Over the past 23 years I have worked as a lawyer in the art business, first for Christie's auction house and more recently for Phillips. When I started my career, the concept of an art lawyer did not exist. Over the following 20 years, however, all of that was to change. Leading auction houses now have large legal departments and there are many private practice lawyers who specialise in art law. This change has been driven by a recognition that the art business is unlike any other. The creation, collection, valuation, authentication, restoration, purchase and sale of art all involve legal, ethical and commercial considerations which often do not arise in any other commercial context.
I wrote this book because I wanted to share my passion for the world of art and record what I have learned over the years running legal departments in the leading auction houses. My hope is that it is a useful resource for both lawyers and non-lawyers who seek a practical handbook to help them navigate and understand the legal and ethical issues which affect the art business.