Hodgson Russ has an experienced team of attorneys available to provide clients with the full spectrum of legal services concerning works of art, the art market, and the art world. Attorneys in this practice provide advice and counsel to buyers and sellers of major works, auction houses, trusts and estates with significant art collections, collectors, galleries, museums, and individual artists. 

We have significant experience in:

  • Challenges to Ownership
  • Trusts & Estates Issues
  • Provenance Issues
  • Auctioning/Selling Property
  • Import/Export Issues
  • Planned Transfers of Art
  • Tax Audits

Litigation and Arbitration

We have successfully represented numerous clients in domestic and international litigation and arbitration proceedings, including matters concerning challenges to ownership, provenance issues, copyright and trademark matters, and estate disputes. We have also successfully represented various auction houses in connection with a range of disputes. 

Hodgson Russ successfully represented the owner of the original working manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous in a New York State action. 

Buyers and Sellers

We advise buyers and sellers at public and private sales on agreements, contracts, authenticity, licensing, and copyright issues. We also advise clients in litigated and non-litigated disputes over ownership and the value of works. Our attorneys also represent fiduciaries of estates and trusts concerning the valuation and disposition of significant art collections.

Representation of estate of significant collection of Asian art in five-day sale at Christie's. Successful representation of art auction houses in litigated disputes, arranging for disposition of estate art collection, including negotiation of private treaty sale.

Tax Planning

We provide sophisticated tax advice on art collected as part of an estate plan, and on the income and transfer tax aspects of dispositions as well as gifts and loans to museums, charities, and other institutions. Attorneys in the practice also provide assistance with collection audits and valuations, auction, and private sale consignment negotiations.

Museums and Other Art Institutions

We provide legal services to various arts and cultural institutions. Services for these organizations include employee benefit and employment law concerns, tax-exempt organization regulatory advice, corporate governance, director and officer liability issues, real estate, endowment and capital campaigns, and assistance regarding fundraising activities.

Storage and Transport

We advise clients who work in the art world on matters relating to the handling, storage, shipping, and installation stages of relocating artwork. Attorneys in the practice also represent owners when dealing with insurance compensation and valuation for lost or damaged artwork.


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