Art Transactions - Collecting and Investing in Art

Art is increasingly accepted as a separate asset class and the approach to buying, selling, lending or borrowing precious works of art or raising capital against it needs to be managed carefully if its monetary value is to be preserved. Whether you wish to co-own fine art or buy independently, we work with private and corporate collectors who are in various stages of building, managing and divesting of their collections of fine and decorative art including paintings, sculpture, antique and design furniture, porcelain, silverware and jewellery.

We help collectors safeguard their interests and steer clear of potential disputes relating to misattribution and valuation of the artwork; we draft and review contracts with those selling art to you, borrowing art from you, advising you on your collection, lending you money against the value of your art, insuring, transporting and storing it and buying art from you whether by consignment to auction or private sale through a dealer.

We also draw on our private client expertise in assisting our landed estates client base to advise on the appropriate vehicles for the ownership and display of collections (of works of art wine, cars etc.) including trusts, partnerships and charities. We support todays art owners with information about art and cultural heritage related aspects of wills and succession planning, gifts of art and leaseback sales, wealth structuring to enable collections, valuable chattels and historic buildings to pass to the next generation and optimal tax planning, philanthropy and charitable giving necessary to secure and maintain tax reliefs for heritage property and negotiate exemptions and undertakings with HMRC.

How Does the Law Effect Collectors and Investors?

  • Are you confident that you own the title to your art? Do you have adequate protection against the auction house, dealer or gallery that sold it to you in the event of a problem?
  • Does the artist/their heirs retain an interest in the works you own?
  • Have you considered any VAT implications of bringing works of art into the UK?
  • Can you catalogue and reproduce images of the items in your collection whether in print or online?
  • What would you really get from your insurer if you made a loss or damage claim. What are the preferred and customary exclusions in art insurance policies? Does the policy specify retail replacement or current market value for instance? 
  • Are you considering co-investing in a piece or an art fund?
  • Do you want to raise collateral against the value of your collection?
  • How should art be valued if it's used as collateral for a loan?
  • How should works of art in an estate be valued to appropriately minimize estate taxes?
  • Are you considering finding a tax efficient, highly secure solution for the storage and exhibition of your collection?
  • Is loaning or gifting your art a tax efficient solution? 
  • How can you protect your work of art while exhibited in a gallery or museum?
  • Which terms in the auction house consignment agreement are flexible when you sell high value items?
  • Who is responsible if the item you purchase is delivered damaged?
  • Has the art you consigned to a dealer been sold and you haven't been paid the proceeds?
  • What rights do you have if you have bought a forgery or fake.
  • Are you allowed to take your collection out of the country?