evaluating the structure and investment terms on behalf of prospective investors in art funds and assist clients in negotiating their investments in art investment vehicles.
The Firm routinely represents clients in a wide variety of commercial art transactions, helping them to achieve their commercial objectives while minimizing their legal risks.
We have advised art industry clients in the following areas:
- Negotiating the terms of art exhibition agreements with museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions both in the U.S. and internationally
- Leveraging art collections held by individuals and art funds in order to raise needed capital for additional art acquisitions or other commercial enterprises
- Drafting legal documentation pertaining to the purchase and sale of fine art, including private treaty sale agreements, bills of sale, request for viewing letters, exclusivity agreements, mandate to sell letters, commission agreements, non-disclosure, and non-circumvention agreements, and auction house consignment agreements
- Crafting the terms of and documentation for art finance programs offered by financial institutions and private investment funds
- Negotiating the terms of consignment agreements with prominent auction houses on behalf of collectors and art funds
- Drafting art co-ownership agreements between prominent collectors, art funds and art galleries
- Advising sellers, buyers and art dealers on issues relating to due diligence, disclosure, representation and warranties and rescission rights
- Structuring tax-efficient methods for investments in fine art
- Negotiating the terms of irrevocable bid contracts with prominent auction houses on behalf of collectors
Drawing on the strength of the firm’s litigation practice, we are able to effectively represent clients in connection with litigation and disputes that arise from ownership of fine art. We are particularly adept at resolving competing claims of ownership, allegations of fraud and misrepresentation, challenges to the actions of auction houses and other consignees of fine art, copyright infringement matters, insurance disputes, risk of loss in art shipping, accrued and unpaid art brokerage commissions, and false authenticity and attribution claims. We are equally comfortable in both a courtroom and commercial arbitration setting and pride ourselves on resolving many art-related disputes prior to the commencement of trial, arbitration or another proceeding.
Tax and Regulatory Advice
Our clients routinely rely on our attorneys for advice in complying with the many legal regulations both in the U.S. and abroad relating to their ownership and management of fine artworks. We have a comprehensive understanding of tax regulations, customs duties, export restrictions including cultural patrimony laws, and anti-money laundering rules. We also assist clients in structuring tax-efficient methods for acquiring and disposing of their fine art, including establishing the proper art investment vehicles and holding companies, and advising on VAT, sales and use taxes.
Artist’s Rights and Intellectual Property
Our attorneys have a long history in representing artists and their representatives in connection with defending their moral, visual and other intellectual property rights. Our services include preparing and negotiating artist representation agreements, license agreements, public and private art commission agreements and art production agreements. We also assist artists and their estates and foundations in registering their intellectual property around the world.
Art Succession and Philanthropy
We assist some collectors and artists’ estates in connection with intergenerational succession plans and bequests to museums and other cultural institutions. Our attorneys work closely with our clients and their financial advisors to craft wills, trusts and lifetime gifts to meet their individual estate planning objectives while preserving the cultural legacy of their art collections.
Network of Art Market Professionals
As a result of the extensive experience of our attorneys in the art world, our Firm has developed relationships with many of the premier art market professionals around the globe. These professionals work closely with our clients offering them premier and customized service and product offerings that are crucial to longterm success in the art market. Through our network of contacts in the art world, we are able to assist our clients with obtaining art title insurance, art financing, art handling and shipping, art installation, art conservation, and art appraisal services. We also pride ourselves on making important introductions between art dealer and collector clients of the firm in order to facilitate additional art transactions and opportunities.