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UK dealers and collectors, along with 120,000 class members who said they had been overcharged by Sotheby’s and Christie’s for goods bought and sold in America between 1993 and 1999, were supposed to have been sent claims forms in June for their share of the $512m compensation from the two auction houses. The lawyers have been paid – lead counsel David Boies taking half of his $26.75m slice from the settlement – but everyone else will have to wait until next summer at the earliest because of two appeals against the settlement lodged by American citizens.

However, dealers frustrated by this delay may be interested to know that the American appeals, lodged by musical manuscript dealers J&J Lubrano and wealthy collectors Pamela and Michael Alper, are directed at auctions held by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in the UK.

Both parties are concerned that the terms of the original settlement effectively prevent them from suing the auction houses in the US courts for sales held outside America.

“We have done the majority of our business through Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London and the decision did not reflect our interests in these foreign auctions,” said Massachusetts-based dealer John Lubrano.

The appeals, which are expected to be heard early next year, would set a precedent for any legal action undertaken in London against the two auction houses. Both BADA and LAPADA are awaiting a ruling from the European Competition Commission before advising their members on the feasibility of a lawsuit.

Meanwhile Mr Taubman was told by Judge Daniels to expect his trial to last a month, with former colleagues and rivals at Christie’s and Sotheby’s lined up to give evidence. Witnesses are expected to include Dede Brooks, ex-CEO of Sotheby’s who has pleaded guilty to colluding with Christie’s and would testify in the hope of reducing her sentence, and also Christopher Davidge, ex-managing director of Christie’s, whose seven-year diary of discussions between senior executives at both auction houses provides so much ammunition for this trial. Other witnesses will include Lord Carrington and Lord Gowrie, but one luminary who will be exercising his right as a UK citizen not to attend the US trial is Sir Anthony Tennant, ex-boss of Christie’s, who has been indicted for price-fixing alongside Mr Taubman. Both men deny the charges.