Fiduciary Services | Phillips

Phillips Fiduciary Services

We know that navigating the fast-paced landscape of the art world can sometimes feel challenging. Phillips Fiduciary Services is here to support you in every step. Our team of professionals – most of whom are practicing lawyers – lead the art world with unrivalled experience, second to none in reputation, transparency, and integrity. Whether you are experienced in the art world or not, our aim – if you choose to work with Phillips – is to provide you with the support you need to advise your client effectively.

Meet Our Team

Phillips’ three General Counsel are some of the best-known lawyers in the art world, having worked as senior lawyers for leading international auction houses for more than 20 years. During that time, each has advised and negotiated thousands of complex art-related deals, and encountered and resolved every possible type of dispute in most major jurisdictions. We love what we do and are always happy to share our knowledge with fellow professional advisors.

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Martin Wilson

Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Fiduciary Services

[email protected]

+44 20 7901 7915

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Hartley Waltman

General Counsel Americas

[email protected]

+1 212 940 1331

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Mathilde Heaton

General Counsel Europe and Asia

[email protected]

+44 20 7901 2909

While the Fiduciary Services team is equipped to answer your specialist and more complex questions in relation to high-value art and collections, the Trusts, Estates and Valuations department continues to be your first stop for valuations and advice on sale strategy for major collections. Please visit phillips.com/trusts-estates-valuations to learn more.

What We Do

Phillips Fiduciary Services draws on extensive experience in structuring financial arrangements, such as advances, loans, minimum price guarantees, and risk sharing agreements in connection with the acquisition or disposal of high-value artworks. We can tailor these arrangements to suit your client’s needs, and we pride ourselves in ensuring our agreements are clearly presented.

Private sales offer the possibility of selective, discreet sales of art in which we match buyers to sellers. Our Fiduciary Services team has been instrumental in private sales at world-record prices, and we can help your client to acquire or sell important artworks privately in collaboration with the Phillips Private Sales team.

Like any unique asset, artworks can sometimes be encumbered with problems requiring a pragmatic solution. Our team can offer you the benefit of our problem-solving expertise, assisting you with questions relating to:

  • Authenticity and misattribution
  • Holocaust restitution claims
  • Cultural property restitution claims
  • Copyright issues
  • Endangered species/CITES issues
  • Import/export issues

There are a few select and very technical areas where we don’t have the relevant expertise—yet even in those rare cases, we can help you to find a leading expert in areas requiring specialist knowledge. These include:

  • Tax experts
  • Forensic experts
  • Authentication Specialists
  • Insurance experts

The Fiduciary team has extensive experience operating throughout the world in many different jurisdictions. While we are permanently based in London and New York, our team members are very comfortable working with clients and lawyers all over the world, and do so regularly. Many of the team are multilingual, have overseas legal qualifications and are comfortable working in English, German, Spanish, and French.

When advising a collector, an estate, or a trust with an art collection, the starting point is always to understand the financial value of the collection. This may be required for a variety of purposes including insurance, financial planning, estate tax, charitable donations, and gift tax. That value can fluctuate and is determined by a variety of factors more nuanced than simply supply and demand; these include provenance, condition, attribution, rarity, and evolving taste. Drawing on the knowledge of Phillips’ specialists, our Trusts, Estates and Valuations team can assist in providing you with valuations of your client’s artwork or collection of artworks.

Questions?

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The opinions provided by the Phillips Fiduciary Services team are offered with the intention of sharing the rich combined experience of our team and acting as an information resource for fellow professional advisers and their clients. Such guidance does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to create, nor does receipt of it constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between Phillips, any individual member of the Fiduciary Services team and you and/or clients you may represent. Phillips does not accept responsibility for content or omissions in the guidance offered by our Fiduciary Services team. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice before taking any legal action based on such guidance.