Jacobs & Morawska Fine Art Consulting

The Art of Collecting and Investing in Art
As managed by Museum Professionals 

Legal Documents and Protection

Legal Documents and Protection

Legal Documentation and Protection

Once upon a time, business in the art world was conducted with a handshake. Not that that was ever really wise, but it is certainly out of the question in today’s complex world, especially now that art has become increasingly expensive.

Art collectors and investors must insist upon best practices in the conduct of their art transactions, including the negotiating of proper legal documentation for kind of art transaction.

Buying and selling art.

When buying and selling works of fine art, collectors must be sure to document their intentions.

No longer are short-form invoices generated by a gallery or art dealer sufficient to properly document the transfer of title to an artwork.

Rather, an Agreement of Sale, accompanied by a Bill of Sale, containing proper representations and warranties by the seller covering issues of authenticity of, and title to, the artwork, provisions regarding risk of loss and insurance responsibilities, liability for taxes, duties, customs and commissions, and indemnities for breaches of the same, all need to be negotiated and agreed to by the transacting parties.

Consigning art to galleries, art fairs, private dealers.

Collectors consigning works to galleries have in the past been content to simply drop of the works for sale without seeking to protect their interests in the consigned works against the gallery’s third party creditors. Jacobs and Morawska ensures that a proper consignment agreement is negotiated between the consignor and the consignee, conducts all necessary lien and judgment searches on the consignee and makes all require filings with governmental authorities to document the existence of the consignment.

Moreover, we make sure that the terms of the consignment such as the time period, sales price, available discounts and responsibility for expenses is all properly described in the consignment agreement.

Consigning art to auction houses.

When consigning a work of art for sale at an auction house, the auction house will always offer consignment terms that are less than what they would be willing to give. There is a long list of points to be negotiated with any auction house, none of which the auction houses themselves will make available to the consignor unless you know what to ask for.

Leveraging its past experience in negotiating with major auction houses around the globe, Jacobs and Morawska knows what concessions the auction houses have made in the past and thus is in a unique position to demand them on behalf of all of our clients.

Museum loans.

When lending a work of art to a museum, the museum will typically use their standard loan form, which fully protects the museum while providing minimal protection to the lender. In order to afford its clientele with the requisite protections, Jacobs and Morawska has developed a proprietary Addendum of Terms Governing Art Loans that provide art lenders with protections in accordance with today’s best practices and which are generally acceptable to museums.

Storage of works with Art Warehouses.

The storage of an artwork with an art warehouse creates a bailor/bailee relationship that must be documented in the form of a Warehousing/Custody Agreement. Jacobs and Morawska are adept at negotiating the terms of such an agreement to properly establish the terms of storage for valuable artworks and other valuables.

For all of legal documentation and matters, Jacobs & Morawska partners with one of the world’s leading art law attorneys, Enrique Liberman, providing our clients with the finest service possible in accordance with best practices for the art market and at discounted rates.