Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London held the first of its series of Art Law and Practice for Leading Practitioners sessions, on the topic of art-related litigation.
On February 29th, 2016, lead by Queen’s Counsel Andrew Onslow, Paul Lomas of Freshfields, Nicholas Eastaugh of Art, Analysis & Research and Sotheby’s Institute - London’s Head of Art & Law Studies Tom Christopherson, a cross section of London’s most experienced art lawyers reviewed the management of art-related cases through the English courts and in particular the use of art historical and scientific evidence in the process.
The focus of the afternoon was on the particular difficulties encountered with the wide range of art-related expert evidence available, its frequently subjective nature, and the difficulties for parties (and their financial backers) to test effectively their own and the other party’s expert evidence before the court hearing itself, by which time substantial costs will have been incurred.
With those present having been directly involved in a significant proportion of the major art–related cases in London over the last 30 years, the debate was both knowledgeable and challenging, looking at potential means for making the choice and use of expert witnesses more efficient and cost effective in art-related cases. Future sessions for leading art and law practitioners will be held in the fields of art and taxation, World War II restitution cases, and in alternative dispute resolution processes for art-related claims.