Find Lawyers in Germany for Art Law

Practice Area Overview

The need for legal services surrounding the creation and the circulation of works of art has become more essential than ever, due to regulatory developments and increasingly high values involved.

The term "Art Law" describes all areas of law which routinely affect the production of art and differ-ent types of transactions in the art world, including copyright law, cultural heritage law, restitution matters and many areas of civil law (especially contract law and finance law). Art law may also in-volve questions related to taxation and customs, as well as estate law and foundations. 

An art lawyer's clients typically include collectors, artists, foundations, corporate collections, muse-ums, artist estates, family offices, galleries, auction houses, private banks, art advisors and other players of the art market. 

Many of the services provided in the art market are traditionally commission-based so it follows that a potential conflict of interests of stake-holders may arise. In contrast, the advice a lawyer can offer, is impartial.

Attorneys in this area of law must have a deep-seated knowledge about the art business in order to anticipate potential problems before they arise, e.g., by assisting in conducting due diligence in the course of the acquisition of an important work (e.g., clearance of the chain of title, provenance issues, authenticity issues) or helping to contractually shape financial transactions related to artworks. If an acquired work is revealed to be a forgery, an art lawyer can assist in legal proceedings to provide a remedy for his client. An art lawyer also aids his clients in the course of importing and exporting artworks which are subject to complex national, European and international regulations. If a collector or developer of a building commissions an art work, such a project has to be legally and contractually structured. Additionally, art law also includes questions of defective title and asset recovery, in the event that artwork is stolen. By virtue of the art industry being a global business, art law matters often involve several jurisdictions.

Lastly, legal and tax related questions should always be taken into account when art is passed on to the next generation, or is dedicated to a foundation.
Dr. Katharina Garbers-von Boehm, LL.M. Büsing, Müffelmann & Theye

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