Art & Cultural Heritage Law

Our Art & Cultural Heritage practice is concerned with all aspects of law as it relates to art, artists and cultural heritage in its widest sense.

It encompasses a vast range of subject matter, from copyright and art theft, contracts of sale and cross-border transport, to restitution of illegally exported antiquities and art wrongfully taken in time of war including Holocaust-loot, through to the organisation of international exhibitions.

Our clients include artists, art galleries, private collectors, charities and agents. We advise on matters involving commercial transactions, due diligence, museum loans, insurance, art finance, dispute resolution, imports and exports, intellectual property, and taxation.

Our history

Goodman Derrick LLP has an unparalleled history in art law, established by our founding partner, Lord Goodman, who was a great champion of the arts.

Lord Goodman held professional acquaintances and/or social friendships with many artists including Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley and Francis Bacon. His public and private duties included Chairman of the Arts Council, founding Chairman of the Henry Moore Foundation, Chairman of Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Limited and the inspiration and founder of Arts & Business.

We have continued to build on the exceptional legacy created by Lord Goodman, advising clients who welcome the expertise our firm has built over 60 years.

Recent transactions

  • Private treaty acquisition of Mannerist master portrait (circa £20m) addressing provenance and national export restrictions;
  • Pursuing buyer’s claim and ultimate dispute resolution for rescission/breach of contract over misattribution of authorship of late Impressionist painting;
  • Advising and negotiating terms of bailment agreement following the mortgage of Old Master painting by its owner;
  • Resolving questions surrounding the import and export of Italian Old Master painting;
  • Questioning the findings of an expert committee who revised their original opinion to exclude client’s Blue Rider painting from the artist’s catalogue raisonné;
  • Pursuing client’s claim for fraudulent misrepresentation concerning 11 alleged Blue Rider works;
  • Joint Venture between Old Master dealership and former director of prominent St James’ gallery to found a new Mayfair gallery specialising in British contemporary art including drafting company incorporation documents, shareholders’ agreement and directors’ services agreements;
  • Advising contemporary Mayfair gallery concerning potential breach of copyright in exhibition’s flagship piece.

Please see our related services for individuals.