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James Tharin, chief operating officer of Chicago Clearing Corporation (CCC), a ‘market maker’ approved by the auction houses, will be in the capital from September 15 to 21 both to buy certificates and to introduce a rebate programme that gives vendors discounts off consignment fees.

It had emerged in June that part of the compensation – due to both buyers and sellers at Sotheby’s/Christie’s during the period 1993-99 when the two parties were deemed to have colluded – would be made in the form of transferable certificates that can be used only to pay future vendor charges. Regular sellers at either Sotheby’s or Christie’s are finding these useful although CCC have already purchased over $5 million worth of unwanted certificates at the market price, currently set at 68 cents to the dollar.

What do they do with them? One scenario the company are keen to promote in the UK is an inventive rebate programme aimed at imminent consignors who may or may not own certificates. CCC want vendors to provide them with a copy of their Sotheby’s or Christie’s commission charges and permission to settle the account using its large holding of class action certificates. In return they will pay 10 per cent of those charges.

Andrew Wozniak at CCC expects the company will be trading in the Sotheby’s and Christie’s certificates for at least another two years. Email: awozniak@chicagoclearing.com

• The Garden City Group, the company appointed to administer the Sotheby’s/ Christie’s price fixing settlement in Europe, say omissions on claim forms are the fault of Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Speaking to the Gazette last week Neil Zola, chief operating officer at GCG, said that the information on the forms came direct from the two auction houses. “If they had it, then we had it,” he said in response to recent criticism regarding the administration process.

He also clarified that all forms were mailed all at once and not on a rolling basis but reminded claimants that they have until December 10 to submit claim forms including those items not listed that should be taken into consideration. “We do not want people to think if it’s not there it’s not going to count,” said Mr Zola.