Art & Museum Law

Judith G.H. Edington Counsel (617) 338-2422 vCard
John K. Graham Partner (617) 338-2941 vCard
Kimberly B. Herman Partner (617) 338-2943 vCard
Cornelius J. Murray III Partner (617) 338-2931 vCard
Nicholas M. O'Donnell Partner (617) 338-2814 or
(212) 660-3000
Mitchell C. Stein Partner (212) 660-3042 vCard
Erika L. Todd Associate (617) 338-2825 vCard
Rosemary Wilson Counsel (617) 338-2894 vCard

The Sullivan & Worcester Art & Museum Law Group assembles lawyers with a broad array of experience with issues affecting museums, artists, and other institutions devoted to the arts. Our team combines skill and experience in these areas generally, with background concerning museums specifically, which together position us to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by museums, artists and collectors. Our professionals include a Best Lawyers’ Boston Non-Profit/Charities Lawyer of the Year; a former curatorial professional responsible for exhibition work and compliance with Association of Art Museum Directors provenance directives; and seasoned intellectual property litigators, among others. 

Art Law Report (blog)

Representative Client Work

  • Serving as lead counsel to plaintiffs in Philipp et al. v. Federal Republic of Germany et al., 15-cv-00266 (D. D.C.), seeking restitution of the Guelph Treasure, sold under duress by Jewish art dealers in 1935 to the Prussian government
  • Served as lead counsel to Artmentum GmbH in widely publicized $204 million lawsuit over sale of a fine art collection, won motion to dismiss all claims in Art Assure Ltd., LLC v. Artmentum GmbH et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-03757 (LGS) (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Represented a New York art dealer in litigation involving claims for restitution of artworks alleged to have been stolen during the Nazi occupation of France. Obtained complete dismissal of all claims against client. Meyer v. University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, et al., Case No. 1:13-cv-3128 (CM)
  • Obtaining First Amendment related dismissals for speech and governance related cases
  • Consulting with European museums about restitution claims and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act issues
  • Advising museums and collectors concerning de-accessioning
  • Representing individuals in connection with the protection of their intellectual property rights and in negotiations with corporate sellers of their product
  • Assisting a tax-exempt organization in developing a licensing program and protecting related trademarks
  • Representing authors, musicians and music producers in the negotiation of publishing contracts
  • Advising start-up companies with respect to rights clearance issues with website content and use of third-party content on the website
  • Advising clients with respect to domain name registrations, resolving domain name ownership disputes, and challenging domain name registrations that infringe client trademarks
  • Conducting nationwide intellectual property protection and enforcement programs, and handling related litigation, on behalf of, among others, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and their licensing entities, as well as Comedy Partners (South Park), and NCP Marketing Group, Inc. (Tae Bo)
  • Defending an apparel distributor and various national and regional department store chains in connection with trademark and copyright infringement suit brought by a belt designer
  • Serving as outside general counsel to direct marketing companies, with responsibilities including day-to-day handling of all licensing, distribution and telemarketing-related agreements and principal responsibility for handling all litigation and arbitrations, including defense of class action lawsuit
  • Advising on avoiding unrelated business taxable income, including regarding gift shops, museum restaurants, corporate sponsorships, affinity credit cards and mailing lists
  • Advising on the application of sales/use tax to art work loaned to a museum
  • Negotiating settlement of use tax due on art work purchased out-of-state
  • Representing a charitable trust before highest state court and in negotiations with state Attorney General for termination of charitable trust and distribution of assets to charitable organization
  • Structuring charitable foundations and trusts for maximum tax advantage

Click to visit S&W's Art Law Report blog

Visit our "Art Law Report blog" that provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities.