The Fine Print: 4 Times to Hire an Art Lawyer
Sometimes, the only thing that separates a collector from a lengthy, pricey legal battle is some good professional advice. Hiring a savvy lawyer long before things get hairy can be one of the smartest, most proactive choices you can make to ensure that your art remains rightfully yours, that when you loan it out or bequeath it to an heir, the agreements align with your wishes. Lawyer Jonathan Freiman of Wiggin and Dana LLP offers a succinct explanation of when you should hire a lawyer: “buying, selling, lending, and defending.” These activities all involve risk, and a professional can help you better understand--and minimize--this risk. Of course, only some transactions / issues will merit the cost of working with one. If you’re buying a $500 photograph, for example, legal fees will probably be greater than the price of your work: not worth it. Freiman and Brooke Oliver of 50 Balmy Law P.C. offered more specifics about the cases they’ve handled and how collectors can best protect themselves in a variety of circumstances.