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January 16, 2024

Sotheby’s taps up former private client lawyer for European leadership role

Julian Washington brings his experience as a private client lawyer and in wealth management business development to the auction house

By Stephanie Bridger-Linning

Former private client lawyer Julian Washington has joined Sotheby’s, it was announced today.

Washington, most recently head of business development at Druces, has taken up the position of head of tax, heritage and UK museums, and head of fiduciary client group (Europe) at the international auction house.

He said of the appointment: ‘I first encountered Sotheby’s early in my legal career when my clients needed the expertise of the tax and heritage team to deal with a valuable inheritance.  It is an absolute pleasure to take on the leadership of that same team, and the fiduciary client group within Europe.  I am very much looking forward to reconnecting with friends and contacts; helping to bring the best of Sotheby’s to them and their clients in 2024.’

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[See also: Acceptance in Lieu: when offsetting inheritance tax is a work of art]

After reading law at Cambridge, Washington worked as a solicitor in the private client field, becoming a partner in private wealth at Forsters LLP in London. He left to become private client director and head of business development at the Royal Bank of Canada, which was followed by four years at RBC Wealth Management. Washington held a number of positions including head of client insight and head of intermediary relationship management (UK).

Julian Washington now takes on the leadership of the Sotheby’s tax and heritage team in the UK alongside the fiduciary client group in Europe. The tax and heritage team was previously headed up by Wendy Philips, who remains in the business as a consultant after a 40-year career at Sotheby’s.

Sherri Cohen, global head of fiduciary client group, Sotheby’s, said: ‘We are delighted that Julian has joined Sotheby’s. With his unique background as a private client lawyer and in wealth management business development, he is perfectly positioned to provide leadership for our highly regarded tax, heritage and UK museums team, as well as form an integral part of the global fiduciary client group. 

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‘We are looking forward to collaborating with Julian as we grow our cross-border capabilities for trusts and estates, as well as deepening our connections with key fiduciaries, attorneys, and clients across the UK and European region.’

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