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Business Law: Art Law

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Art Law

Art lawyers focus their practice on art, antiquities and collections law. Their clients include artists, art collectors, art experts, art dealers, museums, auction houses, galleries, libraries, family foundations, investment advisers and lending institutions, as well as law enforcement and cultural ministry officials in foreign and domestic governments. Art lawyers advise buyers and sellers at public and private sales on title and authenticity questions as well as the substance and form of the agreements by which ownership is transferred. They advise consignors at public auction on matters related to important provisions of the auction house consignment agreement and advise buyers at public auction concerning their after-purchase rights vis-a-vis the auction house and the consigner. Art lawyers also represent buyers and sellers in litigated and non-litigated disputes over authenticity, ownership and value of works of art and [...]

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Art lawyers focus their practice on art, antiquities and collections law. Their clients include artists, art collectors, art experts, art dealers, museums, auction houses, galleries, libraries, family foundations, investment advisers and lending institutions, as well as law enforcement and cultural ministry officials in foreign and domestic governments. Art lawyers advise buyers and sellers at public and private sales on title and authenticity questions as well as the substance and form of the agreements by which ownership is transferred. They advise consignors at public auction on matters related to important provisions of the auction house consignment agreement and advise buyers at public auction concerning their after-purchase rights vis-a-vis the auction house and the consigner. Art lawyers also represent buyers and sellers in litigated and non-litigated disputes over authenticity, ownership and value of works of art and the possible infringement of copyrighted work. Some art lawyers provide tax advice to owners on the role of their art collections as part of an estate plan and on the income and estate tax aspects of lifetime gifts of art to museums, charities and private individuals. They may also advise artists and collectors on establishing art foundations and may provide advice on foreign laws, international treaties, and U.S. law.

Many art lawyers come from a variety of legal fields and backgrounds —including exempt organizations, intellectual property, personal planning/trusts and estates, tax, real estate, and litigation. While the practice of art law is primarily found in private practice in smaller and boutique firms, art lawyers may also work in the nonprofit sector for museums or art foundations or for private business such as art galleries.

 
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