I am eagerly awaiting the 246th Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition on 9 June where the tradition of showcasing work by emerging and established artists in all media continues and most importantly are up for sale. I still have my very first little Red Book from the 1996 Summer Exhibition obtained during my rite de passage in contemporary art. Looking back at what had caught my untrained eye, it was no less that a Kyffin Williams entitled “Storm, Porth Cwyfan” (I can still recall this large oil on canvass with hues of foreboding grey and a tumultuous sky) and a 1995 untitled etching by Terry Frost from an edition of 80 on sale at £590. This was the same year in which Anish Kapoor was still exhibiting in north London galleries and his pieces still modestly priced. I had begged my father to invest in the Anish Kapoors but he opted for the FTSE 100. Nearly 20 years on, we have a giggle over this as had my father heeded my advice, his return would have exceeded all expectation; it also gives me a rare opportunity to look very smug in front of the former research assistant to Sir Karl Popper and who had ironically studied under Sir Ernst Hans Joseph Gombrich of “Art and Illusion” fame. Did the science of economics triumph over art in the decision making process?

For the society “It” people, the Summer Exhibition Preview Party on 4 June is a must in the social calendar. This is an opportunity to hob nob with the crème of intellectual Britain and is quintessentially a most English affair. Past attendees include Salman Rushdie, Jude Parfitt, Jerry Hall, The Kemps, John Hurt and Tracey Emin. Tickets start at £245 and can be obtained from the Events Office at the RA.

This leads me to an interesting new assignment. I have been approached by a Sovereign State to consider the merits of bringing legal action against private galleries in Europe for what are believed to be looted artwork and asset recovery.

The 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is an umbrella agreement signed by 120 countries. Under its terms, antiquities for sale must have a legal and documented collecting history that dates back to 1970 or earlier. Items found to have been looted can be repatriated to their countries of origin if their illegal recent travel can be proved without doubt. Over the last few years, over 100 works of art have been repatriated from collections worldwide including those from famous museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

At My Personal Lawyer, we are able to put together a panel of art experts, historians and archeologists from around the world to challenge ownership and provenance of pieces of art. We also have the expertise to instruct forensic investigators to trace lost/stolen artwork. We are also happy to work alongside client insurance companies, Interpol and the Art and Antiques Squad of New Scotland Yard. We can commence swift legal action in the High Court to protect assets leaving the jurisdiction pending provenance claims.

Depending on the nature of the asset recovery, we can also advise on instructing PR and media Consultants.

As part of our complimentary concierge services, we can arrange advice in collecting art, risk assessment, provenance claims, raising equity though works of art and all aspects of art security and insurance.

If you think we can assist you or would like to arrange a consultation in complete confidence, please contact Seema Parikh or the team at My Personal Lawyer. We are happy to see clients at short notice off-site or at our offices in Mayfair.

Polite notice: My Personal Lawyer is not endorsing any products contained in this blog and the opinions contained are those of the author.