Art @Law

Data protection reform brings significant risk to UK art businesses

06/10/2017

For businesses in the art sector and beyond, legal compliance is becoming increasingly crucial, as infringements have the potential to undermine the very survival of the business. It used to be the case that only competition law was seen to be exceptional in terms of the eye-watering fines imposed by the regulators. More recently, however, non-compliance in other areas has been tightened and businesses really need to “up” their game. Data protection is an example.  The upcoming reform of data

Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza: California Court revives claim to Pissarro yet again

28/09/2017

Like so many court cases dealing with claims to Nazi-looted art, the Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza case has placed much emphasis on the following questions: Which law will the Court apply to the issues it is being asked to consider? Has the current possessor acquired ownership of the artwork? Is the claim to the artwork barred by limitation? Each claim to looted art can turn on the answer to one of these questions, and have a radically different outcome, depending on

A (very) small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls

27/09/2017

Traditionally considered among the strictest in Europe, Italian export regulations have just been amended following an almost three-year debate. The discussion on the reasons for the stagnation of the art market in Italy was originally promoted by Progetto Apollo, an association of art dealers, auction houses and other professionals operating in the art market. The legal advisor of the group, Italian art lawyer Giuseppe Calabi, has commented positively on the recent amendments by saying that the reform has established a reasonable balance between heritage protection and

The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017: key changes and impact for art businesses

04/07/2017

Introduction The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”) which implement the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive (“4MLD”) came into force on 26 June 2017, repealing the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (“Regulations 2007”). The 4MLD seeks to give effect to the international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing developed by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), an inter-governmental body founded on the initiative of G7. Please click here for more information. The UK is traditionally ahead of the EU

The Regulation of the Art Trade for Anti-Money Laundering in the EU

28/06/2017

Certain types of businesses fall within the regulated sector for EU anti-money laundering, such as banks, wider financial institutions, law firms, accountancy businesses and estate agents.  Luckily for the British art market, the British government has not invited auction houses and art/antique dealers to join the club.  Auction houses and art/antique dealers in other EU Member States have not been so lucky. Being in the regulated sector for money laundering carries a compliance burden that should not be under-estimated.  Businesses

An Italian story of bad luck and lack of diligence

06/06/2017

In a recent judgment, a Milan Court rejected a claim for the loss of value of a sculpture loaned by an Italian public entity to a Belgian museum arising from the alleged damage caused by a fall of the sculpture whilst on loan to the Belgian museum.  The judgment is a reminder that in the absence of a detailed condition report, the alleged damage can be difficult to prove.  The judgment also points to the difficulty in assessing the loss

Faithless Servants and the Law: Fine Art Dealers Beware

06/06/2017

On 27 February 2017, a New York State Court[1] held that Lisa Jacobs, a fine art dealer and private curator, breached the fiduciary duties she owed to the seller of an artwork entitled Future Sciences Versus the Man by artist Jean Michael Basquiat (the “Work”).  As a result of her disloyalty, the Court ordered Jacobs to pay to the seller the $1 million in secret profits plus $50,000 compensation she earned for the sale of the Work along with interests,

Appropriation Art Takes Another Hit in European Courts

09/05/2017

On 9 March 2017, a French High Court held that a 1988 sculpture by appropriation artist Jeff Koons, Naked, infringed on the copyright of the late photographer, Jean-Francois Bauret.  The claim was brought by Bauret’s widow, Claude Bauret-Allard, against Koons for copying her husband’s work and against the Centre Pompidou in Paris for using an image of the work in the advertising material for their Koons retrospective in 2014. The court ordered Koons’s company and the Pompidou to each pay