Art & cultural property

Forsters has a specialist team of lawyers drawn from across the firm to provide a full service to clients owning heritage property and works of art.  We have a broad range of clients including artists, galleries and auction houses, individual owners and collectors of art, owners of historic houses and their contents, whether individuals, trustees or charities in the UK or overseas.


Click here to download our Art and Heritage Property Group credentials in PDF format


Our team gives advice on:

  • tax and succession planning
  • structuring of artists' businesses, agency agreements and lending arrangements
  • formation of charities and art foundations
  • intellectual property rights including artists' resale rights
  • import and export of works of art
  • buying and selling art privately or at auction
  • conditional exemption and public access requirements, acceptance in lieu scheme, maintenance funds specific to heritage property
  • liability and insurance issues for trustee owners of heritage property and art
  • disputes regarding ownership, provenance and authenticity of art
  • litigation over transactions involving agents, auction houses and galleries.

Forsters' Private Client practice is top ranked in the latest edition of The Chambers HNW Guide.

Further information on our Art and Cultural Property Group's specialist expertise can be found here.


Sotheby’s and Forsters - an Owner's Guide to Art - Part 4

It is important that art is not seen as a “static” asset, even if a work or collection is a long-term hold. You should ensure that you have discussions with your family about the future of your collection. It is important to know whether your family wishes to keep specific artworks or a collection within the family or not. If your intention is to pass artwork to the next generation, make sure you do so in the most tax efficient way possible. Alternatively, if future generations do not want to keep and maintain the artwork or collection, you might decide to sell all or part of it to raise funds for other purposes. Agreeing a strategy in respect of an artwork or collection can help to reduce the chances of a destructive post-death dispute arising.

Sotheby's and Forsters - Owner's Guide to Art - part 4


Sotheby’s and Forsters - an Owner's Guide to Art - Part 3

This part of the mini-series is designed to equip you with practical tips on how to maintain, insure, and keep track of the works of art in your collection.

Sotheby's and Forsters - Owner's Guide to Art - part 3


Sotheby’s and Forsters - an Owner's Guide to Art - Part 2

If you wish to transfer artwork from the UK to another jurisdiction, you will need to comply with any applicable export reporting obligations and tax payments under UK rules and any import payment or reporting obligations in the jurisdiction of entry. Similarly, if you wish to bring artwork into the UK, you will likely have an exposure to UK VAT.

Sotheby's and Forsters - Owner's Guide to Art - part 2


Sotheby’s and Forsters - an Owner's Guide to Art - Part 1

Buying and owning art can be one of life's greatest joys. But while the drive to own art is often fuelled by an emotional connection with a piece or the prospect of holding a lucrative investment, it is important for buyers and owners of art to keep their wits about them, from both a legal and practical perspective.

Sotheby's and Forsters - Owner's Guide to Art


Innovations in Art - a video mini-series with Smartify

Forsters’ Art and Cultural Property team with Private Client Partner, Catherine Hill launch ‘Innovations in Art’ together with Smartify – the world’s most downloaded museum app.

Innovations in Art - a video mini-series with Smartify


“Follow the paint” on a unique tour of artist Jock McFadyen’s studio whilst he reveals the mastery behind his paintings and artistic legacy

Forsters’ Head of Art and Cultural Property, Catherine Hill, joins longstanding client Jock McFadyen at his artist studio in London Fields for a captivating conversation in which Jock reveals his painting techniques, reflects on a 50-year career and the challenges of accepting the kind of artist you’ve become, as well as musings on the future of the art market.

a unique tour of artist Jock McFadyen’s studio whilst he reveals the mastery behind his paintings and artistic legacy


Forsters sponsors acclaimed artist and client Jock McFadyen’s exhibition at the Royal Academy

Forsters are honoured to be sponsoring a five-week long exhibition of celebrated contemporary artist and longstanding Forsters Art Group client Jock McFadyen at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Forsters sponsors acclaimed artist and client Jock McFadyen’s exhibition at the Royal Academy


Painting a legacy: How Forsters’ Art Group advised pre-eminent artist Jock McFadyen on his estate planning

Jock McFadyen is a pre-eminent contemporary British painter and Royal Academician who is best known for his gritty urban landscapes and use of texture. Jock's works are held in 40 museum collections, including the Tate, National Gallery, the V&A, the British Museum and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Renowned Artist Jock McFadyen posing with his work in his studio.


Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions

A Forsters podcast series that delves into the minds of some of today’s most ambitious and successful entrepreneurs. They have grown businesses that are disrupting the way we live, how we buy, and the way businesses are run. How have the life experiences of this generation informed their success and what can we learn from them?

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions


The Life Cycle of Family Wealth

From growing a business to starting a family or handing over control of that business to the next generation, every individual has their own goals to aspire to. Our Private Wealth lawyers advise our clients throughout this family life cycle, providing the legal advice required for specific transactions such as purchasing a home or selling a business, whilst also advising on the long-term opportunities for succession and estate planning.

Forsters' Private Wealth - The Life Cycle of Family Wealth logo


"The team at Forsters are second to none in the quality of the advice and the expert drafting of agreements and contracts. Forsters has a true team, they understand that to succeed all must contribute at the highest level and like all great teams they have their star performers."
The Legal 500 UK, 2022
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