New regulations aimed at protecting consumers come into force in the UK on 13 June 2014. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to sales between traders and consumers. Sales amongst professionals are not caught by the regulations. The regulations consider different types of trader-to-consumer sales: on-premises sales, distance sales and off-premises sales. Each category of sale is subject to its own regulations. The main issues for dealers and galleries selling art, antiques and collectibles are
French courtrooms are no strangers to disputes over the authenticity of artworks. Over the past 15 years, the French judiciary has repeatedly been called upon to adjudicate lawsuits brought against authors of catalogue raisonnés, artists’ foundations, and connoisseurs recognised by the art market as the ‘leading experts’ on a given artist. These lawsuits, usually brought by aggrieved art owners, have one fundamental objective: challenging the experts’ refusal to acknowledge the authenticity of the artwork. In authenticity disputes, French Courts like
As part of the broader EU reform of consumer protection, the UK has implemented a number of legislative changes substantially strengthening consumer rights. One of those changes is enshrined in the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, which came into force on 6 April 2013 and directly impact art market professionals accepting payment by card. The Regulations prohibit traders from charging consumers fees that exceed the cost borne by the trader for the use of a given means of payment.
In response to the perceived risk to investors and to the stability of the European financial market, the activities of alternative investment fund managers are being more strictly regulated. The EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“AIFMD”) aims to create a harmonised regulatory framework for managers of alternative investment funds within the European Union. Impacted investment managers are currently grappling with the implementation of the new regulatory regime, in large part because of the ambiguity of the Directive, the
Art dealers regularly bid at auction in partnership with other art dealers. The law does not object to joint bidding provided that certain conditions are met. If they are not, the bidding arrangement can turn into an illegal auction ring. The risk if the bidding arrangement amounts to an auction ring is not simply pecuniary; parties bidding in concert may be prosecuted. The law in England and Wales is changing, potentially making it easier to prosecute illegal bidding practices. Traditionally,