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Art and Cultural Property Law

As part of a firm-wide Art and Cultural Property law practice, we represent international collectors, UHNW individuals, families, trusts, dealerships & galleries, investors & advisors, governments (at national, regional and municipal level) and museums.

"Payne Hicks Beach has particular expertise - there is very little about the art and cultural property sectors that the firm has not mastered" The Legal 500 UK


We advise our clients on the legal aspects of buying, selling, loaning or lending against works of art and/or cultural and luxury objects. In that context, we assist our clients in structuring such transactions and advise on or help negotiate the required suite of documents for our clients.

Reflecting the global nature of the international art market, we work seamlessly across borders thanks to an excellent network of Art and Cultural Property law specialists with whom we have worked across the EU, the US and beyond.

We pride ourselves in our capability of being a natural one-stop-solution for many clients by seamlessly integrating our services not only concerning specific luxury assets but drawing on our broader expertise in matters such as UK tax law, import/export provisions and family law matters. We assist corporate art market participants with any corporate or company law advice, drawing on our dedicated Corporate Law department.

Dispute Resolution

We have specialist, sought-after capabilities in resolving disputes to artworks and cultural property objects. In particular, we regularly advise on and help resolve claims based on the following broad categories of disputes:

•    Ownership (including allegedly stolen, looted or illicitly traded works of art and antiquities)
•    Authenticity and Attribution
•    Condition (including insurance claims)

While the vast majority of our matters are resolved by way of confidential out-of-court settlements, we can draw on a team of specialised litigators in our dedicated Dispute Resolution team and regularly advise on Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms where these are suitable.

We have a particular expertise in resolving claims to artworks and other collectibles that may or may not have been looted in the context of the colonial era, World War II or other conflicts, past and current.


We provide additional advice to collectors and art market participants, including on their compliance obligations and due diligence processes.

Art, Heritage and Tax Planning

We advise individual and trustee or executor clients in relation to their art collections and buildings and land of heritage quality.

We deal with the import and export of works of art, conditional exemption from inheritance tax for heritage quality property, negotiating access and other undertakings, offers in lieu of tax, in situ loan agreements and the use of artworks as security.

We also act in the establishment of maintenance funds, having a particular specialism in heritage land and the negotiation of undertakings and heritage land management plans for gardens, parkland and other heritage quality landscapes.

"They provide the highest quality professional advice in the field of art and cultural property legislation, and their knowledge within this field is unparalleled." The Legal 500 UK