Art Law

Signature has significant experience in advising ultra high net worth individuals, auction houses, collectors, agents and art dealers on multiple legal problems affecting participants in the international art market.

Our work frequently has a multinational and multijurisdictional dimension, typically involving the UK and US, in addition to leading European and Asian markets.

Chambers and Partners notes that Simon Bushell is a “go-to lawyer when the stakes are exceptionally high” because “his judgement is crystal clear”.
Our advice embraces a broad spectrum of issues from disputes relating to valuation, professional negligence arising from undervaluation and attribution, payment disputes, money laundering, as well as regulatory, reputational and cultural heritage issues. Some of our work stems from art transactions being put together by anonymous buyers, using multiple agents and brokers to arrange private sales.

Simon Bushell has over 28 years’ experience in acting for a broad range of clients, including extensive experience in representing clients across high value art disputes, as well as other alternative investments, including acting for a major auction house. The cases Simon has worked on have included issues relating to attribution, professional negligence, forgery, title disputes, restitution and secret commissions. Chambers and Partners notes that Simon is a “go-to lawyer when the stakes are exceptionally high” because “his judgement is crystal clear”.

Art Law Team

“The firm is extremely focused on high-quality litigation. Their advice is sound and their strategic approach is excellent. I would recommend them without hesitation.”

Chambers UK 2019

Simon Bushell

Simon is regarded as a ‘Leading Individual’ in The Legal 500 UK 2019 for his civil fraud and commercial litigation expertise, and is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for his banking litigation work. The Legal 500 notes Simon is “an excellent litigator, constantly striving for ways to improve a case or undermine his opponents”. Chambers UK describes him as a “truly exceptional lawyer” and he has also been ranked as a Foreign Expert for his Russian dispute resolution work in Chambers Global. Recognised for being “very clear-sighted and capable of identifying clear strategies for his clients to pursue”, Simon has been consistently ranked in Bands 1 and 2 for his civil fraud expertise in Chambers UK over many years.

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Art Law Experience

Advising one of the world’s leading auction houses which has offices in more than 40 countries.

Acting in a dispute relating to an agency agreement for the sale of a painting valued at more than $20m by one of the world’s leading collectors.

Acting for Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill in relation to a valuation dispute regarding the unauthorised sale of a multi-million dollar $5m painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. This involved taking actionparallel claims against prominent art dealers in London and New York,: investigation, negotiation, mediation, freezing injunctions, recovery, and settlement. The case was decided upon in the Court of Appeal and freezing injunctions to preserve the painting pending resolution of the dispute.

Advising Andy Valmorbida in relation to a multimillion dollar shareholder dispute involving an art business in Switzerland.

Being retained by Morris & Welford, an international specialist historic car dealer consultancy in the US, to advise on complex international litigation.

Acting for a high net worth art dealer and company facing worldwide freezing injunctions and tracing claims in relation to an alleged joint venture in artwork and alleged misappropriation of valuable art.

Advising on restitution of ancient artefacts and the application of the 1970 Paris Convention.

Advising leading collectors on Droit de Suite.

Advising film producers on disputes with international agents on book to film rights and the applicability of holdback rights worldwide.

Advising UK film directors on a dispute over distribution agreement.

Advising on the Greek Orthodox Church’s tracing of ikons looted during military occupation.

Advising on BBC funding for European joint venture film projects (with Greece, France and Italy).

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