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Art and Entertainment

Convincing Performance You Can Count On

Schellenberg Wittmer's Art and Entertainment Group is composed of specialists skilled at providing advice and support to art institutions, collectors, artists, galleries, art dealers, auction houses, art fairs, restorers, art shippers, and art insurers in addition to clients engaged in the entertainment business.

Key Contacts

Alexander Jolles
Yves Jeanrenaud


With our involvement in practically all fields of the arts over a time span of more than 30 years and as active participants on the boards of museums, art foundations, and the Swiss Association of Art Collectors, we can draw on inside experience and specialist knowledge particular to the specific needs and issues arising in the fields of art and entertainment.


We have been involved in setting up foundations and estate planning for art collectors, artists and gallerists; preparing the legal documentation required for running museums, galleries, art investment funds; drafting sale, loan, consignment and pledge agreements for individual art works or entire collections; engaging in litigation regarding looted, stolen, forged or damaged art works; providing art insurance advice and litigation; conducting due diligence on art transactions; import and export matters regarding art works; conceiving rules on best practices in art transactions; representation in the legislative process regarding art related legislation such as protection of cultural property and copyrights.

We have represented parties before state courts, arbitral tribunals, law enforcement authorities and the media in civil and criminal proceedings regarding art works, art transactions and art projects as well as copyright and other intellectual property disputes.


We regularly advise film studios, digital TV network providers and broadcasting companies by negotiating and drafting media-related agreements and representing them in court proceedings.

Our experience includes:

  • Coordinating and drafting the entire legal paperwork for an exhibition tour of a prominent European collection to museums in Asia. This includes the drafting of loan agreements, insurance contracts, shipping agreements, import, export, national indemnities, immunities from seizures, condition reports, etc.;
  • Drafting the legal documentation for a new art collection management company for one of the largest art galleries in the world that will provide a panoply of services to its clients, including storing art, shipping, insuring, import, export, databases, provenance research, valuation, market advice, etc.;
  • Advising a client active on the market of rare musical instruments, in the acquisition and sale of instruments. We negotiate the terms for transactions, draft the purchase and sale agreements, instruct the experts to secure authenticity certificates and condition reports, and advise the freight-forwarding company for delivery, storage, insurance and customs proceedings;
  • Representing a UK art gallery dealer in a high-stake arbitration brought by an art collector over contractual representations and warranties, related to a piece of art that had spawned international headline news. Also coordinating the work of local counsel in the UK, United States and Philippines, as the case involved complex issues of Swiss, US and Philippine laws, including issues of criminal law and international legal assistance;
  • Establishing and administering a foundation holding the artistic estate (including copyrights and archive) of an internationally known Swiss artist;
  • Advising and representing an international auction house in litigaton and criminal proceedings regarding the sale of an object in dispute between seller and buyer.

Awards and Recognitions

You'll find our Art and Entertainment practitioners ranked and recognized by leading legal directories such as:

  • Chambers and Partners
  • Legal 500
  • Who's Who Legal

Selected Publications

Fluchtkunst ist nicht Raubkunst - schweizerische Rechtslage bei Fluchtkunst
Peter Mosimann/Beat Schönenberger, Fluchtgut - Geschichte, Recht und Moral, Schriftenreihe Kultur & Recht
Deaccessioning: Die Veräusserung von Kunstwerken durch Museen – Todsünde oder Segen in schwierigen Zeiten?
published in "Marktplatz Museum - Sollen Museen Kunst verkaufen dürfen?", Hg. Dirk Boll, Christie's International Zürich, rüffer & rub, 2010