Legal Cases


Handbags at dawn: Dispute between Christie’s and Heritage Auctions over three handbag specialists heads to US court

23 February 2018

A dispute between Dallas-based Heritage Auctions and Christie’s over the employment of Matthew Rubinger and two colleagues is heading to a US court.


Tetbury antiques dealer convicted of burglary of local jeweller

30 January 2018

A Tetbury antiques dealer and his father have been convicted for a burglary of a jewellery shop in Gloucestershire.

Dmitry Rybolovlev

Sotheby’s to “vigorously challenge” Russian billionaire over legal action in UK

22 January 2018

Sotheby’s have said they will “vigorously challenge” any attempt by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev to bring a claim against it in the UK.


High Court rules in favour of Simon de Pury over ‘gentleman’s agreement’

22 January 2018

A precedent-setting legal dispute over a $10m (£7.2m) fee relating to the 2014 sale of a $210m Paul Gauguin painting has been won by auctioneer turned art adviser Simon de Pury.


Soapbox: Are gentlemen’s agreements still valid in the art world?

22 January 2018

A precedent-setting legal dispute over a $10m (£7.2m) fee relating to the 2014 sale of a $210m Paul Gauguin painting was won by auctioneer-turned-art adviser Simon de Pury last week, despite him only having a gentleman’s agreement. We ask whether such agreements are still valid in today's art market?

De Pury

Simon de Pury wins $10m court case over 'gentleman's agreement’ for $210m Gauguin painting

16 January 2018

Auctioneer turned art advisor Simon de Pury has won his court case over the payment of a $10m fee.


Cannons from a 17th century English warship return to UK for Southend museum

15 December 2017

Recovered from a US buyer, three historic cannons are returning to Southend for a new exhibition.

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi

Feud between previous owners of $450m Leonardo could head to UK courts

24 November 2017

The ongoing legal dispute between Dmitry Rybolovlev, the vendor of Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ which sold this month for $450m at Christie’s New York, and the Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier from whom he acquired it may be heading to the UK courts.


Multi-million-pound collection of manuscripts from the scandal-hit Aristophil to be auctioned in Paris

16 November 2017

A huge collection of manuscripts from investment scheme Aristophil will finally be resold in Paris after a two-year wait.

Brum court

Antique firearms dealer guilty of supplying weapons and handcrafted bullets to gangland criminals

15 November 2017

The conviction of a firearms dealer from Gloucestershire has highlighted the problem of antique weapons being adapted for criminal use.

Met police

Antiques dealer charged after death of seven-year-old girl in south-west London

07 November 2017

An antiques dealer from Wimbledon has been arrested and charged following the death of a seven-year-old girl.


Auction house Duke’s fined for offering fake Alfred Wallis works

01 November 2017

Dorchester auction firm Duke’s has been ordered to pay £18,275 after advertising fake works it claimed were by Cornish artist Alfred Wallis (1855-1942).


High Court judicial review begins into Pimlico Road galleries redevelopment

31 October 2017

A review by a High Court judge into the go-ahead for the redevelopment of a Victorian timber yard in Pimlico Road will begin today in London.

Stargazer case looks at fundamental art issues

18 September 2017

Christie’s sale of an ancient marble idol has created an art world battleground between Turkey and the saleroom, testing ownership laws...


West London antiques cheat pleads guilty to attempts to defraud auction houses

13 September 2017

A Poundland notebook helped convict a fraudster attempting to sell fake antiques through auction houses in London and Essex.


Turkey's Stargazer claim sets ‘disastrous precedent’ says Christie’s

04 September 2017

Christie’s has said Turkey’s claim to own an ancient Anatolian idol that has been on American soil for over half a century sets “a disastrous precedent for collectors, museums and the art market”.

Newcastle Crown Court

Pitman painter faker who made £30,000 forging Norman Cornish ordered to pay back just £1

23 August 2017

A man from Sunderland who forged the work of local artist Norman Cornish (1919-2014) has been ordered to repay £1.

Van Gogh's Cows In The Meadow

Mayfair art agent faces US trial after WH Smith Viscountess pursues him in New York court

10 August 2017

Mayfair art agent Timothy Sammons is facing a fresh legal battle over the sale of paintings and could face extradition to the US.

S Franses

S Franses wins latest court appeal over right to stay in its central London gallery

26 July 2017

St James’s textile specialist S Franses has won an appeal in court for the right to stay in its gallery in central London.

Manhattan Court

Knoedler art fraudster Glafira Rosales ordered to pay $81m to victims

13 July 2017

Glafira Rosales, the Long Island art dealer who in 2013 pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in the Knoedler art forgery case, has been ordered to pay $81m to victims of the fraud.