DE BAECQUE BELLEC is one of only a very few law firms to enjoy a practical knowledge of art law and art market law, which allows its attorneys to provide solutions tailored in response to the specific practices and needs of its clients: artists, artists’ estates, collectors, galleries, antiques dealers, experts, auction houses, or institutional clients, such as museums, insurance companies, banks, investors, etc.

“Legal 500” says of DE BAECQUE BELLEC that they are: “Serious, available and efficient” with “a high degree of expertise and a very good knowledge of the legal issues concerning the art world.” The firm is “also very agile in an international context.”

Artists’ estates

The Firm has developed considerable expertise in the management of artists’ estates: providing advisory and litigation services in relation to inheritance matters involving the copyrights and the works of arts left by the artists upon death, creation of estate management structures (company, association, artists’ committee, etc.), organization of the management of the rights and of the delivery of the certificates of authenticity, fight against counterfeiting. The Firm represents, and acts for, a large number of major estates.

Complex litigation in art law

The Firm has extensive and detailed experience of complex art law litigation, acting in the context of cases relating to estates, issues regarding provenance, claim of ownership, authenticity, or copyright. DE BAECQUE BELLEC masters the interaction between civil law and criminal law, as well as international cases, and has built up a close network of specialist attorneys aboard.

Contemporary art law

Agreements between artists, galleries, clients commissioning works of art, or publishers (sale and purchase agreements, commissioning contracts, consignment agreements, copyright assignment agreements, publishing or artistic co-production agreements, etc.), disputes between these same actors of the art market (breach of contract, copyright infringement, etc.).

Sale and purchase of works of art

The Firm regularly assists its clients in their sales and purchases of works of art: negotiation and drafting of sale and purchase agreements, both for professionals and private buyers, verifications to ensure transactions are compliant with all applicable regulations (import/export controls, verification of provenance, classified or listed objects, money laundering, etc.), negotiations with the public authorities. The Firm has worked on the sale of various exceptional works of art and collections.

Litigation relating to the annulment of a sale

Lawsuits relating to the legality of private sales or sales at auction (annulment, court-ordered expertise, liability of the auction houses, of court-appointed auctioneers, experts, etc.)

Copyright applied to art

The Firm has built up substantial expertise in copyright law as applied to art: defense of copyrights, resale right (droit de suite), representation right, display right, exhibition right, reproductions of photographs, engravings, sculpture, artists’ estates, transfers, etc.).


The Firm’s expertise in criminal law, copyright, and information technology also allows it to handle art law files with aspects relating to these subjects, such as theft, resale of stolen goods, sales at auction and on-line brokerage, copyright provisions specifically applicable to art.

Criminal art law

Finally, given the very in-depth knowledge of the law firm and the art market, he regularly intervenes in criminal law cases related to art: cases of theft and concealment of works of art, money laundering, counterfeiting.

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