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  1. Law
May 21, 2024

Best art lawyers 2024

The definitive Spear's ranking for high-net-worth individuals

By Spear's

The art market is exciting, dynamic and lucrative, but it can also be difficult to navigate. That is why the advice of a leading art lawyer is essential for any high-net-worth individual hoping to expand their collection, or dip their toe into the alluring art world.

Buying and selling art, something which can be difficult to value, authenticate and obtain, comes with a number of legal requirements and obligations, from the initial deal to the transportation.

An art lawyer can help to ensure that a client’s art-related matters remain compliant across multiple jurisdictions and take into account individual nuances. They will also be abreast of changes in international law that might affect the status of a collection or sale, highlighting potential pitfalls and areas of caution before they become reality.

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‘In the murky world of art dealing, there are few things more important than having an art lawyer at hand to assist with matters pertaining to due diligence, provenance and dispute resolution. When deals between collectors and dealers or buyers and sellers can often be made with a handshake and a promise of trust, it’s imperative to have an art lawyer who can assist you in knowing where to draw the line.’

Ian Douglas, Spear’s head of research


Best art lawyers: Names to know

Petra Warrington – New Addition 

Firm: Wedlake Bell 

Warrington has extensive experience in art law, including litigation and transactional work. She advises clients on buying, selling, and lending art and luxury assets, as well as drafting commercial agreements.

Read Petra Warrington’s full profile on Spears500.com

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Firm: Withers

Barker is head of the UK art law practice at Withers, advising both private and business clients. Combining the law, business and the arts, her role sees Barker bring to bear the experience in corporate and commercial law she gained in the City, and experience through working in the art sector.

Read Sarah Barker’s full profile on Spears500.com

Firm: Mischon de Reya 

Sanig, is head of Mishcon de Reya’s art law department, and believes the art market is ‘like no other’. She founded the department in 1995, and is the global representative for clients including artists, collectors, art foundations, charities, dealers, auction houses, galleries, museums, and governments.

Read Karen Sanig’s full profile on Spears500.com

Firm: Farrer & Co 

Parkhouse has been at Farrer for over 35 years, with more than 25 as a partner. He advises established art owners and national institutions, as well as new HNW (high net worth) collectors, on buying and selling, tax, import and export, and philanthropy. He is also the head of the firm’s Commercial Litigation team and co-chair of its Art Group.

Read Adrian Parkhouse’s full profile on Spears500.com

Methodology

In selecting and ranking the best art lawyers, the Spear’s Research Unit conducts extensive research of the market, including interviews with well-informed observers, industry insiders and of course the advisers themselves. These take place both face-to-face, and on video and telephone calls. Candidates for inclusion are asked to fill in a form to provide data and a description of their work and client base. In finalising its selections and rankings, the Spear’s Research Unit employs a proprietary methodology that includes a weighted scoring system. This takes into account factors including an adviser’s standing, reputation, client base, recommendations and testimonials, the firm they represent, their level of engagement with the process and certain industry-specific criteria.

Best art lawyers: the complete list

Click on the individual names to be directed to more detailed profiles of each adviser on The Spear’s 500 website. The table is ordered by ranking and then alphabetically by surname.

Find out more

To explore all the Spear’s indices, and to use our find-an-adviser tool to identify the private client adviser who is right for your specific requirements, go to the Spear’s 500 website.

To receive relevant research updates from Spear’s – and thereby give you and your firm the best chance of being included in future Spear’s indices – please register here. If you are an adviser featured in an index and would like to update your profile or provide additional information, please email research@spearswms.com. If you are not featured but would like to be, please fill out our form.

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  • Manager
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